What to look for in a chocolate tour in Brussels before you book
- Find out how many chocolate shops you will be going to.
- Find out how many chocolates received (total or per stop) during the tour.
- If needed, multiply the number of chocolates per stop times the number of shops.
- Check which and how many high-end chocolatiers are included in the tour.
- Find out the length of the tour and see what travelers say about the tour/guides.
- Independent reviews by others online
The one I selected had a lot of people complaining about having too many chocolates on the chocolate tour (#firstworldproblems). It’s of course cheaper to go on your own (and in theory, you could if you just wrote the name of our stops!), but the point of a tour is to learn more about the process/history. I ended up choosing the Groovy Brussels tour as I didn’t want to spend more than 50 euros.
Edit: I was notified by my readers that they only give you 8 chocolates now as they were far more generous at the time that I took my tour last year (with giving you 17 chocolates) and paid for myself. My review still stands, but this upsets me as I chose Groovy Brussels based on the value for money.
About the chocolate tour that I chose
The Groovy Brussels chocolate tour is a daily tour run in English. I am deeply passionate about chocolate and when when deciding what to do in Brussels, going on a chocolate tour was #1. After doing research, I felt that this one had the highest chocolate to cash ratio.
On this chocolate tour in Brussels, everything, including visiting 6 chocolatiers, was included. Your tour guide will tell you about the history of chocolate in Brussels, the chocolate types (and their process), and the respective chocolate shops of Brussels that we’ll visit. The chocolate tour cost 39 euros (at time of publication) and we had to book in advance online. They do not do tours on Mondays. It lasts 2.5 hours.
Overall review of Groovy Brussels Chocolate Tour
10/10. I wish that we could have ate more chocolate, but it was physically impossible. However, I did get some chocolate for the next day at the end. I’m not usually one for tours, but I will do one when it’s something that I’m passionate about. What I liked about this Brussels chocolate tour was that our tour guide challenged us with flavors that I may not have gotten on my own and ended up loving.
Our tour guide was very sweet, talkative, and very passionate about chocolate. Her English was impeccable. We were a small group of 6. About half the people on the tour were unable to finish their chocolates, however it’s possible to get your chocolates to go although you lose out on the distinction of understanding the origins while eating it.
Do not eat before this tour. Besides an empty stomach and a reserved ticket, you need a comfy pair of shoes as there’s a bit of walking (about 15 minutes).
I learned a lot on the tour about the production of chocolate, the distinction between the varieties, and the history of Belgian chocolate making. Despite being a chocolate lover, I felt that this chocolate walking tour of Brussels made me appreciate the chocolate that I eat. Similarly, it made me elevate my tastes a bit from Leonidas to…Neuhaus (progress!).
Why we did not do a beer and chocolate tour in Belgium…
I chose not to do a beer and chocolate tour as I wanted to focus on one experience at a time and after this chocolate tour, I was so full that dinner was an afterthought. The idea of even having a beer straight away seemed impossible and doing a non-combined tour saved us money that we spent on beer the following evening.
On average, we had about each store and given that we stopped off at 6 chocolatiers. (On an additional note, Jacob and I just really love Belgian beer. This was just not the right time for it.)
I will not go into all the details as I would encourage you to take the tour, however I will review our stop-offs. Of course, you can go on your own to these shops, but having an expert who picks the most classic/unique flavors makes the experience interesting as it means that you’ll try things that you wouldn’t typically get.
Stops on our Belgian chocolate tour
If you’re intending on booking the Groovy Brussels chocolate tour now, I encourage you to stop reading now as to leave the surprises up to your tour guide on where you end up going.
We met up with our tour guide, a Belgian student, in the middle of the Royal Galleries of Brussels. This beautiful pedestrian mall is home of many of the prestigious chocolatiers of Brussels and it’s enjoyable to walk around. (There’s also a great Ethiopian coffee shop if you need some coffee before the tour.)
I’m a little ashamed to admit that before I took this tour, I thought Leonidas was the good stuff. However, it’s still quite tasty—and it’s fitting to start off the tour with the most famous Belgian chocolatier, known for popularizing chocolate for the masses.
Leonidas was started in the 1900s by a Greek-American entrepreneur who started making chocolate after showing off his chocolate at the World’s Fair. He made the first mass produced chocolate for the masses. It remains a fixture of the chocolate world that can be found in many countries.
Wittamer is one of the famous chocolatiers and pastry shops of Brussels. The original cafe down the street is famous for cakes although we only went into the chocolate shop.
Of the Belgian chocolate that we tried on our tour, I loved Wittamer the most as it surprised me the most. I especially loved the passionfruit chocolate. (I ended up getting extra Wittamer chocolates after the tour.)
Even if you’re not planning to do a chocolate tour in Belgium, I consider visiting this extravagant chocolatier something to put on your list of what to do in Brussels. Pierre Marcolini was a chef-pâtissier prior to deciding that he’d make chocolate.
Originally from Belgium, Pierre Marcolini produces some of the most expensive Belgian chocolate you’ll find with the most elaborate store displays. However, he goes out of his way to source his products 100% from sustainable sources and produces chocolate around single-sourced chocolate beans. As a result, you can eat this artisan Belgian chocolate without any guilt: the farmers who produce his chocolate are well-compensated for their beans.