Whether you prefer the creamy goodness of alpine milk chocolate from Switzerland or the bold flavors of artisanal chocolates in Paris, there’s plenty of chocolate from different countries that all seem to taste absolutely incredible.
However, who has the best chocolates in the world? Obviously, there is no objective answer to that question.
However, what I CAN do, is give you the 15 countries with the best chocolates in the world. Then, once you’ve tried them all, YOU can decide which one is the best in your opinion!
Does that sound good? Great! Let’s go!
In search of the best cacao in the world
Before diving into the countries with the best chocolates in the world, let’s talk about the best cacao in the world.
Most of the world’s best chocolates are produced in Europe. However, all this would not be possible if not for the pristine cacao that is produced in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and South America (Brazil, Venezuela, and more).
Because most of these countries lie on the Equator, they have the ideal climate to grow the best cacao in the world. Once harvested, these cacao beans are shipped across the world to globally famous brands like Lindt and Godiva, where they are turned into the world’s best chocolates.
However, since cacao and chocolates are not the same, and I’m choosing to focus on the latter today, I just wanted to give a shout-out to acknowledge the hard work that goes behind the scenes for every chocolate bar we unwrap for a quick bite.
And with that, let’s kick on!
Countries with the best chocolates in Europe
Ask any chocolate lover which country produces the best chocolate in the world and many would probably say Switzerland.
As someone who adores milk chocolate, I find myself inclined to agree! After all, I can’t think of many others who can produce milk chocolate as well as the Swiss.
Perhaps that is why Switzerland is the country that consumes the most chocolate in the world.
Having tasted plenty of Swiss chocolates in my time, I would say the secret to Swiss chocolate lies in the pristine Alpine milk that is often incorporated into timeless recipes.
Light, creamy, and fragrant, milk from Alpine cows gives Swiss chocolate a distinctively rich taste that will charm the palette of any chocolate connoisseur.
Apart from household names like Lindt and Toblerone, there are plenty of other Swiss chocolate brands that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Not satisfied with just buying and eating chocolate? Then try making authentic Swiss chocolates yourself!
There are plenty of local chocolatiers that offer visitors a chance to make their own chocolates. You get to experience the entire process from bean to bar and yes, at the end of the day, you can take home your masterpiece and savor every last bite!
Here’s a fun fact for you: Belgium’s timeless tradition of chocolate-making dates all the way back to the 17th century! And back then, chocolate was a treat reserved only for the upper classes of society and for royalty.
I’m so glad that, over the years, chocolate became something that anyone can enjoy. Not being able to savor a Belgian chocolate truffle sounds almost too cruel a reality to even imagine.
However, Belgium’s biggest contribution to the world of chocolate came in 1912, when a doctor-turned chocolatier based in Brussels, Jean Neuhaus, invented a new form of chocolate that was buttery smooth on the outside and filled with a creamy ganache in the middle.
Thus was born the humble yet immensely satisfying Belgian praline!
Such is the popularity of Belgian pralines that if you were to visit Brussels today, you’ll find plenty of chocolate shops that let customers make their own pralines from scratch.
There are also factories that conduct tours, allowing you to see how expert chocolatiers masterfully transform cocoa beans and milk into world-class desserts.
If you’d rather just treat your palette, then stop by the original Neuhaus store at Galerie de la Reine and stock up on premium Belgian pralines. That, or satisfy your cravings with other Belgian chocolate brands like Godiva, Guylian, and more!
Not many people would think of Italy as a country of chocolate.
After all, most casual foodies know this Mediterranean country for their pizzas, pasta, and maybe tiramisu. But did you know that Italy is possibly responsible for one of the most important chocolate flavor combinations?
In the northern city of Turin, capital of the Piedmont region bordering France and Switzerland, you will find a thriving community that takes their chocolates very seriously.
Take a trip and you’ll quickly realize that there is a unique chocolate delicacy there known as gianduiotto (plural: gianduiotti).
