Belgium is known worldwide for its refined chocolate. But what are the best places to discover this delicacy? We will take you on a sweet discovery tour of 14 well-known artisan chocolatiers near a Belgian train station.

4 master chocolatiers who have made a name for themselves internationally

1. Pierre Marcolini in Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges

Pierre Marcolini has received several awards and is an authority in the chocolate world today. With stores in the four corners of the planet, Marcolini is the right place to indulge your taste buds.

🚆 Where:

  • 4 shops in the centre of Brussels (the Galerie de la Reine and the Sablon), near Brussels-Central station
  • Pierre Marcolini Antwerp (in the Wilde Zee district), 1 km from Antwerpen-Centraal station
  • Pierre Marcoline Bruges, 1.2 km from Brugge station

2. Centho Chocolates in Brussels

Perhaps less well-known to the general public, Centho chocolates are still worth the detour. Master chocolatier Geert Decoster has won several awards in his career, but the praline you should taste here is the Salin: a perfectly balanced praline with milk chocolate and salted caramel, also named 'best praline in the world' in 2013.

🚆 Where: Centho Brussels is located 450 m from Brussels-Schuman station.

3. The Chocolate Line in Bruges and Antwerp

According to Gault&Millau, the Chocolatier of the Year 2023. Master chocolatier, Dominique Persoone, well known at home and abroad, knows how to innovate. Not only does he make amazingly delicious chocolates, but also chocolate bars in every possible flavour, chocolate pills... or even chocolate for sniffing. Chocolate addicts, try at your own risk!
Did you know... Dominique Persoone manufactures his chocolate with cocoa from his own cocoa plantations in Mexico.

🚆 Where:

  • The Chocolate Line Bruges, 1,2 km from Brugge station
  • The Chocolate Line Antwerp, 1 km from Antwerpen-Centraal station

4. Darcis chocolatier in Liège and Verviers

Jean-Philippe Darcis, best known south of the language border, completes our list of master chocolatiers. Originally from Verviers, he also founded a chocolate museum there: the Chocolaterie. Learn more about chocolate manufacturing and end your visit with a delicious tasting. Don't hesitate to sample the macarons that (let's be chauvinistic) overshadow the best Parisian houses!

🚆 Where:

  • Darcis Liège, 600 m from Liège-Saint-Lambert station
  • Darcis Belle-Île, 600 m from Angleur station
  • La Chocolaterie, 750 m from Verviers station

7 artisan chocolatiers worth visiting

1. Chocolatier M in Knokke

David Maenhout, voted Belgium Chocolate Personnality of the Year in 2023, likes to surprise with pralines of refined design and balanced taste. At his store in Knokke, try the sea buckthorn praline, a 100% local berry that grows in the Zwin, a nearby nature reserve.

🚆 Where: the store is located 1.5 km from Knokke station.

2. Chocolaterie Vandenhende in Brussels

A small artisan chocolate store that has everything a big one has and where you can look inside the workshop... We love the finger licking good praliné-based chocolates...

🚆 Where: the store is located near the Etterbeek/Germoir station.

3. Chez Blanche in Liège

The founder of Chez Blanche is none other than Jean Galler. After selling his business, he decided to start a new company and refocus on a more artisanal way of working. For those with a sweet tooth, Blanche offers filled chocolate bars that you won't soon forget. We fell for the one with Ristretto. But the pralines or full chocolate bars are also mouth-watering. As for pastries, the Liège waffles are just caramelised on the outside and soft on the inside. If you want to be surprised, try the orange gosette - a less common but oh-so-delicious combination.

🚆 Where: the store is located near Liège-Guillemins station.

4. Chocolaterie Vandenbouhede in Ghent

A young Ghent chocolatier 'on the rise'. Steven Vandenbouhede, 22 years old, can certainly rival with the master chocolatiers of this world. Indeed, he has already won 3 prestigious prizes at the Belgium Chocolate Awards, including the gold medal for his chocolate bar with Gandaham and the silver medal for Belgian praline for his vegan praline.

🚆 Where: the store is located 1.6 km from Gent-Dampoort station.

5. Laurent Gerbaud in Brussels

Laurent Gerbaud, voted Belgium's best chocolatier in 2021 by Gault&Millau, will welcome you to his boutique kitchen in the heart of the capital. Passionate about spices and fruits, he offers refined pralines, as well as artisanal ice cream and fruit spreads.

🚆 Where:

  • Shop and studio (Galerie Ravenstein) near Brussels-Central station
  • Boutique Amigo (Brussels Grand Place), 500 m from Brussels-Central station

6. Bittersweet in Leuven

Bittersweet makes super-original chocolates in the most bizarre and enchanting shapes (robot, skulls, gorillas and so on) and funky flavours. By the way, the pralines also have equally cool names: corn pop, hot love, bitterbal... Which one will you try?

🚆 Where: about 100 m from Leuven station

7. Van Dender - best chocolatier in Brussels 2023

Voted best chocolatier in Brussels in 2023, Herman Van Dender, purveyor to the Royal Household of Belgium, guarantees undeniable quality! At his boutique, he offers pralines and pastries that prove he has more than earned his place among the grandmasters. Good to know: he makes his own chocolate from start to finish.

🚆 Where:

  • Van Dender by Sweet Bakery in Schaerbeek near Meiser station
  • Wholesale near Groot-Bijgaarden station
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