It’s true that not everyone can afford to go to Paris, but I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of people have an ongoing (and perhaps unhealthy) obsession with chocolate. My own began long before I was even able to remember it, and there is no indication that it will ever end. Unfortunately, my next vacation to Paris is now taking a backseat to my next chocolate vacation, which is continuously at the forefront of my thoughts. On the other hand, my next journey will be to a chocolate factory.
Continue reading if the idea of coming across delectable chocolate on every trip piques your interest, even if chocolate isn’t the reason you travel in the first place. Even if you aren’t going to the City of Love any time soon, you can still let me help you plan your chocolate tourism by locating a city close to you and allowing me to assist you in doing so. This post will introduce you to a plethora of cities that you have most likely never connected with chocolate before. You will get a broad sense of how much money it will cost you to travel in these places, as well as the amount of time I recommend you spend in each location and my suggestions for chocolate shops. If you really can’t wait any longer to identify the location of your ideal sweet treat, go down to the appropriate continent.
- 1 Asia
- 2 North America
- 3 South America
- 4 Europe
- 5 Africa
Asia is quickly becoming the go-to location for chocolate lovers interested in the bean-to-bar production method. Asia is home to a number of countries that produce cacao, and the majority of these nations are now also making their own chocolate. Asia is responsible for slightly under 20% of the world’s supply of cacao. However, their neighbors to the east are the ones that are now seizing control of the market rather than the largest producers.
Seoul, South Korea
Explore For: 5 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Cacao Dada, P.Chokko, Roasting Masters
It would be irresponsible of me not to bring up the chocolaty city that I’ve been going to on the weekends for the last two years. In spite of the widespread belief that Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a prohibitively expensive city to visit, I was able to find hundreds of inexpensive guesthouses and some of the most reasonably priced eateries I’ve ever seen in Korea. Despite the fact that the quality of the chocolate is obviously superior, the costs for it are about equivalent to those in Europe. In addition to being home to a few dozen chocolate stores, Seoul is also the location of four chocolate manufacturers from Korea as well as several bakeries that take their inspiration from French cuisine. Macarons? Eclairs? Cakes? You can find all three of them in whatever taste you can think of, including chocolate. In spite of the fact that I have spent years living in Korea, I am always able to learn something new about chocolate when I visit Seoul.
Read More: Seoul Chocolate Guide
Explore For: 5 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Böhnchen & Co. Chocolate, Kad Kokoa, Sarath N. Chocolatier
The culture around chocolate in Thailand has seen a meteoric rise over the course of this year. Quite a few chocolate manufacturers have recently set up business, some of them in Bangkok, and they are salivating at the prospect of imparting all of their knowledge on chocolate to you. Craft chocolate choices in Bangkok seem to be almost unlimited these days, with offerings ranging from demonstrations on how chocolate is made to tastings that include both finished chocolate and fresh cacao pods. A chocolate culture of any significance did not exist in Thailand until very recently, with the exception of a few local chocolatiers and the odd European import. However, as of recently, not only is it possible to purchase a chocolate cake in Bangkok, but you can also get one that is prepared using locally produced components. And there is no indication that this pattern will change anytime soon.
Read More: Bangkok Chocolate Guide
Explore For: 4 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: CocoSun Cacao Farm, Chius Chocolate, FuWan Chocolate
You are really lagging behind the times if you were unaware that Taiwan is a cacao-growing nation. The southern region of Taiwan is gradually becoming more well-known all over the globe, not only for its burgeoning chocolate culture but also for its chocolate producers. There is a whole world of cacao plantations and chocolate producers just waiting to be explored in the busy city of Kaohsiung, which is located on Taiwan’s southern coast. Taiwan is a location that may be navigated with ease and enjoyment even for individuals who do not know even a single character of Mandarin. The close-by city of Kenting is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and one of the top night markets in the world, and all of these attractions are easily accessible by bus from Kaohsiung. Pingtung County, which is home to the majority of the nation’s cocoa and coffee plantations, is also the tropical fruit belt of the country and is famous for the quality of its mangoes, making it an ideal destination for anyone who like eating tropical fruits. Who wants some chocolate fondue?