This bite-sized ingot-shaped treat is arguably one of the earliest combinations of hazelnuts and chocolate! In fact, most of your favorite hazelnut chocolates come from Italy: Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, these are all Italian chocolate brands!
But chocolate isn’t just an after-meal treat for the Italians. Every year, between autumn and winter, local chocolatiers hold an incredible series of chocolate festivals throughout the country. The festivals span across Italy’s top chocolate-producing cities, like Turin and Bologna, and are a chocolate lover’s dream come true!
If you’re ever in Italy during “chocolate season” make sure not to miss this once-in-a-lifetime celebration of chocolate!
4. The United Kingdom
Much like Italy, the United Kingdom is usually not anybody’s answer to the question: “Who has the best chocolates in the world?” However, did you know that one of the biggest chocolate producers in the world is actually a UK chocolate brand?
Located in Birmingham, Cadbury is easily one of the most instantly recognizable confectioneries in the world.
With its iconic purple wrapper, Cadbury chocolates have been a staple in the industry, appearing in shops all over the world and enjoyed by both young and old. Even as a child growing up halfway across the world in Hong Kong, I was able to eat plenty of Cadbury chocolates!
That’s why when I visited Birmingham, one of the first places I went to was Cadbury World. Yes, being able to learn about the history of chocolate was fun for sure, but it was the chance to indulge in freshly made chocolates that really made it a memorable visit.
But apart from Cadbury, the United Kingdom also has plenty of local artisanal chocolate shops. Most of these are found in London, where you’d be able to sample anything from exciting chocolates made using exotic ingredients to timeless classic recipes made by hand.
No wonder Remus Lupin kept offering chocolates to Harry Potter!
For a treat as delicious as chocolate, it should come as no surprise that France, known for its culinary techniques and delicacies, counts itself among the countries with the best chocolates in the world.
For most of us in Asia, you’ve probably never had French chocolates. That’s because, unlike Switzerland or Belgium, France’s mass-produced chocolate industry is still comparatively young.
Its artisan chocolate scene, on the other hand, is a different story.
You see, France, Paris in particular, was one of the earliest major European cities that embraced the indulgence in chocolates. The first chocolate shop in the city, Debauve & Gallais, opened all the way back in 1800, originally as a dispensary that used chocolate as a medicinal tool.
But French chocolate has come a far way from back then. Paris is now a hotbed for talented chefs and aspiring chocolatiers who continue to produce some of the most delicious and eye-catching creations.
Even as you stroll along the busy streets, you’ll find plenty of chocolate shops and even those who have combined chocolates with famous French pastries, such as pain au chocolat, and eclairs.
Though it may not be the biggest exporter of chocolate, France is quickly becoming one of the biggest producers of chocolate in the world.
German chocolate is unique in the fact that it very often focuses more on flavor rather than sweetness.
Compared to other European chocolate countries, German chocolate brands, on average, produce more dark chocolate varieties and often deliver intense, rich flavors.
Take Ritter Sport, for example. It is arguably the most famous German chocolate brand in the world.
One of its signature products is a chocolate square that consists of whole roasted hazelnuts blanketed in a layer of milk chocolate. However, unlike most milk chocolates that are rich and creamy, the hazelnuts cut across the sweetness, offering a more balanced experience.
Apart from its own unique range of chocolates, Germany also celebrates its love for the classic treat in a unique way.
Schokoladenessen is a classic children’s game in Germany that involves having to eat as much chocolate as you can within a time limit. To make things challenging, the player has to open the wrappers while wearing gloves and using only common kitchen utensils!
I’m not saying you should join a game of Schokoladenessen, but hey, if the opportunity arises…why not?
Bordering both Germany and Switzerland, Austria is not one to be left behind when it comes to producing chocolates. While many of the more popular chocolates in Austria are imports, there is one kind of chocolate that they can rightly say is their own.
The Mozartkugeln is an incredibly unique chocolatey treat that comes from Austria. As the name suggests, it is an homage to the great Salzburg-born musician, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Invented in the same city where Mozart was born, Mozartkugeln is a flavorful combination of pistachio, marzipan, and nougat, all encased within a crisp layer of chocolate.
