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29 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. For example, a duo of Korean-Venezuelan brothers in central Seoul.

heart molds finished chocolate chai tea

Some of my homemade bean to bar chocolates.

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 have doubled the number of shops listed in this updated version, 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.

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.

Happy Chocolating!

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. 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.

​Reply Coffee

Concentrated espresso hits your nose as soon as you walk into this elevator-sized coffee bar. Featuring strikingly colorful La Vie en Coco Chocolates, as well as coffees to-go, Reply is a nice quick stop for a box of bonbons and a cold brew. The shop is the result of a collaboration between 3 small businesses working to share the benefits of a retail space. Only open since the summer of 2017, they boast a small coffee menu and four constantly changing flavors of chocolates.

When I last visited, the selection was Orange Earl Grey, Classic Dark, Vanilla Milk, and Peppermint, with the winner for me being the Orange Earl Grey. The ganaches are smooth and generally balanced in flavor. The owner is sweet, and knowledgeable about coffee, though she doesn’t speak much English.

Address: 6 Usadan-ro, Bogwang-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Itaewon, Exit 3

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

​Coco Bruni

coco bruni chocolate truffles closeup raspberry bonbons

Years of espressos have permeated this massive shop to the point that I don’t even need to order coffee to stay caffeinated. From hot chocolate samplers to fluffy cakes and decadent truffles, Coco Bruni is a chocolate-lover’s paradise. My go-to is a cream latte, but I’ve also been known to enjoy the Single Estate Saint-Domingue, a liquid dark chocolate bar with balanced bitterness and muted fruit.

Most of their treats are on the sweeter side, including their light macarons and my favorite bonbons: the Double Raspberry and the Passion Fruit. The small cafe chain has several locations at the moment, and each one is packed on weekend nights, though relatively calm before noon. Bonus: it’s open before most of the coffee shops, and there’s seating for 50-60 people.

Address: 683-136 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hangangjin, Exit 3

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

SaYoo Chocolate

This shop is a bit of an outlier in the Seoul chocolate scene. Since 2017, there’s been a bean to bar chocolate making display & explanation up in this incubator space in Itaewon. They show off cacao beans of differing origins and placards explaining each of the steps required to make a bar of chocolate. Sometimes they have bars for sale. However, it’s not very consistent and the information is almost exclusively in Korean.

The staff at the cafe in the SaYoo Space also don’t know much about the bars, nor can they offer samples. But it’s a cool little corner to check out if you want to learn more about chocolate making in Itaewon. The cookies they sell at the cafe are also absolutely fantastic; I’d highly recommend grabbing a couple, if you stop in.

Address: 5 Itaewon-ro 54-gil First Floor, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hangangjin, Exit 3

Hours & Prices: 11am-10pm, Sun.-Thu. & 11am-11pm, Fri.-Sat. (₩14000 per 80g bar)

Cacao Boom

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.

Also Read  Is Chocolate Vegan? (Complete Guide)

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)

Lumiere Chocolatier

Lumiere is a really beautiful shop, and incredibly photogenic. The bright white tiled interior is reminiscent of an older French patisserie, echoed even in the shop’s name. The chocolatier’s work space takes up about half the shop, so there’s nowhere to sit and enjoy your chocolates, but the beautiful little bites come in about a dozen flavors at a time, rotating with the seasons. My favorites are the Palet D’or and the Espresso.

Lumiere offers macarons and flavored chocolate bars, as well as the occasional seasonal treat, like pepero sticks on pepero day (November 11th) or cakes for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). Even though you can’t dine in, their marble counter tops and tile walls really make the perfect backdrops for glam shots of your chocolates. Even better? They have samples of all their bars!

Address: 1st floor 122번지 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Apgujeong Rodeo, Exit 2

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)

Mini Dala Chocolate

Mini Dala’s truffles are only offered sometimes, right before major holidays, but their other chocolate offerings are available year-round. They have pave chocolate and coffee & juice drinks, as well as a variety of treats like brownies and chocolate barks. Everything is quite affordable and cute, braggably made with Belgian couverture, but sort of plain. It tastes very average, with the chocolate tasting just like mass-produced couverture. Would do in a pinch.

The shop employee told me it’s a chain shop, but I couldn’t find any other locations no matter what language I searched in.

Address: 12 Gangnam-daero 156-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Sinsa, Exit 6

Hours & Prices: 12-9pm, weekdays & 12-8pm, weekends (₩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

Unlike the Coco Bruni chain, 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, similar to Coco Bruni. 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)

~Gangnam is also home to another location of Coco Bruni (9am-10:30pm, weekdays & 9am-10:30, weekends). Follow the link to see a Google Map of the location.~


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

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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.

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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

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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)

Cacaum

For anyone looking to buy international bean-to-bar chocolate in Seoul, this is your stop. Not only is this the only specialty chocolate retailer in the city, but they also stock some Korean chocolate makers, and offer samples of all the bars they have in stock. Opened in spring 2018, Cacaum is still one of just two chocolate importers in Korea who focus exclusively on craft chocolate. They don’t have any drinks or bonbons; all they have are bars. But boy do they have bars.

The shop has Pump Street, Akesson’s, Dick Taylor, and a whole lot more, including Korean craft chocolate bars that are otherwise only available in the cities in which they’re made. Cacaum is always looking to expand the public’s knowledge of craft chocolate, so please stop by and prepare to have your mind blown. If you don’t speak Korean, no worries; their staff speaks English.