Read More: Taiwan Chocolate Guide
Explore For: 2 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Yasuhiro Seno Chocolatier, Nakamura Chocolatier, L’avenue Chocolatier
When I first arrived in mainland Japan, a friend informed me that Kobe was regarded as Japan’s chocolate city. However, when I looked at Kobe from the outside looking in, it didn’t seem to be a major chocolate metropolis from the outside looking in. After going there, I found that I was no longer surprised. When compared to Tokyo or Osaka, Kobe is almost a little town. However, since there is a far larger amount of open space and a significantly smaller people, it is highly delightful to stroll about the city going from chocolatier to chocolatier (after some amazing Kobe beef, of course). A significant number of the chocolate shops in the downtown area are not only highly skilled in the production of chocolates as well as the formulation of novel taste combinations, but the majority of these establishments are also located in this region. Kobe’s suburbs even have their very own chocolate factory, which you may visit on route out of the city if you have the time and the will to do so. I’m not kidding when I say that as soon as you get off the train, you can smell chocolate wafting through the air.
Read More: Kobe Chocolate Guide
In contrast to South America, where cacao is genuinely indigenous, North American history texts document the worship of cacao dating back millennia. Cacao was utilized as money by the Aztecs and Mayans, as well as by the local tribes who surrounded and preceded them. These ancient communities also used cacao ceremonially and guarded it zealously against poachers. It has been maintained that the significance of the plant and all that may be derived from it continues into the present age and, more specifically, that it continues to grow in significance in some groups.
Seattle, WA, USA
Explore For: 5 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: indi chocolate, The Chocolate Box, Theo Chocolate
Many people consider the United States to be the birthplace of the artisan chocolate movement. The country is home to hundreds of chocolate manufacturers of different sizes, the majority of which gather each autumn in the city of Seattle, Washington. The aforementioned event, the Northwest Chocolate Festival, draws tens of thousands of attendees over the course of its two days, who pack into a conference center by the pier to participate in various seminars and workshops, as well as sample candies and other sweets offered by hundreds of different vendors. However, the chocolate scene in the Pacific Northwest is not restricted in any manner to just one weekend a year. In addition, the city is home to four chocolate manufacturers whose production capacities range from small to large, in addition to a plethora of chocolate cafés and merchants. If you are unable to spend a whole week touring the city, you should make it a point to stay in the vicinity of Pike Place market. This will allow you to visit the greatest number of chocolate stores in the shortest amount of time.
Read More: Seattle Chocolate Guide
Honolulu, HI, USA
Explore For: 4 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Lonohana, Madre, Malie Kai
Hawaii is the only state in the union that is able to produce cacao, despite the fact that it is geographically located in the South Pacific and is a legal part of the United States (though cacao can also be grown on Guam and Puerto Rico). However, because of the very high cost of living, it is quite uncommon for a farmer to go into cocoa farming merely for the fun of it. This is similar to the situation in Taiwan. The majority of them have a strategy, and it includes producing chocolate or another product including cacao that has additional value. This is where the majority of the advantages accrue to us, the customers. The state of Hawaii is home to more than a dozen chocolate manufacturers, and the capital city of Honolulu is home to chocolate cafés operated by four of these manufacturers. Not all of these manufacturers cultivate their own cacao, but the ones who do often provide chocolate-making classes for people of all ages in addition to giving tours of their cacao estates. They also sell unique cacao products and other innovative uses for cacao. Oahu is one of the four of the six most popular Hawaiian islands where visitors may now take tours of chocolate plantations.
