- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Melbourne chocolate, Queen Victoria Market and coffee tours with Chocoholic Tours
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
Enjoy a delicious introduction to the sweet delights of the inner-city on these all-new Melbourne chocolate, Queen Victoria Market and coffee tours. Learn quirky historical facts about the city, make your way through mysterious lanes and arcades, take a tram ride to the iconic Queen Victoria Market, enjoy a famous hot jam doughnut from American Doughnut Kitchen, and finish with an urban-style coffee and pastry.
Tour name: Chocolate, Queen Victoria Market, Donuts and Coffee Walking Tour
Departure point: Block Arcade, 282 Collins Street
Departure time: 10am
Duration: 2.5 Hours (approx.)
Inclusions: Guided walking tour, commentary, tastings and a coffee/hot drink
Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.
You might call it the trifecta of Melbourne treats: coffee, chocolate and hot jam doughnuts.
Melbourne is peppered with great examples of each. So when I received an email inviting me to join the new ‘Chocolate, Queen Vic Market, Donuts and Coffee Tour’ with Chocoholic Tours, I nearly dislocated my thumb in my rush to reply in the affirmative.
Chocoholic Tours has been operating walking tours in Melbourne’s CBD for 20 years. This new tour takes in some of the city’s best known hotspots, while also revealing some of its sweetest secrets. It promises to tempt tastebuds with a tsunami of caffeine and sweet treats.
These Melbourne chocolate, Queen Victoria Market and coffee tours begin at the Block Arcade, a Melbourne icon, and home to the legendary Hopetoun Tea Rooms, artisan shops and galleries. This is where we meet tour creator and guide Jess and make our first stop at Haigh’s Chocolates. Haigh’s is a purveyor of the finest quality Swiss-style chocolate. The family run company was founded in Adelaide in 1915.
I had no idea there was a ‘proper’ way to taste chocolate. You just shove it in your gob and eat it right? Well apparently not, according to Jess, who takes us through the finer points of chocolate tasting with some samples of Haigh’s beautiful dark and milk couverture chocolate.
To fully appreciate the flavour and quality of chocolate, it should be held in the mouth and then swirled around. It’s a bit like tasting wine but fortunately we don’t have to spit it out. That would be a dreadful waste. After a brief shopping break inside the Haigh’s store (to take advantage of the 10 per cent discount offered to tour guests!), it’s off to our next destination.
Chocomama is tucked away in Degraves Street, one of Melbourne’s most intriguing laneways and the epicentre of its coffee culture. The city’s latte-loving reputation has inspired the signature Melbourne praline block that’s filled with a café latte ganache. The Hosier Lane block is a nod to Melbourne’s much loved (or much maligned, depending who you ask) laneway graffiti.
As I ponder the realisation that chocolate-coated pretzels are actually delicious (who knew?) the words of a Big Issue vendor who greets us as we pass are ringing in my ears. ‘Hello, it’s the chocolate tour! You know you shouldn’t be here if you’re meant to be on a diet!’ How did he know?
We take advantage of Melbourne’s free CBD tram zone to travel a few blocks to Guildford Lane. Hidden away in a former furniture warehouse – many locals don’t even know it’s there – is Krimper Café. Our host May takes us through the process of brewing cold press coffee. The ice-cold espresso could give caffeine addicted Melburnians a new way to get their fix during the heat of summer.
Another short tram journey brings us to Queen Victoria Market. The market, founded in 1878, is home to around 700 traders. Some 10 million visitors a year make this one of Melbourne’s top visitor attractions. Tourists mingle with inner-city residents shopping for fresh produce. The newest part of the market, String Bean Alley, features boutique stores in shipping containers. But it’s a market stalwart we’re heading for.
American Doughnut Kitchen van is a Melbourne institution. Workers in offices at this end of town are known (or so I’ve been told at least) to dispatch a ‘doughnut runner’ to collect a bag when the afternoon munchies strike. Three generations of the same family have operated the doughnut van here since 1950. The recipe has not changed in the six decades since. Doughnuts are cooked on-site and sold fresh, ensuring the sweet scent of jam-filled deep-fried doughy goodness hangs in the air over the market. Long queues are the norm and it’s easy to see why. The doughnuts are amazing!
The final stop on these Melbourne chocolate, Queen Victoria Market and coffee tours is Padre Coffee at the market, where we round out this delightful diet-crushing morning with a coffee and pasty – and sample some superb Monsieur Truffe chocolate. It’s made right here in Melbourne.
Some of the group take the opportunity to stay and explore the market further, while others make their way back into the centre of town to put their new-found knowledge of the city’s most delicious secrets to good use.
Louise travelled as a guest of Chocoholic Tours.
About the writer
Louise Reynolds made up her mind at the age of about four that she would one day travel the world – and has so far visited around 30 countries across five continents and the Pacific. A hopeless Francophile, Louise has a particular love for France, its language and pretty much all things French. Her favourite way to explore the world is on foot and her boots have taken her walking on famous trails in Europe, South America and New Zealand. Louise also has a passion for her home state and loves exploring regional Victoria. While travelling she’s usually found with a pile of books and at least one teddy bear in tow. She also practices the little-known sport of extreme knitting in far off places.