“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew
Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two?” – Roald Dahl
We all know the Candy Man can, but Brussels could put Wonka to shame with its incredible treats waiting at every corner. Get a Golden Ticket to a city of caramel and cocoa delights and check out these top five chocolate stores. Welcome to candyland!
1. Like wrapping rainbows in sighs
Step 1: Arrive in Brussels. Step 2: Get crazy with the cocoa. If you can imagine it, it can be found at Mary Artisan Chocolatier. Handmade and hand decorated squares and circles of happiness cling to every surface in this sweet store. Here, pralines are key. Listen to the soft crumble of a pistachio, feel the fine powder on a truffle melt in your mouth, and discover new favorite flavors at Mary.
2. Mix it with love
When you have 80 years experience, you are going to be good at what you do, and that is why the chocolates at Corné Port Royal are absolutely delicious. With over 50 artisans working each day to make treats from century old recipes, you know you are getting some of the best. Glimmering candied nuts, crumbly chocolate mousse-filled squares and a panoply of tastes just waiting for you to explore.
3. Dip tomorrow in a dream
Step into chocolate flavored air so sweet, each breath is a treat at Neuhaus. A name you are sure to recognize, Neuhaus wants nothing more than to give the world a taste of that perfectly crafted chocolate. Love Belgian praline? Head to one of their stores in Brussels and personally thank them for inventing one of the best things that ever happened to chocolate. Each and every molecule is designed to indulge your taste buds.
Psst! This means there is no such thing as having ‘just one’!
4. Your childhood dream come true
“Taste all, share some” is part of Elisabeth’s motto and we are really loving the ‘taste all’ bit. You won’t only find mind-blowing chocolates here; get cloud-like meringues, crispy waffles and nutty nougat. The only sharing you'll want to do is sharing the story of how delicious it was! Think of your friends and family back home sipping coffee with a sad cookie on the side and grab a few gift bags to brighten their day. You brought an extra suitcase right?
5. Making the world taste good
One of the most exquisite shopping spots in Brussels is the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. This indoor arcade has an exclusive collection of luxurious delights including a few chocolatier gems. The beloved Godiva is a must, along with Léonidas, La Belgique Gourmande, Corné Port Royal, Mary and Neuhaus. This really is your first stop candy spot. And, because there is no such thing as too much of a good thing, there's a Haagen-Dazs tucked inside for after-treat treats.
Most people would agree that chocolate has a special place on the food pyramid, right next to waffles and extra marshmallows in warm drinks. So, if you're going to indulge, you might as well do it right in this modern day candyland. Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels is steps away from the center, meaning you can follow the chocolate trail in the streets right to Grand Place, an area dedicated to the tasty goods.
Top image © Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert