Last Updated November 2018
Bangkok struck me as the land of imported goods, the European part of Asia. Like Toyko, but smaller. Full of American-style malls selling European goods at Dubai prices. One of the few exceptions to this price hike were the chocolates. These Thai chocolate makers know what you want; rich, melty truffles burst with flavor as they slowly coat your mouth. They’ll usually lighten your wallet by just $1USD apiece, a staple “affordable luxury” for the masses. Even still, in Bangkok these used to be tough to find.
Table of Contents
- Reviewing A Dearth of Options
- Bean to Bar Chocolate Makers
- Bangkok Chocolate Activities
- Bangkok Chocolate Map
Reviewing A Dearth of Options
Bangkok is often pictured as dirty, smelly, and dangerous, which it sometimes is. The metropolis’s millions of annual visitors outnumber residents more than threefold, yet there are fewer than a dozen European and Japanese chocolatiers breaking into Bangkok’s bonbon business. Luckily 2018 saw an explosion of local Thai chocolatiers in Bangkok, many of whom are making their own chocolate from bean to bar, and I was happily forced to update this article. Unfortunately in Chiang Mai— Bangkok’s popular northern counterpart— you’re still more likely to stumble upon a wine bar than a chocolate shop.
In general, it would be difficult to fully-accurately locate each of the European chocolatiers of the map, so I’ve linked to their websites in order for you to find the closest locations near you. There are also some shops marked off on the map at the bottom of the page, but those are merely a sample of the bevy of imports available in malls. Even many of the brands which present themselves as Thai (Gallothai) and craft Thai flavors are actually made with imported Belgian, Swiss, or French chocolate, so be sure to peruse the Thai chocolate makers first, if you’re looking for high quality.
For Asian visitors in particular, a taste of Europe is still an exotic taste of foreign luxury, however so the imported chocolates sell well. Even things which simply allude to the gooey brown stuff seem to be quite popular. For example, for those of you who have heard of Chocolate Ville in Bangkok, by now you probably realize that it is a large European restaurant, and not an Asian chocolate theme park, as I’d hoped. That’s why it’s not featured here. Though if anybody wants to start that venture, please contact me; I’m in.
Tip: if you’re in a mall, check the directory for where the chocolate shops are— there’s always at least one.
Bean to Bar Chocolate Makers
2018 was an explosive year for Thai bean to bar chocolate as four cafes got up and running and several more makers joined the Thai chocolate scene overall. Most of these are Bangkok chocolate makers, so as the year comes to a close I’ve updated this article to reflect these changes, and look forward to more updates when I’m back in Thailand next year.
In Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand, there are three craft chocolate makers already selling bars & treats, and in my short stay it was difficult to procure their products. Message them once you’re in the country, if you’d like to buy some bars. As more of the upcoming Bangkok chocolate makers begin opening cafes and selling bars, I’ll share their missions & locations in updated versions of this article.
Thai bean to bar makers are marked on the map below with purple pins.
Known for: Thai bean to bar chocolate bars & drinks
One of the few Thai chocolate makers who’s keeping their day jobs, the duo behind Shabar Chocolate is a young couple of bankers & chocolate experimenters. They’ve been selling their bars at farmer’s markets and in cafes around Bangkok for the last year, and are slowly expanding into a range of chocolate chocolate drinks and sauces. The duo is using exclusively Thai cacao at the moment, but they pair their dark chocolate with a variety of inclusions, offering a flavor for everyone willing to venture onto the dark side.
Narut, the master fermenter of the two, has been working on some experiments with fresh Thai cacao and how certain variables affect flavor. If you attend one of the city’s chocolate tastings, you’ll more than likely find his chocolate alongside some other makers’, always looking for ways to improve an already great product.
Address: TBD (check Instagram for an upcoming market or to place an order)
Hours: online shop
Known for: bean to bar sugar-free & keto-friendly chocolate bars and treats
Originally just an extension of their range of healthy and delicious keto- & paleo-friendly foods, Ayano and Tobi were quickly taken with chocolate fever and haven’t looked back since. The fit couple continues to run their cafe with all of its goodies, from spices and ingredients for dinner to chocolate-covered pili nuts and hazelnut spread. They’ve been trying to source cacao locally, but have had luck finging the flavor profiles they’re interested in with just one batch of Thai cacao.
So they’re also the first Thai chocolate maker to be using such a wide variety of origins, and making sugar-free chocolate with them. Böhnchen uses their own chocolate to make all the cafe’s sweets, so feel free to ask for a sample of anything if you’re wary of trying sugar-free chocolate. I guarantee they’ll both surprise and delight you. Beyond the bars, I’d also highly recommend an iced chocolate and a huge bag of chili pili nuts for the road.
Address: 2991/20 (2F), Visuthanee Hi-Tech Office Park Lat Phrao 101/3 Road, Klongchan, Khet Bang Kapi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10240 (see map below)
Hours: mostly online orders, so send them a message to arrange a visit
Known for: bean to bar chocolate made with Thai cacao & a large selection of chocolate pastries
Starting just last year, lawyers-turned-chocolate makers Nuttaya and Paniti decided to venture into chocolate making and fell head over heels in love with it all. They now dedicate themselves to not just their new chocolate cafe, but also working with Thai cacao farmers and taking care of their own plantation in northern Thailand.
