Amsterdam for chocoholics
From bringing lovers together and mending broken hearts to warming weary souls or simply providing a decadent snack, chocolate is an elixir that has long sparked the imagination. Luckily, in Amsterdam you’re never far from the mouth-watering magic of fine chocolate. Discover tantalising flavours that are sure to whet your appetite with this tempting and toothsome roundup.
For over 30 years, this little chocolatier with two popular locations in Amsterdam’s centre has been offering big bonbons to its devotees. Puccini Bomboni strives for perfection with every one of their luxury confections. Their list of surprising and original flavours will have your mouth watering, from their signature Gianduja bonbon, a soft hazelnut milk chocolate that keeps punters coming back for more, to firm favourites such as honey and cranberry bonbons. You’ll find exotic varieties such as lemongrass, thyme, rhubarb and very peppery pepper. Yum! No wonder this family-run business is popular among regular and first-time visitors alike.
Puccini Bomboni is perhaps the best chocolatier in Amsterdam and is in the top 10 of the best chocolatiers in the world for a reason! They make artisan bonbons with flavors such as cranberry, rhubarb and pepper. The bonbons are made with natural ingredients, so they can only be kept for 7 to 10 days, but that should not be a problem.
This chocolatier sources ingredients from around the globe with a focus on sustainable and natural raw materials. Here in Amsterdam, they work their magic handcrafting delicious bite-sized bonbons with flavours that will delight. Think Earl Grey tea and bergamot, strawberry and balsamic and a selection of nut options. The caramel stroopwafel, caramel sea salt and the dark 80% cocoa are all so popular they virtually walk out the door. You can also pick up chocolate bars or try their freshly made brownies in white, milk, dark and red velvet varieties.
Snuggled in around the Oude Kerk in De Wallen, Ganache Amsterdam offers bonbons made from the finest Belgian chocolate. Try their tantalising truffles, which come in more than 30 extraordinary combinations, including Sea Buckthorn Cornflower. The best way to savour these delights is to moisten the truffles in your mouth, allowing the flavour and scent to shine through, then sink your teeth into them and brace yourself for a shockwave of sweetness.
Located in Amsterdam’s east, it’s fair to say that Chocstar takes an individual approach to chocolate-making. Using luscious chocolate and flavourful ingredients, you get to choose what goes on your made-to-order taste sensation. They look amazing!
With two locations, one at Central Station and the other in Westerpark, Amsterdam-based Tony’s Chocolonely is the place to pick up a bar or three of delicious chocolate. The company only uses cocoa sourced from farms that pay their workers a living wage, rather than utilising unpaid child labour, which is all too prevalent in the chocolate industry. It is a step on the way to a slave-free industry. Couple this good deed with your favourite flavours and some uniquely Dutch twists and you have affordable chocolate bars complete with lively coloured rapping.
Tony Chocolonely has its own Tony's Super Store. In the Super Store, you can make your own bar, taste new and less new flavours, take a picture at their 'chocomate' and buy a Tony Rainbowpack. This is also the place where you learn about the abuses in the cocoa industry and how Tony Chocolonely is making an impact and trying to change this.
Chocolatemakers focuses on purity. Not only do they source organic material, but all their bars feature just one type of cocoa from a single origin. These guys never blend! The result is a range of bars reflecting the source's essence: a bit of smokiness from Papua New Guinea, the zest of lime from Madagascar or a hint of tobacco from Cuba. Not only do these bars taste great, but they also support great causes. The purchase of a Gorillabar helps local farmers in the Congo protect the gorilla’s habitat. Bravo!
Chocolatemakers, available online and at Ekoplaza, Waar, Holland & Barrett and Marqt throughout the Netherlands
Van Stapele Koekmakerij
Step into Van Stapele Koekmakerij for a delicious chocolate cookie straight from Amsterdam of the past. Dark chocolate dough is filled with white chocolate that oozes out with every bite. The cookies are baked throughout the day, so try your luck. Odds are you’ll get one right out of the oven!
Patisserie Holtkamp has been a permanent fixture on the Vijzelgracht since 1969. The small shop with an art-deco interior is renowned throughout Amsterdam. In addition to cakes and biscuits, you will find the famous Sachertorte (Princess Beatrix's favourite), chocolate galettes, classic, handmade bonbons and champagne truffles. Up to seventy kilograms of chocolate are processed here weekly to become delectable desserts.
Chocolate Company is the perfect pick-me-up while waiting for the train at Amsterdam CS. This shop is a chocolate Valhalla, where you can get all kinds of luxury chocolate, from colourful 'bombons' with fruit, champagne truffles or chocolate fondue in a can.
Martinez Chocolatier has been making chocolate since 1952 in their factory in Amstelveen. Although much has been automated over the years, Martinez chocolate is still made by hand. From bonbons to seasonal gifts such as a large chocolate heart for Mother's Day or chocolate letters for Sinterklaas, whatever you're looking for, you'll find it at Martinez.
Chocolatier Van Soest
Watch bonbons, ganaches and truffles being made before your eyes at Chocolatier Van Soest. The family business uses a cocoa blend specially formulated for them in Paris to make bonbons, special chocolate bars (the so-called Gold collection), fruit chocolate, cocoa tea and chocolate mousse.
Pastry chef and chocolatier Pompadour in De 9 Straatjes creates works of art out of chocolate. Pompadour only works with pure raw materials that have not undergone any complicated processing. The chocolate used for bonbons and cakes comes from the famous French supplier Valrhona. Settle in at Pompadour’s cosy tearoom and enjoy your treats with a warming cup of coffee.
Pop into this colourful shop on the Prinsengracht specialising in chocolate-covered strawberries. Polaberry uses quality Belgian chocolate to create chocolate strawberry boxes, arrangements and even bouquets. Check out the handcrafted chocolate bars or the special boxes that will fit any occasion.
Discover fine artisanal chocolate at ArtiChoc: bonbons, pralines, chocolate-covered figs, marzipan and more line the shop’s displays. Try their chocolate ice cream when the sun is shining, or grab a cup of delectable hot chocolate to brighten you up on cloudy days.
Vanroselen creates handmade chocolate with a simple and abstract design that does not distract from the pure taste of cocoa. Chocolate bars at Vanroselen are made by exclusive international chocolate brands and are often made in small batches, ‘bean-to-bar’, where the makers source the beans from the farmers directly and sustainably.