If you're figuring out what to do in Brussels and you're a chocolate lover, you must try Belgian chocolate—and do a chocolate tasting in Brussels. I did a lot of research before coming and I got what seemed like the best chocolate tour in Brussels. This is an independent review of the Groovy Brussels chocolate tour in Brussels with the best chocolatiers in Brussels.
What to look for in a chocolate tour in Brussels before you book
I spent a long time reading the reviews on tripadvisor for the tours. A lot of people complained about other tours not getting enough chocolate. That just seems like a shame given that this is a chocolate tour and the minimum price for ANY guided chocolate tasting in Brussels was at least 35 euros. If you intend on going to the pricier chocolatiers, try to find out the chocolate to price ratio (as I call it). (For the record, I invented this formula while researching chocolate tours in Brussels. I just really love chocolate.)
To get the chocolate-price ratio...
Divide the the price of the tour by the total number of chocolates
The one I selected had a lot of people complaining about having too many chocolates on the chocolate tour (#firstworldproblems). I was kind of sold. I figured out roughly how many chocolate shops we'd stop at (6), how many chocolates we'd receive (2-3 per stop), and divided that by the price. It's of course cheaper to go on your own, but the point of a tour is to learn more about the process/history. I ended up choosing the Groovy Brussels tour as I felt that receiving about 17 chocolates for 39 euros (2.50 euros per chocolate) was a fair deal with visiting some of the most high-end chocolatiers with six different stops.
Note: this is an independent review of the chocolate tour in Brussels that I paid for myself. I did not notify them that I would review this Belgian chocolate tour, so I did not receive special treatment. I do not receive anything if you decide to book a chocolate tour. I just really loved this chocolate tour.
This post contains affiliate links for Amazon in case you want Belgian chocolate after finishing this post.
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 with 2-3 chocolates at each, 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 2-3 pieces at each store and given that we stopped off at 6 chocolatiers, that's 16-18 chocolates, not including the extras I bought at the end of the tour at Wittamer. (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.
(Click to get Leonidas chocolate delivered to your house.)
This pharmacist turned chocolatier was the first to display chocolate in an elevated way. The original shop in the Royal Galleries was one of my favorite places to visit in Brussels. The shop is decorated like an old pharmacy although over the years, Neuhaus (a Swiss immigrant) and his family have experimented with yearly varieties that vary considerably.
(Click to get Neuhaus chocolate delivered to your house.)
Mary was the first female Belgian chocolatier. She worked hard to get her chocolates noticed by the King of Belgium. Her beautiful hand-drawn boxes are perfect for bringing home chocolate for relatives and I loved the feminine touches to the Mary shop in the Royal Galleries. They still follow her original recipes.
From here, we had a 20 minute walk through Central Brussels, which had the opportunity to purchase water. (Toilets were available at different chocolate shops as we were part of a group.)
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.
I quite enjoyed the chocolates although they were on the pricer side with beautiful packaging. Pierre Marcolini also makes macarons and ice cream during the summer (covered in chocolate). These are not included in the tour, but worth a taste (maybe another day).
Frederic Blondeel is the other newcomer to the chocolate scene and his chocolates are bean to bar. Every single bean is accounted for and he toasts his beans in the same equipment used by his grandfather. His chocolates were the most experimental of the ones that we tried If you're looking for the most affordable high-end chocolate on a budget, you should be buying your Belgian chocolates at Frederic Blondeel.
Frederic Blondeel was my husband's favorite by far as he loved how the flavors were not what he expected. We'll agree to disagree.
In case you're hungry after reading this...
If you don't have plans to visit Brussels soon, you can still get Belgian chocolate delivered to you.
Looking for more inspiration for Brussels? Keep reading!
Do you love Belgian chocolate? Would you take a chocolate tour in Brussels?
Karen and Jacob. American expats and cat lovers from New York City and Kentucky who lived in Amsterdam.... Now in Paris!
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