From craft chocolate tastings and pairings to their beautiful chocolate pastries and drinks, Kad Kokoa has set themselves up as one of the main destinations for Bangkok chocolate lovers. Every week there’s something new on their menu, and not all of it is there to stay, so check out their Instagram for consistent updates on what the team is doing these days. I’m looking forward to a taste of their hot chocolate, myself!
Address: Nartiwas 17, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 (see map below)
Hours: 10:30am-7:30pm, daily
Known for: nut-filled chocolate bars & boxes of vegan Thai-inspired flavored bonbons
Currently only selling online and at pop-up shops around Bangkok, this self-branded craft chocolatier is now one of the few Bangkok chocolate makers who also makes bonbons. She sells various collections of her European-style bonbons and bars, but you’ll see her show her face at most Bangkok craft chocolate events, as well. Flavors in her collections range from Lavender Caramel Shortbread to Vegan Vietnamese Ganache. To order a box, simply visit her site and tell her I sent you! I promise the only bites will be into delicious bonbons.
Address: currently online only
Hours: online shop
Known for: nut-filled chocolate bars & boxes of vegan Thai-inspired flavored bonbons
Despite the title of Master Chocolatier, Sarath was one of the first people making bean to bar chocolate in Thailand. He is, however, also deservedly known for his stunning pastries & chocolates, and his recently-opened chocolate cafe highlights these specialties. He also runs a pastry & chocolate school in northern Bangkok (see below).
The twist he offers on the European-style bonbons most Thai people are used to is his emphasis on uniquely Thai flavors and ingredients. These are often sourced not only locally but from his own farm, outside of Bangkok. Sarath often travels around Thailand and other parts of Asia, learning about local produce from the local chefs, bringing all of that knowledge back to his own kitchen.
Address: 241/7, Pradipat Rd., Samsennai, Phayathai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok, 10400 (see map below)
Hours: 9am-7pm, daily
Known for: Thai bean to bar chocolate bars & bonbons
The newest chocolate cafe in Bangkok, PARADAi has already received 2 International Chocolate Awards in the 2018 Asia-Pacific competition, and gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews from the public. All the cacao they use comes from their own farm in Nakhon Si Thammarat, a region in southern Thailand just south of Chumporn, where much of the cacao in Thailand is grown.
Offering both a dark chocolate and a milk chocolate, PARADAi celebrates the contrasts of Thai landscape with their colorful, jungle-esque packaging, similar for both their bars and bonbons. They use an impressively intricate mold for their bars, but the bonbons will likely be the first to catch your eye with their delicate flavors and bright slashes of color. Keep an eye our for non-Thai origins coming soon to their store, and don’t forget to grab a Thai tea or coffee before you go.
Address: 197 Thanon Tanao, Khwaeng Wat Bowon Niwet, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200 (see map below)
Hours: 9:30am-6pm, Wed.-Mon.
I’ve included these chocolatiers on this list on the off-chance that some people may be interested in these specific brands, or only interested in buying imported chocolate. However, I mentioned the Thai bean to bar makers first because I believe that if you’re in Thailand, you should buy Thai chocolate, especially when it’s so much better than the alternatives.
Known for: trays of flavored ganaches, chocolate-covered potato chips, matcha bonbons
Royce may be one of the most popular souvenirs for people to bring home from Japan. These days you can find their boxes of nama chocolate in all Japanese airports, as well as many foreign ones. Customers keep returning for the clean, cute aesthetic and smooth chocolate, though it certainly doesn’t scream Thailand. As one of the oldest chocolate companies in Japan, not-coincidentally based in Hokkaido, the flavors at Royce are much more Japanese than those of Melt Me, and have better brand recognition. The quality seems about the same to me.
Address: Siam Paragon, G floor, 1 Phatumwan, 991 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330 (6 locations; see map below for select stores)
Hours: 10am-8pm, daily (all locations)
Known for: trays of flavored ganaches, hot chocolate
Trays of ganache, a cream and chocolate mixture, have become so popular in Japan that it is often thought to have originated there. But this “fresh chocolate,” known as nama, is indeed French in origin yet Japanese in aesthetic. Melt Me is well-known throughout Thailand for their trays of flavored nama and their hot chocolates. Although you can order online, they have nearly a dozen locations across the country, which you can find on their website. The chocolatier is said to have honed their craft in Hokkaido, a city in Northern Japan, making it a sort of European-by-way-of-Asia chocolate.
Address: B2 Terminal 21, Soi Sukhumvit 19, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, North Klong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110 (9 locations; see map below for select stores)
Hours: vary greatly (check here)
Known for: chocolate shakes, chocolate truffles, and chocolate ice cream cones
If you’re looking for European chocolate in Bangkok, Godiva is probably the first company that comes to mind. Many visitors probably think it’s actually an American company, since it has so many branches and so much distribution in the US, but Godiva is actually a Belgian company. Since Thailand doesn’t get very cool at all, their iced hot chocolate & their chocolate ice cream cones are some of their most popular items, popping up even more during the hottest months from March to April. The variety of truffle flavors is astounding, if you don’t expect it. But their best sellers are still their boxes of truffles, a famous affordable luxury for the masses.
