Enjoy a delicious introduction to the sweet delights of the Melbourne CBD on this guided walking tour. Learn quirky historical facts about the city, explore the iconic Queen Victoria Market, and sample a selection of sugary goodies along the way. Duration: 2.5 hours (approx.)
Please note: Chocoholic Tours has recently discontinued this tour. You may like to visit the chocolate shops, cafes and food outlets listed yourself, or browse all our available Melbourne walking tours here.
You might call it the trifecta of Melbourne treats: coffee, chocolate and hot jam doughnuts.
The Victorian capital is peppered with very fine examples of each, so when I received an email inviting me to join the new Melbourne market, chocolate, coffee and doughnut 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 two decades. This new tour takes guests on a meander through several of the city’s most famous laneways and arcades, while also revealing a number of its sweetest secrets. The tour promises to tempt tastebuds with a tsunami of sacchariferous treats.
The tour begins 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 guide Jess, before dropping into 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 you don’t have to spit it out. That would be a dreadful waste. After some free time to shop at Haigh’s (to take advantage of the 10 per cent discount offered to tour guests), it’s off to our next destination.
Chocomama is located in the Royal Arcade — the oldest surviving shopping arcade in Australia. The city’s latte-loving reputation inspired the creation of their signature Melbourne praline block, which is filled with a coffee ganache. The Hosier Lane block is a nod to Melbourne’s much loved (or much maligned, depending who you talk to) 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 gives caffeine-addicted Melburnians a refreshing 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 attractions. Tourists mingle with inner-city residents shopping for fresh produce. String Bean Alley is the newest section of the market and features boutique stores housed in repurposed shipping containers.
We make our way through the crowds to the American Doughnut Kitchen — an absolute 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 this doughnut van since 1950. The recipe has not changed in the six decades since. The doughnuts are cooked on-site and sold fresh, ensuring the sweet scent of jam-filled deep-fried doughy goodness hangs in the air across the market. Long queues are the norm and it’s easy to see why. The doughnuts are amazing!
The final stop on this tour is Padre Coffee, where we round out this delightfully indulgent morning with a coffee and pastry — and sample some superb Monsieur Truffe chocolate. It’s made right here in Melbourne.
Some of the group (myself included) 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.
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, she has a particular love for France, its language and pretty much all things French. Louise’s favourite way to see the world is on foot and her boots have taken her walking on famous trails in Europe, South America and New Zealand. She also has a passion for her home state of Victoria and loves exploring its diverse regions.