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Going to Brussels Best Choclatiers, Best speciality food shops

I have been reading the wonderful posts of places to eat in Brussels and Bruges on eGullet.
As Belgian chocolate is some of the best in the world, can anyone recommend any hand made (non-commercial) chocolate shops in and around Brussels?
Also, are there any wonderful speciality food shops that I should not miss? Any patisseries?
Thanks in advance

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  1. Pierre Marcolini in Place du Sablon; the 85% Fleur de Cacao bar is luxurious and expressive. The tea flavoured chocolates at Wittamer nearby is also very good.

    I went to about 20 chocolate shops in Bruges 2 years ago, unfortunately that was one of the posts that didn't import to the new boards. But as a summary, the best of the lot imho were Dumon (for best tempering and technique), Van Oost (for best quality of the fillings) and The Chocolate Line (for being second best in both technique and filling, but equal overall to Dumon and Van Oost). I prefer Pierre Marcolini over any of the places in Bruges.

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      1. Wittamer is extraordinary. Family owned and run hand made chocolates and pastries.

        Brussels also has some extraordinary traditional (non French) pastry shops that have wonderful Christmas cookies, Speculas and Spice Bread.

        1. Thanks you both for your posts. Which pastry shops would you recommend??

          1 Reply
          1. re: pups224

            As Fleur writes, Wittamer offers pastries/cakes. In fact, a visit to the Sablon isn't such a bad ideas-- art galleries and such are also around there.
            In addition to speculoos, you may also wish to try a merveilleux (meringue, cream, chocolate) and a gaufre (waffle) from a street corner vendor.

          2. Pierre Marcolini for chocolate. It is the very best I have ever had.