Need chocolate? Go here.
At Cocoa & Fig baker/co-owner Laurie Pyle specializes in carefully crafted cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats. But those in need of a chocolate fix will be more than satisifed with the shop's bouchons, cute cork-shaped brownies (sold four to a pack, $5) that are truly, madly, deeply chocolatey. Their secret ingredient is top-shelf Valrhona chocolate, imported from France's Rhone valley.
651 Nicollet Mall (Gaviidae Common, skyway level), Mpls., 612-333-1485, www.cocoaandfig.com
When Karen Carpenter crooned about how rainy days and Mondays always got her down, she could have been referring to Lucia's To Go. It's the one day of the week when the restaurant is closed, meaning fans can't get their hands on the kitchen's thick, palm-size chocolate-chip cookies, which sport a gently crispy brown exterior that yields to a tender, buttery interior (due to plenty of Minnesota-made Hope Creamery butter) and an almost illicit level of semi-sweet chocolate chips. The price? An insanely affordable $1.
1432 W. 31st St., Mpls., 612-825-9800, www.lucias.com
The other way to gleefully stretch a buck on chocolate is at Rustica, where the bakery's signature bittersweet chocolate cookie -- crackle-topped, twinkling with sugar and packed with several intoxicating levels of flavorful chocolate -- is one of those genuine can't-eat-just-one sensations. Thank goodness bakers/co-owners Tammy Hoyt and Steve Horton offer a six-pack for $5.
3220 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-822-1119, www.rusticabakery.com