From Godiva to Venchi, and homegrown brands like Conspiracy Chocolate, here’s our pick of where to find the best chocolate in Hong Kong.
So ubiquitous is chocolate today that it’s easy to forget its origins as the elixir of the gods. First conceived in Mesoamerica– where cacao grows natively– as a bitter beverage, European colonisers mixed cane sugar and spices into the dark liquid, remaking it as sweet chocolate in the 16th century. Like other beloved products born out of harsh histories, chocolate is often controversial. Between myth and medicine, festive gift-giving and the craft behind the confection, there’s a whole world in each bite.
Whether you’re making your first forays into this divine food or keen to call yourself a chocolate connoisseur, here’s where to find the best chocolate in Hong Kong.
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Indulge in artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate from Girona, Spain at this renowned chocolatier, now permanently in Hong Kong courtesy of Graham Street Food Hall. Helmed by Chef Jordi Roca, the world-famous pastry chef of three-Michelin-star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, Casa Cacao lovingly makes chocolate bars and bonbons with premium cacao beans sourced sustainably from around the world. For something different, opt for the chocolate made from sheep’s milk or goat’s milk, which make for a richer flavour profile compared to their traditional cow’s milk counterpart typically found in Hong Kong.
Casa Cacao, Shop 3, Graham Street Food Hall, 23 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.grahamstfoodhall.hk/casa-cacao
Charbonnel et Walker
Known for its masterfully handcrafted chocolate truffles, Charbonnel et Walker has the honour of being Britain’s first luxury chocolatier, and one of only a few to be endorsed by Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen. As the story goes, the chocolate brand was born from a collaboration between Mrs Walker, an artisan jewellery and hat box designer, and Madame Charbonnel, known for making the finest chocolates in Paris, back in 1875. The rest, as they say, is history. Nowadays, the famed chocolate truffles can be found in Hong Kong by way of Landmark Alexandra, and come in an array of decadent flavours, including Pink Marc de Champagne, Strawberries and Cream, Sipsmith Gin and more.
Charbonnel et Walker, Shop 104, 1/F, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, charbonnel.com.hk
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Selecting beans from small farms in Bali, Madagascar, Peru, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela, Hong Kong chocolate brand Chocobien is dedicated to traversing the diverse terroirs of cacao. This chocolatier’s product line is eclectic: while the sugar-free and low calorie FITCHO caters to health-oriented chocoholics, for the more exploratory eaters there’s a curation of left-of-centre chocolate bars flavoured with everything from soy sauce to shrimp, Kampot pepper and ginseng. With the Kusa aged chocolate series, which features the rare, heirloom cacao variety of Nacional once thought to be forever lost, Chocobien adopts an almost anthropological approach to the art and romance of chocolate-making.
To the credit of a handful of makers brave enough to confront the many moods of chocolate, Hong Kong’s homegrown chocolate scene has blossomed over the past few years. Now Chokohood – a 360-degrees chocolate cafe led by experienced chocolate educator Katie Chan- is here to further temper the city’s enthusiasm for Big Chocolate with some bean-to-bar TLC. The elegantly designed boutique is a sanctuary of single-origin; Thai Kad Kokoa, Taiwanese FuWan and beyond unfurl their wild and fruity flavours on the palate in the form of ambrosian drinking chocolate and cacao tea,with treats like tiramisu and madeleines to pair. With an emphasis on developing a deeper appreciation for the wonders of chocolate in Hong Kong, Chokohood offers tasting workshops that take guests through a medley of single-origin morsels setting the standard for contemporary chocolate. Looking for chocolate to savour at home? This spot offers a slight yet globe-spanning selection of top-tier bars from craft chocolate brands like Solkiki and Firetree.
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Do ingredients like roasted rice tea or genmaicha, sourdough bread and Sichuan peppercorn belong in your chocolate bonbons? Hong Kong-founded craft chocolate brand Conspiracy Chocolate, helmed by husband-and-wife duo Amit Oz and Céline Herren, makes the deliciously convincing argument that they do. Conspiracy Chocolate boasts a constantly expanding catalogue of experimental infusions that also happen to be vegan: fruits, flowers, nuts, herbs, spices and CBD alike combine with cacao under the creative label. The beans, prized for warm notes of cherry, tobacco and toffee, are sourced from the Dak Lak region of Vietnam and processed by hand right here in Hong Kong.
