It’s time to make some space for choc-filled delights in your busy chockfull calendar, dear Chocoholics. July 7 is World Chocolate Day, which means you’ll find us bingeing guilt-free on the brown stuff time at one of these places with the 7 best chocolate desserts in Dubai. From the best hot chocolate in town to the most decadent cookies, this list is perfect if you’re cuckoo about cacao. And if you’re not, these dessert places will convert your opinions about the confection. Better choco-late than never
The home-grown artisanal chocolate makers in Al Quoz are the UAE’s first bean-to-bar chocolatiers. Named after a star, their one of the brightest of UAE’s artisanal chocolate factories. Raw cacao beans are ground into the addictive chocolate bars infused with nuts, spices and come in white, milk chocolate and dark chocolate variants. Those scrumptious chocolate bars are also used to make divine desserts such as scoop Mirzam Dark Chocolate Soft Serve.
For World Chocolate Day, they’re running free chocolate tasting until July 10. Swing by any time and watch their award-winning craft chocolate bars being made from scratch, right from cocoa beans being roasted and then sample the final blocks of luscious still-warm chocolates that will melt in your mouth. Wanna really live out your Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fantasy? Sign up for their workshops from July 9-10 with activities for all ages. Bonus, there’s no golden ticket (or sinister Willie Wonka), it’s free!
Location: Find Mirzam on 4th St. Al Quoz 3, behind Audi showroom
This Parisian tearoom and patisserie’s Dubai outpost is considered the gold standard of hot chocolate in the city and with good reason. Every order of their signature L’African hot chocolate results in thick, molten chocolate poured out of a jug with a dollop of cream on the side. We prefer glugging it down neat without thinning the sinfully silky drink. Its secret lies in a 100-year-old recipe that involves a gourmet trinity of three types of African cocoa handpicked from Niger, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Sweet dreams are made of this drink and you don’t even have to travel the seven seas for it. Just The Dubai Mall’s fashion avenue.
Location: Find Angelina on the Ground Floor at The Dubai Mall, Fashion Avenue, near Zara
3. Al Nassma, Deira Souk
It would border on unpatriotic if we didn’t include the world’s first camel-milk chocolates here on this list. Wander into the heart of Deira souk and you’ll find the chocolate brand’s boutique choc-full of low-fat, low-sugar, low-lactose chocolate-y yumminess. Al Nassma are popular Duty Free souvenirs, but we say buy a box today and treat yo’ self. Living up to its name which is Arabic for ‘refreshing desert breeze’, this local chocolate brand is a refreshing alternative for chocoholics who want to try something unique and adventurous. Some are shaped like a camel, some are plain old cubes stuffed with Arabic spices and dates and but they’re all creamy smooth bites that will have chocolate connoisseurs over the hump… oops we mean moon.
Location: Find Al Nassma next to Gold Souk Main Gate 1 in Sikka 39
4. Godiva Cafe
Picking just one item off the menu of this luxury Belgian chocolate house is torment. Do we save our calories for pancakes dripping with chocolate sauce? Or do we settle for the more sophisticated yet decadent treat of strawberries dipped in chocolates? There’s also the criminally good Sin Cake, which quite tastes sooo good we’ll gleefully cop to the deadly sin of gluttony. Choices, choices… However, it’s only right that on World Chocolate Day, you go full-blown chocolate and that mission is met with Godiva’s Chocolate Martini Brownie. Cake bathed in smoother-than-butter chocolate topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream served up in a Martini glass will have dessert lovers shaken (and stirred) to the core.
Locations: Find Godiva cafe in City Walk, Mall of the Emirates and Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR
5. The Kakao Guy
This Dubai-born local chocolate shop functions out of a closed kitchen in Deira but you’re in luck – they’ve set up a pop-up store in Burjuman and its open today! The Kakao Guy’s (whose real name is Lee) claim to fame is being the city’s first outlet to whip up decadent Nama chocolates – the Japanese ganache fad that has chocolate lovers around the globe melting. Imports of this Southeast Asian delicacy usually come at an eyewatering price but Lee’s homegrown creations pack the punch without hurting your wallet. They’ve got a slew of other sweet treats you’ll want to indulge in – the Basque burnt cheesecake is a hero item that comes in various flavour. We’ve got a sweet spot for the mocha burnt cheesecake as it pairs two of our favorites – coffee and choco – in cheescake form.
Locations: Find The Kakao Guy pop-up store in Burjuman, Cinema Level
6. GF Ferre Chocolate Bar
You know you’re in good hands when a restaurant that serves hearty main courses has chosen to name itself after chocolate. Skip the starters and main course and dive right into desert at this MOE eatery and ensure you start your journey of indulgence with the Maltesers Fondant, a delicious mess of crunchy Maltesers chocolate balls, ice cream and chocolate syrup and nuts that spills over the thin chocolate fence holding it. The collapse of this dessert is one of the most visually satisfying disasters ever and your tastebuds will thank you for it. In the mood for more delicious destruction? GF Ferre’s Chocolate Lava Cake is delightful for a gourmet rampage.
Location: Find GF Ferre at Level 1, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
7. Home Bakery
Home Bakery is a Dubai institution whose famed Chewy Melt chocolate cookie dimes have turned even the most dessert-averse of us into cookie monsters. ‘Tiny drops of heaven’ are also a term we use to describe them around the Secret Dubai office and we don’t say it lightly, dear reader. They truly embody the scientific term ‘Theobroma Cacao’, which means food of the gods. These legendary coin-sized cookies also come in a bigger dimension but size doesn’t matter when it comes to Emirati baker Hind Al Mulla’s cookies that are chewy and moist on the inside with a cracked, hard outer shell. Smaller means you can cram twice as many into your mouth. For some fudgy brownies, their cheekily-named PMS Brownies hit the spot at all times of the month.
Locations: Find Home Bakery outlets across Dubai at d3, Galleria Mall, The Dubai Mall and more
8. Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar
This desert haven has plenty of options to get your cacao-based sugar high from – Oreo Bombs, Midnight Pancakes – stacks of chocolate pancakes dusted with coco powder and drizzled with caramel – that frankly, are good to be eaten 24/7. But what cinches the deal for us at Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar is the chocolate fondue. Dunk a range of treats from strawberries to brownie chunks, to bread and banana into a pot of smooth chocolate sauce. We wish we could solve all of life’s problems by drowning them in a pot of molten chocolate.
Location: Find Alison Nelson Chocolate Bars at Dubai Mall and Mercato Mall