If you loved Willy Wonka's emporium of sweets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid, you’ll want to check out this more grown up, but equally tantalising chocolate house. Here, the ethos is bean-to-bar, using specially sourced single-origin cacao beans and traditional chocolate-making techniques. Take a seat next to the glass windows and see the chocolate making in action. Taste and appreciate chocolate made from the cacao beans of Panama, Peru or the Solomon Islands. Or, go for the Melbourne Bar: dark chocolate that blends Panama and the Solomon Islands cacao beans. With a smooth texture and complex flavour, Cadbury bars will never be the same!
Where 186 Sydney Road, Brunswick
What was once a humble boutique chocolate stall at Prahran Market has now grown to become an award-winning chocolate producer on the international stage. Its Brunswick East factory and cafe share walls with slick eatery East Elevation, but chocolate lovers should save its neighbour for another day. Enjoy decadent blocks of single-origin chocolate, or if you feel like something a little extra, go for one of its limited-edition concoctions like Gone Surfing (milk chocolate, mango and coconut) or Chinese Lantern (dark chocolate, raspberries, caramelised chilli and Chinese pepper). Its plum chocolate recently won silver at the prestigious International Chocolate awards, so you know you’ll be indulging in a top-quality treat.
Where 351 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
The name is synonymous with Australian-made, premium chocolate, so we couldn’t make a list of chocolate spots without including this longstanding favourite. The range here is massive, with more than 100 varieties, from kid-friendly chocolate pops to blocks that will satisfy the most discerning palates. Koko Black also released a decadent collaboration with celebrated Brae chef Dan Hunter, in a limited-edition line incorporating botanicals. Treat yourself by ordering a couple of individual chocolates (raspberry ganache and almond praline are two favourites) with a Belgian hot chocolate. Or, if dessert is what’s on your mind, the Chocolate Spectacular is sure to satisfy. It’s chocolate ice-cream served on top of crunchy chocolate soil, drizzled with warm chocolate sauce.
Royal Arcade, 4/335 Bourke Street, Melbourne
52 Collins Street, Melbourne
Queen Victoria Market, 25 Victoria Street, Melbourne
Another recognised name in the chocolate game is Haigh’s, a family business originally established in 1915. Years of refining the blend means that we can now enjoy chocolate that has been perfected and is up there with the very best. Head into one of its stores and browse the bars, blocks and boxes of deliciousness. The dessert block is the perfect option to share, combining Haigh’s milk and dark chocolates creating a rich yet approachable treat. If you love coffee as much as you love chocolate, go for the Chocolate Coffee Crunch block that brings together coffee-flavoured milk chocolate with crunchy honeycomb bits.
6/191 Swanston Street, Melbourne
26 Collins Street, Melbourne
If you feel like chocolate in its delicious drink-form, there’s no going past this specialty brewhouse. It’s so good, you’ll find many of Melbourne’s best cafes serving up cups of this hot choccie brand. It all started with the Original Dark 70% blend, made of cacao powder, 100% cacao liquor and coconut blossom sugar, which is still a hot favourite among its brews. A fan of salted caramel? Go for the Dark Milk and Salt featuring notes of dark caramel, malt and honey with a touch of salt. Don’t forget to pick up some of its take-home hot chocolate to indulge in later.
Where 150 Errol Street, North Melbourne
Ever wondered what hot chocolate and cheese might taste like? It’s how hot chocolate is enjoyed in Colombia — with queso (white cheese) that softens in warm, rich hot chocolate. And, if you’re game to try it, you’ll be surprised how tasty it is. Your drink will come to you in two vessels: a mug with queso inside and a mini saucepan that holds the drinking chocolate. Pour the hot chocolate over the cheese and stir, letting the cheese melt a little, then enjoy. Keen to try a Colombian hot choccie sans the cheese? No worries, the imported hot chocolate is worth trying on its own.
Where 69 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Anywhere that has a Nutella tap, cascading with the good stuff, has got to be onto something. Pidapipo tops many best gelato lists, but the chocolate variety deserves its own spotlight. Gelato is churned daily, and you’ll usually find chocolate on it’s rotating list of gelatos, with dark chocolate, malted milk chocolate and Baci popping up now and then. The gelato here is silky and moreish, so get two scoops and add a swirl of Nutella for good measure.
Where 299 Lygon Street, Carlton
If you’re on the hunt for the best chocolate cake in Melbourne look no further than this emporium of desserts and pastries. A crowd favourite is the Brownie Passionfruit Gateau — it’s not your average chocolate treat, but you won’t regret taking a punt on it. It’s made of a brownie base, crunchy praline, passionfruit custard and chocolate mousse. Prefer a more traditional chocolate cake? Go for the hazelnut praline mudcake, which is also excellent.
Where 458 Little Collins Street, Melbourne