Mexico City, Mexico
Explore For: 6 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Xocao Chocolates, Tacho Taller, Mundo Chocolate Museo
It is believed that the criollo variety of cacao originated in southern Mexico; nevertheless, this region is now well-known for its more savory applications of cacao, most notably in the flavorful sauce known as molé, which has a chocolate and chili taste. Although you’ll find the most authentic versions of this sauce a little further south in the state of Oaxaca, within the Mexican melting pot of Mexico city, also known as DF, is a vast collection of chocolate makers, chocolatiers, and chocolate educators who are very proud of their country’s long history with cacao. While you’ll find the most authentic versions of this sauce a little further south in the state of Oaxaca, you’ll find the most authentic versions of this sauce. You won’t need to drive quite as far to the south since you’ll be able to locate the famous dish of pollo en molé served in a variety of the city’s eateries. Even if you only want a taste of fresh cacao, there is no need to go more than a couple of hours south to discover a cacao farm since production is on the increase across the nation. Cacao farms can be found within a couple of hours’ drive of just about everywhere in the country.
Punta Gorda, Belize
Explore For: 3 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Cotton Tree Chocolate, Copal Tree Lodge, Ixcacao Chocolate
If you want to have a vacation that is packed with chocolate, the best time to go is in May, which is the height of their chocolate season. Head south into the more tropical woods and remote coastline’s of Belize. The annual three-day chocolate festival in Punta Gorda is a cultural event that highlights the country’s long history with cacao as well as its highly varied population. This is the time of year when the town of Punta Gorda is inundated with tourists for the duration of the festival. With a population of little over 350,000 people, Belize has a very small but fairly happy population, which is a fascinating blend of customs from African, indigenous, and northern European cultures. The Maya Mountain Cacao cooperative, which was established in 2010 and is responsible for the collection of cacao from smallholder farmers, is largely credited for bringing the southern area of Toledo to the attention of the rest of the world. However, the origins of the chocolate festival go even farther back to 2007, when it was first held as a means of publicizing the cacao and chocolate produced in the area. Although Punta Gorda has its own chocolate factory, the fact that cacao trees are able to thrive inside the city all year long is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this place. Who wants some freshly squeezed cacao juice?
Read More: Belize Chocolate Festival
Explore For: 4 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Grenada Chocolate Factory, Belmont Estate Chocolate, Tri Island Chocolate
Grenada is widely regarded as one of the most desirable locations for chocolate lovers due to the fact that it is home to no less than five of the world’s finest chocolate manufacturers. In addition to the fact that there are chocolate manufacturers and cacao growers located in every nook and cranny of the island, Grenada also hosts an enormous chocolate festival that lasts for nine days each year to celebrate the country’s long history of cacao cultivation. Due to the fact that all of the cacao cultivated on the island has a rich taste (making it some of the top grade cacao in the world), the farmers are able to command very high prices when their crops are in good condition. Even when the late spring chocolate festival is not taking place, the creative brains of these chocolate and cacao firms are always developing new goods, not only for the international market but also for the domestic market to enjoy. You may buy a cup of cocoa or a chocolate bar tailored specifically for the sweeter tastes of Grenadians with the same ease that you can locate chocolate bars with just two ingredients or go on tours of cacao plantations. Grenada in the last week of May is the best place to go if you want to have one of the most immersive chocolate experiences anywhere in the world.
South America, the original region of the Theobroma cacao plant, the plant that is used to make chocolate, may legitimately claim the title of “home of chocolate.” Cacao, on the other hand, was not always eaten in the form of chocolate. In fact, it is possible that the sweet pulp of the cacao fruit, which was fermented into alcohol, was preferred in earlier times. However, techniques have changed, and South America is currently producing more cacao than it ever has before. Additionally, the number of cacao growers and chocolate manufacturers is also on the increase throughout the continent.
