“Leaving Belgium without trying out these best chocolates in Belgium is a crime.”
Belgium is famous for waffles, fries, and chocolate. It is universally acknowledged that Belgium produces the best chocolates in the world. Some chocolate enthusiasts may argue that Swiss chocolate beats other chocolates but when talking about the texture, taste, and affordability, nothing matches Belgian chocolate.
There are 1900+ Belgian chocolatiers to choose from (including the premium chocolatiers in Belgium) which can be very confusing, so, here are some of the best Belgian chocolate brands. No need to worry! Discussions and recommendations are provided below in this article to assist you in selecting the best chocolates in Belgium for you!
Also, don’t forget to try the famous Belgian waffles while you are in Belgium!
The History Of Belgian Chocolate: Let’s Rewind
The tradition of making chocolates in Belgium can be traced back to the 17th century.
It was during the time Belgium was still a Spanish colony. Under their rule in the 17th century, explorers from South America brought cocoa beans to Belgium. During that time, it was considered a luxury commodity. The chocolate was mostly consumed by the nobility, and rich, and offered to mark a good impression on new arrivals.
Major Escher, the Zurich mayor was a guest of the Grand Place in Brussels in 1697; he was served this delicious drink. He took the recipe with him. Upon going back to his country of residence, Major Escher introduced his own country to chocolate.
During its colonization of the Congo, Belgium discovered a large surplus of cocoa beans and began to explore the chocolate market. Belgium became the world’s leading producer of cocoa and chocolate during King Leopold the Third’s reign. The rest is history.
If you are a chocolate lover, read out this article: 15 best Swiss chocolate brands from Switzerland.
Making Of Belgian Chocolate
Belgian chocolates are fine ground and rich in cocoa content. Belgian chocolates contain 100% cocoa butter. It is no surprise that among the world’s foremost chocolate-producing countries is Belgium. Belgian chocolate lovers claim that nothing beats the creamy and delicious taste of these chocolates. Belgian chocolates are characteristically more buttery, medium sweet with medium bitterness.
Read Swiss chocolate vs Belgian chocolate to understand Belgian chocolate’s popularity and demand.
* Production Process:
The cocoa beans are fermented for 6 days. After fermentation, the beans develop a rich brown color. It is then dried in the sun for 6–10 days. Post drying, various tests like the Grainage test and Cut test are performed to check the quality of the beans. The unfit beans are eliminated. These tests help in producing high-quality good chocolate.
After roasting, the beans are then de-shelled and ground into a thick paste (chocolate liquor) which is pressed to extract cocoa butter that leaves behind a solid mass. This solid mass is later grounded into cocoa powder. Next, the conching step follows. Finally, the chocolate is ready. It is solidified and given its final shape.
What Makes The Belgium So Good In The World Of Chocolate?
- Adherence to traditional manufacturing techniques and the use of high-quality ingredients is what sets Belgian chocolate apart.
- Belgian chocolate has a higher cocoa content. With a stronger bite, this chocolate will be dark and bitter.
- Conching gives Belgian chocolate a sought-after texture.
- Belgian chocolates typically have a buttery texture, a medium sweetness, and medium bitterness.
- Praline, the chocolate truffles, and several other exotic fillings give Belgian chocolates a competitive advantage.
- Chocolate tour Brussels, Belgium is a “CAN’T MISS”. The chocolate factory in Brussels, Belgium is a must for chocolate lovers who want to know more about the world of Belgian chocolates. Here are some locations:
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14 Best Chocolate Makers From Belgium
Founded: 1857, Brussels, Belgium
According to a 2017 list of the world’s best Belgian chocolate truffles, Neuhaus came out on top. Also the one with a rich history, this brand produces one of the best chocolates in Belgium. To make his medicines more enjoyable, Jean Neuhaus, who had an apothecary store in Brussels, coated them in chocolate. In 1912, Jean Neuhaus Jr. invented the first ‘praline‘ or filled chocolate by replacing the medicine in the chocolate with delicious fillings.
