If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear of Belgium is Belgian chocolate, then you are in the right place!
Chocolate is definitely not a tourist trap, it is what Belgians love. Brussels is the only place I’ve ever lived where there are as many chocolate shops as there are bakeries or tortillerias.
Considering chocolate originally comes from Mexico, but was reinvented by Europeans, this Mexican girl had quite the task trying to figure out what makes Belgian chocolate so special. Here are the best top 10 things to do in Brussels for Chocoholics!
A museum only about chocolate? Now this is my kind of place! At Choco Story you will not only learn about the history of chocolate but you can also book a workshop and learn more about recipes with cocoa pods. They will take you back to its Aztec origins in Mexico to what makes Belgian chocolates so special. If this is not amazing enough, Choco Stories also does special workshops for kids so it will be something you can do with the whole family.
Location: Rue de la tête d’Or 9-11 1000 Bruxelles
2| Salon du Chocolate – Brussel’s chocolate expo
Salon du Chocolate is the world largest international chocolate exposition. Taking place in various location all over the world like New York, Paris and most recently Dubai. Lucky for you, Brussels also hosts the event every year around February and March. This year the event will take place at Tours and Taxis from the 2nd to 4th of March and 30,000 people are expected to attend the expo. Around 130 exhibitors from every where in the world will showcase their sweet cacao masterpieces. You can read more about it here.
Location: Avenue du Port 86C, 1000 Bruxelles
3| A Chocolate making workshop
If learning by doing is your kind of thing you will love joining this chocolate making workshop. But let me warn you, making chocolate is a tough job. Everything is a precise science from the very beginning, which makes the end product so rewarding. You will learn the right way of tempering the chocolate, how to decorate medalions and how to make pralines, Belgium’s chocolate specialty. Nothing beats the feeling of taking home your very own delicious chocolate! Learn more about the workshop here.
Location: Grand Place, 1000 Bruxelles
4| A Chocolate tour
Of course if museums, chocolate workshops or fairs don’t satisfy you completely, you can always book a chocolate tour around the capital. Visit Brussels has several options that combine chocolate, the history of the city AND beer. Good thing you will be walking around to burn those calories! Check their options here.
Location: Visit Brussels, Rue Royale 2, 1000 Bruxelles
5| Godiva Chocolate Ice Cream
Godiva is one of the most emblematic chocolate brands in the world, it’s no surprise that its chocolate ice cream is to die fooooooor. To find the shop with the ice cream machine, you will need to walk a bit further from the city center. Rest assure, it will all be worth it. The ice cream feels less creamy and more icy, and manages to not be overpoweringly sweet. The best part is that you don’t get the sour chocolatey after taste. When they say it’s luxurious ice cream, they mean it.
Location: Place du Grand Sablon 47, 1000 Bruxelles
6| The original Praline at Neuhaus
Can you believe that Jean Neuhaus, Neuhaus founder, started actually selling chocolate covered medicine first? He tried to make medicines tastier and he hit it right on the spot! His clients eventually started asking for the chocolates mroe than the medicines and so he switched careers and became a chocolatier! It is said that he is the original praline inventor. And thus the praline became the Belgium’s most famous chocolate trademark!
Location: Galerie de la Reine 25-27, 1000 Bruxelles
7| Luxury chocolate and macarons by Pierre Marcolini
Pierre Marcolini is one of the most recent chocolatier success stories in Belgium. His philosophy “from bean to table” produces one of the best chocolates in the world and he does this by artesanally making his own couverture chocolate, and hand picking his supplier among plantations in Brazil, Equatorial Guinea and Mexico. They produce more than 150 of chocolate per year and recently expanded to China too. Find if there happens to be a store near you here.
Location: Place du Grand Sablon 39, 1000 Bruxelles
8| Wittamer, the Chocolatier Royals love
Wittamer is the chocolatier that produced the King of Belgium wedding desserts. But what is more impressive is the fact that this company started out as a boulangerie four generations ago! Yes, Wittamer is still family run and you can still shop at their original store in the Grand Place. They have stayed on top of their game because they believe in investing in new technology and delivering high quality products. Check out their delicious chocolates here.
Location: Place du Grand Sablon 6-12-13, 1000 Bruxelles
9| Choose fair trade chocolate
Look for the fair trade logo on the product you plan on purchasing. Although it can be quite tricky to find sometimes, there is a new chocolate brand who’s done it all. Belvas is everything you think modern chocolate should be. It’s organic, fair trade, gluten free, sweetened with stevia and delicious!
Location: Färm Ste Catherine Shop, Quai au Bois à Brûler 43, 1000 Bruxelles or on their online store http://www.chocolaterie-belvas.be/en/
10| Help chocolate do good
Did you know that a shortage of chocolate is expected in a not so distant future? Chocolero’s mission, an organic Belgian-Colombian chocolate company, aims to help former cocaleros (how coca farmers are called in Peru or Colombia) plant cocoa beans instead. With the help of micro credit and fair trade prices they plan to turn the growing drug trafficking problem into peaceful and productive solution. Every bar sold will protect 1m² of cacao-producing land for a season, at the expense of growing coca.
Location: Online shopt at https://www.chocolero.com/
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