Explore For: 4 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: To’ak, Kallari, Aroma Ecuador
When most people think of high-quality chocolate, Ecuador probably isn’t the first country that comes to mind, but that should definitely change. Not only does the nation produce some of the best chocolate in the world, but it also grows some of the best cacao beans in the world (arriba nacional). Quito is without a doubt one of the greatest and most surprising chocolate cities in the world. This is not new information, but it definitely doesn’t appear to be widespread awareness. A chocolate factory can be found in the town of Mindo, which is located only a couple of hours’ journey to the north, but if you drive just a couple of hours’ journey to the west, you will start coming across cacao plantation after cacao plantation. Although there are a number of diverse geographical origins in the nation that go all the way to the coast, the majority of Quito’s ten or more chocolate producers seem to acquire their ingredients from individual plantations. The city boundaries itself include a number of chocolate-related establishments, including chocolate producers and chocolatiers, chocolate museums, and even some cacao liquor. Because not all of the chocolates you discover will be prepared to the same standards, you should be sure to ask for samples.
Explore For: 5 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Chocomelao, Fruto de Cacao, Equiori
The city of Bogota serves as a focal point for the chocolate culture of the nation, in addition to being home to a number of chocolate factories and a large number of chocolatiers. Since Bogotá is the capital of Colombia as well as one of the biggest and most central cities in the nation, it is also the location where many Colombians come to establish enterprises, as well as the place where the majority of tourists start their journeys. The city dwellers of Colombia take great pride in their country’s cacao and the chocolate they make from it, and this sentiment is carried out into the countryside, where the cacao fields are situated. There are a number of unique cacao origins located only a few hours outside of the city in the hilly areas to the north of the city. These origins range from individual farms to zones named after surrounding landmarks. You may get exposure to the culture of Colombian cocoa by taking day visits to farms that are located near to the city. This saves you the trouble of constantly moving from one area of the nation to another.
Explore For: 5 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Chunchoco, Bonbonao Chocolatier, ChocoMuseo Cusco
Cusco is without a doubt a great trip in and of itself, despite the fact that it is most often regarded as only serving as a gateway to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Cusco is not just a foodie’s delight but also a dream come true for everyone who enjoys chocolate because of all of the historic archaeological sites and the rich culture that is still ingrained in the city. Cusco is far more affordable than the capital city of Lima, and with just 4% of the population, it features a lovely combination of old and contemporary in both its food and its architecture. Cusco also has a smaller population. The city’s chocolate museum, which is located just a long bus ride from the cacao farms of San Martin, regularly keeps fresh cacao pods, and the chocolate makers of Cusco honor the country’s long history of cacao production and their distinctive culinary traditions within the flavors of their chocolates. Because of the dramatic increase in Peru’s cacao output, the city of Cusco is likely to become home to a greater number of chocolate manufacturers in the years to come.
Explore For: 3 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Rapa Nui, Chocolates Torres, Mamuschka
Unless you have an unhealthy obsession with either Argentina or chocolate, the odds are quite good that you have never heard of the city of Bariloche. Perhaps in both cases. When located on a map, the city of Bariloche seems to be very unremarkable; it is only a dot along Argentina’s extensive border with Chile; nonetheless, the city is well-known across Argentina for both its chocolate and its stunningly beautiful mountain landscapes. It is also a prominent ski resort, and at the beginning of the winter season, just before the peak of skiing tourist, the town has a chocolate festival that lasts for several days. During the occasion, the majority of the town’s chocolate businesses, which are concentrated along a single road in the central business district, are offering discounts and free samples of their wares to anyone is fortunate enough to walk by. However, even when the festival is not going on, the little city has more than a dozen chocolate stores. Considering that there are only one hundred thousand people living there, this is a very high ratio of chocolate shops to inhabitants. The chocolate scene in Bariloche is like a little piece of Europe nestled in the mountains of Patagonia.
Their reputation as the place where the greatest chocolates in the world were first created is under jeopardy now that people in every part of the globe have gained a greater understanding of the process by which chocolate is produced. People are becoming more aware of the distinction between a chocolate manufacturer, of whom there are very few in Europe, and a chocolatier, for which Europe is well-known across the world. However, the movement of handmade chocolate is rapidly increasing on the continent, and Belgium, Switzerland, and France now find themselves in some tough competition for the title of greatest chocolate locations.
