A chocolate lover’s guide to Victoria
Treat yourself. These are 16 of the best places to satisfy your sweet tooth in Victoria.
When it comes to sweet indulgence, Victoria is rich in decadent experiences. From chocolate cafes and cooking classes to tastings, tours and artisan factories, Australia’s most liveable city is also the ultimate chocoholics’ haven. So, if you’re looking for a deliciously dark, creamy or caramel-filled cocoa fix, this chocolate lover’s guide to Victoria will help you find the best places at which to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, Mamor Chocolates, Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and Le Petit Gateau.
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
Move over Willy Wonka. Collect your edible golden ticket and step inside a magical world of chocolate during a self-guided tour of Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Be mesmerised by the world’s largest chocolate waterfall, have your photo taken with a giant block of chocolate, marvel at a chocolate recreation of Phillip Island’s famed penguin parade and drool over the Dame Edna Everage wall, made of more than 12,000 chocolate truffles.
Yarra Valley Wine and Chocolate Tour
There’s wining and dining. And then there’s wining, dining and chocolate tastings with your very own designated driver. Join a Wine Hop tour of the Yarra Valley and, as well as tastings at four wineries, including lunch and a glass of wine at one of your choice, you’ll also get to stop in at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, where your tastebuds will swoon over the vast array of scrumptious sweet treats. Heading down to the surf coast? Check out their coastal cacao cousins at Bellbrae’s Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.
Ministry of Chocolate
They say life is like a box of chocolates and, at Croydon’s Ministry of Chocolate, you’ll find a delectable assortment of couverture pleasures. Run by an esteemed pastry chef-turned chocolatier with more than 25 years’ experience working across some of Melbourne’s sweetest establishments – including Arnold’s Swiss Cakes in Heidelberg and the Grand Hyatt – this chocolate lover’s emporium is choc-a-block with everything from pralines, cakes and chocolate-coated honeycomb to chocolate-shaped stilettos, golden Buddhas, footballs, freckles and frogs, all crafted using the finest ingredients from Australia, Belgium and France. Visit ministryofchocolate.com.au.
Looking for a sweet escape? Situated among the Otway Ranges, between Birregurra and Apollo Bay, you’ll find Platypi Chocolate, an artisan chocolatier and cafe set against an idyllic backdrop of towering trees and lush Otway hinterland. On the menu you’ll find home-cooked country classics, but it’s the house-crafted Belgian chocolates that steal the show. Don’t miss one of their famous blood orange or hazelnut hot chocolates. Visit platypichocolate.com.au.
Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School
Master the art of chocolate making from cookbook author, World Pastry Champion and Queen of Chocolate Kirsten Tibbals at Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School. Though hands-on classes are currently on hold, join in online and get unlimited access to hundreds of videos from award-winning chefs across the globe as they show you how to make an assortment of gourmet goodies, from pastries and desserts to cake decorating and chocolate artistry. Visit savourschool.com.au.
Le Petit Gateau
Enjoy a slice of la dolce vita at Little Bourke Street’s Le Petit Gateau. This city’s gourmet gateau dealer makes a mouth-watering assortment of irresistible cakes, divine desserts and exquisite cocoa-laden masterpieces that are sure to impress even the most discerning chocolate connoisseur. Made fresh on-site daily by classically trained patissiers, unmissable signature sweets include their heavenly hazelnut mille feuille and brilliant brownie and passionfruit chocolate gateau – a cult favourite. Visit @lepetitgateaumelbourne.
Savour Patisserie School.
Sweet Studio by Burch & Purchese
Chocolate treats by one of Australia’s most respected pastry chefs? Would be rude not to. Founded by five-time cookbook author and regular Masterchef sweetheart Darren Purchese, Sweet Studio by Burch and Purchese serves up all your favourite fondant fancies and chocolate obsessions. From bake-at-home brownies and Belgian chocolate blocks to moreish milk chocolate fudge and sublime self-saucing mug cakes, the drive-through dessert store will bring out the chocolate addict in all of us. Visit burchandpurchese.com.au.