Neuhaus is also widely credited with inventing the bonbon. Visit the Galeries Royale Saint-Hubert, the original store of Jean Neuhaus in Brussels, to see his collection. The Neuhaus brand of chocolates comes in a variety of shapes and fillings, including gianduja, dark chocolates, ganache, cream, and chocolate truffles. It is truly remarkable how they package their luxury gifts.
Founded: 1926, Brussels, Belgium
Godiva is one of the best-known chocolatiers in Belgium with over 600 shops around the world and was founded by Joseph Draps. It gained international recognition in 1966 when it opened its US branch.
With the finest ingredients, Godiva creates wonderful flavors and textures with the help of top chefs. The innovation they have made throughout the years is really appreciated by chocolate lovers around the world, regardless of whether they prefer white milk chocolate or dark Belgian chocolate bars.
While they have experimented with many different kinds of chocolates, the quality of their products has never been compromised. Whether you’re giving a gift or throwing a party, their ornately wrapped chocolate boxes are the perfect addition. They are perhaps the most expensive in Belgium.
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Established: 2005, Brussels, Belgium
Popularly known as the first organic chocolatiers in the European continent, this classic chocolate brand continues to produce chocolates with the traditional method. There is no use of any harmful coloring, unnatural aroma, artificial flavor enhancer, or preservatives. You will also get here gluten-free and vegan chocolate snacks.
They are committed to producing organic chocolate only specially the low sugar organic chocolates. This has earned them several laurels including the prestigious ‘most ecological micro-company of Europe’.
For making organic and delicious chocolates that come in a variety of flavors, they import cocoa beans from Peru, Ecuador, and Santo-Domingo. The cacao content in their authentic dark Belgium chocolate is a minimum of 72% cocoa. Belvas has grown to be one of the most exquisite chocolate brands in the world.
Founded: 1883, Brussels, Belgium
The brand name is inspired by the name Goal Coast, this is yet another popular Belgian chocolate brand. Their primary source of cocoa beans in Ghana. With smooth textures and mild tastes, they are known for producing some of the silkiest and most decadent chocolate in the world.
They produce a wide selection of flavors and combinations. Their constant efforts to bring forth new ideas and innovations are what keep them at the top of the leadership chart in the best Belgian chocolate category.
From Chokotoff, Les Bouchées, Milk Chocolate, Extra Dark Chocolate, Noir 70% cacao with caramelized cocoa nibs to Lait Intense Mignonnettes, and Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts, you have so much to choose from that too it is affordable Belgian chocolate.
Founded: 1913, Brussels, Belgium
Mostly, the premium quality chocolates are high-end. So, if you’re someone looking for high-quality chocolate from Belgium at a cheap price, this is a go-to place. You will find the best Belgian chocolates at a very affordable price.
Here, you have a selection of dark Belgian chocolates, chocolate truffles, pralines, and marzipan to choose from. Leonidas chocolate brand is known to experiment with new flavors. Their selection of pralines exceeds 100 varieties. For the shell, these chocolatiers use 100% natural ingredients and pure cocoa butter.
Founded: 1919, Brussels, Belgium
Mary Delluc (the first female-owned chocolatier in a male-dominated industry) started this brand not only produces scrumptious chocolates but also has a top-notch presentation of the chocolates in beautiful ornate boxes. A Belgian Royal Warrantholder since 1942, Mary chocolatier makes a variety of chocolates like almond paste, caramel, crème fraîches, dark chocolates, nuts, pralines, milk chocolates, gianduja, and pistachios.
It is their main priority to ensure that their raw materials are of the highest quality. While their chocolates are a bit pricey, they are worth it in terms of their heavenly flavor and lucrative presentation. In Brussels, you will find Mary stores in several locations, but the main store is located at Grand Place.
