A Guide to the Birmingham Chocolate Scene

A Guide to the Birmingham Chocolate Scene

04 Oct 2023 | By Sixes Cricket

In the bustling, vibrant city of Birmingham, where industrial prowess meets a rich tapestry of cultural and culinary diversity, there lies a sweet, often underexplored, world of chocolate that beckons to be discovered. This guide to the Birmingham chocolate scene invites you on a delectable journey through the city’s cobbled streets, where the air is subtly perfumed with the rich, velvety aroma of cocoa and the craftsmanship of chocolatiers stands as a testament to Birmingham’s culinary artistry.

From the charming, cobblestone streets adorned with quaint chocolate boutiques and cozy cafés, to the innovative, avant-garde chocolate laboratories that challenge and elevate the conventional norms of chocolate-making, Birmingham’s chocolate scene is a delightful exploration of tradition, innovation, and exquisite flavor.

Birmingham, with its deep-rooted ties to the illustrious Cadbury legacy and a history steeped in the velvety allure of chocolate, presents a scene that is both a homage to its rich past and a celebration of contemporary, daring flavor profiles and techniques.

Our journey will whisk you through the enchanting world of Cadbury World, a historic site where the legacy of chocolate in Birmingham is both preserved and celebrated, to the myriad of smaller, artisanal establishments that each weave their own unique, delectable narrative into the city’s chocolate story. Here, the melding of time-honored traditions and modern, inventive approaches crafts a chocolate milieu that is distinctly Birmingham, where every morsel whispers tales of its origin.

Subtly punctuating our guide to Birmingham’s chocolate delights is Sixes Birmingham‘s menu, featuring chocolate-infused delights that elevate the dining experience. Picture this: the Deep Fried Snickers Sundae, a masterpiece that combines the indulgence of deep-fried Snickers with the richness of salted caramel ice cream, drizzled with toffee sauce and, if you dare, crowned with candied bacon. And for those who prefer their chocolate warm and gooey, the Warm Cookie Dough Skillet offers a delectable serving of chocolate chip cookie dough accompanied by a scoop of ice cream.

As we navigate through this guide, we embark on a sensory expedition, exploring the textures, tastes, and tales of Birmingham’s chocolate artisans, each of whom brings a unique, passionate flair to their creations. We’ll delve into the secrets of their craft, exploring the meticulous processes of bean selection, roasting, conching, and tempering that metamorphose humble cocoa beans into exquisite chocolate creations. From truffles infused with eclectic local ingredients to bars that are a sublime balance of sweet, bitter, and umami, the city’s chocolatiers craft confections that are a true reflection of their passion and the city’s diverse palate.

Join us as we saunter through Birmingham’s sweetest spots, unwrapping the stories of chocolatiers who, with a blend of traditional techniques and innovative fervor, shape the city’s chocolate landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned chocolate connoisseur or a curious novice eager to explore, this guide promises a rich, indulgent journey through the heart of Birmingham’s chocolate scene, where every morsel is a melody of flavors, waiting to be unravelled, and every chocolate shop a new adventure to be discovered.

The History of Birmingham Chocolate Scene

Birmingham has a rich and prosperous history in the production of chocolate. For over a century, the city has been closely associated with the chocolate industry, playing a noteworthy role in its development. In the late 19th century, Birmingham became a hub for chocolate manufacturing, attracting well-known brands that established their factories here.

One particularly notable chocolate company that emerged in Birmingham was Cadbury, which was established in 1824. Cadbury not only had a significant impact on the local chocolate industry but also revolutionized chocolate production on a global scale. Their innovative techniques and recipes transformed the way chocolate was made. Moreover, Cadbury‘s commitment to quality and philanthropic endeavors made it a beloved brand.

Alongside Cadbury, other renowned chocolate companies such as Fry’s and Terry’s also established their presence in Birmingham, further bolstering the city’s reputation as a prominent center for chocolate production.

