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Vietnam Chocolate: Saigon Sôcôla Guide

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It would be offensive to send you to a Godiva Chocolate in Vietnam. It really would be. After all that I’ve seen of the chocolate and cacao production in this country, imported chocolates are not the focus in Vietnam— though the country has more than its fair share. High-quality, home-grown chocolate (sôcôla in Vietnamese) is the way forward, and lucky for us, there’s no shortage of it. Vietnam even has a bevy of cacao wine producers, and an amazing coffee scene.

Just remember to always keep an eye on your purchases.

Note that since the Siagon metro system has been planned for 2020 but not yet implemented, the best way to get around the city is by taxi or motorbike (both of which you can call for using Grab, a popular transportation app in Southeast Asia). Therefore, the best way to locate the shops is not by metro station, but by using offline maps & GPS after giving the address to your taxi driver. Only take MaiLinh or Vinasun taxis, and insist they use a meter. For more tips on planning a trip to Vietnam, check out this article.

Maison Marou Chocolat

Saigon Vietnam Chocolate Guide Marou Chocolate Truffles: Every single delicious chocolate shop in Saigon, Vietnam, packed into one post, PLUS one to avoid! This is your comprehensive guide to Vietnam's fast-growing craft chocolate scene. #ho #chi #minh #min #city #hcmc #saigon #vietnam #travel #wanderlust #foodie #chocolate #cacao #cocoa #local #must #eat #dessert #cafes #restaurants

If you’ve even just googled “chocolate in Vietnam,” Marou’s name certainly came up on top. The two Frenchmen behind the business (Samuel Maruta & Vincent Mourou) started it back in 2011, with the idea of making chocolate entirely in Vietnam. These days Marou is making tons of chocolate each year, all of it exclusively using Vietnamese cacao from six distinct origins in southern Vietnam, a choice they clearly celebrate in their cafes. Yes, plural. As soon as you walk in to their spacious Saigon chocolate shop, not only do you see a massive machine roasting cacao, but you smell the fruits of their labor and can even see into the kitchen.

While most of the Marou bars are available internationally, there are some cafe exclusives I feel it my duty to recommend to you. For beginning chocoholics, I’d recommend the signature chocolate drink over ice, and for the chocolate-obsessed I’d recommend the egg cream drink, a chocolaty play off of northern Vietnam’s egg coffee drink. Other cafe exclusives include their pastries, bonbons, and filled chocolate bars. As much as humanly possible, Marou sources all of their ingredients from within Vietnam, even going so far as to change their recipes to keep it local (like using Vietnamese cashews instead of imported almonds in their praline). Marou now also offers chocolate classes and tasting events at their cafe

Address: 167-169 Calmette, Phường Nguyễn Thái Bìn, Ho Chi Minh City, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 9am-10pm, daily {open until 11pm Fri-Sun} (100,000VND per 80g bar)

Belvie Chocolate

Saigon Vietnam Chocolate Guide Belvie Chocolate Maker Bars: Every single delicious chocolate shop in Saigon, Vietnam, packed into one post, PLUS one to avoid! This is your comprehensive guide to Vietnam's fast-growing craft chocolate scene. #ho #chi #minh #min #city #hcmc #saigon #vietnam #travel #wanderlust #foodie #chocolate #cacao #cocoa #local #must #eat #dessert #cafes #restaurants

Despite only being open since 2016, Belvie has already made a big name for itself in the international chocolate scene. Like Marou, the company has six origins of cacao from southern Vietnam, but they also sell bars from a few other makers who use Vietnamese cacao. On top of that, they offer cocoa wine, a large variety of drinks, cakes, bonbons, and free samples of each & every bar. I’ve yet to meet anyone who turns down free samples. After trying all the chocolates, you can buy big versions of any bar and mini versions of their 70% single origins.

Shop exclusives I’d urge you to sample are their creamy milk chocolate with nibs, and their smooth 100% and 85% bars, both of which are made in small batches from hand-selected beans. On both visits I found myself disappointed with the bonbons, which have very thick shells and weakly-flavored ganaches. The manager speaks very good English, and can answer any of your questions about the chocolate, or about Vietnam. During our visits, she explained that the name of the company actually comes from single origins, as well, those being Belgium (“Bel,” where the founder is from) and Vietnam (“Vie,” where the cacao is from).

