There are several places that claim to have the best chocolate in the world, but the competition continues. One way to find out, of course, is to simply visit all those places and decide for yourself. So with that in mind here are five must-visit destinations for chocolate lovers to get you started, obviously this list is not exhaustive! Enjoy!
1. Brussels, Belgium
Belgian chocolate is renowned worldwide for its chocolate and with good reason! The country’s capital boasts not only a huge variety of top quality goods, but the praline, that most delicious of chocolates, was invented here. The city has an important history in the production of chocolate and to this day has an impressive amount of chocolatiers, with about one per 2,000 people. That’s a lot of choice! There are those that specialise in the artisanal, those that pride themselves on their innovation, and of course the classic brands such as Godiva and Leonidas. Brussels even has a Musée du Cacao et du Chocolate. Located in a three-story house, the museum has a history section, demonstration kitchen where you can watch makers in action, and of course the chance to taste some freshly made chocolate!
2. Cologne, Germany
Germany is worthy of a place on this list given that it exports more chocolate around the world than any other country. The home base for this is Cologne, and a trip here is certainly necessary to establish the quality on offer. The chocolate museum Schokoladenmuseum is impressively located on a dock reaching out into the Rhine River, and the the three-floor building covers the entire history of chocolate. Take a look at the historic materials used, or marvel at the recreations, like the tropical rainforest exhibit with real cacao trees and the bean-to-bar manufacturing exhibit.The chocolate-focused restaurant is a must-visit, where you’ll find more than your fill of the sweet treat to try!
3. Oaxaca, Mexico
Given that Central America is the birthplace of chocolate, a trip to Oaxaca in Mexico to discover the plant’s place in history of the country is highly recommended. Oaxaca certainly shows this to the full, with beans for sale in the street along with all different types of drinking chocolate. Additionally, chocolate is a very important ingredient in one of Oaxaca’s most famous sauces, mole, which you’ll need to try, whilst a trip to Mina Street will reveal shop after shop selling their chocolatey goods. Browse the many small family shops as well as the larger names like Mayordomo Chocolate, who serve a traditional hot chocolate drink made with spices and milk or water, and La Soledad who sell the chocolate-honey drink chocomiel.
4. St. Lucia
Another place where chocolate has played an enormous role in both its past and present is the Caribbean, and in St. Lucia you’ll find numerous cocoa estates you can visit. At the Emerald Farm and Chocolate Lab in Jade Mountain resort you can learn about production in amongst 2,000 cacao trees, definitely a memorable place. You can also immerse yourself at Hotel Chocolat, a boutique hotel located on an old chocolate estate where you can your own cocoa, relax with a chocolate drink and even plant your own tree. This really is a trip into the world of chocolate.
5. Melbourne, Australia
If you’re looking for a fun and interactive exploration into everything chocolate, visit Melbourne in Australia. The city’s notable chocolate scene includes upscale restaurant-sweet shop combos like Bibelot and chocolatiers like Koko Black, as well as bean-to-bar producers such as Monsieur Truffe, creating its chocolate onsite at the cafe East Elevation. A visit to Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and its chocolate playground, Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate, offers a waterfall of chocolate consisting of nearly 900 pounds of melted chocolate pouring over the edge of an exhibit every three minutes. Other attractions include a one-tonne block of solid chocolate, a miniature village of chocolate complete with working trains and a the chocolate version of Michelangelo’s David statue. Then of course head to the shop for plenty of chocolate to try and buy. Yum!