When one thinks of Switzerland, chocolate almost inevitably springs to mind, so how did this small country ever become chocolate paradise?
It all began in 1819, with François Louis Callier, the man who figured out a way to turn gritty cocoa beans into a solid, smooth chocolate bar and opened the first chocolate factory in Switzerland.
Fast-forward to 1875, when his son-in- law Daniel Peter developed a recipe to combine cocoa powder with milk (thank the Swiss cows for that!) and milk chocolate became an instant sensation.
While most Swiss chocolate brands can now be found in shops the world over, visitors should not miss out on the gourmet experience of tasting exquisite locally handcrafted chocolate.
Here’s our pick of some of Geneva’s finest chocolate boutiques. Most places are also tea-rooms, so you can enjoy your chocolate tasting experience with coffee, tea or even hot chocolate if you’re feeling indulgent!
Founded in 1875, this prestigious chocolaterie has a line up of illustrious fans including Winston Churchill, Grace Kelly and JF Kennedy. Du Rhône’s irresistible little treats and its award-winning Mocca Glacé can also be savoured in the relaxed atmosphere of it’s comfortable tea-room.
Rue de la Confédération, 3 — 1211, Geneva
Opened in 1939, this chocolaterie is still run by the Auer family. House specialties include Pavé Glacé and Amandes Princesses, considered to be the best chocolate covered almonds in town. The tiny tea-room serves delicious hot chocolate and delicate little cakes aux pignons (pine kernels).
Auer Chocolatier SA, Rue De Rive, 4 — 1204, Geneva
For over 70 years now, the Rohr family has been delighting chocolate lovers with unique creations and their signature Pavé de Genève (literally, Geneva pavement stone) still made from its original recipe, a closely guarded secret since 1936.
Place du Molard, 3 – 1204 Genève
The ideal place to stop if you’re strolling through the Old Town. Specialties include more than 40 types of heavenly pralines and truffles. And while the shop is closed on Sundays you can enjoy your chocolate tasting any day in the tea-room or on the terrace over looking the picturesque square.
Place du Bourg-de-Four, 12 — 1204, Geneva
This award-winning chocolatier brings a French touch to the art of Swiss chocolate-making, with his melt-in-your-mouth creamy ganache infused with natural flavours of fruits and herbs, coated with wafer thin chocolate. Beautifully decorated creations and over 50 flavours to choose from!
Passage des Lions – 1204 Genève