Explore the best chocolate shops in Geneva with the Choco Pass
Explore the best chocolate shops in Geneva with the Choco Pass
Praline, gianduja and other ganache lovers: get your golden ticket for a mouth-watering journey in the real chocolate factory that is Geneva!
What child hasn’t dreamed of stuffing his or her face in a chocolate shop? What foodie hasn’t wanted to nibble on those deliciously wrapped sweets that gleam in the windows of upmarket stores? Geneva Tourism gives you the opportunity to fulfil your dreams thanks to a golden ticket, the aptly named “Choco Pass”, which will open the doors of some of the city’s best chocolate makers.
Valid 24 hours, the Choco Pass takes you on a discovery of some of the specialities for which the city is famous: Geneva pavés (luscious cobblestone-shaped chocolate sprinkled with cocoa powder), avelines, chocolate truffles with Gruyère double cream or Grand Cru hot chocolates. A selection of shops gives you the opportunity to taste these creations or to take them with you in a nifty little packet to eat them later – or even to do a spot of shopping, as the Pass also grants you a 10% discount on any purchase!
Ideal for families, the Pass is aimed at both experienced chocolate connoisseurs and children, since a particularly attractive “Choco Pass Kids” (for CHF 6 only!) offers a child-friendly selection of cocoa goodies. The concentration of chocolate makers in the city centre makes the self-guided tour easy and the route can be enjoyed on foot, with a short boat trip across the harbour to put the icing on the cake…
You’re free to choose where to start your egg hunt, but we recommend you begin with a Grand Cru hot chocolate at La Bonbonnière. Located on the left bank, not far from the Rond-point de Rive (rue Pierre Fatio 15), this pretty bar with caramel-coloured walls offers a selection of about 30 hot chocolates, with a cocoa content ranging from 33% to 100%. The drink is accompanied by a small selection of pralines, candied oranges and, of course, Geneva pavés.
Just a stone’s throw from the bar lies another prestigious Geneva brand, Du Rhône Chocolatier (rue du Rhône 118), whose pavés are said to have been Sir Winston Churchill’s favourites… The 2018 award-winning café-chocolatier offers, among other things, exclusive dark chocolate from Sao Tomé (63% cocoa), milk or dark chocolate “Noble du Rhône” sprinkled with gold and silver leaf, tantalizing truffles and praline spreads.
Across the street lies the delightful Stettler & Castrischer (rue du Rhône 69). The Geneva pavé experts won an award in 1954 and continue to offer quality chocolates. Most importantly, Maison Castrischer creates toothsome Black Forest cakes (not included in the tasting!), whose legendary recipe has kept generations of Geneva foodies delighted over the years and dates back to 1964. Children will especially love the crunchy, chocolate-covered hazelnuts…
Still in the Rues Basses, where high-end boutiques rub shoulders with the biggest international brands, head for the great Favarger (rue de Rive 11), whose welcoming shop features old machines and eye-catching chocolate creations. This is a taster’s paradise, as you can nibble on a variety of chocolate nuggets all over the store, including of course the avelines that have made the brand so famous. The selection here is particularly generous!
If you follow the Rue de Rive, you’ll arrive at Place Longemalle where the charming Zeller (Place Longemalle 1) is located. Its traditional craftsmanship has been delighting the taste buds of young and old alike since 1959. In addition to Geneva pavés and chocolate-dipped orangettes, the artisan chocolatier offers “mussels from the lake” (a mussel-shaped chocolate filled with chocolate mousse and nougatine) and seasonal creations. The terribly cute chocolate mouse will undoubtedly delight your children…
The rest of this scrumptious experience takes place on the right bank, which you can reach on one of Geneva’s shuttle boats, “les Mouettes”. Leaving from the Molard pier, next to the Jardin anglais and its famous flowered clock, and heading towards Pâquis, the little yellow motorboat cuts through the turquoise waters and passes under Mont-Blanc bridge to reach the quay of the same name, offering some gorgeous views of the harbour.
Located not far from the Mont-Blanc jetty, seek out the trendy Sweetzerland (rue du Mont-Blanc 5). In a stylish, wood- and mountain-inspired setting, the shop offers fine chocolate creations, including exceptional truffles with Gruyère double cream caramel and a hint of salt crystals from the Swiss Alps and chocolate-covered almonds to die for! Featuring organic products, alcohol-free, without palm or vegetable oil, the master chocolatier’s approach is resolutely modern and eco-friendly, while offering colourful, finger-licking sweets.
Finally, the newcomer to the city centre and the last chocolatier on the route, Canonica (rue Rousseau 9), is a three-minute walk away. Founded in 1948, the shop now relies on the expertise of head chocolatier Samuel Romagné, winner of the Grand Prix du Chocolat Artisanal de Genève in 2016, who offers, among other things, a classic dark chocolate ganache (the “Canonica”), Matterhorn-shaped chocolates (“Cervin lait”) and “moulded bonbons” – chocolates with fruity fillings and flamboyant colours.
In a nutshell, the Choco Pass will take you on a mouth-watering journey to the heart of Switzerland’s chocolate-making tradition. It’s a great way to check out Geneva’s best chocolate makers and stack up on chocolate. As a family, as a couple or solo, this immersion in the city’s luscious history will fill your mind and belly with unforgettable treats!
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