When you think Bruges, you’d be forgiven for immediately thinking ‘beer’. However, with 50 chocolate shops to its name, Bruges is a sweet-tooth person’s dream. Swirls of creamy, indulgent chocolate is the name of the game – you just need to know where to find it.
The Chocolate Line
The Chocolate Line can be found on Simon Stevinplein, a small square just off from Markt. Don’t expect to find varieties of milk, white and dark chocolate here. Chocolatier Dominique Persoone has made Cuban cigar, wasabi, cola and lemongrass and even fried onion milk chocolate the norm. They may sound crazy but take a bite – almond praline with crispy bacon and quinoa anyone? You can even buy chocolate body paint.
Working with some of the best cocoa in the world, this family-run shop puts an artisan touch onto their chocolate creations. You’ll find it in Simon Stevinplein square.
The Chococlate Crown
A slew of creamy concoctions will definitely get those tastebuds watering. All the chocolate in this shop is made in Bruges and they know exactly how to stir up a good piece of chocolate.
The Chocolate Story Museum
Learn everything you could possibly need to know about chocolate – how they began to use cocoa and how it became everyone’s favourite sweet treat from Aztec times onwards. There’s even a library of works on cocoa and chocolate, a chocolate-making demonstration and of course, the chance to test out a few morsels.
The Old Chocolate House
Upstairs in the Old Chocolate House claims to serve the best hot chocolate in town. Meanwhile downstairs is a very tempting chocolate shop… Choose from a variety of bite-sized chocolates – you can have a variety box made up to take home if you simply can’t decide.
Located on 20 Mariastraat, this is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Try the strangely named ‘chocolate bark’, which is sheets of nut-filled milk, dark or white chocolate, broken into pieces.
This sleek store is painted all in white, with simple bars of exquisite Belgian chocolate taking centre stage. Try No. 15 milk chocolate, hazelnut and babelutte (a regional caramel-like candy) or No. 50 with dark chocolate, tonka beans and lemon.
Other worthwhile mentions are Guillaume (Grasdreef, 19), Roose (Steenstraat, 47) and Spegelaere (Ezelstraat, 92).
You really can’t go wrong – Bruges knows its chocolate. Time to start looking at flights.