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Top Places to Experience Chocolate in Brussels

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Brussels and chocolate, two things that go perfectly together. Renowned as the capital of chocolate, Brussels is a dream destination for chocolate connoisseurs. The city’s love affair with chocolate dates back more than a century, when chocolate was first shipped from Africa. It continues today with hundreds of chocolatiers offering creative chocolate concoctions.

With chocolate shops on almost every street corner in Brussels, how are you going to choose which artisanal morsel of chocolate is going to melt in your mouth? Our top Brussels chocolate spots will take you on a sublime tour of the best of the best, where the art is perfected.

If tasting chocolate in a shop all day is too much for you (we don’t know how, but you do), take a break. Instead, why not visit a chocolate museum, try your hand at making chocolate in a workshop or cycle along the Best of Brussels Chocolate Route.

Mary Chocolatier

Everything about the Mary Chocolatier shop is gorgeous, from the dazzling chocolate displays to the glamorous Art Deco interior and pretty pastel or white/gold chocolate boxes. Mary Delluc was the first female chocolatier in Brussels and played a key role in transforming chocolate from a medicinal coating to a luxurious treat. Mary opened her first shop in 1919 and a hundred years later it is still considered one of the best chocolate shops in the city. The chocolatier holds the Belgian Royal Warrant as a prestigious supplier to the Belgian Royal Court, a royal seal of approval well deserved with each piece of handmade chocolate perfection.

Neuhaus chocolates

When he opened his pharmacy in the Galeries Royales in 1857, founder Jean Neuhaus was the first to think of covering bitter-tasting medicines with chocolate. In 1912, his grandson Jean II created the first Belgian praline, a confection with a soft centre surrounded by a hard chocolate shell. The Belgian praline was a huge success and you can still order the original recipe from the Neuhaus chocolate shop.

The brand has always provided Belgians with high quality chocolate, now made from cocoa supplied by their own cocoa farm. They hold a Belgian Royal Warrant, and in 2017, Bloomberg described Neuhaus chocolate truffles as ‘the best chocolate truffles in the world’.

La Maison Wittamer

La Maison Wittamer is another historic family business in Brussels, with the first bakery and chocolate shop opened in 1910 by Henri Wittamer and his wife Marie. Now run by the third generation of Wittamers, the company remains at the forefront of the Belgian chocolate industry, producing innovative but consistently excellent chocolates. Be sure to try the Earl Grey Ganache, a simple chocolate bite with a delicate tea flavour – absolutely divine.

Maison Pierre Marcolini

Pierre Marcolini may be a newcomer to the Brussels chocolate scene, but he has certainly made his mark since opening his doors in 1995. Considered one of the best chocolatiers in the city, Marcolini follows a ‘bean to bar’ philosophy, ensuring the excellence of his chocolate by working directly with the best cocoa producers in the world. He brings the cocoa beans to Brussels to roast, grind and temper them in-house.

Fashionably ‘au courant’, Marcolini has helped create the ultra-chic Maison Kitsune chocolate bento boxes, Victoria Beckham Hearts and produces Oriente Cuba chocolate, being one of the first to be allowed to import chocolate beans from the Baracoa region of Cuba.

Frederic Blondeel

Named ‘Brussels Best Chocolatier of the Year’ by France’s Gault & Millau magazine in 2018, Frederic Blondeel is another master chocolatier who follows the ‘bean to bar’ philosophy. He brings the beans home to his factory and roasts them in a 1953 Santos Palace coffee roaster inherited from his grandfather.

Blondeel creates divine heritage chocolates, but his experimental chocolates are simply sublime. Try the basil and lemongrass or the chilli and ginger – so good. Tours of the Blondeel chocolate factory are available from Brussels tour operator Once in Brussels.

Brussels Chocolate Museum

Chocolate is very important to Brussels, so it is only natural that the city has not one, but two chocolate museums dedicated to the history of chocolate. Choco Story is a small museum where you get an introduction to the history of cocoa and its production, as well as a fun praline making demonstration. The Belgian Chocolate Village Museum is located in the Koekelberg district of Brussels and features interactive exhibits, chocolate sculptures, a greenhouse with living cocoa trees, a café and chocolate-making workshops.

A chocolate workshop with Laurent Gerbaud

If you want to try your hand at making chocolate, or if you think you could be the next master chocolatier, you can learn at the place where chocolate is king. Every Saturday, Laurent Gerbaud, one of Brussels’ top chocolatiers, offers a 90-minute chocolate workshop in which you will learn about different types of cocoa, prepare chocolate moulds and decorate your own personal chocolate masterpieces – totally delicious!

Cycling and the best of Brussels chocolate

You can ease the guilt of eating too much chocolate by getting on a bike in Brussels and discovering some of the city’s best chocolate spots. Pro Velo will take you on a four-hour calorie-burning, blood sugar-lowering trek through some of Brussels’ most beautiful neighbourhoods and famous chocolate shops. The tour includes a bike, guides and the opportunity to sharpen your senses before indulging in an afternoon of chocolate tasting.

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