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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.

    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.

          1. My SO just returned back from a business trip to Brugue and brought me back several
            single-variety bittersweet chocolate bars (which are my favorites) from Wittamer.
            The Grand Cru Pure Origine Venezuela bar is outstanding.
            Incredibly smooth, flavor deep with a slight earthy/tabacco finish.
            I recommend the bars also because they are easy and light to pack.

            1. I am fortunate to be in Brussels 6-8 times per year...saying that, Pierre Marcolini(also in London and New York and other places) is wonderful for their innovative flavors and I adore their single source chocolate bars...Wittamer(I am eating a piece as I type)fresh creams are the best ever...and Mary has old fashioned chocolates with wonderful service and quality. All of these are relatively high priced...for very good quality at a lesser cost, try Galler...their dark creams are wonderful as well as their chocolate bars(great gifts!)

              To be honest, if you go to almost any chocolate shop in Belgium, you will get very good and fresh(important) chocolate!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: TravelPath

                TravelPath sums it nicely: you'll get outstanding chocolate no matter Marcolini or Leonidas. Don't forget to take home a box of the thin gaufres sucree....

              2. Indeed Pierre Marcolini in the Petit Sablon makes one the finest, as not the best, chocolats in the world.

                1. Leonidas. Here is NYC, it's very high end but in Belgium, it more of a moderate, average place. But it's my favorite. Any white chocolate items are delish.

                  1. MARCOLINI!!!! Especially one of their limited edition assortments.

                    1. I second Galler. Their truffles are dreamy.