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Chocolate Lab on Colfax is the Candy Shop of Every Adult’s Dreams

Say hello to chocolate everything

If there’s anything better than chocolate, we sure haven’t found it yet. That’s why when we heard about Chocolate Lab {2504 East Colfax Avenue, Denver; 720.536.5037} on Colfax, we had to have a taste for ourselves. Scientist, artist, and chocolatier Phil Simonson opened shop just last month, creating a place to foster his love—well, maybe obsession—with all things cacao.

Phil Simonson

It’s a sweet story: Nine years ago, Phil’s husband gave him a box of truffles for Valentine’s Day. And it was then that Phil went from being a guy who didn’t care for chocolate to a careful crafter who sought to master the truffle recipe. Phil’s arsenal includes hundreds of truffle recipes that are tried and true, and he has about 20-50 in the shop at any given time. Savory sweet is his specialty; if you haven’t had onion and cheese enrobed in chocolate before, now is certainly the time to step up and give it a try (it’s awesome).

He unloads between 2,500 and 3,000 truffles a week, often selling out of the day’s supplies. “I’m sleeping about four hours a night to keep things moving,” he says with the smile of someone who’s clearly sunk their teeth into a passion project.

Truffle assortment

But the great thing about Chocolate Lab is that it’s more than just irresistible chocolates. While the original concept was to open a wine and chocolate bar, Phil’s vision grew to include a variety of offerings. There’s something here for everyone, with chocolate-inspired small plates, entrees, desserts, and cocktails. And everything is made by hand, in small batches, using quality ingredients.

Beer Float

Medjool Dates with gruyere and milk chocolate wrapped in bacon with chocolate balsamic? Warm Tomato Salad with cherry tomatoes, balsamic, and white chocolate champagne? Crispy Brussels Sprouts with cocoa nibs and shredded mizithra cheese? Yes, yes and yes—they’re all here and they’re all delicious.

Medjool Dates

Warm Tomato

Crispy Brussel Sprouts

And a special shoutout to their signature cheese board with artisanal cheeses, chocolates, and bread. Spoiler alert: the stinky cheese-topped triple chocolate brownie tastes just like chocolate cheesecake. Need we say more?

Cheese Board

We especially like what Phil’s doing at Chocolate Lab because he’s serving up food that actually stands for something. The business is dedicated to sustainability, sourcing only fair trade or single-sourced chocolate and using local, organic ingredients when possible. And all packaging is from recycled materials. Now if that’s not enough reason to dive into an evening of blissful eats, you’re on your own.

Stop by any day of the week to enjoy the retail counter or full restaurant. Chocolate Lab also takes custom orders and offers catering services for corporate events and weddings.

S’moretini

Chocolate Lab is open Monday through Thursday from 11am-9pm; Friday and Saturday from 11am-12am; Sundays from 11am-7pm. 

By Alexis Methven. Photos by Dylan Osborne.