Mork Chocolate Brew House
When it comes to dining experiences in Melbourne, the sky is the limit, literally. The Melbourne Star Fly and Dine experience will take you 40 storeys high, for panoramic views of Melbourne’s city skyline and across the bay to Mornington Peninsula and Dandenong Ranges, before coming back down to earth for a lunch or dinner and drink at Docklands’ Urban Alley Brewery. Visit morkchocolate.com.au.
Mamor Chocolates and High Tea Szalon
High tea, but make it extra. That was the inspiration behind Melbourne’s most luxe high tea dealer, Mamor Chocolates. With plush velvet furniture, fine china and antique silverware setting a lavish scene, indulge in a chocolate-themed high tea with heavenly bites and hand-crafted artisan chocolates. Visit mamorchocolates.com.
The Chocolate Mill
Belgian chocolate fiends, rejoice. The Chocolate Mill in Mount Franklin, just 10 minutes’ drive from Daylesford, is a feast for all the senses. Here, only the finest Fair-Trade Belgian couverture chocolate is used to create a range of decidedly decadent delights that draws sweet inspiration from across the globe. Don’t miss their Aztec Chilli Bar, chocolate-dipped apricots or diabetes-friendly sugar-free chocolate and cashew nut bar, and be sure to stop in at the Hot Chocolate Cafe for a sip of their award-winning creamy hot cacaos made with 100 per cent Fair Trade Belgian couverture chocolate.
Mamor Chocolate High Tea.
Melbourne Walking Tour
For a piece of urban indulgence, get around a Melbourne Walking Tour, taking in the sights, smells and sweet treats hidden among the city’s labyrinth of laneways. Learn about the history, detail and intricate architecture of Melbourne’s iconic lanes and arcades while discovering local designers, artists and, of course, cacao artisans, with chocolate tastings at some of the city’s premier chocolatiers.
Cabosse & Feve Chocolates
When it comes to feel-good chocolate, the fine folk at Castlemaine’s Cabosse & Feve have nailed the brief. As well as being sinfully bingeworthy, their range of ethically sourced, single-origin Swiss couverture chocolate is sourced from sustainable cocoa farmers who are paid four times above Fair Trade wages. And, if that wasn’t enough, all of their packaging is biodegradable to boot. Get those chocolate endorphins flowing with a bite of their Bean to Bar range and see how, much like in wine, terrior can have a profound impact on the final flavours and profile of chocolate, too. Visit cabosseandfeve.com.au.
Join a one-hour chocolate-tasting experience and master the art of chocolate tasting at Mansfield’s Chocolaterie RenMar. Sit back with an exquisite hot chocolate while trained chocolatier Rene Slack explains the different flavour profiles of chocolate before taking you on a guided tasting where you will learn how to taste with your senses, rather than just mindfully indulge. From knowing how to pick a high-quality chocolate to being able to guess where the beans used to make it came from, you’ll be a cacao connoisseur in no time. Visit chocrenmar.com.
Echuca Chocolate Company
Just a short stroll from the Murray River paddlesteamers, in an unassuming corner store, you'll find one of Echuca Moama’s best-kept (and most delicious) secrets: Echuca Chocolate Company. Inside, rows of handmade artisan chocolate bars line the shelves, while beautifully decorated chocolate truffles and perfect pralines beckon from behind the glass counter. But it’s not just the decadent delights that will have you salivating: the rich, luscious and oh-so-lovely chocolate liqueurs are sure to send your tastebuds into overdrive. Visit echucachocolatecompany.com.au.
Indulge Cafe and Chocolate Lab
If you’re looking for further proof of why Bendigo was recently named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, you'll find it at Indulge Cafe. Located in the heart of the central Victorian city’s shopping, arts and heritage precinct, Indulge’s brand of handcrafted chocolates uses ethically sourced Belgian callebaut to showcase local flavours. Think smoked salt chocolate bars made using locally harvested Pyramid Salt, honey and cinnamon milk chocolate ganache using nectar from locally sourced Newbridge Honey Co, and chocolate pannacotta infused with Heilala Vanilla. Visit indulgechocolates.com.au.