Belgian Chocolates are the most wonderful chocolates in the world and you can find them all over Brussels. There's dark, brown, white chocolate with strawberry, creme fraiche, nut ... everything filling ;-) I even got some green tea ones, yummy!
What to buy: Chocolates. They don't only look beautiful.... They come in boxes in different sizes and you can choose the chocolates you like. No worries, you can also buy only a few of them to try.
Luckily it was too hot the most of the times we were there - otherwise we would have spent a fortune on sweets to take home here.
What to pay: The chocolates aren't exactly cheap. But they're worth every cent spent
One of the great products produced by Belgium is chocolates, and if you want the very best you must come to Mary's Chocolatier on Rue de Royale. Expensive isn't the word, but if your gonna buy chocolates this is the only place to buy them, you'll see stores all over Belgium, but nothing is compared to Mary's.... bought a 1 kilo box(2.2 lbs) for 50 Euro's !!!! WOW , expensive but well worth the price .... Top restaurants around the world serve these chocolates. Kings and Queens from around the world eat these delights .... take one for the team and buy yourself at least a small box... you won't regret it !!!!
Belgium is the place where most of the world-class chocolate originated from: Godiva, Neuhaus, Pierre Malcolini, Wittamer... When I hear the word "Godiva" I think that purchase of Godiva chocolate should be, as if you would buy a Patek Philipe of Tourneau.
History Godiva traces its origins to a wholesale-chocolatier who established its own shop in Brussels under its present name, a name chosen in honor of Lady Godiva.
According to the popular legend from Old England before the Norman Conquest, Lady Godiva was a noblewoman, who rode naked through the streets of Coventry, in order to persuade her husband to abolish his onerous taxation of Coventry.
The shop located at the Grand Place, in the house where Victor Hugo lived when he wrote his Contemplations, is one of the earliest Godiva shops still in existence.
What to buy: Brussels' classic souvenir is chocolate. If you are a chocolate lover, and you find yourself in Brussels, to taste the Godiva chocolates is an obligation! Gift-wrapped truffles may be purchased á la carte at this historic site.
Make your selection from the hundreds of chocolates on offer and they will be carefully packaged for you by white-gloved sellers.
Connoisseurs consider Belgian chocolate the best in the world, thanks to the ultra-fine grind of the cocoa beans, top-shelf ingredients and tiny amounts of added alcohol -- and it's hard to argue.
What to pay: Godiva is overpriced for Bruxelles where fine chocolate is cheap. Industrialisation has reduced prices, but hand-made Godiva pralines remain as popular as ever.
Deluxe Gift Box 200 g €18.00, Deluxe Gift Box 400 g €35.00
Open every day from May till mid-September 9am till midnight; rest of the year weekdays and Saturday 9am till 9:45pm and Sundays 10am to 9:45pm.
The Neuhaus shop is a must for chocolate lovers.
This shop has been in town from 1857 and was started as a pharmacy by Jean Neuhaus from Neuchâtel. Soon the shop was turned over in a pharmaceutical confectionery with cough sweets, but after more experimeints he created the perfect sweets.
In 1895 the shop was coverted into a confiserie and chocolaterie by Frédéric Neuhaus, Jean's son.
In 1912 Jean Jr. perfected the pralines, chocolates with special fillings.
What to buy: Pralines.
Godiva is one of Belgium's best-known brands outside the country. And while it's often prohibitively expensive, the chocolates are much better value for money in Belgium.
To see the whole range, go to one of Godiva's own shops; there's one in the Grand Place as well as one on Avenue Louise too. While Godiva doesn't go in for the artistic creations and experimental flavours of some of Brussels' chocolatiers, it does very good versions of all the classics. Chocolate bars, pralines and the like. When I visited in May, the windows were filled with boxes of huge strawberries (Brussels itself was filled with the fruit) dipped in chocolate. At just under EUR 6 a good buy.
A safe bet for gifts and souvenirs - certainly more than some of the other chocolate shops around the Grand Place with their rather tasteless chocolates! The staff are helpful too.
What to buy: I particularly enjoyed the range of chocolate drinks. EUR 3 gets you a hot chocolate. For EUR 3.50 you can enjoy an iced drink of Godiva chocolate in a range of flavours - dark, milk, white with raspberry, etc. The drink has chunks of chocolate inside for extra indulgence. For the price of a Starbucks frappuccino - how can you say no?
What to pay: The cheapest bars start at EUR 2 with boxes starting at EUR 10. Drinks are EUR 3, EUR 3.50 (one-size).
Amongst the many great chocolateries in Belgium, Pierre Marcolini has certainly the best Belgian chocolates!!
The art of chocolate making is fueled by Pierre's love of the product, an unwavering quest for perfection, and an ability to see past the conventional lines that dictate flavor combinations. Passionate about chocolate since his childhood, when he would hide chocolate simply to experience the pleasure of finding it later, Pierre Marcolini is now offering the world the chance to share in his passion.