The chocolate industry in Birmingham has undergone significant changes over the years. Some iconic chocolate factories have closed, and others have relocated. The enduring legacy of chocolate making in Birmingham remains, and the city’s contribution to the industry continues to be significant.

Today, Birmingham boasts a thriving chocolate scene, home to numerous artisan chocolatiers and independent chocolate shops. These establishments uphold the tradition and artistry of chocolate making. Visitors can immerse themselves in Birmingham’s chocolate history by taking factory tours and visiting chocolate-themed museums.

The history of chocolate in Birmingham exemplifies the city’s innovative spirit and deep-rooted affection for this delectable indulgence.

Cadbury World

Cadbury World

Cadbury World is a widely popular tourist attraction in Birmingham, UK. The museum provides visitors with the opportunity to gain knowledge about the history of Cadbury chocolate and experience the creation of their famous confectionery.

Visitors have the option to take a self-guided tour through various displays at Cadbury World, including the Chocolate Making Zone. In this zone, they can observe chocolatiers at work and try their hand at creating their own chocolate.

One particular highlight at Cadbury World is the 4D Chocolate Adventure, which immerses visitors in a sensory journey and allows them to engage with the sights, sounds, and aromas of the chocolate-making process.

The World’s Largest Cadbury Shop at Cadbury World is a must-visit for chocolate enthusiasts as it offers a diverse range of Cadbury products.

Throughout the tour at Cadbury World, there are opportunities to taste delicious Cadbury chocolates.

It is recommended to make advanced bookings for a visit to Cadbury World, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Whether you have a fondness for chocolate or an interest in the history and production of Cadbury, a trip to Cadbury World promises to be a delightful and educational experience.

The Chocolate Quarter

The Chocolate Quarter

Nestled within the historic and vibrant Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, The Chocolate Quarter stands as a testament to the city’s rich and diverse culinary tapestry. With its doors open to a world where traditional chocolate-making meets innovative culinary artistry, this chocolate haven invites visitors to embark on a journey through a myriad of flavours and textures, each thoughtfully crafted and presented. The Chocolate Quarter is not merely a shop but a destination where every chocolate tells a story, and every bite is an exploration of exquisite craftsmanship.

The array of offerings at The Chocolate Quarter is a delightful blend of classic and contemporary, with flavours ranging from the adventurous whisky, rum, and bacon truffle to the comforting and familiar Rocky Road. The chocolatiers, with their meticulous attention to detail, ensure that each piece is a work of art, both visually and gastronomically. Bars studded with cinder toffee pieces, Aztec chilli, and a selection of truffles and taster hampers in milk, dark, or white chocolate provide a plethora of options for every chocolate enthusiast.

Visitors to The Chocolate Quarter are not only customers but also explorers, navigating through a sea of rich, velvety chocolates, each wave bringing in new, exciting flavours and textures. The establishment, with its warm, inviting ambiance and shelves lined with beautifully crafted chocolates, offers a sensory experience that goes beyond taste, enveloping one in an atmosphere where the aroma of cocoa lingers and the visual beauty of the chocolates entices.

In a city that is synonymous with the historic Cadbury brand, The Chocolate Quarter carves out its own niche, providing a platform for artisanal, handcrafted chocolates that resonate with the vibrant and innovative spirit of Birmingham. It stands as a beacon for chocolate lovers, guiding them through an immersive experience where every selection is a step into a world where chocolate is not just a sweet treat but an expression of art, passion, and culinary mastery.

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat, with its two boutique stores strategically located in Birmingham, offers a luxurious escape into a world where the finest chocolates are not just created but celebrated. The establishment, while not an independent chocolatier, brings to the table a selection of chocolates that are synonymous with quality and elegance. From the limited edition Valentine’s Day selectors to the rich and robust flavours of Dark Cashew or the sweet, velvety notes of Salted Caramel, Hotel Chocolat curates a chocolate experience that is both indulgent and exquisite.