Address: Siam Paragon, 1st Floor, 991 Rama 1 Rd Khwaeng Pathum Wan Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330 (7 locations; see map below for select locations)
Hours: 10am-10pm, daily (all locations)
Known for: flavored bonbons and chocolate bark
The first “premium” chocolate brand to open in Bangkok, Mrs. Flowers is a Thai-owned and -operated company with several shop locations around Bangkok and one in Pattaya. The main branch functions as a mini-museum for chocolate making, detailing the method and selling bonbons made with Swiss chocolate liquor, processed in Thailand. While the company offers many traditionally-flavored chocolates, they also have fruit-based and nut-based lines of specialty truffles available daily, and the original owner still oversees the entire operation. Their most popular item is an almond bark in dark chocolate.
Address: 304 Romklao Road (Between Soi 12 and Soi 10) Minburi Khwaeng Min Buri, Khet Min Buri, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10510 (7 locations; see map below for select locations)
Main Museum Hours: 9am-5pm, Mon.-Sat.
Known for: truffles with with Thai flavors
As another Belgian chocolatier who has decided to expand their empire into Asia, Duc de Praslin took a different approach in Thailand by incorporating local flavors. Their shops still have the more traditional praline and dark chocolate truffles flavors, etc., but they also have durian, wasabi, pad cha, and more. I was not very impressed by the truffles I bought, but the funky flavors alone might appeal to you. Personally, I’ll pass on the onion bonbon, but that’s because I’m more of a garlic kind of gal. The company has three branches in Bangkok, and one in each of Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, and Pattaya.
Address: 191 Si Lom, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500 (7 locations; see map below for select locations)
Bangkok Chocolate Activities
You might be surprised to know that not only is Bangkok a huge tourist destination, but it’s also a big foodie city. People from all over the world come here for fine Thai cuisine representing the flavors of every region in the country, but they also come to enjoy cooking classes and events. Some of those events are chocolate-themed, in nature, lucky for all of us. These are some of those delectable and kid-friendly options.
Known for: professional-level pastry & chocolate classes
Looking to up your pastry and chocolate game while visiting Bangkok? Master Chocolatier Sarath Nimlamai is ready to help you do just that. Awarded First Place in the Pastry portion of Iron Chef Thailand in 2015, Mr. Nimlamai is highly experienced in all things dessert. His school offers various pastry courses, as well as bean to bar chocolate making classes in English. The difference at The Chocolate House is both the well-traveled and award-winning pastry chef, and his emphasis on Thai flavors from every region of the country. Additionally, his experience as a chocolate maker lends a deeper pool of knwledge from which to teach his chocolatier classes, adding that extra je ne sais quoi to each class.
Address: locations of each class varies; inquire via Instagram
Hours: see the school’s calendar of classes by clicking their name above
A sure way to indulge your sweet tooth, this chocolate cooking class is offered daily by request, with a minimum of 2 students. Participants in the class are able to create two of their own chocolate truffle recipes, plus a batch of mediants (French disks of chocolate dotted with fruits and nuts). There is a morning class and an afternoon class, both priced at 800TBH a head, and the latter of which offers the option for an extra hour of gooey goodness during their “Chocolate Rush Hour” for an additional 400TBH (normally 750TBH). Seeing as it’s geared towards adults, I’d book way in advance if you make this your Valentine’s Day plan.
Address: 2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500 (see map below)
Hours: 10am-12pm or 2:30pm-4:30pm, daily (book at least 1 day in advance)
Offering the only chocolate feast in Thailand, the Sukhothai’s Lobby Salon restaurant dedicates three afternoons a week to their chocolate buffet. Started in 2001 by the pastry chef, Laurent Ganguillet, the chocolate spread includes one entire table covered in chocolate-themed desserts, and another table across the aisle which is filled with savoury bites. Included in the 990BHT price is unlimited access to the Chef’s choose-your-own hot chocolate station, and a coffee or tea from the restaurant’s menu. Learn more about their buffet here.
Address: 13/3, The Sukhothai Bangkok, 1st Floor, Sathon Tai Road, Thung Mahamek, Khet Sathon, Bangkok, 10120 (see map below)
Hours: Fri/Sat/Sun 2pm-5pm
Known for: chocolate workshops, on-site restaurant, and wide assortment of bonbons
All they’re missing is a bedroom in the back, for me to live in. With an Italian restaurant, chocolate-making workshop space, and a variety of chocolate to buy, The Chocolate Factory makes it difficult to not want to move there. Although they’re not located in Bangkok, but rather an hour or so outside of it, they bring customers to them through an events calendars of classes with their trained chef. When you go, please send me a box of fruity bonbons. Or at least a picture; I beg of you.
Address: 400/626 Muang Pattaya, Amphoe Bang Lamung, Chang Wat Chon Buri 20150 (3 locations; see map below)
Hours: 9:30am-9:30pm, daily
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Bangkok Chocolate Map
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