Chocolate is grown and made around the world. Every continent can brag about being the best country or region for the sweet stuff. Europe’s chocolate capital is cool and unassuming Belgium, hands down. What makes Belgian chocolate so unique? Maybe it’s their signature pralines, or chocolate shells filled with flavored cores. Maybe it’s their insistence on using 100% cocoa butter. Whatever it is…it’s working. Belgian chocolate is renowned around the world for its quality, and the streets here are lined with chocolate shops where kind and knowledgeable assistants load up boxes with each customer’s individual selection. People travel and vacation here exclusively for Belgian chocolate. There are hundreds of chocolate shops in Belgium, but here are five that Tripio personally recommends to sweeten your vacation experience.
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When on vacation in Brussels, Laurent Gerbaud Chocolatier should absolutely be on the itinerary. Chocolate pervades every inch of this little chocolate shop in Brussels’ art district; the aroma is powerful, yet soothing. The taste is out of this world, and there’s so many different ways to enjoy it, from bonbons to hot cocoa to chocolate-covered fruits — yum!
How many different ways to eat their chocolate are we talking? Their online catalog lists over 60 varieties! So whether you’re into foreign tastes (Tripio recommends the Persian Red Berries Medallion or Beijing Tea Ganache) or classic Belgian pralines (Tripio recommends the Crumble or Sesame praline), there’s no preference too unusual or out there at Laurent Gerbaud. There’s even vegan offerings for restrictive tastes.
In a country with no shortage of delicious chocolate shops, Laurent Gerbaud might just be one of the best! Make sure you travel here, and take your taste buds on an adventure they’ll never forget.
Don’t be fooled by the name; this “old” chocolate house satisfies sweet tooth’s young and experienced. Quaint, intimate, and friendly, the Old Chocolate House is one of the best places in Bruges to sample some signature Belgian chocolate.
The location is no gimmick; it truly is a historic little gem that harkens back to 19th Century European candy shops. History can be found in every nook and cranny, especially in the tearoom upstairs.
The Old Chocolate House is best known for its hot chocolate, which in addition to being mouthwatering and soul-soothing, is an authentic hands-on experience. After picking the chocolate varieties you want, you will receive a bowl of hot milk with “chips” of chocolate that you picked. Insert the chips you wish to mix, and voila — your customized hot chocolate is ready!
If you don’t melt it all, you’ve got some delicious leftovers! Just make sure to eat them up before traveling home.
When traveling through Antwerp’s historic district, one can find Château Blanc. After an adventure through Antwerp’s many museums and its fast-moving and cosmopolitan streets, you’ll need to take a load off — might as well get some chocolate while you’re at it!
The chocolate here is not only delicious; it’s very affordable! We’re talking 3.50 euros for 100 grams, which is almost a steal in one of Belgium’s more expensive cities.
Their pralines are delicious, and they offer tremendous variety…but are best known for their truffles. Their mild flavor and melt-in-your-mouth creaminess are worth the trip alone. Château Blanc should be on every chocolate lover’s bucket list.
Elisabeth Chocolatier is like a dating service for chocolate. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at this Brussels chocolate shop will listen to your tastes, and match you with the chocolate they believe you will enjoy.
The encyclopedic chocolate knowledge needed by the staff is truly incredible, as the variety of goods available here would make Willy Wonka jealous. Some of their unique and tasty offerings include hazelnut pralines, chocolate-covered marshmallows, and chocolate florentines. Even non-chocolate fans will find something to devour here, including gingerbread, meringue, and waffles.
Even if their offerings are a bit expensive, I think it’s worth it for this personalized approach to satisfying your sweet tooth!
You know you’re in for something delicious when the shop you’re walking into has been compared to stepping inside the pages of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
The Chocolate Line in the West-Brugge Quarter section of Bruges boasts thousands of chocolate varieties, with unique and playful tastes and names, from all over the world. From Moai Easter Island heads made of chocolate to framboise (a unique combination of bitter ganache and raspberry juice) to chocolate-covered Granny Smith candies to chocolate Lego pieces, it’s like stepping into a mad scientist’s candy cupboard!
If the chocolate alone doesn’t strike your fancy, the creative interior will take your eyes on an adventure. From chocolate statues of cartoon characters to the colorful sections denoting different chocolate varieties, this place is more like Willy Wonka’s factory than you know!
Their location in Bruges is the original, but make sure to check out their sister store in Antwerp as well!
Use Tripio to find your next delicious meal
Belgium is filled with chocolate shops, but don’t forget to balance out those sweets with some delicious restaurant food. Use Tripio to help you find that next, great eatery! The Tripio app’s custom top 10 list function lets you customize your travel experience like never before.
Using the app, select the plus icon at the bottom of the screen titled “Create.” This will take you to the trip creator, which can create custom top 10 lists and an itinerary in under 60 seconds! Make sure to give Good Eats a 5 for trip importance, to ensure your custom top 10 has a focus on restaurants, coffee shops, and more places to get a good bite. To really round out your top 10, consider adding Nightlife for some fun bars and entertainment!
All that chocolate got you hungry, check out: Prague Food Tour
or maybe you are craving more of Belgium: Top Castles & Citadels
-Joshua Faulks, Tripio Guru