The best chocolatiers the Netherlands has to offer
Calling all chocoholics! Are you fed up with always buying the same boring chocolate from your local supermarket? Or perhaps you've got a birthday or anniversary coming up and are looking for a tasty gift for a loved one?
Of course, the Netherlands is home to a host of independent breweries and cafes, all offering their own range of speciality products - but there are also a number of quality chocolatiers and chocolate shops that offer the perfect treats for anyone with a sweet tooth!
Chocolatiers and speciality chocolate in the Netherlands
Here are some of our favourite chocolatiers that can be found across a number of different Dutch cities.
1. Bonbon Atelier Luca - Groningen
A little goes a long way at this atelier in Groningen. Bonbon Atelier Luca has an impressive selection of high-quality bonbons available to all, and as chocolate connoisseurs will know, you don't need to eat a lot when you've got the right stuff in stock.
It's a small shop where chocolate aromas greet you as you struggle to make a choice. With a variety of typically Dutch cream-filled truffles, as well as caramel and passion fruit bonbons, this place is a must if you happen to be up north.
2. Chocolaterie Pierre - Haarlem and Hillegom
Originally opened in 1994 by Piet van Soest in Hillegom, Chocolaterie Pierre remains a family-run business. Gert and Karin van Soest run the shop today, with the aim of providing customers with freshly made and delicious chocolates.
With mouth-watering flavours, this chocolatier claims that their 70 percent dark recipe can convert even those who dislike chocolate. The shop in Haarlem opened in 2011, and the business has recently branched out into making ice cream. If you live nearby, you can also order online and have the chocolates delivered to your work or house!
3. Chocolade Atelier Puur - Gouda
Chocoladeatelier Puur opened its doors in Gouda in 2006, with owner Peter van Driel committing to using only one kind of fair-trade chocolate in all of his creations. He named his shop Puur because all chocolates are free of fragrances, dyes, and additives.
Besides the more standard bonbon flavours, Puur also has some intriguing delights that are worth a try, such as Red Port with Stilton Cheese, Absinthe, and Black Sesame with Honey and Ginger. Puur also has an online shop, and offers chocolate-making workshops and demonstrations for children and adults.
4. Chocolaterie van Dam - Heemstede
Having won awards for their Belgian chocolate, Chocolaterie van Dam is definitely not to be missed! Situated in Heemstede, this chocolatier works with a family recipe dating all the way back to 1901, making their chocolate in an open studio, fresh each day, so passersby can get a glimpse of how this art reaches the shop floor.
Chocolaterie van Dam believes in sculpting delicious chocolate from four simple main ingredients, namely butter, vanilla, cream and chocolate. The studio hosts three-hour workshops where you can make your own chocolate and have an immense amount of fun whilst doing so.
5. Chocolátl - Amsterdam
Chocolátl is a speciality chocolate shop in the heart of Amsterdam, which regularly hosts chocolate tastings - dubbed Chocolabs - and offers a chocolate subscription service where they'll send a carefully selected box of the latest chocolate extravaganza straight to your door!
They focus on artisanal, single-origin chocolate bars, offering an extensive and eclectic selection of chocolates made by some of the world’s top chocolate makers, including Geert Vercruysse.
6. De Bonte Koe - Rotterdam, The Hague, and Schiedam
With shops in Rotterdam, The Hague, and Schiedam, De Bonte Koe is certainly a Dutch staple when it comes to locally made chocolate! Not only do their shops host workshops and various events, but they sell a variety of speciality chocolates packaged in renewable and sustainably-made packaging.
Known in English as The Spotted Cow, De Bonte Koe personalises their chocolates and packages them in a little wooden box for the perfect gift. They also sell bars of quality chocolate that are authorised by the Cocoa Foundation, which promises to work on fair terms directly with the farmers.
7. Ganache Amsterdam - Amsterdam
If you're looking for an "explosion of flavour" then Ganache would be a perfect choice. Pitched as a "taste mecca for the true chocolate lover," the chocolate makers over at Ganache create bite-sized delicacies that pack a punch.
Their shop is situated near De Oude Kerk right in the centre of town, but they also have an online store stocked with a range of their flavours. What makes Ganache truly unique, however, is their use of edible flowers as a key ingredient in their handmade Flower Power Truffles.
8. Hop en Stork - The Hague and Utrecht
This chocolatier has chocolate cafes in The Hague and Utrecht, perfect for any and all chocolate lovers. The Hop en Stork coffee lounges offer customers the opportunity to sit back and relax while enjoying the various sweet and savoury flavoured chocolates on offer.
Claiming that chocolate and coffee complement each other, these cafes aim to pamper their guests by offering the best of exquisite flavours, as well as a variety of vegan-friendly chocolates.
9. K&K Chocolate Atelier - Maastricht
Situated in the charming city of Maastricht, K&K claims to be the smallest chocolate factory in the world! This atelier produces first-class chocolate with high-quality ingredients. Boasting delicious, exclusive and handmade products, they sell their stock to restaurants and hotels, personalising small orders where possible.
They also stock their bars in various locations throughout the Netherlands with flavours ranging in percentages as well as flavours. K&K Chocolate Atelier also runs three workshops; a Chocolate and Wine workshop, a Chocolate and Tea workshop, and a Tempering Chocolate session that is very hands-on, showing you how to get the balance right when attempting to make chocolate at home.
10. Puccini Bomboni - Amsterdam and Utrecht
With two branches in Amsterdam and a third in Utrecht, Puccini Bomboni began crafting chocolate some 30 years ago, selling chocolates larger than normal that cover a unique spectrum of flavours and textures that literally melt in your mouth.
The chocolates are carefully selected and quality takes precedence. They also stock a range of vegan chocolate products, and have a number of luxury gift boxes which make the perfect Mother's Day, Valentine's Day or birthday gift!
Heaven for chocolate lovers in the Netherlands
There's no shame in enjoying a little bit (or a lot) of chocolate, whether you're someone who prefers Albert Heijn's own brand white chocolate, a nice triangle of Toblerone, or a bite of a homemade truffle - there's something for everyone!
Have we missed your favourite? Share your suggestions in the comments below!