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19 Best Chocolate Shops in Seoul, South Korea: A Local’s Guide

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Korea’s certainly not the first place you think of visiting when you dream of rich, melty chocolate, but it should come to mind. I’ve lived and worked here for two-and-a-half years now, sometimes even making chocolates at home. But occasionally I just need a break from the monotony of rice-based Korean sweets & saccharine K-Pop music in my town. So when a trip to Jeju or a weekend in Busan is out of reach, I head to Seoul to eat someone else’s homemade chocolate.

Beyond the traditional European imports and cheap sweets, Seoul’s variety of fine foods and chocolates is immense. French-trained chocolatiers and self-taught chocolate makers are carving out reputations for themselves throughout Korea. Though sometimes well-known in Korea, these chocolate masters are not so easy to find if you’re unfamiliar with chocolate culture. Some of them spell their names in English a bit differently, or are only searchable in Korean.

Since its first edition in 2017, this guide has become immensely popular for chocolate lovers living in & visiting Seoul, and several more chocolate shops have opened their doors. I’m extremely happy to be able to keep updating the number of shops, especially the number of bean to bar chocolate makers (which I’ve noted on the map in purple)! You won’t ever see Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on this list, and gone are the Godivas and Royces and Sees Candies of Korea. This is home-grown fine chocolate, at your service.

heart molds finished chocolate chai tea
Some of my homemade bean to bar chocolates.

If you already know where you’re headed, click on a neighborhood in the table of contents or scroll down to the map and zoom in on your destination. Even if you only have one day in Seoul, there is certainly a chocolate shop nearby worth squeezing in.

HBC & Itaewon Chocolate Shops

Itaewon is often used generally to refer to the foreigner district of Seoul and all of its immigrant residents and imported foods & snacks. This is where I go for my fix of most any international product or cuisine imaginable, though the chocolate scene is unfortunately largely imported. Only a few chocolate masters find their base here, but each one is worth a peek & a nibble. Itaewon is a neighborhood in Yongsan-gu, which also encompasses the neighborhoods of Hannam and Bogwang. 

Cacao Boom

cacao boom seoul hongdae chocolate shop truffles display case

One gelato cart greets you at the door, and four chairs line the table against the wall, but as you walk further suddenly two dozen truffles line the display case in front of you. Cacao Boom is one of the oldest— and I believe one of the best— chocolate shops in Korea. Fourteen years ago, the proprietor & head chocolatier Go Youngjoo opened one shop, and later another. The staff is very friendly and the lighting is great, though most importantly, the chocolates are worth hunting down.

Their chocolate bars and decadent truffles are ones I keep coming back to, and not just because they source fine French chocolate as their base material. My personal favorites from their vast collection are the Silky Boom (praline ganache) & the Tea-ticaca (earl grey ganache), though nothing I’ve tried has been less than delicious. They also sell chocolate recipe books authored by the owner, in Korean, and chocolate salami.

Address: 216-14 Hangangno-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Noksapyeong, Exit 2

Hours & Prices: noon-11pm, daily (₩1800-2500 per bonbon)


 Gangnam Chocolate Shops

Famed for the 2012 hit Gangnam Style by Psy, which I’ve realized to just be a representation of how Koreans think of nights out in Gangnam, this is a region of Seoul whose name means “south of the river.” It’s known for nightlife and expensive shopping in the streets & malls, as well as it’s fine food. Gangnam-gu encompasses the neighborhoods of Sinsa, Apgujeong, Cheongdam, Samseong, and Yeoksam.

Haas Chocolate Atelier

haas chocolate atelier gangnam front of store

Down an alley in Gangnam, the shops surrounding Haas Chocolate Atelier don’t exactly scream fancy food store. Yet I recommend you take a look, anyway. The shop sells macarons, truffles, and cute flavored chocolate bars, all made using Valrhona and Felchin chocolates. I had a whole box of twelve of their flavors and enjoyed it thoroughly, though I confess that this won’t be my first stop next time I head to Gangnam.

They’re only open on weekdays, but that’s because they also offer classes in chocolatiering for kids and adults (Korean language-only). If you’re in the neighborhood I recommend you try my favorite flavors: the Noisette Craquant and the Praliné au Miel. The owner is friendly and speaks some English.

