Budapest is the city of pastries, but in recent years it’s been also gaining fame for fine chocolate delights. The number of boutiques offering handmade bonbons is on the rise, the design of these outlets as diverse as the products they purvey. From a sumptuous store on Andrássy út to an unpretentious Buda hangout, sweet shops sell masterfully shaped chocolates filled with cranberries, craft beer, even Madras curry.
A tiny nook on bustling Király utca encapsulates all things intoxicating in chocolate. Bonbons come in the flavours of Baileys, Hungarian pálinka, even summertime refreshment rosé spritzer. More mainstream fillings contain vanilla and fruits. These little treats are elegantly displayed on the shelves beneath glass cake stands. You’ll also find cake pops, where a small round piece of Sacher is coated with chocolate and fixed on the end of a stick. Sweets with Budapest design also feature.
The function of Cadeau is only revealed after a closer look at the shop window, embellished with tastefully broken chocolate pieces. Reminiscent of an antique pharmacy, this dimly lit outlet is the place to come for affordable bonbons, more traditional in their design, but not in their flavour. Wild pepper from Madagascar, a green-hued mojito concoction and matcha tea are just three of the unconventional varieties contained within these delights.
A whitewashed space at Jókai tér welcomes customers with a colourful collection of tempered chocolates, all featuring an identical shape reminiscent of glossy marbles. Within each bite-sized treat, fillings vary from maracuja to coconut and salted pistachio. However, the most distinct flavour here is Madras curry, south-Indian food enclosed in a sweet chocolate shell. Sampling this turmeric-heavy treat feels like taking a real spoonful of this spicy dish.
Buda’s steep Hattyú utca is where you’ll find one outlet of Cocó7, a workshop-and-confectionery fusion, selling coffee, bonbons and cakes. Appearing as a busy kitchen, the open in-house factory is where the chocolates are made to perfection, before being delivered for display at the counter. When sampling the heart-shaped treat containing Belgian beer, you’ll feel a hint of ale, while you should try the shop’s ginger-infused delicacy for a more tongue-tickling experience.
Wedged between high-end designer outlets, the flagship Budapest store of this historic Syrian-owned business is considered a palace of chocolates. Massive crystal bowls placed in the shop window contain artistic bonbons, intricately embellished with colourful flower motifs or moulded into the shape of the three wise monkeys. Within, polished glass counters showcase chocolates displayed in stylish gift packages or piece-by-piece. Signature products of Ghraoui, their candied fruit, are also available here.
Whether it’s Earl Grey, chestnut honey or crunchy praline, the taste of each Rózsavölgyi creation just explodes in your mouth. This assortment of award-winning delicacies has also earned international fame when this pocket-sized store was selected by prestigious magazine Condé Nast Traveler among the world’s greatest shop for fine chocolate concoctions. The business, also selling whole chocolates, is tucked away in a District V side street.