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Vietnam Chocolate: Hanoi Sôcôla Guide

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Considering all the delicious chocolates in Vietnam— and the not-so-delicious— there are enough chocolate shops in Hanoi alone to keep you occupied for a full day. High-quality, home-grown chocolate (sôcôla in Vietnamese) is the future here, and luckily there’s no shortage of it. The country even has some cacao wine producers, and a thriving coffee scene.

Options of what to eat in Hanoi have expanded beyond bun cha and banh mi, booming into French-inspired desserts and even South American fusion cuisine. While some of Hanoi’s local chocolate is consumed at origin, much of it is shipped abroad, especially to Russia, China, and Japan. So even outside of the capitol city of Hanoi, you can probably still find brands like Marou Chocolate (see below) in your local craft chocolate shop. Now let’s get to the good stuff.

Pro-tip: the best way to get around Hanoi during your trip to Vietnam is by taxi or motorbike (both of which you can call for using Grab, a popular transportation app in Southeast Asia). Only take MaiLinh or Vinasun taxis, and insist they use a meter.

Maison Marou Hanoi

When you google “chocolate in Vietnam,” Marou’s name certainly comes up on top. The two Frenchmen behind the brand (Samuel Maruta & Vincent Mourou) started it back in 2011, with the goal of making chocolate entirely in Vietnam. Nowadays Marou is working on opening a third location after their original spot n Saigon and this cafe in Hanoi. Here you can try all 6 origins of their direct-trade Vietnamese chocolate.

The northern showroom for this Vietnamese chocolate maker is much larger than their shop in Saigon. Smack dab in the center of the financial district, they serve chocolate drinks, bonbons, and pastries, along with their signature bars. While I prefer the pastries at their Saigon location, their selection is the same here, with an attentive and helpful staff and a nice layout of seating options. If you so choose, you can relax and enjoy a coffee of cocoa, unlike in most other Hanoi chocolate shops. If you happen to go downtown, Marou is definitely worth a stop in.

Address: 91a Thợ Nhuộm, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam (see map below)

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

Pheva Chocolatier

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Just like their other locations across Vietnam, this Pheva shop in Hanoi sells little chocolate squares with Vietnamese flavors. They are not a bean to bar chocolate maker, like Marou is, but a seller of flavored chocolate bars. Their goal is to bring the local delicacies of Vietnam to the world through chocolate, but I find their bars to be overly sweet and flat in flavor.

With flavor additions such as peanuts and black pepper, it’s obvious that the commitment to Vietnam is there, both in their flavors and their branding. Yet there’s just something missing, and it’s not in the price tag. In typical Vietnamese style, they have quite nice packaging, but the chocolate inside left me uninspired. Make sure to try before you buy, as experiences always differ.

Address: 8B Phan Bội Châu, Cửa Nam, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 8am-7pm, daily (80,000VND per 96g box of mini bars)

Legendary Chocolatier

Despite showing up as a chocolate shop on Google, this location for Legendary Chocolatier is nothing more than a mall stand in Lotte Supermarket. There were 2 staffpeople giving out samples on the day I met, but there were no bonbons available (as in their Saigon location), just boxes of chocolate pieces and coated nuts. Some of the bars are made with compound chocolate (cocoa powder with vegetable oil and sugar), and others use real cacao & cocoa butter.

Be sure to read the labels carefully (through Google translate, if necessary). This is mostly included on the list so that you don’t come here expecting to sip on some coffee or cocoa.

Address: Tầng B1 Lotte Mart, 54 Liễu Giai, Cống Vị, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 14000, Vietnam (not on map below, for obvious reasons)

Hours & Prices: 8am-9pm, Mon.-Sat. (34,000VND per small “chocolate bar”)

D’Art Chocolate

With several locations across the country, including down in Saigon, D’Art is one of the oldest premium chocolate brands in Vietnam. In the Hanoi location I was disappointed that the staff hadn’t been adequately trained in the flavors of the chocolate, but they did their best to help us despite the lack of support. D’Art’s bonbons are sold in boxes, but also available at 23,000VND per piece. My favorite was the bright red speckled one pictured above (I think it was blackberry with milk chocolate ganache), but I couldn’t tell you the name, as they also don’t keep a guide to their flavors nor label each bonbon.

You can sample all of their chocolate bars before buying, both the Vietnam and Peru ranges, and I’d recommend doing that; I found the vanillin flavor to be overpowering. Despite that, I enjoyed the bonbons and would recommend you go there or to Marou to purchase any beautiful chocolate gifts you’d like to pick up in the city. As a brand, they’ve done good in building some chocolate culture in Vietnam.

Address: 18A Hàng Vôi, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 8:30am-8:30pm, daily (110,000VND per 85g bar)

Socola & Cocoa

What started out as the showroom for southern Vietnamese chocolate brand Kimmy’s, has become the northern outlet for small batch chocolate in Vietnam. This flower & chocolate shop carries bars and cacao-derived products from about half a dozen Vietnamese chocolate makers, and has samples of several. Here you can pick up chocolate cashew butter, candied cacao nibs, and chocolate bars of all types.

If you can only make it to one or two chocolate shops in Hanoi, make one of them here. They also dedicate half the shop to selling flowers. While the staff was kind and smiling, they didn’t speak much English (though that didn’t much impede our communication).

Also Read  9 Best Ethical Whole Foods Chocolate Brands & Bars

Address: 29 Nguyễn Chí Thanh, Ngọc Khánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: not posted, but open daily (110,000VND per 85g bar)

Azzan Chocolate Cafe

Using cacao from Buon Me Thuot, Azzan makes chocolate from tree to bar, some of which is sold in this shop. For the most part, they operate as a coffee & hot chocolate cafe, and for just 30,000đ, their iced chocolate is good (I love the addition of nibs in the bottom). But the shop itself smells exactly like an ashtray; I seriously couldn’t stay in there. If you stop by, be sure to get everything to go (they’ll bring your order outside).

Address: 3 Hoàng Sâm, Nghĩa Đô, Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 7:30am-5:30pm, daily {closes at 1pm on Sundays} (30,000VND per iced chocolate drink)

Tù Anh Chocolate

This shop is mostly online-focused. They sell compound chocolate from Belgium, shaped into flowers and hearts, delivered across Hanoi. We sampled their solid chocolates, and were very underwhelmed, though the staff was quite nice. I’m mostly including them here because you may stumble across them when searching for chocolate shops in Hanoi; I’m here to tell you that these are not the droids you’re looking for. In fact, I didn’t even put it on the map.

Address: Số 11 Ngõ 100 Trần Duy Hưng, Trung Hoà, Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội, Vietnam (not on map below, for obvious reasons)

Hours & Prices: by appointment & see site above

Belcholat Chocolatier

The staff was really nice, but that’s about the best thing I can say about this place. The decor looks nice, but the bonbons themselves are clearly made with fillings scooped from a bucket and sealed into pre-made chocolate shells. The flavors were very weak and all 4 truffles we got were the same color inside, reinforcing my bucket theory.

The passion fruit was the least offensive of the bunch. Beware that if you decide to come here, they have different levels of chocolate, including bars of compound chocolate (made with cocoa butter substitute instead of the real thing). Be sure to read the ingredients closely before you buy anything here. They’re on the map because, well, maybe you really like that kind of thing.

Address: 91A Triệu Việt Vương, Bùi Thị Xuân, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam (see map below)

Hours & Prices: 8am-10pm, daily (16,000VND per “bonbon”)

Also check out my podcast episode on chocolate & cacao culture in Vietnam.


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