Address: 84 Lý Tự Trọng, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 9am-10pm, daily (100,000VND per 80g bar)

Vietnam Chocolate House

The newest addition to the Saigon chocolate scene, Vietnam Chocolate House opened in summer 2019 as the country’s first shop to sell nearly a dozen Vietnamese bean to bar chocolate brands. While they offer their own flavored chocolate bark and a small drink menu, the main appeal of the shop is their incredible local selection. Makers from as close by as just a few blocks (Belvie) to a thousand kilometers (TBROS) are represented, and all up for sample. When you walk in you’ll see the chocolate barks first, and then the wall of nibs across from the tables of bars, set just in front of the exposed brick wall. The staff is quite helpful and speaks decent English

In the back there are a few tables at which to sip on a hot cocoa or a cacao tea. Chocolate makers I’d not yet heard of were represented with a variety of products, and the goal seems to be maintaining a selection of the best chocolates Vietnam produces. They also notably have cacao tea, cacao nibs with fruit, and a ton of mini-bars for those looking for a more unique or smaller chocolate fix. Note that we had some trouble with our card being overcharged on our first visit, but it was swiftly and professionally fixed.

Address: 281 Lý Tự Trọng, Phường Bến Thành, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 9am-9:30pm, daily (110,000+VND per 80g bar)

Stone Hill Chocolate

Saigon Vietnam Chocolate Guide Stone Hill Chocolate Maker Products: Every single delicious chocolate shop in Saigon, Vietnam, packed into one post, PLUS one to avoid! This is your comprehensive guide to Vietnam's fast-growing craft chocolate scene. #ho #chi #minh #min #city #hcmc #saigon #vietnam #travel #wanderlust #foodie #chocolate #cacao #cocoa #local #must #eat #dessert #cafes #restaurants

While they don’t have a store of their own in HCMC at the moment, Stone Hill is one of the most highly-regarded chocolate makers in Vietnam. Starting in the late 1990’s, the owner of the company began working with cacao farmers to grow high quality cacao in Vietnam and to classify that cacao into their dozens of different varieties. Fast-forward over two decades, and Stone Hill now makes their own chocolate, as well as a variety of cacao-based skincare and food products.

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Stone Hill’s new fruit and nibs cllection is delicious, and I’d recommend the mango or pineapple flavors. The entire family behind the brand has been an important force in moving Vietnamese cacao forward in both quantity and quality, and their delicious chocolate is solid proof of that. Note you can find Stone Hill products in several shops around Ho Chi Minh City, including Vietnam Chocolate House (above); please check their website for all locations.

Address: 113 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Bến Nghé (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 9am-9pm, daily (245,000VND per 90g bar)

Alluvia Chocolatier

Saigon Vietnam Chocolate Guide Alluvia Chocolatier Chocolate Bars: Every single delicious chocolate shop in Saigon, Vietnam, packed into one post, PLUS one to avoid! This is your comprehensive guide to Vietnam's fast-growing craft chocolate scene. #ho #chi #minh #min #city #hcmc #saigon #vietnam #travel #wanderlust #foodie #chocolate #cacao #cocoa #local #must #eat #dessert #cafes #restaurants

Despite the name, Alluvia is indeed a bean to bar chocolate maker. At their factory and cafe in Saigon, they sell all of their many milk and dark chocolate bars. Unlike Belvie and Marou chocolates, Alluvia only uses one origin of cacao, from their farm in southern Vietnam (supplemented by some cacao they buy direct from nearby farmers in Tien Giang). The focus at Alluvia is definitely to grow the Vietnamese cacao industry and encourage more farmers to cultivate high quality cacao in Vietnam.

Their cafe offers several variations of reasonably-priced chocolate and coffee drinks, as well as chocolate desserts, cacao powder, and cocoa butter. After trying all of their bars, the stand-outs to me are definitely the milk chocolate, which they offer both plain and with a variety of inclusions. Click the article linked above to read my in-depth reviews for each bar. Note that many Alluvia bars are now also available at the Duty Free shop in Ho Chi Minh City’s International Airport, so don’t despair if you can’t make it to their shop.

