I had to start the process over several times as I researched different chocolate shops in the Manila area. I was unable to locate any chocolate makers in Manila, and I had a difficult time even determining the beginning and end of the city itself. It has come to light that over the course of time, the metropolitan area of Manila has developed into a sprawling region very similar to that of Seoul. And despite the fact that it is the market for the majority of chocolate makers in the Philippines and a significant purchaser of Philippine tableya, the region does not have much going on in terms of chocolate production.
If you look in the right places, you can still locate chocolate in Manila, which is a fortunate development.
- 1 Manila Chocolate Guide: Background
- 2 Metro Manila Chocolate Culture
- 3 Metro Manila Chocolate Shops
- 4 Learn About Chocolate Near Manila
- 5 FAQs
Manila Chocolate Guide: Background
This is not a guide that will tell you where you can get a Snickers bar, a Cadbury bar, or any other product that is high in sugar. This guide on finding finer chocolate in Manila, beyond the convenience shops, is intended for both locals and tourists who live in or are visiting the Philippines. In the introduction, it was said that the majority of chocolate manufacturing in the Philippines takes place outside of the capital city, namely in the city of Davao. This is due, in part, to the fact that the city is incredibly crowded and, in recent years, has developed a reputation for being an extraordinarily costly place to live.
If you do an internet search for chocolate in Manila, you can anticipate finding a large number of florists, all of which will attempt to sell you their products with the phrase “free chocolate included” in the description. It is almost inevitable that this will be an inexpensive compound chocolate, the consumption of which would exacerbate the negative reputation that Philippine chocolate already has inside the country. It is crazy how much garbage you have to go through in order to discover any solutions that are even somewhat acceptable.
If you’re simply browsing and don’t have any particular brands in mind, you’ll probably search for anything you’re interested in on Google or Shopee, which is one of the most prominent online buying sites in the Philippines. Nearly everything that is offered on there contains more than 50% sugar, and the businesses who sell goods on there promote quite openly that they sell compound chocolate. It’s the equivalent of stating “this beef jerky is exactly half meat, but you should still buy it!” I should have known that Manila would have superior chocolate.
So I did.
Metro Manila Chocolate Culture
The number of chocolate stores in Manila is shockingly low. When I was in Manila, it was only because I made a few new friends along the way that I was able to visit the majority of these shops. Without them, I never would have been able to do so. Even with a vehicle, several of these locations were still separated by at least a couple of hours, which is not unexpected given that Manila’s traffic is among the worst in the world. Therefore, you should be ready for quite the exciting journey if you decide to go to a store in person.
Having said that, there is reason to be optimistic about the chocolate scene in Manila, particularly in the coming years, provided that certain chocolate makers are able to secure sufficient funding to construct authentic chocolate cafes.
In 2018, one of the following stores had a chocolate mousse cake in a tin go viral, which brought everyone’s attention to Manila chocolate. The cake was served in a tin. I had a variation of this cake somewhere else, and although I think the overall idea has promise, the cake itself did not impress me. However, aside from the extremely sugary chocolates that are sold in convenience stores and online shops, the majority of the city’s chocolate can be found in the shopping malls.
The culture of shopping malls is very strong and pervasive in the Philippines. Before you are allowed to enter the shopping center, your luggage WILL be inspected. The fact that malls are where you can only find a few chocolate stores is unfortunate, but unfortunately essential.
Considering how many people live in the area and how much cocoa is consumed in the country as a whole, the chocolate scene in Manila is surprisingly underdeveloped; however, you can find products made in the Philippines. The Philippines has a history that dates back hundreds of years of cacao cultivation and consumption of tableya. Because of this, the majority of the cacao products you find will be tableya; however, in the past few years, a few chocolate manufacturers have entered the industry.
Even though there is a developing bean-to-bar chocolate movement in the Philippines, there are not a lot of manufacturers that have their own stores. As you’ll see in the next section, the majority of bars may be purchased from various health food stores. Surprisingly, there hasn’t been much activity on the front that deals with chocolatiers either. The vast majority of the commercial chocolates that are available are extremely sugary and produced in large quantities. The brands Royce and Godiva are the only foreign chocolates that are typically sold in shopping malls.