Address: 19 Samseong-ro103gil, Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Samseong Jung-ang, Exit 7

Hours & Prices: 11am-7pm, Mon.-Fri. (₩2500 per bonbon)

Piaf Artisan Chocolatier

piaf chocolatier gangnam sinsa apgujeong

Piaf’s are some of the few chocolate truffles recommended to me by a local chocolate maker. This is not my personal favorite chocolate shop in Seoul, ​since there’s nowhere to sit and the shop can be tough to find. But once you arrive, it’s a seamless in-and-out sort of scenario. Piaf offers elegant French-style truffles with high-class aesthetic, and the staff speaks basic English.

They also maintain a wide selection of luxurious chocolate bars and gift items, and sell hot chocolate in the cooler months (ask for chocolat chaud). My favorite flavors are the ​Caramel et Passion (subtle melty passion fruit in milk chocolate) & ​Figue et Porto (tiny bits of fig mixed with a red-wine imbued dark chocolate); the truffles really are fantastic. They offer no coffee menu, at present.

Address: 523-31 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Sinsa, Exit 6

Hours & Prices: 11am-7:30pm, Mon.-Sat. (₩2500 per bonbon)

Cacao Bean

The first time I went to Cacao Bean, I found it necessary to professionally taste each of the ten bonbons we ordered, and rate them on a numerical scale. This quickly melted into a frenzy, and picking a favorite was impossible. Everything was so impressively flavorful, and none were too sweet, a trap that many Korean chocolates fall into. The two which merited perfect tens were the Yuzu and the Dominique.

Their current offering of 19 ganaches and pralines includes other inventive flavors such as the Dulcey Caramel (like a cooked, fluffy caramel with substance) and the Casablanca (Morrocan mint tea with bergamot). The French-style shop stays true to its inspiration by using Valrhona chocolate, offering hot chocolates & macarons, and inviting patrons inside with bright Parisian decor.

Address: 544-28 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Apgujeong, Exit 4

Hours & Prices: 11am-9pm, daily (₩2500 per bonbon)

Theobroma 2011

Theobroma is a very typical Korean chocolatier. They sell very sweet, pretty bonbons, with okay flavors. You can buy their chocolates from the cafe below their workshop, which also sells wine, coffee, and possibly some food. Really, the truffles are fine, but the flavors are simply not consistent between pieces, and were sometimes altogether absent. Whichever couverture chocolate the chocolatier uses left a mass-produced taste in my mouth, so while this wouldn’t be my first choice for chocolates in Gangnam, it’ll do if you have a sweet tooth.

Note that the hours below are for the cafe at which the truffles are sold, located right below the chocolatier’s workshop.

Address: Sinbanpo-ro 41-gil, Jamwon-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Nonhyeon, Exit 5

Hours & Prices: 12-8pm, weekdays & 12-6pm, weekends (₩2500 per bonbon)

De Chocolate Coffee

De Chocolate is less of a chocolate shop and more of a coffee shop which sells chocolates. They do, however, have several locations throughout Seoul, and each location is a very spacious and quiet place to grab a cup of coffee or a chocolate soft serve in the summer.

They have a huge menu of coffee drinks but just pave and rocher on the chocolate menu. The sweet chocolates are good and would pair fine with a cup of coffee; they’re available in boxes from 5 to over a dozen and they seem to be quite popular.The staff is pleasant. It just feels more like a regular cafe that happens to sell chocolate, than a normal chocolate shop.

Address: 50-1 Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Nonhyeon, Exit 8

Hours & Prices: 7am-midnight, Mon.-Fri.; 9am-11pm, Sat.; 9am-10pm, Sun. (₩1500 per bonbon)


Hongdae Chocolate Shops

Hongdae is my haunt when I’m in Seoul, and it’s my personal choice for any self-guided chocolate tours of Seoul. Check out the map at the bottom of the page to plot out your itinerary. The university area is a hub for Seoul nightlife and is home to several of Korea’s preeminent educational institutions, as well as many of it’s student-oriented stores, eateries, and guest houses. It’s also home to 2 Korean chocolate makers. In addition to Hongdae, Mapo-gu encompasses the neighborhoods of Hapjeong, Mangwon, Yeonnam, and Sangsu.

