Visiting Bruges and not taking a moment (or many) to step into one of the many chocolate shops there would be a crime.
So in order to keep you on the straight and narrow, here is the run down of the five most delicious, most exciting, most decadently creamy chocolate shops in the whole city. Enjoy!
The Chocolate Line
The Chocolate Line is a foodie’s dream and is the brainchild of Dominique Persoone. Not only can you see, taste, and eat the chocolate (as well as buy a load to take away with you, of course!), but you can also peer into the factory workshop and watch as the incredibly talented chocolatiers make their beautiful creations.
And beautiful they certainly are – your eyes will be impressed, and your taste buds will be jumping with joy.
Ever heard of a sake infused ganache? What about an apple and balsamic vinegar caramel? Or maybe a fried onion praline? These and dozens of other weird and wonderful combinations exist at The Chocolate Line.
Whenever I visit Bruges The Chocolate Line is my first stop - it's not a holiday to Bruges without some unusual chocolate truffles to take home! Get there early as lines out of the shop develop quickly.
I recommend the assortment box (around €30) which comes jam packed in a presentation box. This offers a good selection of many of the popular flavours. I wish they did online ordering (I might become well and truly addicted then!) but at the moment they don't offer this.
The Old Chocolate House
Situated in the very heart of the city, close to many of the main tourist attractions, is this gorgeous chocolate shop. It looks just like one of the wonderful gingerbread houses it sells (alongside the traditional Belgian pralines, honey, marzipan creations, cookies, and various chocolate delights), and the tempting window displays will certainly have you enchanted.
Once you have stepped through the doorway you’ll find shelf upon shelf of deliciously sweet morsels to enjoy, and a counter of samples that will make your mouth water. Go ahead and try some of the treats on display and then make your choice – if you can.
Handily, The Old Chocolate House has an online shop too, so although you want be able to taste and smell the gorgeous chocolates, you will be able to buy them any time you want to…
Pur Chocolat is a small, friendly, family run place where the owner himself serves you and makes you feel at home. That combined with excellent chocolate in a variety of guises makes Pur Chocolat a must visit shop in Bruges!
The friendly atmosphere and interesting conversation (the proprietor is, of course, an expert in his field and will happily answer any of your chocolate related, or Bruges related, questions) make this chocolate shop a little different to many of the others you’ll find in your journey around the city. Although not in the city centre, it’s worth travelling for an extra few minutes to get here.
Dumon was so popular that three shops sprung up in Bruges, so wherever you find yourself you won’t be too far from Dumon’s deliciously inventive brand of chocolate. Combining a chocolate emporium with a coffee shop, you can sit and sip your espresso and savour the scent of the creative treats all around you.
Famous for their fresh ingredients and ability to come up with new ideas, Dumon’s chocolates will amaze you. There are the classics, of course, and strange and wonderful inventions that include chocolate figurines (the Easter Bunny, St Nicholas, and a wide variety of other clever chocolate animals and people).
In 1919 Mary Delluc opened her first chocolate shop. It was beautiful, decorated in the art deco style, and it was an exciting place to visit too – the king often passed by, and keen royal watchers soon began to congregate in Mary’s little shop to wait for a glimpse of him.
Mary took the initiative and added a tea room so that those waiting had somewhere to sit… and eat and drink whilst they were there. It turned out to be a fantastic idea, and soon enough Mary’s shop was full even on days when the king wasn’t expected to walk by.
Today, the combination of exquisite chocolates and fascinating history make Mary Chocolatier a wonderful place to visit. Not only are the chocolates incredible, but the boxes they are delivered in are considered to absolute works of art!