To make a short story long: there are two types of people, the one that live in (or close to) Amsterdam and the ones who don’t. I have good news if you belong to the first category, but be prepared to be devastated if you are a non-Amsterdammer. If you at least visit the city regularly, or have some friends here, you might be fine (dear others, better get something to dry your tears).
An important confession first. I am a total shopping hater. Think of streets full of stressed out people carrying tons of bags with useless stuff that they found in soulless shops with horrible music1.
An entirely different story, however, is the nice, the good, the pleasant type of shopping which for me means visit food markets, specialty shops, freaky record stores, or tiny book shops… you know what I mean? Shops run by passionate people that know and love what they sell! A paramount example for this is Chocolátl, a small, beautiful shop with an exquisite selection of highest class chocolate bars, mostly single-origin chocolates made by small bean-to-bar manufacturers.
Since Erik and his wife Leslie opened the shop in 2010, Chocolátl has quickly gained an excellent reputation in the chocolate world and my impression is that they have a fast growing “fan base” of chocolate lovers and connoisseurs. Many of them probably only became so passionate about chocolate through the help of Chocolátl. Hardly surprising that Chocolátl is becoming increasingly admired and praised far beyond Amsterdam’s local scene.
Beautiful shop, fantastic chocolates, and a great team… what more do you want?
That’s really no wonder! Chocolátl does not only offer a great and diverse selection of amazing chocolate bars. What’s best about this place is definitely its incredibly helpful and enthusiastic team2 together with the possibility to actually taste samples of most chocolates in the shop. Faster than I thought I got so used to it that I was disappointed ever since when I saw nice chocolate bars in another shop and couldn’t taste them3.
Be it for a nice chat about chocolates, how to make them, how not to make them, or –of course- for tasting and buying many of the most fantastic chocolates available you should definitely pay Chocolátl a visit. You’ll hardly find a better place to fill your chocolate stocks. I can also highly recommend their more extended chocolate tastings which they call chocolabs. Sounds like a good place for a sweet matter physicist, right?4
- The place I will avoid the most on a regular Saturday is any shopping center or inner-city shopping street. Which brings me to my second confession: I order a lot of stuff online (while I also belong to the kind of people that bemoans the loss of the good-old boutiques and shops). I simply cannot motivate myself to support local stores if I spend more time there than I would do online only to pay more and –worst of all- to deal with incompetent sellers and listen to horrible music. [↩]
- The team, that’s Erik, Leslie, Debbie, Charlotte… all of which can entertain you with uncountable chocolate anecdotes, news, and details from the chocolate makers. [↩]
- Strange enough I am meanwhile really surprised that this concept is so rarely found in chocolate shops! [↩]
- Don’t worry, their chocolate tastings are neither academic nor snobby. If you want more about upcoming tasting, just write them a mail. I also wrote brief posts on one or two of the tastings that I joined. [↩]