17 Dossi

17 dossi chocolate truffles hongdae box

Like most places that last for the long haul in Korea, 17Dossi— meaning “17°C” in Korean— is completely instagrammable. From the all-white tables that backdrop boxes of bonbons to the display case in the counter, white is the theme of choice. The flavors of their chocolates range from Honey Chestnut to Passion Fruit or Mojito. 17 sports a modest coffee and chocolate drinks menu, as well as a chocolate bingsu (shaved ice) special.

Honestly, their truffles are good and the ambiance really is nice, but I keep coming back for their earl grey hot chocolate, which is truly impressive. It tastes like a sweet melted earl grey ganache, thinned out with steamed whole milk. It’s scrumptious on a chilling winter evening, or poured over ice in the summer. Even if you can’t snag one of the two dozen chairs, stop by for a cup of hot chocolate to-go.

Address: 38 Donggyo-ro 29-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hongdae, Exit 3

Hours & Prices: 11am-10pm, daily (₩2500 per bonbon; ₩7000 for Earl Grey Hot Chocolate)

CACAODADA

cacao dada seoul hongdae storefront

Tucked away in a corner of Hongdae is international award-winning chocolate maker Cacao Dada. Boasting bars made with cacao from Peru, Madagascar, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Ghana— whew!— the shop also sells coffee & chocolate drinks, as well as cacao nibs & beans. My chocolate chip cookies didn’t even make it a block before I broke into & finished off the bag.

You can even see the couple’s bean-to-bar chocolate making operation from the sitting area. If you decide to pick up a cookie or some caramels, check their Instagram feed for a hint on what new flavors they’re working on. The owners are shy, but do speak some English. They’re always coming up with something new and beautiful, and the open design of his cafe reflects that. I only wish I could bottle up & sell the chocolate smell constantly wafting from their creations!

Address: 15 Huiujeong-ro 10-gil, Mangwon 1(il)-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Mangwon, Exit 2

Hours & Prices: 12-9pm, Tue.-Sat. (₩12000 per 80g bar)

Bittersweet9

bittersweet9 seoul hongdae hot chocolate

Situated on the second floor of a nondescript building in Hongdae is a parliament of owls. These birds are molded out of chocolate & individually-wrapped after being tempered by a hand in a tiny chocolate shop. Among the owls are also nestled a variety of bars and barks, as well as baggies of chocolate pearls, and boxes of bonbons.

The owner, a chocolatier with over seven years of experience, has 4 flavors are regularly on offer, though the full range of 10 is available around Valentine’s Day. She was sold out of truffles when I appeared just before closing, but the chocolate owls I bought were yummy. Although only open Friday through Sunday, I found Bittersweet9’s owner to be sweet and the treats to be an affordable luxury.

Address: #201, 20 Deunggyo-ro 30-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hongdae, Exit 3

Hours & Prices: 1-7pm, Fri.-Sun. (₩3500 per owl)

Jung’s Chocolate

Hidden away from the main streets of Hongdae, tucked in one of the smallest spaces imaginable, is a bonafide chocolate shop. Specializing in detailed chocolate pieces, solid chocolates molded into figures like robots or superheroes or flowers, Jung’s is one of the more eclectic chocolate shops in Seoul. His chocolate roses are each molded around a freeze-dried strawberry, while most of his flavored chocolate bars are sprinkled with bits of dried fruit.

Thanks to the limited space, in any given week his display cases could be filled with mediants, fruit-covered chocolate bars, chocolate-covered nuts, pave chocolates, bonbons, or any number of intricate solid chocolates. Keep an eye out for seasonal specials like chocolate-covered dried fruits and chocolate-dipped pepero sticks.

Address: Seoul, Mapo-gu, Yeonnam-dong, 509-18 1st floor (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hongdae, Exit 3

Hours & Prices: 11am-8:30pm, Mon.-Sat. (₩2500 per bonbon)

​Roasting Masters

roasting masters seoul hongdae craft bean to bar chocolate

Among the scant number of Korean craft chocolate makers is a coffee roaster. Relatively new to the scene, this master offers six origins of bean to bar chocolate, as well as bags of freshly-roasted coffee. The retail space is quite small, but it was remodeled in 2018 to accommodate an espresso bar.

The owners regularly travel to origin to learn more about the cacao they source, and to better be able to turn that cacao into chocolate. They prominently display their bars, and freely offer samples of each origin. Currently they only sell 70% dark chocolate in eahc of their 6 Latin American origins. Stop in and try some of their award-winning Costa Rica bar, or grab a little bar as a present. They also offer beautiful boxes for sets of 4 small bars.

