Belgian Chocolate Shops in Brussels, Grand Sablon

By - March 15, 2010 (Updated: October 19, 2015)

A beautiful pink box of Wittamer Chocolates

A beautiful pink box of Wittamer Chocolates

Every good chocoholic knows Belgian chocolate is the best in the world. But while tourists flock to the shops selling chocolate Manneken Pis statues around Grand Place, locals and in-the-know travelers head to Brussels’ chocolate Mecca – Grand Sablon.

Grand Sablon (Grote Zavel in Dutch) is a small square (a triangle actually) with the beautiful Notre Dame de Sablon church at its head. Lining the streets are cafes, bars, restaurants and shops – most notably the best selection of chocolate shops in Brussels.

Here’s my rundown of the chocolate shops of Sablon.

One of the oldest chocolatiers in Sablon, and my personal favourite, is Wittamer. Henri Wittamer began his company in 1910 and it is now run by his son and daughter. Wittamer is the Official Supplier to the Court of Belgium but we lowly peasants can visit the chocolate shop, bakery and café on Grand Sablon. My recommendation – climb the stairs to the café on a cold winter’s day and warm up with the thickest and best hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted. Then head over to the chocolate shop for a mixed box of pralines (and for me, an extra bag of raspberry hearts, delish!)

Wittamer Café
Place du Grand Sablon 6
1000 Brussels
+32 2 512 37 42

Wittamer Pâtissier, Glacier & Traiteur
12 Place du Grand Sablon
1000 Brussels
T : +32 (0)2 512 37 42

If Wittamer is classic and traditional, Pierre Marcolini is new and avant gard. When you first step into this shop you’d be forgiven for thinking you walked into a jewellery store. The chocolates are displayed in long glass cases, like tiny jewels.  The clerks are immaculately dressed and handle the chocolates with white gloves. The décor screams decadence, and that is what Marcolini is all about. The cocoa beans are sourced from around the world, as are the unique flavours. Orange blossom, ginger, passion fruit and mango are just a few of the exotic flavours on offer.

Rue des Minimes 1
Place du Grand Sablon
T: +32(0)25141206

If you are looking for a truly traditional Belgian praline, look no further than the inventor of this delicacy – Neuhaus. Neuhaus has been making chocolate in Belgium since 1857 and they were my first introduction to real Belgian chocolate. They invented the praline, ‘a bite-sized filled chocolate’ in 1912 and now their collection includes over 60 flavours. If you can’t make it to Sablon, or to Belgium for that matter, never fear. It is possible to find Neuhaus outlets in 50 countries around the world.

Rue Lebeau 79 (Grand Sablon),
1000  Brussels
T: +32 2 502 38 13

Many North Americans’ first exposure to Belgian chocolate comes in a shiny gold box bearing the name Godiva. Over 75 years ago Joseph Draps founded a chocolate company in Belgium named for Lady Godiva. His son Joseph took over and shortened the name to simply Godiva. These days Godiva chocolate can be found from New York to Tokyo or right here in Brussels on the Grand Sablon.

Grand Sablon 47/48
1000 Brussels
T: +32 2 502 99 06

When you’re talking about global expansion of a Belgian chocolate company, you can’t leave out Leonidas. These little yellow chocolate shops are the ‘Golden Arches’ of the chocolate world. With 1,400 outlets around the world, chances are you won’t have to travel all the way to Belgium for a taste. Nonetheless, you will find an outlet tucked in a corner of Grand Sablon, rounding out the Belgian chocolate offerings on the square.

Place du grand Sablon 41
T: +32 (0)2513 14 66

One Belgian chocolatier that I just can’t fail to mention, even though it can’t be found on Grand Sablon, is Zaabär. This new-comer on the Belgian chocolate scene, is pushing the boundaries of flavour and has beautiful packaging too. Their red pepper chocolate is one of my all-time favourites and their lavender chocolate is a close second. Their shop and factory is well worth a visit if you didn’t get your chocolate fill on Grand Sablon.

125 chaussée de Charleroi
1060 Brussels
T: +32(0)25339580

The selection of chocolate shops in Brussels is endless, but if you are pressed for time and want one stop chocolate shopping, Place du Grand Sablon has something for every chocolate lover. What’s your favourite Belgian chocolate?
View Chocolate shops in Sablon in a larger map

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Alison Cornford-Matheson
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison Cornford-Matheson
- 1 week ago
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