Treat Yourself at Ghirardelliby Megan Walker, contributing writer
No trip to the Disneyland Resort would be complete without treating yourself to some sweets. Whether it be candy, chocolates, churros, or ice cream, you absolutely have to forget "eating healthy" when you're at Disneyland and treat yourself to something tasty. If you can't decide what treat to get, you're in luck, because, over at Disney California Adventure Park, there is a perfect one-stop shop location for you to get all of the above.
Located in the Pacific Wharf area is the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, where you can get all of the tasty chocolates, ice cream, and other treats your heart desires. Ghirardelli is one of my favorite places to visit for a sweet treat when in the parks. They have a great selection and everything they have is super tasty.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop Interior. Photo by Megan Walker.
When you first enter the shop, you can grab a menu if you're looking to order something. They have a huge selection of sundaes featuring all different kinds of toppings, mixings, and ice cream flavors, and you can always customize your own sundae. Each of the sundaes is named and themed after something from the San Francisco area (where Ghirardelli originated) with names like Presidio Passion Strawberry Hot Fudge or Golden Gate Banana Split. The most fun part of ordering a sundae from Ghirardelli though happens shortly after ordering. Pay attention to the painted mural behind the kitchen area and watch it closely. Different animations occur depending on the sundae you order, for example, if you order the Strike It Rich Butterscotch sundae, you should pay close attention to the gold miner in the foreground of the mural for something special to happen. Additionally, Ghirardelli offers sorbet, if ice cream really isn't your thing.
Ghirardelli Shop Mural. Photo by Megan Walker.
If an ice cream sundae isn't what you're in the mood for, then they also have a great selection of tasty drinks. Ghirardelli offers many different milkshakes, including a create-your-own concoction (even with the sorbet option!) featuring the use of Ghirardelli chocolate squares. Don't sleep on the Frozen Hot Chocolate option here either, it's incredibly tasty and you can't find a better hot chocolate than Ghirardelli’s mix. You can also get malts or soda floats here. Speaking of hot chocolate, you can also get a few different flavors of this drink, which are especially nice at nighttime, including Sea Salt and drinking chocolate made of dark chocolate chips. If you're looking for something to perk you up, you can get that here as well as they offer a nice selection of coffee drinks from regular coffee or tea, to flavored lattes, to mochas featuring their Ghirardelli chocolate.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop Menu. Photo by Megan Walker.
Now, on to one of the main reasons you'd be coming to Ghirardelli…the chocolate! The best feature of this shop is their selection of chocolate. You can buy individual pieces of their famous Ghirardelli squares in all different flavors, some of which rotate seasonally (and they usually have a sample available near the entrance). The pieces are purchased by the pound, but you can get just a few pieces to last you throughout the day (just don't leave them in a purse or backpack). In addition to the chocolate squares, the shop also has other snacks and treats to purchase like chocolate-covered strawberries, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. The shop also has a fantastic selection of other dessert-related merchandise, including hot chocolate mixes, gift sets, chocolate chips, and chocolate or caramel syrups.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Square Selection. Photo by Megan Walker.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Selection. Photo by Megan Walker.
Making a stop at Ghirardelli at the beginning or the end of your day is a great idea; stock up on those chocolates to snacks on throughout the day or make the journey home (or back to your hotel) and little sweeter with a big ice cream sundae or milkshake—either way you can't go wrong!
One of my favorite Ghirardelli treats is to buy some sourdough bread from the Boudin Bakery across the street and then dunk it in the Decadent Drinking Chocolate. The combination of semi-sweet chocolate and the sourdough bread is amazing!!!