Explore For: 5 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Damson Chocolate, Paul A. Young, Rococo Chocolate
Perhaps it was the same language or the shared tendency toward organic and Fair Trade goods, but England was one of the first nations in Europe to begin creating a craft chocolate movement. England was also one of the first countries in the world to create a craft chocolate movement. The British bean to bar culture is based on London, which is a major destination for visitors and offers some of the best eating in the world. This culture has swiftly expanded out into the countryside and has now settled in the capital of England. London is home to the ideal assortment of chocolate-related shopping opportunities, making it not just one of the most costly chocolate locations on the list but also one of the greatest places to stock up on quality chocolate from across the globe. Consider London to be your chocolate cultural exchange point, since it is home to a variety of chocolate-related businesses, including local chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers, chocolate merchants, and cacao liquor imported from Ecuador.
Explore For: 4 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Chocolátl, Puccini Bomboni, Urban Cacao
When the name Amsterdam is spoken, the majority of people immediately think of the red light district and coffee shops (the sort that don’t serve coffee). The majority of people, however, are unaware that Amsterdam is maybe the finest chocolate city in all of Europe. Their illustrious history of chocolate production dates back generations. During the Dutch colonization of the Caribbean in the 17th century, cocoa was one of the numerous crops that was cultivated by the Dutch. Did you know that the United States is the only other nation in the world that imports more cacao than the Netherlands does? The Netherlands imports more cacao than any other country in the world. They utilize all of these cocoa beans to make various chocolate bars and chocolate delicacies, some of which have won awards, and are recognized across the chocolate world as a center for innovation in the chocolate industry. The majority of chocolate manufacturers in the Netherlands are located outside of Amsterdam; nevertheless, cacao is not the only ingredient that is used while making chocolate in the Netherlands. There is also a trend for raw, vegan, and so-called “super food” cacao goods, in addition to chocolates that have cannabis infused into them.
Even though Africa is responsible for producing more than half of the world’s cocoa, chocolate isn’t something that comes to mind when most people think of the continent. This is due to the fact that practically all of the continent’s cacao is sent to either Europe or North America, where it is processed into chocolate before being consumed. Even though there is an unfortunate paucity of chocolate producers on the continent, many Africans are working hard these days to put great African chocolate on the map. In my opinion, they are doing an outstanding job.
Explore For: 3 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: 57 Chocolate, Midunu Chocolates, MANOS
Ghana is renowned as a provider of bulk and “commodity” cacao; nevertheless, the country’s image as a producer of high-quality cacao is rapidly expanding, despite the fact that it exports about twenty percent of the world’s cacao supply. There are significant areas in Ghana where cocoa of this grade is being processed into chocolate, the most majority of which is being done by Ghanaian nationals. The push to return the processing and the value addition back to Ghana has its epicenter in the port city of Accra, which is also where the country’s domestic consumption is slowly but steadily increasing. Cocoa, on the other hand, is everywhere in Accra due to the fact that this is the port of departure for all of the country’s cocoa exports. You can also take a day excursion from Accra to see a number of different cocoa fields, and while you’re there, you can learn more about the brief history of cocoa in the area, as well as the role cocoa has played in the economic and cultural history of Ghana.
Cape Town, South Africa
Explore For: 5 Days
Recommended Chocolate Shops: Afrikoa Chocolate, Honest Chocolate, CocoaFair
Despite the fact that it is located in Africa, which is the continent where the majority of the world’s cocoa is produced, South Africa is unable to produce cocoa. Even in Cape Town, which is located on the coast, temperatures drop to a point where the tropical plant cannot survive. Instead, in order to honor Africa as a continent, the chocolate culture of Cape Town sources cocoa from other nations on the continent. The majority of the city’s chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers highlight both their African origin and the use of African ingredients prominently in their style. The city is home to many chocolate producers and many more chocolatiers. You are going to see a lot of cacao pods and coffee beans, in addition to colorful designs and tales that celebrate the people who farmed the ingredients and the people who developed them into what they are today.
Where do you plan to go on your first vacation? Have you ever gone to any of these different places before?
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