You can find Mozartkugeln almost anywhere in Austria.
But apart from this one-of-a-kind delicacy, Austria also has plenty of chocolate experiences to enjoy. In the romantic city of Vienna, you will find plenty of shops that make chocolate by hand and even offer visitors the chance to make their own!
Like Austria, Poland is an underrated gem when it comes to lists like this one.
However, it’s surprising because Poland is actually one of the biggest chocolate producers in the world, accounting for roughly 7% of the world’s chocolate exports in 2020!
Much like Austria, many of Poland’s most popular chocolate brands come from its neighboring countries, like Milka from Switzerland/Germany, and Kinder from Italy.
However, this landlocked European nation also boasts a famous local chocolate brand of its own: E. Wedel.
Founded in 1851, E. Wedel is a long-standing Polish confectionery with a stellar track record for producing some of the finest chocolates (and candies) in the country.
It is currently owned by South Korean-Japanese conglomerate, Lotte World, but continues to churn out delicious chocolate in its headquarters in Warsaw.
In addition, you can sign up for a tour of Manufaktura Czekolady, a local chocolate factory that produces bean-to-bar chocolates by hand. At the end of the tour, you can also participate in a hands-on workshop to make your own Polish chocolate.
Countries with the best chocolates in the Americas
9. The United States
Speaking of the biggest chocolate producers in the world, I simply have to talk about The United States.
After all, the largest chocolate company in the world, Mars Inc. (which produces and markets M&Ms, Galaxy, and Snickers), is based in the great US of A.
The history of chocolate in the U.S. stretch as far back as in some European countries. During the colonial era, chocolate was often consumed as a drink in the United States, a practice that was brought into the country by European settlers and colonists.
However, as time went by, the Americans started to make their own chocolate drinks which eventually evolved into the American chocolates of today.
Most United States chocolate brands carry a variety of chocolate bars and other confectioneries and candies.
Apart from Mars and all its affiliated products, Hershey’s is another famous brand that chocolate lovers all over the world will know. In fact, there’s even an entertainment complex known as Hershey’s Chocolate World!
As you might have guessed, this Pennsylvania-based attraction (with branches in Las Vegas and New York) includes tours, workshops, and even taste tests that are sure to excite all chocolate lovers with a sweet tooth!
Moving south along the American continent, we have Ecuador, a cacao-producing country widely known as the best dark chocolate producer in the world.
Ecuador’s perfect growing conditions allow it to produce world-class cacao beans, including the highly sought-after Arriba beans which make the world’s best dark chocolate. Most of the world’s most famous chocolate brands rely on Ecuador’s cacao beans to produce their famous chocolates.
While most of Ecuador’s cacao beans are exported to giant brands like Lindt, there are also plenty of chocolate shops in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It is here where you can sample the freshest, most authentic Ecuadorian chocolates, famed for their rich flavors and aromatic, fruity notes.
One Ecuadorian chocolate brand you can’t miss is Pacari. It is one of Ecuador’s biggest chocolate companies, with cacao farms all over the country. The scale of its operations is matched only by the deliciousness of its chocolate. Make sure to try it!
Countries with the best chocolates in Asia and Oceania
I admit Japan isn’t as well known for chocolates as many of the other countries on this list. However, The Land of the Rising Sun is secretly one of the best chocolate-producing countries in Asia.
Perhaps the disservice to Japan’s chocolate industry lies in the fact that most of its chocolates aren’t quite what western audiences are used to.
Instead of milk or dark chocolate, most of Japan’s chocolate products are more unique in terms of flavor and packaging.
For example, KitKats.
Even though KitKats are a Nestle product, Japanese KitKats are on a whole different level. Often infused with the unique flavors of Japan (such as matcha or sakura), Kitkats in Japan are but a teaser of what chocolates are like in the country.
It is, after all, Japan’s best-selling chocolate since its inception in 1926!