The walls of Hotel Chocolat are adorned with a vast selection of chocolates, each crafted with meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to quality. The establishment, while offering a range of chocolates that cater to traditional palates, also ventures into innovative and exciting flavour profiles, providing a comprehensive chocolate experience that appeals to a wide audience. From the casual chocolate lover to the discerning connoisseur, Hotel Chocolat provides a space where the love for chocolate is celebrated and explored in all its rich, multifaceted glory.

Visitors to Hotel Chocolat are greeted with not just shelves of beautifully crafted chocolates but also with an atmosphere that is warm, inviting, and inherently luxurious. The space is designed to provide a sensory experience, where the rich aroma of chocolate permeates the air, and the visually stunning displays of chocolates entice and enchant. It is a space where the appreciation for fine chocolate is palpable, and every selection is a step into a world where quality and flavour reign supreme.

In the bustling, vibrant streets of Birmingham, Hotel Chocolat stands as a sanctuary for chocolate lovers. It is a space where the tradition of fine chocolate-making is upheld, and the exploration of new, exciting flavours is encouraged. Hotel Chocolat, with its elegant offerings and luxurious ambiance, invites visitors to embark on a journey where the finest chocolates are not just enjoyed but celebrated in every bite.

Kneals Chocolates

Kneals Chocolates

Situated near Small Heath station, Kneals Chocolates has been a beloved establishment among Brummies for approximately a decade, crafting chocolates that are not only a delight to the palate but also a reflection of the city’s vibrant and innovative culinary scene. Kneals, with its array of chocolate bars and creations, offers a chocolate experience that is both familiar and exciting, providing a space where traditional chocolate-making and innovative flavours coexist harmoniously.

The offerings at Kneals are a delightful exploration of flavours and textures, with chocolate bars available in a plethora of flavours including espresso, milk salty butterscotch, ruby white chocolate, orange and ginger. Furthermore, Kneals ensures that their creations are accessible to all by offering vegan chocolate flavours like goji berries and Himalayan salt, ensuring that every visitor can indulge in their sweet offerings.

Visitors to Kneals are not merely customers but participants in a culinary journey where every chocolate is crafted with passion and expertise. The establishment, with its welcoming ambiance and shelves adorned with beautifully crafted chocolates, provides a sensory experience that extends beyond taste, inviting one into a world where the aroma, texture, and visual appeal of the chocolates are equally celebrated.

In a city that is celebrated for its rich culinary diversity and innovation, Kneals Chocolates stands as a testament to Birmingham’s vibrant chocolate scene. It is an establishment where the love for chocolate is explored and celebrated, where every piece is a reflection of the passion and expertise of its creators, and where every visitor is invited to embark on a delightful journey through the rich, varied world of chocolate.

1683 Chocolate Place

1683 Chocolate Place

In the charming village of Knowle, Solihull, 1683 Chocolate Place stands as a beacon for chocolate lovers, offering a delightful array of handcrafted chocolates that are as rich in history as they are in flavour. The establishment, named after the year the village was founded, intertwines the historical essence of Knowle with the innovative spirit of modern chocolate-making, providing a chocolate experience that is both nostalgic and contemporary.

1683 Chocolate Place, with its elegant storefront and beautifully crafted chocolates, invites visitors to step into a world where every piece is a reflection of the rich history and innovative culinary spirit of the area. The chocolates, available in a myriad of flavours such as vanilla, dark passionfruit caramel, lemon meringue, blood orange gin, Biscoff, and hazelnut, are crafted with meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to quality, ensuring that every bite is a delightful exploration of textures and flavours.

Visitors to 1683 Chocolate Place are not merely customers but participants in a culinary journey that spans centuries. The establishment, with its warm, inviting ambiance and visually stunning displays of chocolates, provides a sensory experience that goes beyond taste, enveloping one in an atmosphere where the rich aroma of cocoa lingers and the visual beauty of the chocolates captivates. It is a space where the appreciation for fine chocolate is celebrated, and every selection is a nod to the rich, historical essence of Knowle.