Not content with simply making good chocolate, Pierre opted to create great chocolate and did so by starting at the very core – the couverture. In 1995, the dream he had been cherishing for so long came true: to make his own chocolate direct from the cacao bean.
Continuing in his uncompromising quest to produce the world’s best chocolates, Pierre picks the highest quality ingredients to add to his couverture. His infusion chocolates include pieces with fresh Tahitian vanilla, Earl Grey Tea and rich coffee from Java. His nougatine collection contains chocolate pieces with flavorful marcona almonds and crunchy biscuits from Brittany. The truffles are infused with ingredients such as champagne from Saint Martin D'Ablois in France and the tonka bean from South America.
In the twelve years since Pierre opened his first shop in Brussels, his success has grown exponentially. He has been the recipient of several accolades, reaching a pinnacle when he won the prestigous title of “World Champion of Pâtisserie” in Lyon, France. Now with boutiques worldwide, Pierre Marcolini revels in the fact that he has had such success while remaining true to his beliefs regarding perfection in the art of delighting the palate, an absolute respect for the product, and a liberated attitude when it comes to combining the two.
What to buy: Delicious chocolates and pralines with cocoa coming from all over the world . Truffles and chocolate bars.
hundreds of pralines just calling you...do I need to say more?
What to buy: pralines...and whatever inspires you
What to pay: from 175g package for 6,50 euros to more particular pralines and truffles, which will cost you much more...but there's something for everybody
different types of chocolate...colorful wrapping papers...
What to buy: whatever you like...you can't makle mistake... I was into truffles
What to pay: it depends on what you buy there are packages with 375g and more...depending of the type from 8, 13...euros per pack...or even more if you take assorted pralines...
The Sablon shop is a temple dedicated to all things chocolatey. Two floors of delights from cakes to spreads via pralines and single estate dark chocolate.
What to buy: You can either buy pre-packed boxes (ground floor) or make your own (1st Floor). Every thing is delicious.
What to pay: It's expensive but not much more than in other chocolate shops.
This must be one of the nicest chocolate shops in central brussels. Not only it attracts the eye but urges your tummy to run inside for a bag full of chocolates.
There are many similar shops, but after a while you will realize what shop is better than other, this must be one of the tops.
What to buy: You can buy boxes of chocolates or else by the grams.
What to pay: I forgot the exact prices for the shop and the taste exceeded my enthusiasm so much not to bother about money, more expensive than some but of course affordable, I used to love grabbing a small bag of chocolates after dinner from here, to nibble while I'm walking through the streets by night.
This is the best pralinesmanifacturer. They make pralines 'industrial' but like the articanal way. This year they celebrate their 150th aniversary.
Check out www.neuhaus.be
Price per kg. appr. 45 euro but it is it worth.
Elsewhere I’ve enthused about the Belgian beer, but I realise that this isn’t to everyone’s taste. However, surely we all like chocolate? And in my opinion Belgian chocolate is hard to beat, especially if, like me, you prefer your chocolate dark and bitter and packed with cocoa flavour! And in Brussels you’ll be assailed by chocolate smells and chocolate tasting opportunities all over the city centre, so it would be really churlish not to at least sample a little bit, wouldn’t it?
In fact, so keen are the shops for you to try their offerings that you’ll find people handing out vouchers for a free chocolate or inviting you into a shop to taste one. And once inside, of course you will want to buy! We succumbed, of course, and bought some treats for friends and family – and OK, I confess, a few goodies for ourselves too!
What to pay: The best chocolate isn't cheap but it is exceptionally good. In my view it's better to buy a little less and pay more for it - better for your taste-buds and your waistline, that is!
Passing by this shop, like any chocolate shops, you cannot stop but admire the display, then go inside (and leave with some chocolates!!) A lot of them are around Place Grand Sablon (Neuhaus, Leonidas, ...) and in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert.
The ONLY thing I shopped for in Belgium was chocolates and I tried a few from quite a lot of shops. People have differing opinions on the best, my recommendation is to try a few from the ones that look interesting and when you find one you like, then buy yourself a box.
I found the ones I liked were from the midrange shops, the higher end, highly recommended shops that I tried in Antwerp were not to my liking, too many flavors combined in one chocolate.
My favorite of any place on this trip was in Ieper and it was a shop that was only in that city but I did finally find a place in Brussels that had white chocolate with fresh cream. The box and ribbon said Grand-Place, not sure if that's the name of the shop but it was on a side street off the Grand Place.
Also on the Grand Place you'll find a couple that have branches in many cities, Godiva which is sold worldwide and Neuhaus and somewhere near the Grand Place I think there was a Leonidas which I can get here in Chicago.
There are more chocolate shops than people in Brussels! And the funny thing is, they're also frequented by the locals as well as tourists. Several places let you try before you buy so you could get well fed after popping into a few! You can either make up a box and choose the one's you want or take a box that already contains a mixture. I choose to make up a box as I don't like white chocolate and this costs the same, I think, as a ready made up box. The boxes range in size from 250g to 1kg - a 500g box generally costs €8,00.