Do you love chocolate? Amsterdam will fulfil your chocolate dreams.
In Amsterdam, there’s a wide variety of wonderfully delicious chocolate shops, there’s tasting sessions, you can go on chocolate consult and you can even make your own bonbons at one of Amsterdam’s chocolate workshops.
History of chocolate in Amsterdam
The Azetecs were the first to come up with that genius idea to grind cocoa beans with water en herbs. They made it into a bitter drink they named xoco-atl (meaning ‘very’). When the Spaniards took it to Europe, it didn’t take long before the bitter cocoa drink conquered The Netherlands.
The Dutch soon started to grow their own beans on their own plantations in the Dutch colony of Surinam (South-America). Once harvested, the beans were loaded onto ships and taken to Holland to be grinded small, dark and bitter tablets.
Dissolved in hot milk or hot water, its taste was very different from the chocolate milk we know today, but flavoured with anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, amber and vanilla or sugar, it certainly had a beautiful taste.
Amsterdam chocolate factory
Korff was one of the first Amsterdam companies to make chocolate, starting in 1811 grinding beans using the force of a windmill located on Spaarndammerdijk.
Eventually the chocolate factories of Korff were sold to American company Cargill in 1986 and the once famous name fell into oblivion.
Van Houten chocolade
But the name all Duch people associate with Dutch chocolate is Van Houten. C.J. Van Houten (1828) revolutionised chocolate making by inventing a technique which allowed for a drink that was easier to digest and more tasty, while also making it possible to produce cocoa powder and chocolate bars we all know and love today.
Here’s a list of 5 chocolate shops and a place where you can make your own chocolate in Amsterdam.
1. Metropolitan Chocolate
The Warmoesstraat, the street leading up to the red light district in Amsterdam has seen some new surprisingly delicious deli shops arriving in the last few years. Metropolitan Chocolate is one of them. The owner, chocolate specialist Kees Raat, uses weird ingredients such as pepper in its chocolate creations.
The menu (breakfast, lunch, brunch and of course take away) furthermore lists bonbons based on different cities, named Metropolitan Chocolates as well as experimental foods: chocolate bacon, brownie sandwich, chocospoons (see picture right)…Metropolitan wants to make all of their bonbons on the spot and also offers Italian ice cream with classical as well as more experimental flavours.
Metropolitan Chocolate, Warmoesstraat 135
Open: Sunday – Wednesday 9.00 – 0.00; Tuesday – Saturday 9.00 – 1.00
2. Choco labs at Chocolátl
Chocolátl calls itself a ‘chocolate gallery’. It’s a chocolate shop in the ‘nine streets’ area in Amsterdam that sells selected brands of chocolate. For example they offer a range of bonbons make by chocolatier extraordinaire Geert Vercruysse. If you are not instantly impressed by that name, you are invited to the shop for a ‘choco-consult’.
Chocolate tasting in Amsterdam
Or you can join one of their guided chocolate tasting sessions, named Chocolabs to appreciate chocolate in a fun and casual setting (great hen party idea in Amsterdam?).
Chocolátle also offers house-made treats, coffee, tea and of course: chocolate milk.
Chocolátl, Hazenstraat 25-A
Closed on Monday
3. Puccini Bomboni
In Amsterdam, the name Puccini sounds more like chocolate than opera, so that might tell you something about this quality of this chocolate shop in Amsterdam. When you visit the shop it’s impossible not to try some of their deliciously looking bonbons, with their thick crust and original interior, but be warned: they don’t come cheap.
All chocolates are without preservatives, so you can’t keep them longer than 7 days. As if….
Puccini Bomboni has 2 chocolate shops in Amsterdam. Both are open every day.
4. Chocolate workshop at Sugarstars
Dutch couple Marc and Marieke Vesseur offer workshops where you make your own chocolate, learn how to decorate your own cake. I sent British Nick to Sugarstars, as he was looking for something original to do in Amsterdam with his girlfriend. It was a grand succes!
Here’s his review of the chocolate workshop in Amsterdam:
Review chocolate workshop in Amsterdam
Nick wrote: “Anyway, to put it in brief, we loved it, more importantly, she loved it! For 32.5 euros each we had just over two hours of see-and-do tuition on how to make filled (with anything from caramel to chocolate ganache – but not liquor 😉 chocolates as well as more than a few tips and facts about the theory behind methods of chocolate making e.g. tempering. Moreover, we ended up coming away with a nice big box of the…slightly ugly looking…chocolates we attempted to construct.”
“Marc Vesseur himself was very kind and did his best to make the lingo-naive foreigners (that’s us) feel welcome. I would definitely recommend this workshop for anyone wanting a chilled out evening activity, at least as a change to the more touristy attractions.”
“At the moment, Marc is finding it a little hard to keep it going at the current price (he uses Groupon mainly) so he will increase it a bit soon probably, but I would still attend if it was 45 euros!”
And so if you are looking for some fun activity to do in Amsterdam and love chocolate, this is the place to go in Amsterdam!
Sugarstars, Nieuwevaart 3
Contact Sugarstars for details
4. Unlimited Delicious
Chocolate shop Unlimited Delicious sells pies and truffles, ice cream in summer but their speciality are their crazy bonbons.
Tomato & balsamic chocolate
Does the combination of chocolate with tomato and balsamic vinegar make your mouth water, does the combination of sea salt, rosemary and bittersweet chocolate interest you? Then visit the shop of Unlimited Delicious and try out their bite size-chocolates. In the back there’s room to enjoy your tea with your chocolate.
Unlimited Delicious, Haarlemmerstraat 122
Open Monday – Saturday from 9 to 18.
At ArtiChoc, they take the art of chocolate a little serious. The pies and bonbons are all like little pieces of art. Walking around in the shop you’ll be surprised of all the things that can make out of chocolate: coffee mugs, baby bottle, cigars, clogs, tulips etcetera. Basically, they can make anything out of chocolate.
Laptop made of chocolate
At their website they show off some of the special gifts they have made on special request: miniature houses, helicopters, puzzles, entire chess games, hearts and laptops. A very original and delicious gift!
Arti Choc also makes creative birthday cakes and even business gifts of chocolate.
Closed on Sunday