Chocolate and coffee smells wafted onto the sidewalk as I stood before Lore's. I chose the door to the left and entered a small, cozy shop decorated with vintage posters, where offerings included all the caffeinated basics and a few baked goods. I ordered a small cafe au lait for $1.75. It's a cute, convenient coffee stop if you're in Old City, but not the best place to sit for hours.

The adjacent sugary shop was more of a destination, bursting with holiday-centric sweets like candy corn and pumpkin shaped chocolates. The shop was furnished in old-fashioned dark wood, and even the elderly ladies in frilly red-and-white-checkered caps seemed to come from a bygone era. Chocolates came in every imaginable shape: cell phones, miniature Liberty Bells, and clowns. The chocolate shapes displayed in the shop were only a tiny fraction of what was available. "We have three sizes of the Eiffel Tower," a manager informed me.

Glass-topped tables held chocolates selling for $12- $24.95 a pound and included butter creams, nuts, cordials and truffles in milk or dark. The hazelnut and lavender Earl Grey truffles I sampled were rich yet lacking in flavor and refinement, but the large, lusciously decorated caramel apple ($9.99) and dark chocolate covered oreo were superb.

Everything was cheery and almost too sweet, with family pictures on the walls, chocolate bars imprinted with "World's Best ___" and signs such as "Licorice Scotties: delicious soft licorice in the fun shape of a scotty dog!" Though it's a bit of a trek, Lore's offers great gift ideas and heart-warming sweets with a cute, old-fashioned vibe.


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