Founded: 1917, Liège, Belgium
Founded by Jean Gallers, Galler has become one of the top 10 Belgian chocolate brands in the United States with its dedication to quality, fine texture, and constant creativity.
There are all kinds of pralines, ice creams, chocolate bars filled with different fillings, as well as chocolate tablets, spreads, bite-sized chocolates, and different kinds of confectionery.
Unequivocally, these chocolatiers are one of the best chocolate stores in Brussels. Now just that, they have excellent customer service too. If you have any questions, they would be happy to answer them. Samples are also offered and you are able to choose the best flavors based on your preferences.
Founded: 1909, Gosselies, Belgium
Known for its delicious hazelnut praline, ganache, creams, truffles, pearls, and gianduja, Bruyerre is one of the oldest and pocket-friendly premium chocolatiers in Belgium. Their constant efforts of creating unique and delightful chocolates are what sets them apart.
A wide variety of chocolate lovers enjoy their chocolate, but the aroma of their chocolate lingers long after the chocolate has been consumed. There is something uniquely sweet about Bruyerre’s smooth textures and mild flavors. Orange & Carrot ganache, chocolate fries and Lime & Fresh Mint cream are a must-try!
Founded: 1991, Brussels, Belgium
The dedicated and passionate master chocolatiers of Planète Chocolat produce delicious chocolates with artisan chocolate which will be appreciated and widely loved by chocolate enthusiasts across the globe. From pralines, chocolate bars, truffles, gayettes to caraques and so much more. The wrapped chocolate boxes look just so luxurious. Their chocolates are made with 100% pure cocoa butter and are free from GMOs, preservatives, and artificial coloring. Just authentic dark chocolate.
Founded: 1958, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Best known for their shell-shaped chocolates filled with a plethora of fillings. The hazelnut praline chocolate is one of their widely popular products. GuyLian has now been bought by Lotte, a large South Korean company yet its signature recipe remains untouched and unmodified, keeping the chocolate brand just as exquisite.
They use the highest quality ingredients which makes them more of luxury Belgian chocolate. You will find a wide selection of gift boxes with shell-shaped chocolates that look delectable. Try it once and you’ll know all the hype around GuyLian is so much justifiable.
Founded: 1931, Ghent, Belgium
If you have a special corner for dark chocolate in your heart then Bouchard is the brand for you. Bouchard’s primary focus is to produce the best dark chocolate in the industry. Over the years, this chocolate brand has continued to grow its influence globally. Despite the high sales and popularity across the globe, they have continued to manufacture in Belgium only.
Smooth, flavorful, and incredibly creamy, their dark chocolates are a favorite among chocolate enthusiasts. The Belgian chocolate price is a bit high, but its quality and taste make it worth every penny.
Founded: 1911, Wieze, Belgium
Founded by Octaaf Callebaut, this chocolate brand has an interesting history. Octaaf was secretly making the first Callebaut chocolate recipe when the delectable aroma spread throughout the town of Wieze. The whole Wieze wished to have a bite of this chocolate that smelled heavenly. People tasted it and in no time Callebaut’s chocolate gained popularity and appreciation and multiple stores began to open.
Over the years, the taste and flavors gained popularity even among chocolatiers and chefs. Owing to the high quality and high amount of cacao, the final products are just top-notch. You can not only eat the chocolate directly but also great to eat with your favorite chocolate pastries.
Founded: 1932, Brussels, Belgium
Corne Port Royal uses the best ingredients and produces the most sophisticated products. Over the years, they have developed a wide variety of handmade chocolates as well as a wide selection of Belgian chocolates. You can taste as many samples as you want. The staff is super friendly too. You can not leave the store without tasting milk truffles, hazelnut ganache, and white pralines; all delicious.
Founded: 1910, Brussels, Belgium
This is the last family-owned Belgian chocolate shop in Brussels. In 1999, Wittamer earned the ‘Certified Royal Warrant Holder in Belgium’, and gained recognition across the globe. Made with cocoa butter exclusively, all their chocolates are 100% handmade.