Address: 33 Wausan-ro 3-gil, Dangin-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Sangsu, Exit 4

Hours & Prices: 11am-8pm, Tue.-Sat. (₩15000 per 80g bar)

Chocolatique

chocolatique seoul hongdae chocolate truffles display case french style

I’ve never been in a cafe that gives off more cozy Parisian cafe vibes than this tiny shop, and I’ve been to Paris— twice. The owner’s face welcomes you inside, smiling from behind a display case of hand-rolled truffles. Next, a cup of classic drinking chocolate finds its way into your hands, chosen from the small selection of teas and coffees. Tae Hee Lee (이태희), the owner of Chocolatique, crafts each of her rotating flavors herself.

From Raspberry Rose to Bitter Coffee, my favorite is a tie between the Cinnamon Milk and the Himalayan Salty Caramel. Also on offer are chocolate-covered nuts and nibs, and 8 types of melty, chewy caramels. I wish I could order these caramels for delivery. The owner just opened in September 2017, after ten years working at a premier pastry shop in Gangnam. She speaks conversational English.

Address: Yeonhaedong130-13, Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hongdae, Exit 3

Hours & Prices: noon-9pm, Tue.-Sun. (varies by weight; ~₩1600 per bonbon)

LaonD

I can’t put my finger on why, but I wasn’t expecting much from LaonD, and I was completely wrong. Their truffles are pretty damn good, especially the double peach, and unlike normal, I was more impressed by the truffles than the macarons. Heading inside the shop itself, there’s seating for just 2 couples, and a dozen chocolates and a half dozen macaron flavors to choose from.

They also offer chocolate salami, chocolate-covered nuts, and some seasonal treats, all made using Valrhona & Felchlin couverture chocolate. LaonD has a variety of French-style decor and chocolate art, as well as stools to sit outside when there’s nice weather. But while I wouldn’t call the shop gorgeous, there’s lots of cacao-themed knickknacks to catch your attention. It’s a small but perfectly effective chocolate shop.

Address: 53 Yanghwa-ro 10-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hapjeong, Exit 3

Hours & Prices: 12pm-8pm, Mon.-Sat. (₩2500 per bonbon)


Other Neighborhoods

Though Seoul is not solely comprised of Gangnam, Itaewon, and Hongdae, sometimes it seems like it is. Not living in the city, much of my time in Seoul is spent in one of the aforementioned locations, and I’m sure many other expats and tourists feel the same. But Seoul is massive, and the tasty, tasty beauty of her food is not limited to the center. In other neighborhoods of Seoul are some tasty treats, including one of my favorite cafes in Korea.

Theo 717

I feel this is as good enough a time as any to explain: “Theo” is a reference to Theobroma cacao, the scientific name for cacao, which is the fruit chocolate is made out of. So at Theo 717, this couple makes chocolate, from bean to bar. Despite only opening in 2018, they have a selection of five origins, and dark, milk, and white chocolates, with all their equipment right there on display. Kim will happily explain the chocolate making process to anyone interested, visuals included. Both owners speak decent English, actually, enough to explain their products and make conversation.

Alongside the several origins, Theo offers 6 different chocolate drinks made with whichever origin strikes their fancy at the moment, curated by Chef Na and on the sweeter side. They’re very welcoming, offering a clean place with free WiFi and seats at which to work. They even have a baby cacao tree catching sun by the door!

Address: Eunhaengjeong-ro 6-gil, Sinjeong-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Mokdong, Exit 8

Hours & Prices: 10am-7pm, Mon.-Sat. (₩5000 per ~40g bar)

Mirabeau Chocolatier

Mirabeau reminds me of a cozy log cabin, with lots of natural light & plenty of photo-ops, but with a classy face lift. The whole shop opens up when you enter, thanks to white walls and the attention-grabbing chocolate display case. With nearly 20 different options stacked in two rows, the bonbons & truffles leave just enough room to show off the macarons & chocolate-covered nuts at the end. Recently the café also started offering walnut chocolate chip cookies, and for this I am grateful.

My favorites of their myriad of flavors are the Cinnamon, the Sesame, and the Earl Grey, though admittedly I’m a sucker for classic combos. They maintain a good variety of drink options and of chocolates in their collection, with strong, clear flavors. Their lattes are bitter, their wifi’s stable, and they have two (small) levels of seating, a luxury in Seoul. You can’t miss Mirabeau, and not just because of the famous samgyetang restaurant across the street.

