The Sweet Tooth Beckons: The top 10 places to eat chocolate in Belgium
If you’re on a tourist trip to the city of Brussels or to traverse the country of Belgium, you definitely cannot miss out on snacking on the famous Belgian chocolates. Like most visitors to the country, you’ll probably end up with a bag full of chocolates as gifts for close friends and family (and of course, yourself.) The capital city of Belgium has a lot to offer in the world of Chocolate, and it can get confusing with so many places to choose from. Here are a few chocolate makers you MUST absolutely visit when you’re in Brussels.
- Galerie de la Reine: Located in the centre of the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert, which itself is in the heart of Brussels, lies the delightful place which serves delectable pralines produced from the original recipes passed down by Neuhaus, the creator of the pralines in 1912. You should definitely try the Bonbon 13 and Astrid or even the Caprices and ‘Tentations’ which were created for the 1958 Universal Exposition.
- Pierre Marcolini, The Sablon: If you’re a chocolate addict, this is the place to head to. All the famous Belgian chocolateries have their stores at the Sablon, and it’s usually not as crowded as the ones located on the Grand Place. Apart from sampling delicious chocolates, you can even take a walk around the neighborhood as it is part of the old city. Whilst here, you must visit the boutique of Pierre Marcolini – you’ll know the origin of the cacao beans on the chocolate you purchase from his store. It doesn’t come cheap – but it is an acquired taste for chocolate connoisseurs due to the strong taste of dark chocolate.
- Wittamer: Also located at The Sablon, this store opened by the Wittamer family is so popular and well liked, that the present King and Queen of Belgium got their wedding cake designed from them. If it’s fit for royalty, it is definitely worth trying. It has a prestigious and long history with chocolates, but they are also not afraid to try out daring combinations like a praline decorated with a gold covered cricket.
- Passion Chocolat: Located at The Sablon, it is a recent entry to the world of Belgian chocolates, having being funded in 1998 and the store opening in 2008. However, don’t let its young age fool you – they’re perfected the art of creating traditional products that bring back forgotten chocolate flavors.
- Belvas: For the people who like gluten free organic foods – this store is designed for you. They serve mouth watering Belgian chocolates that are fair-trade, gluten-free and organic. There are even sugar-free options for those watching their sugar levels. This is the first organic chocolaterie in Northern Europe – tasting their pralines will have you hooked to their chocolates! What is amazing about this place is that their manufacturing process is 50% powered by the heat produced from ACs.
- Laurent Gerbaud: His store is located near the Central Station and it is well known for his signature formula of combining chocolate, spices and fruits. Intrigued? He produces products like ‘orangettes’ which are chocolate covered orange peels and uses pure cocoa beans from Madagascar which is produced by Domori, a leading luxury chocolate coating producer.
- Jean-Phillippe Darcis: More famous for his macarons rather than the chocolates, it is worth a visit. Whilst there in one of his 2 stores – which are located around the Grand Place – be sure to try out the Belgian Owl.
- Elisabeth: Located in the Rue au Beurre, her store is packed with giant marshmallows, meringues and chocolate.
- Jean Galler: This chocolate maker is a provider to the Belgian Royal Family and is known for his chocolate bars – which is different from the other chocolate fare we’ve seen so far. With over 22 flavors to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice 0 but we recommend you try the ‘Café Liégeois’, ‘Manon’ and ‘Praline Noir’.
- Frédéric Blondeel: Located near the famous fish market, you could stop by the tearoom to sample delicious pralines, ice-cream or truffles. His pralines come in cute starfish or sea horse shapes and his unique chocolate combinations make the curious traveler a happy customer.