They use only supreme-quality ingredients. The taste is delectable and the packaging is quite fancy. From milk chocolate, cranberry, dark chocolate, hazelnut, almonds, salted caramel, and chocolate powder, their popular chocolate flavors include several varieties.
Other Belgian Chocolate Brands To Try Out
Belgium has a wide variety of chocolate ranges. You can also try out the below-mentioned chocolates other than the top famous Belgian chocolate brands. Other chocolate brands are – The Chocolate Line, Dumon, La Belgique Gourmande, Pierre Marcolini, Zaäbar, Daskalidès etc.
Chocolate Museums In Belgium
If you are in Belgium, you cannot miss the Belgium chocolate museums.
A chocolate museum is a place where all the facts will be highlighted about chocolate like the important facts about raw cocoa beans, the history of cocoa plantations, the situation and lifestyle of cocoa farmers or traders in Africa, the largest cocoa producer area –The ivory coast in the world, ancient cocoa production process, antique chocolate cups and pots, how the cocoa bean was discovered and processing etc.
Few famous chocolate museums in Belgium are – Brussels Chocolate Museum, Choco-Story Brussels Museum, Roose’s Chocolate World, Chocolate Nation, Choco-Story Bruges, and Musee De chocolate Jacques.
Chocolate Tourism In Belgium
Belgium also offers the best-guided chocolate walking tours and workshop list. It combines chocolate indulgence and Belgian rich history. It includes the chocolate museums chocolate factories and chocolateries in Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp.
Here you will learn how to make ‘praline’ which is basically filled chocolate. With the dedicated chocolate tour group, you can also taste the different kinds of chocolates. However, remember all the chocolate tasting price of the chocolates is included in the tour package.
Contact with Chocolate Lovers Paradise Tours, Chocolaterie Duval, Le Chocolat & L’Or Noir Des Bruxellois Chocolate walking tour for the tour guidance.
If you want to know the price details and the chocolate tour guide, check out our Best Chocolate Tours In Belgium.
Why Just Eat, Learn Too: Chocolate Workshop
Being a Belgian chocolate lover, knowing how to make can be a great feeling and cherry on top. There are several great options for the chocolate-making course in Belgium.
If you are interested to attend the workshop, some great options are there like Belgian Chocolate Workshop, Concept Chocolate, Neuhaus, The Cocoa Journey etc.
1. What are the facts about Belgium chocolate that make it so popular?
Belgian chocolate has gained popularity due to its distinguishable taste, delicious taste, plethora of flavor options, smooth texture, etc.
2. What makes Belgian chocolate the best in the world?
The chocolate-making culture, rich history, use of top-quality ingredients, etc. Not just that, the chocolatiers keep experimenting and coming up with novel innovations.
4. Why are Belgian chocolates so expensive?
The primary reason for its expensiveness is the use of high-quality cocoa butter and cocoa beans. Belgium chocolates come in various price ranges. Most premium chocolates are expensive, but there are affordable brands too. There are expensive chocolate brands in Belgium but they are worth every cent.
5. Where can I get the best Belgian chocolate shops in Belgium?
Brussels is a city filled with chocolate stores. Around the Place du Sablon are where you’ll find the best chocolatiers in Belgium. This plaza is home to the majority of the world’s best chocolate shops, including Godiva, Neuhaus, Leonidas, Pierre Marcolini, and Patrick Roger.
The Title ‘Making The Best Chocolate’ For A Reason
Belgium offers the world, the finest chocolates by some of the finest chocolatiers. Behind each of these chocolate brands, there is a team of top chocolatiers.
With their knowledge, expertise, and craftsmanship, they produce delicious, fine, and sophisticated chocolates and other products with high-quality Belgian chocolate. To come up with new recipes, they don’t hesitate to use the best innovation and technological developments.