Address: Poeun-ro 98, Mangwon 1(il)-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Mangwon, Exit 2

Hours & Prices: 1pm-6pm, Mon. & Wed.-Fri.; 12pm-8pm, Sat./Sun. (₩6000 to ₩16000 per bar)

~Hongdae is also home to other locations of  Coco Bruni (10am-midnight, daily). Follow the links to see a Google Map of the location.~


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.

Vida Feliz

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This is still one of the most positive experiences I have ever had in a chocolate shop, and I’ve been to hundreds. Open since July 2017, Vida Feliz is located in an almost residential neighborhood dotted with high rises. Using Swiss chocolate to make their macarons, cakes, hot chocolate sticks and bonbons, the small shop’s treats have taken on a life of their own. The nutty Vips bonbon is a play on commercial Crunky bars, while the sweet Coconut is a ganache coated with desiccated coconut.

My favorite is the Raspberry Truffle, featuring a generous layer of patê de fruit. This newer kid on the block also offers a range of chocolate- and espresso-based drinks, with seating for eight. Vida’s 8-flavor portfolio changes on a monthly basis, and I look forward to tasting it continually grow. The staff all seem genuinely excited to be there, and are happy to answer any questions using their limited English.

Address: 188-108, Mapodae-ro11gil, Gongdeok-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Gongdeok, Exit 4

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

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.

My favorite of their myriad of flavors are the Cinnamon 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.

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

Metro Stop: Gyeongbokgung, Exit 2

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

Chateau Chocolat

In the touristy area of Gyeongbok Palace, this tiny shop on the main road attracts eyes mostly due to its berry red exterior. It has a few locations, but I don’t think the quality of their chocolate merits showing them off here. Inside is a case of a couple dozen flavors of chocolates, not all in stock at the same time & individually-wrapped. When I went, it was only on the third try that one of the chocolates I was interested in was available, and when I got home I wasn’t impressed with it.

However, the “fresh chocolate” I tried tastes like brownies, and are worth ordering a couple of. The shop also boasts a menu of chocolate drinks and coffee, and some educational material on chocolate production. The staff is nice and speaks English, though there’s not much space to sit.

Address: 147-9, Tongin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Gyeongbokgung, Exit 2

Hours & Prices: 10:30am-9:30pm, Mon.-Sat. & 11am-7pm, Sun. (₩1800 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)

P.Chokko

Founded in early 2015 on the basis of educating the Korean public about chocolate and it’s origins, P.Chokko is one of the more unique chocolate shops in Seoul. Here, brothers Jon & Dan hold seminars, available in English by request, on chocolate making & cacao growing. They put an emphasis on Venezuela, where they were raised. Their current offerings include bags of El Rey Venezuelan chocolate, their line of flavored bars, chocolate treats on daily rotation, and drinking cocoa made from their own bean-to-bar chocolate.

At the end of 2018, the brothers finished building a chocolate factory in the basement of their shop. Over the course of 2019, they’ll be completely flipping their product line to bean-to-bar, and as of the publication their white and milk chocolates are all bean-to-bar made in Korea rather than Venezuelan couverture-based. My personal favorites are the caramelized chocolate-covered almonds and earl grey milk chocolate bar. The brothers are passionate about delicious chocolate with a purpose, and expanding their business into Venezuelan cacao distribution in Korea. I’ll continue to keep track of their efforts.

Address: 685-315 Seongsu 1(il)-ga 2(i)-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Ttukseom, Exit 8

Hours & Prices: 11am-5pm, Tue.-Sat. (₩12000-14000 per 60g 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 P.Chokko, they fill in a lot of the gaps that P.Chokko has as a chocolate shop. Petit doesn’t sell any drinks or chocolate bars as P.Chokko does, 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.

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)

Le Chocolat

Le Chocolat is sort of a unique case. The owner doesn’t sell bonbons at the moment, but rather chocolate drinks. Drawing upon his knowledge as author of a chocolate reviewing book, and with a decade in the chocolate industry, he crafts dozens of different chocolate- and coffee-based beverages. But while he primarily sells drinks, he also teaches chocolate drink-making classes, including a chocolate education component.

The owner speaks fine English and is an interesting character to know; as long as his experimental shop is open, I’ll keep him listed in this guide.

Address: Hoegi-ro 16-gil, Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Hoegi, Exit 1

Hours & Prices: 8am-9pm, Sun.-Fri. {break time 3pm-5pm} (₩6000 to ₩7500 per beverage)

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)

By Cacao

By Cacao’s cafe is bright white, a nice spot to relax and sip on a salted hot chocolate or dip into a melty chocolate brownie. At the moment they’re offering a small range of chocolate and coffee drinks, as well as chocolate-based baked goods, but bars and truffles are on the way. Their chocolate bread is a play on a less-sweet chocolate cookie, using generous amounts of their own chocolate, folded into a bread-like cookie.

By Cacao has space for over a dozen patrons, but if everyone were crowded in it would be harder to admire the machines chugging away in their tiny factory. Hint: look just to the left as you walk in. The cafe just opened in late 2018, and the owners started selling their bean-to-bar chocolates in November of that year. Right now they’re only using cacao from Ecuador, but are hoping to expand over the course of 2019.

Note that this is a great option for gluten-free chocolate pastries in Seoul.

Address: Seoul, Songpa-gu, Bangi-dong, 210-1, Macheon-ro 2 (Google Maps)

Metro Stop: Bangi, Exit 4

Hours & Prices: 11am-9pm, Tue.-Fri.; 12pm-9pm, Sat.-Sun. (~₩5000-7000 per bean-to-bar chocolate drink)


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 10-13, 2019.

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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