The chocolate shops of Sydney range from those dedicated to handmade artisanal chocolates—sometimes also offering hot chocolate and coffee—to vast emporia devoted to everything chocolate: truffles, drinks, crêpes, ice cream, you name it. Keren Lavelle explores five of the best.
Beginning with a riverside chocolate café in Earlwood in 1994, the two sisters behind Adora chocolates, Katerina Stavropoulos and Tina Vamvoukakis, have achieved fame and many awards for their delicious handmade chocolate truffles. Adora can now be found at the Wentworth Connection, 2A Bligh St. in the city, at Rose Bay and at other locations in greater Sydney. Choose a complimentary chocolate from the Adora range with each coffee or hot chocolate you order. Favourites here include white chocolate lime truffle, passionfruit truffle and macadamia pyramid. In addiiton to chocolates (one is never enough), there also is a range of cakes and other treats.
This Adelaide stalwart, Australia’s oldest chocolate maker, has two shops quite close to each other in Sydney, at Shop 52 in the Queen Victoria Building, 455 George St., and in the Strand Arcade, 412–414 George St.. The biggest sellers at Haigh’s Chocolates hark back to an earlier era. The top five are milk chocolates—either speckled with hundreds and thousands; with honeycomb; as chocolate frogs; with scorched almonds; or shaped as pastilles. More sophisticated choices—such as truffles with fillings of honey and lavender or orange and mint—also are available. Haigh’s can boast strong environmental credentials, including UTZ certification, indicating that 70 percent of its chocolate comes from environmentally sustainable farms.
The city store of Blue Mountains-based chocolatier Josophan’s is located in a gorgeous Art Deco building at the corner of York and King Streets. You can pick up a basket at the door and heap it up with elegant, attractive truffles, such as those with fillings infused with basil and lime, exquisitely coloured chocolate fish, or perhaps a treat from the Mayan range, flavoured with chilli. Single-origin blocks also available, made from beans grown on ethical plantations in locations such as Venezuela or Madagascar. Josophan’s is also known for its use of Fair Trade-certified Belgian chocolate. Josophan’s also recently opened a café next door, serving coffee, hot chocolate, Silvertip tea, cakes, ice-cream and toppings.
Handmade chocolates are also on offer at Kakawa Chocolates, in two outlets, at 147 William Street, Darlinghurst and at 281 Clarence Street in the CBD. Sea-salted caramel is their biggest-selling flavour, and there’s an interesting range of pralines, from peanut butter triangles to raspberry and mint crisp, not to mention chocolates amusingly shaped like CDs. Settle in with a hot chocolate (dark traditional, milky classic, chilli, hazelnut or brandy flavoured), or perhaps an ice-cream sandwich. Take away your pick of the chocolates, of course, perhaps also a jar of chocolate spread—hazelnut or caramel flavour—to spread on toast at home.
Based in Switzerland, Lindt & Sprungli has been a chocolate manufacturer for 170 years. Lindt’s Sydney cafés have elegant décor, and a choice of indoor or outdoor tables. The Martin Place Lindt Café, which has reopened recently after the tragic siege in December, was the first Lindt Café in the world. Other Lindt Cafés are at 259 George Street and 104-105 Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour. The café menu offers sandwiches and quiches, hot chocolate or mocha, plus desserts such as the Lindt signature waffle, profiteroles, chocolate eclair, molten lava cake or the ice-cream ‘dome of decadence’. More decadent cakes, ice creams and chilled drinks round out the menu; and, of course, there are many types of chocolates to choose from to take home to your loved ones.