Address: 34 Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Gyeongbokgung, Exit 2

Hours & Prices: 10am-9pm, daily (₩2500 per bonbon)

Coco Raum

At first it’s not obvious that you’ve just walked into a chocolate factory. Cocoraum is a small cafe with room for maybe a dozen patrons, and their house-roasted coffee features prominently along the counter. They have a large coffee menu with a variety of drinks, including playful cream-based and kid-friendly drinks. Indie music plays in the background, and the clean green and white color scheme gives it an Americana feel. But this is indeed a chocolate maker’s studio, though the owners started off in the coffee business.

Their selection of several house-roasted coffee beans is varied in origin, while their chocolate is available in just 2 origins (both sourced from Roasting Masters). However, unlike most shops which offer a standard hot cocoa, Cocoraum also offers a maltitol hot chocolate that doesn’t taste strange, as I expected, but rather sweet. It offers a bit of differentiation in a growing Korean chocolate market, while their coffee background gave them a nice head start in flavor development. Both husband and wife speak English.

Address: 58 Sadang-ro 27gil Sadang-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Isu, Exit 10

Hours & Prices: 8:30am-9:30pm, daily {open 10am Sat./Sun./Holidays} (₩8500 per 45g bar)

Petit Grand

Formerly belonging to the Hongdae neighborhood, Petit Grand offers good flavors and a variety of textures in their bonbons. Located just a couple of blocks from the former P.Chokko, they fill in a lot of the gaps that P.Chokko had as a chocolate shop, though they’re not chocolate makers themselves. They also don’t sell any drinks or chocolate bars, but this one-woman shop does have several flavors of macarons and several flavors of bonbons at a time, none of which are overly sweet & all of which I’d buy again.

The owner speaks decent English, and I found her to be quite personable, despite the fact that she seems to run the business entirely on her own. The flavors are quite clear in both products, but I found the raspberry macaron and the pistachio bonbon to be my favorites.

Address: 656-1017번지 B동 1층, Seongsu-dong 1(il)-ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Ttukseom, Exit 6

Hours & Prices: 12-8pm, Wed.-Mon. (₩2400 per bonbon)

I’m In Choco

Similar to Mini Dala, above, truffles are only available at I’m In Choco during the wintertime, before Valentine’s Day and White Day. But unlike Mini Dala, I’m In Choco is clearly a labor of love, with the personable owner there every day, samples on hand. Outside of peak season in winter, offering are mostly comprised of chocolate bark and chocolate-covered nuts, but in a lovely mix of flavors (albeit on the sweet side).

The owner also teaches chocolate classes for kids, if you’re looking for a weekend activity in northern Seoul. If you’d prefer to sip your calories, you can order a variety of chocolate drinks. The shop is really only takeout, though there are a few chairs facing the street if you were super keen on sitting down to eat your chocolates right then and there.

Address: Seoul, Wolgye 3(sam)-dong, Wolgye-dong 37-4번지 1st floor (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Seokgye, Exit 2

Hours & Prices: 11am-8pm, Tue.-Fri.; 1pm-7pm, Sat./Sun. (₩2500 per bonbon)


Salon du Chocolat Seoul

An annual event started in Paris in the 1990’s, Seoul now has its own version of the Salon du Chocolat. Held at the CoEx event hall in the Gangnam Neighborhood, it is the largest chocolate festival in Korea, and offers attendees access to chocolate from around the world. But you won’t find any Lindt or Ghirardelli here. Oh, no.

This chocolate show offers bean-to-bar chocolate, hand-crafted chocolate treats, and raw cacao. It also doubles as an industry trade show and a choco-fashion show, with daily tastings & lessons available for a small additional fee. I found the event to be very family-friendly and full of free samples. Addmission is only 10000 (~$9USD) per person, or free if you pre-register online.

The next Salon is in January 2023.

Read about last year’s here.

Seoul Chocolate Map

Where do you want to visit first? Is there somewhere else I should check out in Seoul?


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SNK Creation

Monday 24th of May 2021

The blog you shared is very good. I expect more information from you like this blog. Thank you for posting.

Max

Friday 28th of May 2021

You're very welcome!

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Definitely! I hope you find a new favorite, too! :)

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