Where to Find the Best Chocolates in Brussels
When you think of Belgium one of the first things that comes to mind is chocolate. And there is a good reason for that – they are known the world over for this specialty and visiting Brussels gives you an amazing opportunity to try so many kinds.
I was very excited to go to this beautiful European city as I LOVE chocolate! After much consideration, we did our own self-guided tour through the city to try loads of the best chocolate in Brussels and that was because we wanted to spend some time and choose our own chocolates based on personal preference.
But there are many different options on how to explore the world of chocolate in Brussels and we will share some with you here.
Highlights of Belgian Chocolate
✅ If you have some more time in Brussels and are interested in seeing other sites be sure to read our Brussels Walking Tour article.
Touring Chocolate Shops On Your Own
If you decide you want to do it yourself then here are our top 6 Brussels chocolate brands – not in any particular order.
✅ If you prefer to have a guide take you to the shops and give you some background on each location then be sure to book this highly-rated chocolate tour that runs daily in the season.
1. Mary Chocolatier
Mary Delluc is famous in Belgium since she was the first woman to become a chocolate maker in all of Europe.
I am not sure if it is because of the female touch but her chocolates are amazing! So much so that her chocolates have received a special certificate of distinction as the official provider of chocolates to the Belgian Royal Family.
Mary also has lovely packaging in all different shapes and sizes for you to purchase as much as you like. Each of the boxes is beautifully designed with a soft, feminine look – I even brought one home as a keepsake (although the chocolates are long gone).
There are many locations in downtown –
2. Pierre Marcolini
If you are a lover of dark chocolate, then this is your dreamland. This chocolate brand produces high-end artisan chocolates.
It starts with securing beans from around the world directly from farmers whom they have relationships with, and they are dedicated to only purchasing beans through ethical and sustainable means. This means they control the quality of the bean before it even arrives to them.
Then they roast the beans in Brussels and after grinding them they blend floral aromas or fruity essences to make very delicate flavour combinations.
The display cases really highlight the chocolate, and in many cases, you can visually see the ingredients that have been added to the incredible creations. The packaging is sleek and modern and there are options to purchase tablets or boxes with pieces.
Unfortunately, you can’t purchase single chocolates, but we chose them based on the knowledge of the sales assistant and it was a wonderful option.
There are many shops right in the downtown area of Brussels –
When people think of Belgian chocolate the name that often comes to mind is Neuhaus. This establishment is very well known the world over since they have worldwide distribution making them a household brand.
The story of their start is quite interesting. The owner Jean Neuhaus was originally a pharmacist and opened his pharmacy in 1857 in the Royal Gallery.
He was a creative marketer and to help his medicine go down he covered them with a thin layer of chocolate. His customers loved it, and he became a very popular man with this method.
Fast forward many years to when his grandson became part of the business, and he suggested moving away from dispensing medicine and instead filling the chocolate with something sweet! This was the evolution of the Belgian praline. As they say, the rest was history.
Neuhaus who started his company here is now known for having some of the best chocolate in Brussels. Their company is focused on making products with natural flavours and colours.
Specialties include delicate chocolates filled with nougatine, ganache, caramel, cream, nuts, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate – so many options to choose from but all so very good.
There are two locations in the downtown area –
4. Corné Port-Royal
Another historical location where you can find some of the best chocolate in Brussels is Corné Port-Royal. Their business dates to 1932 and around this time the owner Maurice Corné created their specialty Manon Sucre – a wonderful praline that includes walnuts and nougatine with cream.
This is now a very famous type of chocolate in Belgium. And a must try when you visit their shop.
The store in the Galerie de la Reine is very uniquely fashioned in the Art Nouveau style. It is a warm place with wonderful displays to tempt your taste buds. There are so many types and flavours to choose from and you know they must be good as many of the recipes are still the same from over 100 years ago!
There are several locations in the downtown area –
Likely you have heard of Godiva chocolates one of the most recognized brands in the world today – well did you know their roots began in Belgium? Started as a family business in 1926 they began with a small home workshop that has evolved into one of the largest chocolate companies internationally.
You can choose to purchase their products in a bar form, box collections, or individual, pre-packaged delicacies such as pralines, and truffles all with varying degrees of dark chocolate or milk chocolate.