Address: No. 14 Street No.2, 13C Greenlife Residence, Nguyen Van Linh Boulevard, Bình Chánh Dist (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 8am-5pm, Mon.-Sat. (80,000-120,000VND per 80g bar)

Chocomin

Saigon Vietnam Chocolate Guide Chocomin Chocolate Bars: Every single delicious chocolate shop in Saigon, Vietnam, packed into one post, PLUS one to avoid! This is your comprehensive guide to Vietnam's fast-growing craft chocolate scene. #ho #chi #minh #min #city #hcmc #saigon #vietnam #travel #wanderlust #foodie #chocolate #cacao #cocoa #local #must #eat #dessert #cafes #restaurants

To be completely honest, this is more of a PSA than a full endorsement. I hadn’t heard of this brand before visiting the mall to pick up other bars, and I just stumbled upon this stand and bought a few bars. Don’t be fooled by the “bean to bar” label on the front; just looking at the ingredients you can see that it’s made from a cacao mass base. With mere surface-level research into the company I can see that it’s a moringa-focused rather than cacao-focused business.

The bars are cute, but consider this my warning for your taste buds. Their plain dark moringa bar smells intensely sweet and over-processed, though the final flavor is more brownie-like and flat. As for the milk chocolate moringa bar, the aroma is basically the same, but the flavor is strangely earthier and miraculously sweeter. It tastes like it’s half sugar, and that’s not a positive note.

Address: Hồ Chí Minh City, Bến Nghé, 65 Le Loi, District 1, Takashimaya, Level B2 (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 9:30am-9:30pm, daily (30,000-40,000VND per 25g bar)

Pheva Chocolatier

Saigon Vietnam Chocolate Guide Pheva Chocolatier Chocolate Bars: Every single delicious chocolate shop in Saigon, Vietnam, packed into one post, PLUS one to avoid! This is your comprehensive guide to Vietnam's fast-growing craft chocolate scene. #ho #chi #minh #min #city #hcmc #saigon #vietnam #travel #wanderlust #foodie #chocolate #cacao #cocoa #local #must #eat #dessert #cafes #restaurants

Unlike most chocolatiers, Pheva doesn’t offer bonbons or pastries, but only chocolate bars. I wish I’d realized this sooner, but they are not a bean to bar maker. Pheva’s goal as a company is to create affordable chocolates which share the flavors of Vietnam. Since Vietnam is a massive country, they have a lot of flavors, most of them created with a dark chocolate base. In line with their affordability concept, the company largely deals in mini bars, with one of their most popular items being their 6- and 12-piece boxes of mini bars.

With flavors like white chocolate pistachio and dark chocolate black pepper, it’s obvious that the commitment to Vietnam is there in their flavors and their branding. But the quality is not as high as I’d like it to be. It’s good for mall chocolate, but decent rather than amazing.

Address: Hồ Chí Minh City, Bến Nghé, 65 Le Loi, District 1, Takashimaya, Level B2 (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 9:30am-9:30pm, daily (80,000VND per 96g box of mini bars)

Cyrus Patisserie & Chocolaterie

Cyrus is one of those few Saigon cafes that serve food, real food, alongside the coffee. People certainly come in for the lattes and gorgeous sweets, but they stay for a piece of quiche (or two). On top of that, they offer a huge variety of French-style pastries, truffles, and macarons on regular rotation.

If you can’t stay for a cuppa, be sure to check out their boxes of bonbons and prepared chocolate treats for a little something to remember them by. Having been open just a few years, it’s the food and the friendly staff & ambiance that keep visitors coming back over & over.

Address: 96b Phan Ngu, Da Kao, D1, Ho Chi Minh, Hồ Chí Minh 700000 (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 8:30am-7pm, daily (28,000VND per truffle)

Legendary Chocolatier

Saigon Vietnam Chocolate Guide Legendary Chocolatier Truffles: Every single delicious chocolate shop in Saigon, Vietnam, packed into one post, PLUS one to avoid! This is your comprehensive guide to Vietnam's fast-growing craft chocolate scene. #ho #chi #minh #min #city #hcmc #saigon #vietnam #travel #wanderlust #foodie #chocolate #cacao #cocoa #local #must #eat #dessert #cafes #restaurants

From the outside in, this little shop is too cute to pass up. Although they only offer bonbons at the moment, their selection is huge and very Vietnam-inspired. From the typical fruit flavors and classics like rum raisin to the more out-there sesame or durian chocolates, there is definitely something for every chocolate lover. Like most of the other shops in this guide, Legendary is also well-situated in downtown Saigon.