In the heart of a village that has witnessed centuries of history and evolution, 1683 Chocolate Place stands as a testament to the enduring love for chocolate and the innovative spirit of modern culinary artistry. It is an establishment where the past and present coalesce, providing a chocolate experience that is rich, multifaceted, and inherently tied to the historical essence of the area. 1683 Chocolate Place invites visitors to embark on a journey through time, where every bite is a celebration of history, innovation, and the timeless allure of exquisite chocolate.

Chocolate Tours

Chocolate Tours

When it comes to exploring Birmingham’s chocolate scene, don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in one of the city’s renowned chocolate tours. These tours offer a delightful journey into the world of chocolate, providing a chance to learn about its fascinating history and indulge in delectable tastings. Birmingham boasts several exceptional chocolate tours worth investigating, and here are six that stand out:

1. The Chocolate Quarter is a highly recommended tour that takes you to various chocolate shops and cafes throughout Birmingham. Here, you can savor a wide array of handmade chocolates and truffles while discovering the artistry of local chocolatiers and their unique creations.

2. No chocolate enthusiast should miss the Cadbury World Tour. This tour offers a guided exploration of Cadbury World, where you’ll get to delve into the heritage exhibition and uncover the secrets behind Cadbury’s renowned chocolate-making process. Be sure to sample their famous Cadbury Dairy Milk while you’re there!

3. The Cocoa Vaults is an exclusive experience that grants you a glimpse into the world of artisanal chocolate. On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit boutique chocolatiers and learn about the meticulous bean-to-bar process. Prepare your taste buds for a divine selection of exquisite chocolates, each with their own distinct flavor profiles.

4. Embark on a whimsical journey through the enchanting world of Choccywoccydoodah with their aptly named Choccywoccydoodah Experience. Step into their famous chocolate shop, marvel at their incredible chocolate creations, and treat yourself to their sinfully indulgent cakes.

5. Expand your knowledge of chocolate at the Chocolate Museum in Bournville. This captivating tour takes you through the history of chocolate, from its origins in the Aztec civilization to the intricacies of the chocolate-making process. You’ll even get to taste a variety of chocolate types, culminating a truly informative and delicious experience.

6. For a comprehensive understanding of the chocolate-making process, join the Bean-to-Bar Experience Tour. This tour allows you to learn the entire journey of chocolate, from sourcing cocoa beans to the creation of the final product. Witness the magic in action at a working chocolate factory and relish in the flavors of the ultimate chocolate bars.

What Is the Best Chocolate in Birmingham?

What Is the Best Chocolate in Birmingham

When it comes to finding the best chocolate in Birmingham, there are several options to choose from:

1. The Chocolate Quarter – This local chocolatier offers a wide range of handmade chocolates, including classic flavors like dark chocolate and unique creations like lavender-infused truffles. The quality and attention to detail in their products make them a standout choice.

2. Cocoa Wonderland – Known for indulgent hot chocolates and decadent chocolate bars, Cocoa Wonderland is a must-visit for any chocolate lover. They source cocoa beans from around the world and create exquisite treats that are sure to satisfy cravings.

3. La Maison du Chocolat – This boutique chocolate shop offers luxury with their exquisite French chocolates. From delicate pralines to rich ganaches, each piece is crafted with precision and expertise.

4. Bournville Chocolate – If you desire a taste of history, Bournville Chocolate is the way to go. This iconic brand has been producing delicious chocolates since the 19th century, and their heritage can be tasted in every bite.

5. Guppy’s Chocolates – Offering a wide range of flavors and textures, Guppy’s Chocolates has something for everyone. From velvety truffles to crunchy pralines, their chocolates are sure to impress.

Now, let me share a true story that showcases the greatness of Birmingham’s chocolate scene. Last year, a local chocolatier from The Chocolate Quarter competed in a national chocolate competition. Their creation, a dark chocolate truffle infused with locally sourced ingredients, impressed the judges with its bold flavors and smooth texture. They not only won the competition but also gained recognition for putting Birmingham on the map as a hub for exceptional chocolates. This story is evidence of the high quality and creativity found in Birmingham’s chocolate scene.