eorge Town, located on Penang Island, is renowned for being both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a heaven for food lovers due to the city’s extensive culinary scene. Although there is a good selection of local Indian, Malay, and Chinese cuisine, the chocolate is the reason we traveled all the way here in the first place. During our stay in Malaysia, which lasted for three weeks, we were told on many occasions that Penang was the chocolate capital of the nation. It’s surprising to me that there aren’t more chocolate cafés in the city given how much cacao is cultivated in Malaysia, but the city does have a fair share of them anyway.
Although there isn’t as much of a selection of chocolate in Penang as there is in their southern equivalent of Kuala Lumpur, it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate a chocolate store in the city of Penang. In point of fact, I was able to locate five of them. Please see the following for their opening and closing times, and feel free to leave a comment if you are aware of any additional chocolate businesses in the George Town area (or elsewhere on the Island).
Beryl’s Chocolate Story
Beryl’s Chocolate Story stands out among the other chocolate shops in Penang that I went to as having the most dedicated and enthusiastic customers. When you first go into the showroom, you’ll see that it includes a few kitschy historical chocolate advertising as well as a few modest exhibits that demonstrate how chocolate is produced. Inside there is a little gift store as well as a lengthy counter where customers may relax and place their drink orders. The majority of chocolate products, including flavored bars and chocolate-coated freeze-dried berries, nuts, and other snacks, utilize palm oil as a “smoother” in their production.
However, in contrast to the vast majority of Malaysian chocolate stores of this kind, some of the bars included in this category do not contain palm oil at all; thus, it is important to verify the labels before making a purchase. You may try some of their products in the section that is designated as the gift store, but not their brand new bean to bar line (which I was much more interested in). In comparison to the ambience of the other two major chocolate stores in Penang, the one at this location had a far more pleasant vibe overall. Remember that you have to get through the ringing of the loud doorbell before you can enter properly (to the left).
Address: 5, Lorong Love, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Hours: 10am-7pm, daily
Love 18 Chocolates
Love18 Chocolatier stands out among the various chocolate-related alternatives available in the city due to the fact that it is a family-owned and operated small company. As soon as I came in, an employee gave me samples of the flavored pave dark chocolates, which was unusual in comparison to the other chocolate stores in Penang that we visited (though rather common in Kuala Lumpur). However, when I went to the store to purchase some paving, all that was available were bonbons, and even those came in pre-packaged packets of five only.
The whole Love18 range is made using Callebaut chocolate, which imparts a robust cocoa flavor to the bonbons and serves as the product’s foundation. However, some of the tastes were too mild for me, while others were too intense; the overall experience was not particularly consistent. But all things considered, the orange chocolate bonbon was our favorite, and we really regret not being able to purchase a whole box of the orange pave. These chocolates, out of everything else we sampled in Penang, stood out as far and away the finest.
Address: 37b Beach St Georgetown, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Hours: 9am-6pm, daily (open until 9pm Fri.-Sun.)
Le Cafe Chocolat
This fairly lofty chocolate shop can be found in the heart of Penang, not far from some of the city’s most renowned street art. Upon entering, you get a view that extends all the way to the rear, where there are free samples of chocolate within Beryl’s and Danson boxes. If you don’t go straight to the back, you’ll have the opportunity to look over their extensive selection of chocolate and tea beverages, in addition to the pastries that are available for purchase.
Although we did not partake in any of the baked goods offered, we got the impression that the majority of customers came in for the beverages even though the atmosphere was pretty pleasant. Their chocolate beverages are rather sugary and produced from a powder, but they are not a terrible alternative to the strong brewed coffees and teas that we experienced throughout Penang. Even if I wouldn’t choose any of their pre-packaged chocolates for myself, I’m glad you have the opportunity to make your own decision.
Address: 31, Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Hours: 9am-6pm, daily
Georgetown Herittage Chocolate
This store was undergoing restoration when we came by; but, judging from what we saw inside and what we read on Google, it seems that they offer pre-packaged chocolates from Danson’s as well as a variety of chocolate-covered nibbles under their own brand name. I am unable to comment on the freshness of the ingredients or the overall flavor, but I feel obligated to state that if I were to go all the way here, I would definitely stop by China House (which is located across the street) first in order to have some cakes.
Address: no 238, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Hours: 10am-6pm, daily
Harriston Boutique Penang
This branch of the Malaysian chocolate brand may also be found in KL, complete with identical tour buses. Additionally, in comparison to other chocolate stores in Penang, it is located rather outside of the city (in George Town, at least). Large boxes of chocolates that are manufactured using palm oil may be purchased at Harriston’s Boutique, which is also known as Harriston’s Signature.
After they have provided you with a variety of samples, they are often affixed together with tape and sold in sets. I suppose that this is what is known as a “tourist trap” in the industry. When I looked at the contents, I found that several of their “chocolates” did not even include any cocoa at all; thus, I cannot recommend this business either in terms of ethics or taste.
Address: 68, Jalan Kelawai, George Town, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Hours: 9:30am-6:30pm, daily
Penang Chocolate & Coffee Museum
For us, this chocolate experience was very Malaysian and rather standard fare for the country’s major makers. When you first enter the museum, you will be given a sticker, and then you will be led into a huge room where they will demonstrate the many stages involved in producing chocolate and coffee. To put it another way, a simpler version. This is when we discovered that the “white coffee mix” sold locally had such a silky smooth flavor because each individual packet contains palm oil creamer. Not a nice surprise.
Following that, you will be guided inside the gift store where you will be given samples of a variety of the most popular candies, such as chocolate-covered almonds and tiramisu pave, which have all been dipped in couverture that contains palm oil and other additives. We were informed pretty quickly to refrain from taking photographs inside for reasons that nobody could explain to us.
Bars vary in price from 60 MR for 70 g of “70% chocolate” to cheaper palm oil mixes that come in bigger bags but are still more costly than any of the bean-to-bar manufacturers in the nation. Outside of the store is a café selling a variety of beverages, including coffees, teas, and juices, as well as ice cream in a variety of flavors. Don’t forget to mention it if you don’t want any additional sugar added to your food. Or, even better, you could try out one of the many chocolate shops that are located throughout Penang. It is not something I would suggest doing.
Address: 22 Leith Street Georgetown, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Hours: 9am-6pm, daily
Penang Travel Tips
In addition to the plethora of chocolate stores that can be found in George Town on the island of Penang, the neighborhood is well-known for the abundance of street art that can be seen there, as well as the magnificent random placement of the jetties and the abundance of bike rental stalls. Although we did not participate in any bike tours ourselves, we did see a large number of individuals, groups, and families traversing the city by two wheels. Because of the city’s compact size, it is possible to explore almost all of its attractions in the span of only a few short afternoons.
As people who are obsessed with food, some of our favorite restaurants are China House for their desserts, Jawi House for their meals, and Tea Kadai for their masala chai (tea). Nasi Kandar restaurants are a popular dining option in Little India. These Indian and Malay fusion restaurants provide a wide selection of meals at prices that are quite reasonable. My buddy Joanne maintains a Malaysia-based cuisine website where you may discover even more recommendations for eating in the city of Penang. Follow her Penang adventure to the letter, but make sure your stomach is ready for it!