Bruges is a chocoholic’s dream destination.
Not only is this Belgian city picture-postcard perfect, but it is also crammed with more than 70 chocolate shops. That is more than enough to satisfy the sweetest tooth.
However, not all of these cocoa-filled emporiums are equal. Only a handful of Bruges’s chocolate shops make their own wares. The remainder imports their chocolates from outside the city.
So which are the best chocolate shops in Bruges?
Purely in the interests of research, I visited a sample of stores selling the best chocolate in Bruges, most of which hand-make their produce in the city. I chatted to the owners and staff and sampled as many chocolates as my waistline could take.
It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Keep reading for my pick of the best.
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Why is Belgian Chocolate Special?
Belgium has had many centuries to perfect chocolate making.
This tradition dates back to the 17th Century when Belgium’s Spanish rulers brought cocoa beans back from Central America. In the early days, chocolates were made by pharmacists who sold them as a tonic.
Now that’s my type of medicine.
Belgian chocolate is distinguished by its selection of grains, its high content of cocoa butter and its fine texture.
The best chocolate producers dispatch teams to choose the best beans from farmers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
Pure cocoa butter is also used and different types of milk powders are chosen to strike a balance between taste and texture
Belgian chocolate is finely milled to 18 microns, avoiding a grainy taste in the mouth when the chocolate melts on the tongue.
Finally, the chocolate is conched to eliminate unwanted flavours and to ensure an even texture.
Learn More About Chocolate Making in Belgium at Choco-Story
If you want to find out more about the art of chocolate making, pay a visit to Choco-Story.
This interactive museum chronicles the cultivation, production and marketing of chocolate. Your ticket price includes an excellent audio guide and a chocolate-making demonstration.
There’s also a dispenser that spits out free chocolate discs. What’s not to like?
Address: Wijnzakstraat 2 (Sint-Jansplein) 8000 Bruges
>>> CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKET
Where to Find the Best Chocolate in Bruges (+ Map of Chocolate Shops)
I’ve created this map to help you take a self-guided Bruges chocolate tour. The distance from beginning to end is short – just shy of 1 km – and the chocolate shops are in the order that they appear in this article.
Simply click here or on the image for an interactive map.
Best Chocolate Shops in Bruges
1. Old Chocolate House
Stop at The Old Chocolate House for the best hot chocolate in Bruges. In addition to an extensive selection of chocolate and biscuits, this family-run business serves comforting mugs of silky hot chocolate in its cosy upstairs tea room.
Whisk your choice of chocolate pellets into an oversized mug of steaming milk and watch as they melt into the hot liquid. Savour with complimentary biscuits.
Address: Mariastraat 10, 8000 Bruges
2. Chocolatier Dumon
Established in the 1990s, Dumon has gained a well-deserved stellar reputation for its wares. Its handmade chocolates include the usual suspects – pralines, truffles and chocolate bars – as well as more creative flavours.
If your budget won’t stretch to their chocolate, try one of the samples at the counter.
Address: I visited the shop at Simon Stevinplein 11 but there are two other shops at Walstraat 6 and Eiermarkt 6
3. The Chocolate Line
Linked with Choco-Story, The Chocolate Line is the rock’n’roll of Belgian Chocolate makers.
This trendy operation offers a wide range of handmade “bean to bar” chocolates from the classics to more innovative favours including sake (which gets my vote every time) and passion fruit. The chocolates themselves are mini works of art.
You can also watch the artisans hard at work in-store.
Address: Simon Stevinplein 19, 8000 Bruges
Olivier’s is more than just a chocolate shop. At the rear of the store is a bar where you can linger over a mug of steaming hot chocolate or one of the Belgian beers on their menu.
As you might expect, the chocolates in this family-run business are hand-crafted.
Address: Sint-Amandsstraat 14, 8000 Bruges
If your taste in chocolate veers towards the less sugary dark stuff, get your fix at Galler.
Galler was the first company to create dark chocolate enriched with 70% cocoa. Its top-end product, Black 85, is 85 per cent chocolate.
Although this is one of the larger chocolatiers – its chocolates are manufactured at its factory in Liège – it is still an independent, family-run business.
Address: Steenstraat 5, 8000 Bruges
Do you fancy trying your hand at chocolate-making? Learn how to craft the perfect praline at a Belgian chocolate workshop in Bruges. Click here to book your place.
As the birthplace of the praline, Neuhaus is an essential stop on a chocolate walking tour of Bruges.
That said, this famous chocolatier has stores across Belgium and even globally (there are a number in my hometown of London). Therefore, if you were to skip one of its Bruges branches that wouldn’t be a disaster.
This is the place to pick up a stylish ballotin, an elegant gift box filled with Neuhaus goodies.
Address: Breidelstraat 12, 8000 Bruges and Steenstraat 66
7. Chocolatier Van Oost
Sitting in the shadow of Bruges’s Belfry, the intimate Chocolatier Van Oost has been crafting chocolates from its workshop under the store since 1974. In addition to the classic pralines and ganaches, the shop’s own seasonal creations own creations include Marron Glace and Autumn Nuts.
Their chocolates flavoured with Earl Grey tea are justifiably popular.
Address: Wollestraat 11, 8000 Bruges
8. Het Chocoladehuisje
Are you looking for a little chocolate art? This is the place to visit for whimsical chocolate.
Even if you don’t have time to step inside, take a look at their eye-catching window display. I visited just before Easter, and their chocolate bunnies were characters in themselves.
Address: Wollestraat 15, 8000 Bruges
9. Chocolates & Happiness
The name says it all.
If I was forced to pick my favourite chocolate shop in Bruges, this would be it. The family that runs Chocolates & Happiness are passionate about their chocolates and it shows.
This girliest of chocolate shops – check out the pink chocolate lips and shoes – sells traditional pralines as well as more creative flavours. I loved the ganache with passion fruit and the creamy ganache with green tea.
If you are in any doubt that these chocolates are handmade in Bruges, take a few minutes to watch the video playing in-store.
Address: Wollestraat 16, 8000 Bruges. They have a second shop at Walplein 20 which has more limited opening days.
Established in 1992, Pralinette is a classy establishment that specialises in hand-rolled truffles dipped in Belgian chocolate. It is also a hothouse for young chocolatiers to develop and test new flavours.
Expect traditionalism fused with innovation.
Address: Wollestraat 31b, 8000 Bruges
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