Long before the gleaming gold box and satin ribbon, like most great things, Godiva’s most adored chocolate creations sprung forth from a modest family kitchen. During its early days in Brussels, Godiva was a family enterprise: the entire Draps family were involved in making, packaging and vending the chocolates. Today, the household-name is synonymous not just with pralines, but an entire range of chocolate sweets, including frozen desserts. But there’s something special about those pioneering recipes: the Truffe Originale, developed in 1946 and now called the Original Dark 1946 Truffle, is still its best-selling chocolate bonbon.
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Hong Kong bean-to-bar before it was trendy – that’s Hakawa Chocolate. Led by co-founders Sally Kwok and Mandy Wong, this snug store located at the end of Gough Street in Central was among the first to spark Hong Kong’s artisanal chocolate movement back in 2017. While early batches used cacao sourced from Sri Lanka, today it’s beans from other premium cacao-growing countries like Peru and Ecuador that feature in Hakawa’s chocolate bars, coated nuts and beverages. If you’re confused about what to sample, go ahead and ask for a recommendation– the friendly owners are happy to lend you a hand as you set off on your sweet adventure.
La Maison du Chocolat
From whimsical treats like twigs and orangettes to artistic triumphs in the medium of chocolate, La Maison du Chocolat is widely acclaimed for its oeuvre of designer chocolates. This atelier was founded in 1977 by master pastry chef Robert Linxe, a forward-thinking innovator eager to introduce silky ganache to chocolate. The brand continues to impress not only with its painstakingly handmade edible art, but also its values. While several commercial chocolate brands struggle to do their part to combat deforestation and eliminate child labour from their supply chains, La Maison collaborates with Valrhona to source their cocoa beans. This guarantees total traceability, final products of the highest quality and an overall more hopeful future for cocoa communities worldwide.
For a box of Belgian-style chocolate pralines that are (literally) fit for royalty, head to Leonidas. A family-owned chocolatier with a century-long legacy, this company is on the esteemed list of certified purveyors to the Belgian monarchy. Apart from garnering fame for its signature Manon– a soft-centre praline enrobed in white chocolate- Leonidas is a member of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, an independent non-profit committed to supporting cocoa communities, and uses sustainably sourced cocoa for its tablet range. Specifically in Hong Kong, proceeds from Leonidas chocolate shops go to Benji’s Centre, a registered charitable organisation that provides specialised speech therapy to children from low-income families.
With its twisted toffee-wrap plume and gold calligraphy, the iconic Lindor chocolate truffle redefined everyday luxury. But Swiss chocolatier Lindt’s history-making moves go even further back; its founder, Rudolphe Lindt, revolutionised the process of making modern chocolate by inventing the conching machine, a contraption that distributes cocoa butter evenly to achieve that smooth, dissolve-on-your-tongue texture that’s considered essential to the experience of eating fine chocolate today. Head to its Hong Kong outposts for well-made chocolate, perfected over eras.
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Founded in Sapporo in 1983, Royce’ Chocolate has been at the forefront of Japanese chocolate ever since, and enjoys widespread popularity across Hong Kong. With its signature nama chocolate – “nama” means raw in Japanese – the gourmet chocolatier highlights a particular type of ganache that builds flavour and texture using fresh dairy, a treasured export of Hokkaido. While ganache is generally enjoyed as a filling, Royce’ Chocolate turns it into a complete chocolate treat unto itself: each neat block of the chocolate and cream mix, dusted with cocoa powder, melts away in your mouth.
It all began in 1878 with a single shop outfitted with just a pair of bronze cauldrons in Turin, the birthplace of the oft-imitated gianduja, a luscious spread concocted with hazelnuts and chocolate. Today, the Venchi brand lays claim to over a hundred “cioccogelateria”, serving both chocolate and gelato, in seventy territories including Hong Kong. Staying true to its Italian heritage, the company highlights produce like Piedmontese hazelnuts and Brontesi green pistachios in its chocolate creations. Venchi is also one of the foremost makers of the Piedmontese cremino; traditionally a sandwich of coffee, lemon or hazelnut paste between gianduja, Venchi’s version riffs on the classic with a slab of almond and white chocolate.
Editor’s Note: “Where To Find The Best Chocolate In Hong Kong” was originally published in May, 2017 and was most recently updated in October, 2021.