From Cheshire market stalls to historic Lancashire mansions, Manchester’s independent chocolate retail scene comprises a world class mixture of new-age artisanal experimentalists and imposingly renowned legacy chocolatiers.

In celebration of International Chocolate Day (Thu 7 Jul), here are the city’s best spots for independent, locally sourced chocolate.

Cocoa Cabana | Didsbury & Ancoats

Beginning eight years ago in West Didsbury as a chocolatier and tea room, Cocoa Cabana has since expanded to a grateful Ancoats with a cafe and cocktail bar. While the Didsbury branch provides the best afternoon tea in South Manchester as their city centre joint hosts cocktail-making classes and tasting nights, both specialise in sumptuous hand-crafted chocolate, both traditional and experimental, made entirely on the premises with locally-sourced ingredients and ‘a Cocoa Cabana twist’.

168 Burton Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 1LH7 | Murray Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6HS
Dormouse Chocolates | Deansgate

Operating out of Great Northern Warehouse on Fridays and Saturdays, Dormouse Chocolates is a multi-award winning, single estate-focused, ‘bean to bar’ chocolatier with world-class produce achieved through a commitment to transparent trading methods in place of ‘commodity cacao’. Ethical, international and irresistible, their range includes everything from a sultry Belizean 78% dark to a creamy 55% almond milk bar from Indonesia, as well as a monthly subscription option.

Unit 0, Deansgate Mews, Great Northern Warehouse, Manchester, M3 4EN
Cocoa Tree | Chorlton

Priding themselves on sustainable harvesting with fair pay for its farmers, Cocoa Tree has been Chorlton’s artisanal chocolatier of choice for over four years. Hand-made by owners Vicky and Chris, their selection comes in any denomination you’d want, with bars, boxes and nibbles featuring signature flavours like Morello Cherry Liquor, Strawberry & Clotted Cream and Dark Caramelised Praline.

492 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 9AS
Sam Joseph Chocolates | Altrincham

After spending years as restaurant pastry chefs, Sam and Claire began devising their own creations and selling them at market stalls around the city with immediate success. Now with a permanent residence in Altrincham, Sam Joseph produces an opulent range of chocolates, from reasonably priced boxes of truffles to simple but masterful shards, all of which you can watch them prepare in their open-plan kitchen.

Market House, Altrincham, WA14 1SA
Slattery | Whitefield

Famous among North Mancunians as both an elegant take on Willy Wonka’s factory, Slattery of Whitefield has been the North West’s pre-eminent family chocolatier since 1867. Housed in the same building since its inception, they sell hand-made luxury chocolates, ice cream, bespoke wedding cakes and elaborate stacks of coins, shards, sticks and pralines atop glistening tarts. While their upstairs cafe is legendary among the region’s ‘special occasion afternoon tea’ crowd, Slattery now runs an online service with everything on offer.

197 Bury New Road, Manchester, M45 6GE
Mon 4 Jul
Words:
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Mon 4 Jul 2022