Metro Manila Chocolate Shops
Villa Del Conte Cioccolato (various locations)
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After falling in love with the sweets while on vacation in Italy, a couple from the Philippines brought the chocolates made by an Italian company that has been in business for many decades back to their home country. They now import the chocolates to Manila and the rest of the Philippines, where they sell them in a number of shops located throughout the islands.
You can find a variety of color-coded chocolate bonbons and batons, as well as sugar-coated Easter eggs, in every chocolatieria. The chocolates are available in a variety of flavors such as strawberry, banana, and mint, and can be bought in small, medium, or large boxes depending on one’s preference. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think they are particularly novel, but if I had a craving for something sweet and chocolatey, I think they might satisfy that.
Address: 2/F Mega Fashion Hall Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
Hours: 10am-10pm, daily
Risa Chocolate Kitchen
This store accepts only cash payments. You may get chocolate at this store, which specializes in selling it. In that regard, you could call it a chocolate shop; however, there is no seating available, and the entire back half of the building is taken up by their factory space. Therefore, after you get past the security guard, park your car, and enter the store, it seems more like picking up groceries than it does like entering a chocolate shop. When I visited, they only had a couple of flavors of truffles and most of the bars available, but normally they have a few different flavors of truffles that are thick and dusted with cocoa powder.
Made with cacao sourced from Minadanao in the southern Philippines, the simple bars that I sampled tasted delicious despite having a more subdued level of flavor. However, the bacon chili dark chocolate bar was by far my favorite. It had just the right amount of heat, and the sweet meat gave it a nice contrast. Brown butter and pili nuts are two other fascinating flavors that may be found in bars.
Address: CRM Ave, Almanza Dos, Las Pinas, Metro Manila, Philippines (just behind the security gates)
Hours: 9am-6pm, Mon.-Sat.
Le Sucré Lab Chocolates
This store accepts only cash payments. When we first walked into this establishment, I was under the impression that we had arrived at the incorrect location. However, upon further inspection, I realized that this must be a business that specializes in providing delivery services. When you enter the store, you are greeted by four women, a cash register, and a refrigerator that is covered with a cloth. The shop is located on the second floor of a building that is on a very busy street. That’s all; there are no seats available for the customers, and there is not much for them to look at.
When my friend asked about their truffles, the employees there appeared to be perplexed for a moment because in 2018, this shop shot to national prominence thanks to their DREAMCAKE, which is a cake that comes in a tin can and is layered with mousse and chocolate and comes in a variety of flavors. I decided not to try that and instead went with the truffle variety pack, which was also sold in a tin can and turned out to be quite tasty. Each of the four flavors, in typical regional fashion, contained a significant amount of sugar, but the coffee, green tea, caramel, and chocolate flavors were robust enough to counteract the sweetness. The group decided that the cocoa-dusted soft caramel was their favorite.
Address: 2428 Tejeron St, Santa Ana, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Hours: 10am-6pm, daily
Kultura (all various locations)
Even after spending several hours looking and asking around, the only locations in the Manila area that I was able to locate that sold chocolate in a storefront environment were the ones that are listed above. But I was interested in tasting a wider variety of bean-to-bar chocolate made in the Philippines. Now that I’ve searched high and low, I’ve found that the best place to buy chocolate from the Philippines is at a store that goes by the name Kultura and specializes in selling products made in the Philippines. Theo y Philos Chocolate and Auro Chocolate are both on their way to becoming household names thanks to this assortment, which includes both. Now all I have to do is wait for these brands to launch their own retail locations in the Philippines’ capital city of Manila!
Address: UG/F Mega Fashion Hall Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
Hours: 10am-10pm, daily
*True Chocolate PH
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These truffles and bonbons are made in Makati, but they are only available online and must be pre-ordered via email. You can see which flavors are currently available by checking her Facebook page to see what she has posted there. At the time of publication, everything that is being sold on the owner’s website is made with Belgian couverture chocolate. This is despite the fact that the owner dabbles in bean-to-bar chocolate making.
