It’s winter in Iceland and while tourists may be thinking of the Northern Lights, winter sports or geothermal baths, I’m thinking of chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.
In the Grandi area of Reykjavik is a chocolate factory, Omnom Chocolate, which has been in business since 2013. Known for its “bean to bar” quality, Omnom is a Reykjavik institution with flavors that vary including from Tanzania, Madagascar or Nicaragua. All are seriously good.
Omnom offers weekday factory tours for an admission fee of ISK 3,000. Tours begin at 2 p.m. and last roughly an hour and a half. Be prepared to eat a lot of chocolate (which is wonderful!) and to test many types of chocolate tastes.
Tours begin with an overview of how Omnom makes their products as the beans must have a consistent taste. It was interesting sampling beans from around the world and I could definitely tell differences. For instance, the beans from Madagascar have a more vinegary taste while beans from Nicaragua have a more smoky taste.
After leaving the initial tasting room, visitors to the factory must wear a hairnet and shoe protectors for an actual tour in the factory. I remember getting to go inside the Hershey’s factory in Pennsylvania as a child so I was thrilled to again enter a chocolate factory as an adult. Visitors will see chocolate being made, bars being hand-wrapped and I was lucky enough on my visit to see malt balls being made. The chocolate smell transported me to watching “Willy Wonka” as a kid and it was amazing seeing all the fresh chocolate.
Visitors are also taken to a test wall where Omnom is experimenting with new flavors. Our group got to test four flavors and I would happily take a job as a professional chocolate tester. I especially liked the test flavor of Belize with Coconut.
Our guide was knowledgeable, friendly and extremely enthusiastic about chocolate. Our group of eleven eagerly followed along.
Tours end in the factory store where prices are generally better than other shops selling Omnom throughout Iceland. My personal favorites were Caramel and Milk as well as Spiced White and Caramel (unfortunately only seasonal around Christmas) but everything I tried was delicious. Omnom is serious chocolate which competes with what visitors buy in Belgium and Switzerland.
Getting to the Grandi part of Reykjavik is easy. The walk is about a mile and a half from the City Hall or visitors can take Bus #14 which is fast and efficient. Bus tickets are currently ISK 460 each way and tickets can be bought from the Tourist Office.
For visitors to Iceland, be sure to include a stop at the Omnom Chocolate Factory in Rekyjavik. I’m always looking for a reason to eat chocolate and Omnom’s chocolates are one of the pleasures of visiting Iceland. I am really missing my daily Omnom bar.
Reykjavik 101, Iceland