Melbourne vs Sydney: Who is the Artisan Chocolate Capital?

You don’t need to go overseas to get your chocolate fix. Australia’s big cities are home to top-notch chocolate makers, in particular Sydney and Melbourne.

Australia’s two largest cities Melbourne and Sydney also have a long-held rivalry, each seeking to one-up the other. You can see competition rearing its head up for who wins most ‘liveable’ city award every year. But in terms of chocolate, which one wins in the title of “artisan chocolate capital” and the all-important bragging rights?

But first, let’s go back to the beginning so you can see how far back the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne really goes.



Was founded first and grew faster(initially), it has beautiful beaches, a gorgeous harbour bridge and not forgetting the Sydney Opera house (an architectural masterpiece with its beautiful sails). Sydney is also considered more brash and modern (despite being older), and the country’s financial capital. Sydney also hosts the best NYE in the world and as better weather out of the two cities.


While founded after Sydney it quickly grew and caught up with Sydney during the gold rush of the 1850s. And briefly, Melbourne was the national capital(temporarily) in the early days after Federation. Melbourne regards itself as more cultured of the two cities and has traditionally been the business and intellectual capital of Australia. But Melbourne has bigger sporting events, more fashion, food and is closer to the winter snowfields.

The Federation 

When the new Commonwealth of Australia came into being on 1 January 1901, there was no capital city. And the Sydney vs. Melbourne rivalry prevented either one of the cities becoming the capital, so a new site needed to be found. In 1899 it was agreed that the new capital city would be located within New South Wales an equal distance from both Sydney and Melbourne, so the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was created. But Melbourne was the interim capital until 1927.

Competition continues

So as you can see they both missed out on the capital of Australia due to their rivalry. And conflict still bubbles over when competing to host major sporting and cultural events, as a tourist destination, or even as the preferred place to study for international students. You even see competition in which one has the most (least) affordable housing, commuting times!?

Artisan chocolate capital stakes

There are over 30 chocolate makers in Australia who make chocolate bean-to-bar, we’re not including chocolatiers in that number (they buy big blocks of couverture chocolate to melt down to make their delicious bon-bon creations). 


Quantity of chocolate 

Of the 30+ makers in Australia, seven are based in NSW and only four out of that are in the greater Sydney region. In contrast, eleven chocolate makers are in VIC and a massive nine out of that are in Melbourne. Not only that most of them have cafes connected to their factories so you can walk in and try some new chocolate with a dank Flat White coffee no less. Showing that Melbourne definitely has the foodie culture locked into its culture.

Not only that research has identified Victoria as the chocolate capital, according to Roy Morgan. It also shows 14.2 million Australians aged 14+ consume chocolate in an average four weeks and chocolate bars are the preferred choice.

Quality of chocolate 

NSW has multiple awarding winning chocolate makers with Spencer Cocoa winning multiple awards at the Royal Food show and Zozkoko has wining multiple awards over the years.

VIC has award wining chocolate makers too from the Gold Medal-winning Single Origin range from Hunted & Gathered to Smooth Chocolator who has a number of awards, including three International Chocolate Awards.

The Artisan Chocolate Capital Winner

As a Sydney-sider, this pains me to say but Melbourne is the official artisan chocolate capital of Australia in terms of quantity & quality. But it just gives Sydney the chance to up its chocolate game. But as an Australian, we’re all winners with such fantastic high-quality chocolate produced and distributed here, and if a bit of healthy interstate competition helps us up to our game – all the better!

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