50 Beach Street
Queenstown, New Zealand
+64 3 4429066
Two sweet-related posts in a row? Is there something wrong with you, Libby? Have you been taking substances? Have you been spending too much time with Daisy? Oh noes! Like The Remarkable Sweetshop, however, the following shop is worthy of a write-up so here goes. I’m talking about Patagonia Chocolates, undoubtedly the best chocolate store in the Otago region.
The owner and founder of Patagonia Chocolates is Alejandro Gimenez. He’s from Argentina, which explains the name of the shop. He opened his first Patagonia Chocolates store in Arrowtown before opening a second store in Queenstown shortly after. There is also another store in Queenstown airport and I predict it wouldn’t be long before they start opening stores on the North Island too. He originally started off selling his beautiful hand-made chocolates before branching out to ice creams, cakes and drinks, making his Queenstown store a café that’s bustling with customers at all hours of the day.
For a town with so many tourists, it’s surprising that wi-fi is still hard to find in Queenstown. So when we found out that Patagonia Chocolates offer free wi-fi each purchase, Marty and I knew where we were going to spend our Wednesday afternoon. We couldn’t really give a stuff about chocolates. But wi-fi? Oh yes, please!
Unfortunately, there were literally no seats when we arrived in the late afternoon. Each usable space was occupied by someone with a laptop and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Dammit. Regardless, we decided to buy some chocolates from the counter to bring to our families back in Australia.
The main counter holds an impressive collection of handmade chocolate bars, each weighing approximately thirty grams. There are many permutations of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate and all manners of nuts, fruits and less conventional accompaniments such as chilli and wasabi. They also have sugar-free options for diabetics and quasi sugar haters such as myself. Each bar is around NZD$3 (AUD$2.38) each, which I think is pretty good for the quality you get.
I took some chocolates back home for my family – dad’s really into dark chocolates at the moment so I got him a couple of dark chocolate cashew blocks and one chilli chocolate one (which he thought tasted ‘weird’ but he then grew to love it). Not picture is a dark chocolate rama, which was a piece of dark chocolate in a shape of a small tree trunk. The round thing on the side is an alfajor (NZD $5, AUD$3.97), a handmade chocolate cookie with soft, airy chocolate mousse in it and covered in more milk chocolate – it’s definitely better than a Tim Tam. I was kicking myself for not buying any more of these.
We had some chocolate truffles to nibble that afternoon (they’re around NZD$2-3.50 each). We each had a wasabi and sesame seed truffle and split several random truffles – hazelnut, praline and cherry, to name a few. The wasabi truffle was interesting, though the horseradish kick was milder than I expected. Better was the praline truffle with its silky smooth centre and overall awesomeness.
Patagonia Chocolates is a great place to enjoy a hot chocolate and some truffles – if you can get a seat, that is. Its lakeside views and friendly vibe makes it a place that you can happily stay in all day long. They also have ice cream available and with flavours such as dulce de leche and fig and cherry, they’d be perfect during the warmer months (and by warmer, I mean still cooler than a Gold Coast winter). In saying all that, I’m back to writing about savoury stuff next time; I bet you’re all relieved now.