The world of high-end chocolate isn’t so different from the culture around fine wine. The craft comes not only from the terroir—in this case, the farms and plantations where chocolatiers source their beans—but from the chocolate-making process. And chefs use their creativity to emulsify, temper, and blend chocolate until they create a completely unique truffle, bonbon, or chocolate bar that smells and tastes exquisite. From Japanese chefs who trained in Paris, to Latin American chocolatiers sourcing cacao beans from local farms, these chocolate shops are owned and operated by the chocolate-making elite. Here, the 11 best chocolate shops around the world—all of which accept online orders.
Dolcenero, Mexico City, Mexico
This stylish Mexico City shop presents artisanal chocolates inspired by the likes of Salvador Dalí—his portrait greets you as soon as you enter Dolcenero. Their selection of chocolates, all created by chocolatier Mau Montiel, is fairly minimalist, showcasing only chocolates with the best designs and flavor. In Mexico City’s Condesa neighborhood, you’ll find artistic truffles and chocolate bars, among other chocolate-covered delicacies here.
Fran’s Chocolates, Seattle, Washington
If you think making a pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest for a box of chocolates is ludicrous, then you haven’t tasted Fran’s chocolate-covered salted caramels. Fran’s has been a luxury chocolatier in Seattle since 1982, and these chocolates are so sought-after that Fran’s now has four storefronts—in downtown, Bellevue, Georgetown, and University Village. While Fran’s is best known for their artful truffles and caramels, the chocolatier also makes bars, peanut butter cups, and even drinking chocolate.
La Maison du Chocolat, Paris, France
It is apparently not enough to be the most romantic city in the world, and the city best known for delectable pastries; Paris must also stand in the chocolate spotlight. And yet, as soon as you taste the chocolats from La Maison du Chocolat, you’ll be unable to hold Paris’ over-achieving culinary standards against them. La Maison du Chocolat, set on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, one of the most luxurious shopping streets in Paris, uses primarily Valrhona chocolate as a base for their artistry. From their seasonal collections—like autumnal glazed chestnuts—to their pralines and truffles, each piece melts in your mouth.
Yu Chocolatier, Taipei City, Taiwan
One of the trendiest chocolate shops in Taiwan is Yu Chocolatier; they serve chocolate, tea, and whisky. The shop in Taipei City seats only 10 guests in its tastefully decorated space. The truffles steal the show here, but it’s not just the chocolate that elevates the Yu experience. The knowledgeable, English-speaking staff, chic atmosphere, and whisky selection goes a long way, too.
Belvas Chocolaterie, Ghislenghien, Belgium
Much like French chocolate, Belgian chocolate has significant hype to live up to. Unsurprisingly, Belgium has no trouble rising to the occasion, with chocolate shops like Belvas Chocolaterie producing rich chocolate bars and truffles made only from organic agriculture-sourced ingredients. While the company has only been around since 2005—which qualifies as infancy among chocolate purveyors—they take an old-school approach, with no preservatives, artificial coloring, or flavor enhancers.
To’ak, Quito, Ecuador
A chic chocolate and art boutique in Ecuador, To’ak is known for making some of the rarest chocolates in Latin America. They use expensive cacao to make “extremely limited editions of single-origin Ecuadorian dark chocolate.” Proprietor Oswaldo Guayasamín is a treasured Ecuadorian artist, and those visiting the chocolate shop can tour his home, Capilla del Hombre, before tasting To’ak chocolate alongside wine from Guayasamín’s private wine cellar.
Taza, Somerville, Massachusetts
Taza, known nationally for their organic stone ground chocolate, is housed in a workshop outside Boston in Somerville, Massachusetts. Their discs of organic chocolate put the complex texture and flavor of cacao beans on full display, using techniques the founder learned in Oaxaca, Mexico. Taza is the “first U.S. chocolate maker to establish a third-party certified Direct Trade Cacao Certification program,” paying well above a fair-trade price for their product, and working only with “producers who respect the rights of workers and the environment.”
Sibö Chocolate, Costa Rica
Artisanal chocolate house Sibö Chocolate is focused on representing the local Costa Rican cacao beans in high-quality chocolate bars, drinking chocolate, and chocolate-covered treats. The craft chocolate shop designs beautiful chocolates by hand, with intricate sketches and vibrant colors. For those able to visit one of their three locations in Costa Rica, a private chocolate tasting tour and high-end restaurant await.
Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois, Montreal, Canada
When you can’t cross the Atlantic for French viennoiseries, you head to Montreal instead. The same principle holds true for chocolate, as there are many French-inspired chocolatiers in Montreal, too. Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois started with chocolatier Geneviève Grandbois’ small stall in Atwater Market in 2003. She now has three storefronts, but every chocolate is still handmade in Montreal. The luxe chocolates are displayed beautifully in leather or bamboo gift boxes, which, in addition to being packed with artisanal truffles, include products like salted caramel spread or high-end teas.
Chocolatier Palet d'Or, Tokyo, Japan
Owned and run by celebrated Japanese chocolatier Shunsuke Saegusa, Chocolatier Palet d'Or is a luxury shop inside Tokyo Station. Saegusa is known for his artfully designed chocolates around the world, but at his store, you can also enjoy a cappuccino and one of his sensational desserts. Palet d’Or is the very first “bean to bar chocolatier in Japan.” In addition to the Tokyo chocolate shop, Saegusa has a Palet d’Or chocolate house outside the city in Kiyosato, Yamanashi Prefecture.
Peter Beier Chokolade, Copenhagen, Denmark
With three storefronts in Copenhagen, Peter Beier imports all their cacao beans from their own plantation in the Caribbean. A known Danish chocolate shop since 1996, Peter Beier makes truffles and small chocolates, but doesn’t shy from out-of-the-box creations using fruit, preserves, or nuts. Chocolate lovers can order a box of pyramid-shaped chocolates and seasonal delights online, while those venturing into the store must try Peter Beier’s ice cream.