Another Asian country that is fast becoming a top chocolate producer in the region is Indonesia. Like most of South America and Africa, Indonesia lies along the equator.
Coupled with vast amounts of jungle terrain and fertile soil, this Southeast Asian country provides the perfect conditions to grow cacao beans.
But instead of exporting those beans, the country has decided to invest heavily in building up its own chocolate industry.
Thanks to the kaleidoscopic types of exotic ingredients, Indonesian chocolates are often infused with fruit, spices, and other staples ingredients of the local cuisine.
While there aren’t many globally-renown Indonesian chocolate brands (yet), there are plenty of artisanal and local chocolate companies where you can savor Indonesian chocolates. Most of them are found in the cities of Jakarta and beautiful Yogyakarta.
One up-and-coming brand I recommend you to try is Krakakoa, a bean-to-bar chocolatier that has already won multiple awards for its delicious and unique creations!
13. New Zealand
Growing up in a middle-class Hong Kong family in the 90s, New Zealand butter was always a sort of luxury for me. It was just so creamy and aromatic. It was only much later that I found out the secret was milk from New Zealand’s grass-fed cows.
This high-quality milk (often considered the best in the world) is also what pushes New Zealand into this list of countries with the best chocolates in the world.
When it comes to your typical chocolate bars, Whittakers is easily New Zealand’s most famous chocolate brand.
However, I’m sure many more of us are familiar with the giant conglomerate known as Nestle. As I wrote about in the bit about Japan, Nestle produces many of the world’s most famous chocolate treats, such as KitKats and Aeros.
That being said, many locals will tell you that the best New Zealand chocolates are actually the ones produced in humble artisanal shops in Auckland.
While I can’t confirm that myself yet since I’ve never been to New Zealand, visiting and sampling an artisanal chocolate shop is definitely something that is high on my New Zealand bucket list!
Bonus: Underrated countries with the best chocolates
Sweden may be more famous for its meatballs and seafood, but trust me when I tell you, Swedish chocolates will catch you by surprise.
Stockholm, in particular, is known for having plenty of scrumptious chocolatey creations, most of which are made with the highest quality ingredients by passionate chocolatiers.
From chocolate marshmallows and bars to whimsical creations that are almost too good to eat, Stockholm is just as diverse as even Paris when it comes to unique artisan chocolates.
In terms of local brands to try, you shouldn’t sleep on Marabou and Cloetta.
Marabou is easily the biggest Swedish chocolate brand, specializing in chocolate bars that come in all sorts of unique flavors. Cloetta, on the other hand, is more like a confectionery, offering a variety of delicious chocolate-covered candies to munch on.
However, if you want an authentic taste of true Swedish chocolate, then head to Chokladfabriken (known as The Chocolate Factory in English). Here, you’ll be able to sample all things chocolate, be it chocolate cake and delicately decorated chocolate or even just a warm cup of hot cocoa to warm you up.
Remember when I said the Aztecs were one of the earliest civilizations to enjoy chocolate?
Well, when the Spanish first discovered the goodness of cocoa from the Aztecs, they sent some back to their home country, where Cistercian monks were charged with turning the beans into hot chocolate for Spanish nobility.
Such was the secretive nature of the monks that it would be 100 years before chocolate became common knowledge in Europe!
Eventually, the locals began to modify the Aztec recipe, adding sugar cane and local spices like cinnamon to create even better-tasting chocolate.
Eventually, this would evolve into the chocolate recipes we all know and love today! That said, Spain doesn’t rank very high on this list of countries with the best chocolates simply because the country doesn’t eat as much chocolate as most other chocolate-producing countries.
However, chocolate remains an integral part of Spanish cuisine. Two things that come to mind as I say this are: ColaCao, a chocolatey malt drink that is often enjoyed for breakfast, and the chocolate dip that is often served with churros!
And there you have it: 15 countries with the best chocolates in the world!
Want more chocolates to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check out our comprehensive list of the best chocolates in Europe here!