Online Shop: https://www.truechocolateph.com/shop
*Cacao Culture Farms
Cacao Culture Farms is a business that produces tableya, chocolate, and a wide range of other cacao-based goods. The company was established in 2016 by a couple from Manila. The company’s founders cultivate their own cacao in the city of Davao, which is located in the southern part of the Philippines, and they collaborate with other local farmers to harvest and manufacture items from their cocoa as well. It is possible to place an order for any of their inventions and have them delivered anywhere in the nation, and this includes their popular chocolate tea. In my interview with Cacao Culture Farms, I asked them some questions about the couple that runs the company.
Online Shop: https://cacaoculturefarms.com/collections/all-products
Malagos is a family-owned business with its headquarters in Davao City, Mindanao, in the southern part of the country. In the past few years, the Malagos chocolate brand has become well-known. Dark chocolate bars, tableya, chocolate-covered fruit, and roasted cacao nibs are all products that are crafted by the company, and all of the cacao used in their production comes from their large family estate.
Online Shop: https://malagoschocolate.com/shop-online/
Manila International Airport
In the international terminal of the Manila International Airport, there is, whether you want to believe it or not, a wonderful assortment of chocolates. To add insult to injury, everything is available for purchase around the clock. It is important to bear in mind that some of the outlets may only accept cash, however the percentage of retailers that only accept cash has decreased significantly since 2017, indicating that a transition is taking place. You’ll find a variety of Philippine chocolate brands at the terminals of Manila International Airport, in addition to honeyed and unsweetened tableyas.
Learn About Chocolate Near Manila
If you happen to be located in Manila and are interested in learning more about the history of chocolate or the myriad of ways in which it can be utilized, you’ve come to the right place. To get to either of these locations, you’ll need your own vehicle, but the Criollo Resort can be found just south of Metro Manila in San Pablo City. The hotel component of the project won’t be finished until approximately 2021 at the earliest. But for the time being, the owners have planted, and their primary focus is on, a cacao farm that belongs to their family.
If you get in touch with them in advance, they might be willing to show you around the grounds and talk to you about cacao and the island of Luzon’s long history with it if you ask nicely. Another cacao farm can be found in the province of Batangas, not far from San Pablo. This particular farm features cacao trees that are several decades old and presents a very different angle on the relationship between the Philippines and cacao. If you get in touch with the owners in advance, they might be willing to let you tour their cacao farm while they are working on turning their crop into finished products.
Cacao wine, made from cacao pulp, is produced at a winery located some distance north of Manila; if you’re interested, it might be available for purchase in stores located close to Manila. I would check with them by sending them a message on Instagram.
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What is the famous chocolate in the Philippines?
In the Philippines, Malagos Chocolate is the brand of locally produced chocolate that is considered to be the most well-known. It is not only well-known among Filipinos, but it has also already won the hearts and meticulous tastes of chocolate lovers all over the world thanks to its exceptional quality and genuine, unmistakable flavor.
What is Philippines chocolate?
Tsokolate is the word for chocolate in the Filipino language. Tsokolate is also the name of a hot chocolate drink that is made from tablea, which are cacao tablets made from roasted and ground cacao nibs that are molded into rounds or tablets and are traditionally used in the Philippines for making hot chocolate.
Is chocolate popular in Hong Kong?
In general, chocolate consumption in Hong Kong is very similar to that in Europe; however, craft chocolate first appeared in the city a few years ago and has been gradually gaining popularity ever since. After all, the small-batch chocolate shop that holds the title of being Hong Kong’s oldest has been in business for only two years.
In which city chocolate is famous?
The term “Chocolate Capital of the World” has been given to this location. Because Brussels is so well-known for the originality of its chocolates and because the city is so densely populated with chocolate stores, the city is home to a wide variety of fantastic chocolate businesses.
What are the 3 main chocolates?
There are seven distinct varieties of chocolate in all. Although there are many varieties of chocolate, the most common ones are white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. Other forms of chocolate include bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, ruby chocolate, and chocolate liquor.