Behind the glass counters at the Xocolat store in Vienna’s bougie district of Hietzing, trays of fresh and lovingly made individual chocolates are begging to be tried and tasted. Xocolat stock many of Austria’s most refined varieties of chocolate, as well as the more well-known brands. Workshops are available in English, starting at 95€ per person, where you can dabble in the art of chocolate-making, led by an expert in the field.
The Willy Wonka of Austria, Zotter, is a chocolatier like none other. His ethical fair-trade practices and, unique attitude to the creation of the world’s favourite sweet treat have made him a national treasure in Austria. The packaging is as dainty as the contents inside and he has experimented with highly unusual combinations, including cheese, tequila with salt and lemon and raspberry, coconut and trout – for the brave and foolhardy to sample. If those exotic flavours don’t float your boat, there are more conservative choices available – the marzipan is exceptionally good. Zotter is widely available at most good supermarkets around Vienna – including SPAR and Denn’s Organic Supermarket.
Unlike the aforementioned Zotter, Heindl is on the more conventional side of chocolatiers. The company was founded 1953, in Vienna’s 5th district. If wanting to taste a typical Austrian variety, Heindl chocolate is a good place to start. Discover the history of chocolate at the museum in the southern suburbs of Vienna and learn all about the cultivation of chocolate – from the 3000-year-old traditions of the Olmecs to modern day practices.
Schokov in the city
‘Try what you can’ is this shop’s motto, and available to sample are a delightful range of more than 200 organic chocolates, with many intriguing flavours such as lavender and olive oil. Tasting evenings are popular at Schokov in the city – guests can enjoy a short and sweet introduction to the art of chocolate making before embarking on the chance to choose from the generous offerings. With the option of wine being offered alongside the chocolate tasting, it is hard to avoid temptation.
Lindt Chocolate Boutique
Conveniently located at the entrance of Schönbrunn and the Tiergarten (the city zoo), this tiny shop stocks everyone’s favourite Swiss chocolate, Lindt. Not just designed for special occasions (the Lindt bunny and reindeer have become staple Easter and Christmas gifts) the seemingly bottomless troughs baring mountains of multicoloured balls of varying tastes will make you want to dive in head first. Mozart balls – far better than the name suggests – is a beautiful chocolate sphere filled with delectable marzipan in the centre. Chocolate of the liquid variety is also on offer here, either hot and topped with whipped cream for the winter months or cold shakes for warmer days.
Bonbon Et Chocolat
The head chocolatier at this store gave up her life as a teacher in France to pursue a career in chocolate, opening a shop on Vienna’s Gumpendorferstrasse. The brand in which she crafts her treats with, Kaoka, is exclusive in Vienna to Bonbon Et Chocolat and the ingredients she incorporates, including pure cocoa butter, make it both ethical and enjoyable to taste. The Earl Grey white ganache is particularly moreish.