If you’re one of those people for whom vanilla is never an option, consider these recommendations from our globe-trotting chocolate connoisseurs. Just be ready to take your sweet time reading; a little choco-travel will leave you craving more. Luckily, there are IgoUgo members writing about every rich, velvety chocolate haven you can think of—and then some.
The Chocolate Line
In a town with an insanely high number of chocolate shops per capita, chocolatier Dominique Persoone’s sweet brainchild of a brand is “the best chocolate in the world,” according to BeAdventurous!. Or perhaps according to her mom; after the traveler bought Persoone’s liqueur-filled morsels for mother, she rocketed up to “favorite-child” status. Kathryn feels the chocolate’s power, too, delivering a sugar-coated rave review: “Consider this a public service announcement. There's lots of chocolate in Bruges. There are chocolate shops all over the place. But, my friends, you must believe me when I say that all chocolate is not equal. If (when?) I go back to Bruges, I will be going back to the Chocolate Line and I will be buying at least a kilogram, if not more, of their stuff. It really is that good.” Recent (and frequent) Belgium visitor soowai agrees that “the Chocolate Line is the best”—and she’s “tried many different chocolates” on her travels in chocolate land.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
New York, NY
With two Manhattan shops and the original Brooklyn stop, it’s easy to schedule a delicious detour for Jacques’ famous wicked hot chocolate and chocolate-coated miscellany on your New York trip. “This is probably some of the best chocolate I have ever sampled,” says brooklynsylvia, advising travelers to “try the wicked chocolate and passion-fruit chocolate, and the hazelnut.” Another local, quirine, calls the chocolate “cheaper than Godiva but just as divine,” and says that “they make the chocolate in-house, so it's as fresh as possible.” A third Brooklynite, Zanne, waxes poetic as she likens the candy to art: “The spicy hot chocolate is as magical as that served in the movie Chocolat. I do not know if this recipe was what inspired the film or the other way around. But a cup of this ambrosial liquid is worth the trip to Brooklyn from anywhere.”
Cadbury Chocolate Factory
“Stand between me and my dark master, the cocoa bean, and you risk mortal injury,” says chocoholic Ozzy-Dave. He fed his addiction at Cadbury’s factory in Hobart, Australia, where his tour’s end justified any means: “We exit the factory only to find ourselves in Australia’s cheapest chocolate shop where everything we’ve just seen, tasted and collected can be bought in bulk at ridiculous prices.” Back in Cadbury’s more traditional home, England, barbara visited Cadbury World for the answers to life’s little mysteries like, “How DO they get the creme into the center of chocolate eggs?” She recommends the tour for young children, and for those who are candy-loving kids at heart.
The Chocolate Garden
The Chocolate Garden’s location in an “unassuming farm building” belies its Food Network fame and small stock of “extraordinary handmade truffles,” says chasindaylight, who paired a trip to the not-quite-secret garden with an exploration of the nearby wineries and fruit orchards. Continuing the trend of members taking one bite and swooning, chas writes that “the rough chocolate exterior of each generous truffle makes way to a silky interior.” And with flavors like “Cinnamon Love,” it’s not hard to see why he’s smitten.
Museu de la Xocolata
As the original entry point of chocolate in Europe, Barcelona is a natural place for a museum celebrating the candy, “a must-see on any chocolate lover’s vacation,” according to Mandan Lynn, who loved the museum’s “sooooo good” hot chocolate sooooo much that she threatened to celebrate her birthday with it. And she even liked Spain’s version of a chocolate museum better than the one in Cologne, Germany. Hal1026 had a more analytical reaction to the exhibits but took a liking to the ornate chocolate sculptures, crafted with greater “size, scope, and detail than you might have imagined anyone would ever conceive or undertake until you see these sweet creations with your very own eyes.”
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