Melbourne is a city of chocoholics and we’re spoilt with a treasure trove of choices when it comes to boutiques and salons. Chocolate lovers can sink their teeth into bittersweet blends and irresistibly intense exotic flavours, indulge in sin-free vegan and raw bars, tempting truffles, French desserts, rubbles, rocky roads and much, much more. This Easter why purchase regular chocolate eggs when you can have hazelnut quail eggs or an Easter penguin. Here are our top picks for places to visit if you’re a chocolate lover in Melbourne.
Furnished in deep timber tones, Koko Black stores are as decadently dark as their chocolate. Koko Black opened its doors in December 2003 after founder Shane Hills returned from Europe where he learnt the art of chocolate making from Belgian chocolatier Dries Cnockaert. Inspired by Shane, Dries made the move to Melbourne to help establish a brand which crafts exceptional chocolate and only imports chocolate blends which adhere to sustainable cocoa production. Koko Black has stores in Collins Street, Carlton, Highpoint, Chadstone, Queen Victoria Market, Doncaster and the Royal Arcade, and both the Carlton and Collins Street salons can be booked for private functions. This Easter choose from one of their gift boxes or try a hand crafted bunny or the hazelnut quail eggs.
Shop 4 Royal Arcade 335 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC +61 03 9354 0720
Born from farmers’ markets in 2008, Ministry of Chocolate is a family owned business which uses the finest Belgian and French chocolate to create their own one of a kind products. Located on High Street Malvern with an additional online store, Ministry of Chocolate is known for its ‘blocks’ which looked like Lego as well as their innovative flavours and range of smores. This Easter you’ll find bunnies, hens and freckle faced eggs, hazelnut praline ducks eggs and for the star gazes there’s a limited edition ‘Under South Sky’ egg.
1361 High Street, Malvern VIC, +61 03 9824 5437
Set amongst the rolling hills of the Yarra Valley wine region, Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is a decadent experience like no other. As you enter the showroom you’ll see shelves upon shelves of chocolates, and with over 250 products there’s something for everyone. There are chocolate freckles as big as your face, the rockiest rocky road around, petit French chocolates, truffles and mouth-watering sauces. There’s also a single origin collection, busk tucker range and unusual as well as old-time favourite ice cream flavours. As you browse the showroom take a peek through the glass window and watch the chocolatiers work and then take your purchases and enjoy them outside while looking out onto the vineyards.
35 Old Healesville Road Yarra Glen VIC +61 03 9730 2777
In late 2001 a chocolate store opened in North Balwyn specialising in truffles, and now Hahndorf’s has 13 stores spread across Victoria. Chocolatiers Manfred and Erica Kolberg’s vision was to create a ‘café-style chocolate shop’ where chocolate lovers could sample a truffle or two. There are over 40 truffles flavours to test including sticky date pudding, lemon sherbet and ginger and some stores even have taste testing pumps. This year give a Hahndorf gift box filled with a variety of truffles.
107 Bulleen Rd Balwyn North VIC +61 03 9857 0441
Founded in 2011, Burch & Purchese is a fantastical chocolate land in South Yarra run by owner and chef Darren Purchese and his wife Cath Claringbold. B&P specialize in creative sweets including chocolate lollipops, peanut butter and jam wheels, a range of rubbles and a selection of curds and jams amongst other cakes and desserts. Darren Purchese will even whip up extravagant wedding cakes for your special day. This Easter choose an animal from their adorable range which includes the B&P Pink Chick, Pablo the Easter Penguin, Sneaky B&P Chocolate Chick, Miley the Easter Bear, boy in a chicken suit, the B&P bunny or go for something native with the Milk Chocolate Kangaroo. There are also lollipops, our favorite is the ‘fried egg,’ and a range of gift boxes.
647 Chapel Street South Yarra VIC +61 03 9827 7060
If you’ve ever seen their Instagram feed then you know how delightfully special Pana Chocolate is. Founded by Pana Barbounis, Pana Chocolate is dedicated to producing raw, vegan friendly chocolate in a diverse range of flavours. Handmade in Melbourne, Pana Chocolate uses Bolivian cacao pods, coconut from the Philippines, cacao butter from Peru, Mexican agave nectar, Spanish wild carob and Sri Lankan organic cinnamon to make their bars. There are bars available for a range of special occasions including Easter, and some of their most unusual flavours include the fig and wild cherry, sour cherry and vanilla, and the hemp and nib.
491 Church Street Richmond VIC +61 1300 717 488
Xocolatl, pronounced sho-KO-la-tl, is the creation of the Parisioglou family whose chocolate dreams became a reality in 2005 when their Canterbury store opened. Inspired by Belgian style bonbons the Parisioglou family continue to explore exotic and savoury flavours while steering clear of artificial preservatives. Xocolatl is now located in Kew East as well as in Canterbury, and their chocolates can be purchased online. For Easter why not try a strawberry balsamic or chilli toffee block.
123 Maling Road Canterbury, VIC +61 03 9836 3100