Top Chocolate Destinations of the World

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Travel Features >> Top Chocolate Destinations of the World

Top Chocolate Destinations of the World

December 08, 2011

Do you dream of chocolate and the sweet high it gives you? If yes, then read on to find then best places for chocolate on this earth. Yes, there is such a thing as chocolate tourism and don’t be surprised at the number of people who indulge their sweet tooth and travel to satisfy their craving for this sugary experience. So here’s to all things beautiful and chocolatey.

As someone said - Chocolate doesn't make the world go around ... but it certainly makes the ride worthwhile!

The undisputed Chocolate Capital of the World is Belgium – what else? This is the country where Godiva and Leonidas rules, where there are a dozen factories devoted to the art of chocolate making, where there are 16 museums showcasing the different types of chocolates and tracing its history, where there are 2000 shops selling the delicious sweet stuff. Be sure you don’t leave Belgium with at least a box of chocolate and if its pralines that take your fancy, buy Neuhas pralines. After all, they are the ones that invented it!

Where to buy?
Even though there are chocolate shops on every street in Brussels and indeed in every little town and village in Belgium, Brussels is where you get the most choice.
Pierre Marcolini at Sablon, Rue des Minimes 1 is known for its high quality and creativity as far as chocolates go. Choose from a wide variety of 60 different types of truffles, pralines and chocolates, but be sure to try the signature Calin Fondant that are almond crisps with caramel and vanilla swathed in the most delicious chocolate.

Planet´e´ Chocolat at 24 rue du Lombard uses 100% pure cacao and their chocolates are to die for. They are known for their chocolate bouquets and chocolate lips. To top up your chocolate experience go on a Saturday afternoon at 4 pm when they have a chocolate making and tasting session. It will be worth it!

Wittamer’s at Place du Sablon is a landmark for chocolate lovers in Brussels. A shop that doubles up as a café, Wittamer’s is a popular tea shop and they serve the most delicious pastries, chocolates and the must- try here are their simply gorgeous macaroons!

Cologne Chocolate Museum, Cologne
Cologne‘s Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum or the Chocolate Museum as it is popularly known, should figure on every chocolate lover’s list. When you are done with the cathedral and the markets, head to the sweetest place in Cologne – the Chocolate Museum. With a history that goes back three thousand years, the Chocolate Museum covers the entire process of chocolate making right from the raw cocoa bean to the heavenly finished product that dissolves in your mouth! The purpose of this museum is to educate visitors to differentiate between fine quality chocolate and that sold in cheap grocery stores. Entry for kids is free and adults pay a reasonable € 7,50 per head. So go on take that trip to the Chocolate Museum.

Where to buy?
After the tour of the museum, head to the chocolate shop or café to buy some artisanal chocolates and truffles or sip on the most delicious tasting cocoa drink you can!

Oaxaca, Mexico
The chocolate city of Oaxaca in Mexico is a treat for the senses of every chocoholic! The whiff of fragrant chocolate assaults you on entry to this city and after that, it is chocolate all the way. Oaxaca gifted the cup of steaming hot chocolate to the world and it is here that you get the most delicious aromatic hot chocolate. Every street in Oaxaca is redolent with chocolate in some form or the other – chocolate pastry, chocolate candy bars, steaming hot chocolate. Most of the chocolate produced here are from closely guarded family recipes and mixed in the traditional style by hand.

Where to buy?
While every street is lined with chocolate stalls and vendors, the best places would be Mina Street and 20 Noviembre where the producers of the world famous chocolates of Moyordomo, Guelaguetza and La Soledad are based. Be sure to sip a hot chocolate made especially for you – most of the vendors will have their own blends and stir up something to your taste!

San Francisco, USA
Go on a chocolate trail in San Francisco. Besides Ghirardelli Chocolate which is a signature brand of premium chocolates produced in San Francisco, the Bay area is full of smaller chocolate manufacturers that conjure up some really good artisanal handmade chocolates. From chocolate squares of intense dark chocolate to milk, bars filled with a variety of fillings including truffle, caramel, raspberry and mint – all there for the asking.

Where to buy?
Ghirardelli Chocolate shop at Union Square stocks the squares and other flavours that are synonymous with their brand.

XOX Truffles at 754 Columbus Ave stocks truffles that are French but whipped up in San Francisco – with flavours that will tickle your palate. XOX is where you should go if you have a penchant for truffles. Of course, they have a variety of other chocolates too!

TCHO at Pier 17 is where your chocolate dreams turn into reality! Besides the normal chocolates they regularly come up with new flavours to add to their repertoire.

These are just some of the many chocolate shops in the Bay area – there are hordes of others that you can try and they are all just as good!

Zurich, Switzerland
Switzerland is synonymous with cuckoo clocks, cheese and chocolates. Toberlone, Nestle, Teuscher, Lindt and Sprungli roll off the tongue, both figuratively and literally! The Swiss and chocolate have a long history going back to the 17th century and chocolate is very much a part of their lives. Though every town and region is renowned for different types of chocolates, it is Zurich which comes out tops as a chocolate destination. From plain milk to bitter sweet, marzipan filled chocolates to delicious pralines and truffles, the chocolate shops in Zurich are a chocolate lover’s dream come true!

Where to buy?
The Sprungli café cum shop is the flagship store at Paradeplatz on Bahnhofstrasse where one can indulge one’s sweet tooth. The specialty here is Luxemburgerli, which is actually just melt-in-your-mouth pastry and cream and there are a variety of flavors to choose from; if chocolate truffles are what make you tick, then do try the Truffe du Jour and the amazing Grand Cru Sauvage truffle. To die for!

Merkur & Läderach on Bahnhofstrasse 106, is where all roads lead to and this is a one stop shop for all Swiss made chocolates. So whether you want to buy Toberlone, or Lindt or any other Swiss make, they have it. Be sure to try the specially made fresh Läderach chocolates – you can buy in bars or small pieces and there are over 15 varieties to choose from.

Truffe an interesting little chocolate boutique on Schlüsselgasse 12, just off Bahnhofstrasse in Alstadt and stocks chocolates you may not find elsewhere. The helpful staff will assist you in making the right choice of chocolate to buy and before you leave be sure to try out their hot chocolate – the best you will find in Europe!

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