WellingtonEat & Drink
Artisanal dark chocolate bars, imprinted with a floral design, on a baking sheet at the Wellington Chocolate Factory.

The bean-to-bar scene: Artisan chocolate in Wellington

What better way to explore the capital than searching for the finest chocolate on offer? Whether you’re mad about milk chocolate or deep into the dark, you’ll be amazed by the talented artisans you discover in Wellington. From traditional European-style chocolatiers to bean-to-bar makers crafting chocolate straight from cacao beans. The perfect treat awaits every type of chocolate lover.

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The first stop on your chocolate itinerary should be Wellington Chocolate Factory on Eva Street. Here you’ll find organic and fair-trade chocolate made fresh from Pacific Islands and Central American beans. Be sure to book a factory tour if you want to learn about the bean-to-bar process and have a go at making your own bar. Otherwise, a hot chocolate and a brownie will set you up nicely for a day of chocolate-fuelled exploration. 

While you’re in the city centre, be sure to pop into Bohemein Fresh Chocolates on Featherston Street. Jiri Havlik opened the chocolate shop in 2005 using skills learnt in his native Czech Republic. Prepare yourself for row upon row of expertly crafted bonbons and truffles, from classic caramels to more experimental creations. Flavours like balsamic vinegar and honey or pineapple black pepper will equally challenge and delight your tastebuds. This is a great place to pick up your Kiwi-classic chocolate fish. Don’t worry, they’re filled with marshmallows — not actual fish.

Now it’s time to head out to the suburbs, starting with Baron Hasselhoff’s in Berhampore. Co-owner and “Chief Chocolate Disciple” Clayton McErlane creates fun bean-to-bar treats with unique flavours. His boundary-pushing creations range from molé spices to his take on cinnamon doughnuts. This is a good opportunity to taste some of New Zealand’s award-winning truffles, alongside single-origin hot chocolate and spiced Mexican chocolate chip cookies.

A little further south in Lyall Bay you’ll find Kate Necklen at Wonderland Chocolate. Kate specialises in plant-based milk chocolate bars and vegan caramels. As soon as you walk into the factory shop you’ll smell freshly-roasted cacao being ground into silky-smooth chocolate. Grab a strawberry and champagne bar for a treat as you walk along the beach.

Over in the historic suburb of Thorndon, you’ll find La Petite Artisan Chocolate. Found in Tinakori Village, this French-inspired chocolatier creates innovative and irresistible treats that look almost as beautiful as they taste. The family-run business is owned by Sel and Asli Gider, foodies with experience across the globe in all things delicious. You can’t go wrong with classics like espresso, rum and raisin, and hazelnut bonbons. For those with a more adventurous palate, the premium gin dark chocolate bar is a must.  

Speaking of adventure, it is well worth taking a trip over the Remutaka Hill to visit Schoc Chocolates in Greytown. Here you’ll find over 60 flavours of chocolate bars, including bestsellers like lime chilli and crazy creations like the curry and pappadums bar. If you’re lucky, you might meet owner and ‘Chocologist’ Murray Langham. He combines his psychology expertise with a love of chocolate. Murray claims he can interpret your personality based on which chocolates you choose. 

A staff member arranging chocolates in the glass cabinet inside The Chocolate Story/

Petone’s The Chocolate Story uses timeless French and European recipes, adapted for local ingredients.

Over in Petone in Lower Hutt, The Chocolate Story offers a range of delicious handmade treats. Owner Brett Nicholls follows a simple ethos of quality ingredients and classic recipes, adapted for the local climate. Beautifully presented, his chocolates are available at his Jackson Street store.

If you only have a short time in Wellington, be sure to pop into Moore Wilson’s. This foodie haven is a great place to find multiple chocolate brands from across the region, including makers who don’t have a physical shop, such as Lucid Chocolatier, Shirl & Moss, and Be Happy Chocolate.