However, I found the couverture chocolate they used to be of moderate to low quality. The fillings they make are nice, but both the milk and white chocolates left a powdery taste in my mouth, so I’d stick to the stronger flavors in order to avoid this side effect, or just buy from a different shop. The names for each of their two dozen flavors is provided in both Vietnamese and English.

Address: 46 Trương Định, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, 700000 (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 8am-9pm, daily (21,000VND per truffle)

D’Art Chocolate

With several locations across Vietnam, this is not just where you come to pick up a nice box of truffles; it’s where you can admire and purchase the edible art pieces. Whereas most all of the other chocolate shops in HCMC are focused on French style and fresh flavors, D’Art has both bonbons and bars as well as show pieces, like chocolate shoes or bars with your company logo on it.

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Their bonbons are quite affordable, and some of the prettiest in Vietnam, made with thin chocolate shells in a rainbow of colors. I’d recommend the Coconut Caramel or Passion Mango bonbons. Classy, but out there; head to D’Art for relatively inexpensive bonbons and a little something unexpected. For example, in 2017 the 9-year-old company debuted their line of single origin Vietnamese chocolate bars.

Address: 184 Đường Trần Hưng Đạo, Phường Nguyễn Cư Trinh, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 8am-9pm, daily (110,000VND per 85g bar)

A fair amount of Vietnam’s chocolate is consumed at origin, but most of it is still shipped abroad, in particular to Russia and Japan. However, in order experience all the perishable flavors unique to Vietnam, I cannot over-recommend a self-guided chocolate tour of Saigon.

Pro Tip: If you can’t make it to any of the cafes or just have a very limited amount of time in the city, head over to Chocolate House Vietnam. An alternative is Takashimaya Mall; on the B2 level in their gourmet grocery store you can find many Marou, Alluvia, and Belvie bars as well as imported chocolates.


If you found this guide to Vietnamese chocolate helpful, please pin it so that others can find it, too!

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Which Ho Chi Minh City chocolate shop do you want to check out first?

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Lee Scott Theisen

Sunday 12th of July 2020

Keep it up. You do such fine work. I envy you

Max

Monday 13th of July 2020

Haha thank you, Lee! Much appreciated. <3

9 Best Cities for Chocolate Lovers Around the World - A World to Travel.

Monday 1st of June 2020

[…] of how chocolate is made and why it’s important to buy local when you visit. Check out this guide to chocolate in Saigon to learn where to eat chocolate in Vietnam’s biggest […]

Ngo Tuan Hien

Saturday 19th of October 2019

Baria chocolate is one of the origin Vietnamese chocolate with its exceptional flavors and taste. In recent years, Baria cacao beans won many chocolate awards in Asian and world completions. The chocolatiers in Baria have taken their traditions, experience of hundred of years growing cacao in the rainforest in this barzan soil and the manufacturing technology from Euro to make a new era for Vietnam’s chocolate. Don’t miss a chance to enjoy those luxury taste chocolates.

Max

Saturday 19th of October 2019

I don't know about hundreds of years of growing cacao in Vietnam, but thank you for your input, Hien. Vietnamese cacao is definitely on the up-and-up.

Bangali Backpackers

Saturday 9th of June 2018

Such a wonderful list, Max! I'm surprised to hear that Vietnamese chocolate is so popular. I didn't know much about it till now. Of course, they're delicious!

Max

Saturday 9th of June 2018

Thanks! Yeah, Vietnamese chocolate is growing in popularity very fast, too. I was impressed by the quality overall!

josypheen

Saturday 9th of June 2018

Oooooh this looks amazing! I would never have even thought to google 'best chocolate in Saigon!' Now I know about it, I think I'd have to try some of these if we make it there!! Does the chocolate not all melt in the heat? Or do you just have to consume it quickly!?

Max

Saturday 9th of June 2018

I mean, I consume it quickly anyway... but no, for the most part it stays fine as long as you keep your room at a normal temperature or keep the chocolate in a cool cabinet! On the streets Id recommend asking for an ice pack, though. Happy chocolate adventuring, Josy!

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