They even offer biscuits and coffee – all flavoured with their signature chocolate. Loads of options to choose from and be sure to purchase some to enjoy at home.
There are a few locations in the downtown area –
6. Elisabeth Chocolatier
If you want to expand your sweet palate and try some other options aside from just chocolate, be sure to visit Elisabeth. The shop was so cozy and had a wonderful warm feeling.
They have some lovely alternative options such as nougat, candy, and meringues. And of course, they also have Belgian chocolates.
The owner is constantly visiting different parts of Belgium to find new treats handcrafted by artisans around the country. This means that they often have new treats, and it might be something different each time you visit.
You can buy treats in pre-packaged bags or pouches, or you can also choose your own combinations of chocolates to take with you. We were there leading up to Easter and they had the cutest Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs. This will give everyone in your party a perfect option to enjoy something of their own.
There are many locations around Brussels –
Why Exactly Is Belgian Chocolate So Good?
Experience! Belgium has had a long-standing history – more than 400 years dating back to when the Spanish ruled the country – of having access to excellent cocoa beans.
During the 1900s when Belgium controlled the Congo (it was not a very nice time), they were able to cultivate and export the highest quality cocoa beans that were readily available to them from this region.
By this time, they understood that the highest quality bean was of utmost importance, so they continued the tradition of choosing only superior product and grinding it to become super fine.
Chocolatiers in Belgium are constantly evolving and have created some of the most imaginative and interesting flavour choices that are just so tasty!
You spend all your time in the chocolate shops saying ooh and aah!! Belgium is the place where the first Belgian praline was developed, and this kind of creativity is what really makes Belgian chocolates so famous.
Things to Know Before You Start Tasting The Best Chocolates in Brussels
Since Belgium has such a long history of chocolate making, they have a Chocolate Museum located in Brussels. It is a great idea to visit the museum to really understand the history and background. And they give you a taste while you are there! Book in advance and get your ticket here.
There are A LOT of chocolate shops in Brussels. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number and by the delicious smell that drifts out onto the street. You could spend days going to shops so it is best to narrow down to half a dozen if you are planning to do this visit in one day. If you have more time, then absolutely do more shops!
Spend some time speaking to the shop owners or personnel. Always ask what the specialty of their shop is as they all do something a little different.
They can tell you about each of the chocolates in detail and even give you guidance about what you should try if you tell them your preferences such as dark versus milk chocolate, salty options, sweet caramel, etc. Also, be sure to ask what their favourite is as they love to share.
If you don’t have much time or the weather is not very good, you can visit several chocolate shops in Brussels all within one shopping area called Galerie de la Reine – Saint Hubert. Here you can visit Godiva, Mary’s, Corné Port-Royal, Leonidas, Pierre Marcolini and Neuhaus.
This is helpful if it is raining outside as the whole area is covered and it can be far more enjoyable. Or if you don’t mind the rain visit Mary’s first as they provide a little raincoat for your bag. So cute!
Chocolate Tours in Brussels
If you don’t want the hassle of looking for each location and you enjoy having a guide escort you to different locations, then a chocolate tour might be just the thing for you. These tours offer stops at several different chocolate shops and a knowledgeable guide that will share history and stories with you about Belgian chocolate.
At each stop, you are given a taste of the company’s specialties and of course, time to purchase your own to take home. This can be a great way to visit some of the best chocolate locations in Brussels.
You can also take a chocolate-making workshop. If you really love understanding the science behind what you are eating, sign up for a hands-on session where you learn about how to make chocolate and you go home with lots of samples.
We met a couple who took one of these workshops and they said it was fascinating and they had so much chocolate they didn’t know how they would finish it all! Something on our list for the next time we visit Brussels.
✅ Spend some time at this highly-rated chocolate-making workshop. Book in advance!
If you are interested in seeing more of this region and exploring all the food and drink specialties of the area you could make an entire trip out of it – visiting Belgium and Holland on a river cruise is an amazing way to make and taste chocolate since they even offer chocolate making workshops as an excursion option.
Well, we have provided many options to experience the best chocolates in Brussels. Hoping that this will inspire you to throw all your diet plans out the window for the day (or a few days) and enjoy them to the fullest. Happy tasting!
✅ There is so much to see and do in Brussels. For some ideas on how to spend your time read our blog with a list of loads of other things to do in Brussels.