Belgian Chocolate in Galeries Royales, Brussels

La Belgique Gourmande, Brussels

Although Belgium does not produce the ingredients for the chocolate, it has a few century-long tradition of making one of the finest chocolates in the world. And what would be a better place to explore all this tasty luxury than the Galeries Royales in Brussels? Below you will find a full list of the best chocolate you can find there.

This Gallery is a glazed shopping arcade, similar to the famous Galeria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, but actually built earlier. It consists of two segments, called Galerie du Roi and Galerie de la Reine, so the Gallery of the King and the Queen. There is also a smaller side passage, called Galerie du Prince. You might also hear it called the Passage Saint-Hubert – this is the common name for the whole ensemble.

At the moment it is exactly in this Gallery you can find some of the best Belgian chocolate shops and cafes. Here is a little list of what I think are the absolute must-tries.

Corné Port-Royal

Corné Port-Royal was born in Brussels in 1932, when a young confectioner Maurice Corne decided to try a new venture and opened a chocolate shop. It was a great success from the start and the word about delicious chocolate spread round. The fame of Corné Port-Royal reached even the famous French actor Maurice Chevalier, who frequented the shop.

You can taste the chocolate of Corné Port-Royal all around Belgium and even in France, but the best place to experience it would be the Galerie de la Reine.

Corné Port-Royal Chocolate, Brussels
Corné Port-Royal Chocolate, Brussels

Signature item: It is of course the famous ‘Manon Sucre’, created by Maurice Corne himself in 1935. It is still produced in the same way. It is a praline balancing a perfect combination of cream and crisp.

Website: https://www.corneportroyal.com

Leonidas

This is one of my favourite stories, because it combines awesome things: chocolate, love, travels and socialism. The to-be founder of this brand Leonidas Kestekides was a Greek born in Anatolia. When he was 18, he emigrated to the USA and became a confectioner. He later travelled to Belgium for the 1910 World Fair and 1. the Belgians fell in love with his sweets 2. Leonidas fell in love with Joanna Teerlinck and married her. Together (and later also with the help of Leonidas’ family from Greece) they open a shop, which becomes a big success. And what about the socialism? Well, the chocolate during that time was only for the rich. Leonidas revolutionised the process of selling the chocolate straight from the shop window and made it much cheaper than anyone before. The family run company continues to expand until now.

At the moment you can find Leonidas in some 50 countries in the world. But of course Belgium is where it all started.

Leonidas chocolate, Brussels
Leonidas chocolate, Brussels

Signature item: Leonidas is called the king of pralines. But if pralines is not your type, there is so much more to chose from, including (but not limiting to) truffles, ice-cream, marzipan, candied fruit, spreads and even hot drinks.

Website: http://www.leonidas.com

Pierre Marcolini

One of the younger chocolate success stories. Pierre Marcolini was born in Italian family living in Belgium and wanted to be a chocolatier since his childhood. Maison Pierre Marcolini is known for working directly with the producers of chocolate beans all over the world. The main emphasis is on the top quality ingredients and therefore amazing taste.

Signature item: Try the macrons and the eclairs. They are freshly made and only available in some of the stores.

Website: https://eu.marcolini.com

La Belgique Gourmande

Not strictly a chocolate shop, but more of a little treasure box within the Galerie. In addition to the best Belgian chocolates, here you will also find waffles, Speculoos biscuits and over 250 of Belgian artisan beers.

Signature item: As this shop really has everything, it is hard to chose. Maybe try going there for the things you did not get in the other ones?

Website: http://www.labelgiquegourmande.be

Neuhaus

Oh, here is another funny story. It begins not with the founder, but with his grandfather, who had a pharmacy in the same Galerie de la Reine. He used to cover his medicines in a layer of chocolate, so they would taste better. I wish they still would practise that now! Anyway, in 1912 his grandson Jean Neuhaus replaced the medicine inside with the cream, and so the first praline was born. Neuhaus’ wife designed a special fancy box for the chocolates and called it ‘ballotin’. This has started the tradition of bringing small chocolates as a gift.

Since then it has pretty much one big success. Neuhaus currently has many shops all over the world and is also the official chocolate supplier to the Belgian royal family. But if you have a chance, try it at the Galerie, where the old pharmacy used to be.

Signature item: The chocolates named ‘Astid’, ‘Caprice’ and ‘Tentation’ were created between 1930s and 1950s. They are still very successful and made according to the traditional recipe.

Website: http://www.neuhauschocolate.com

Mary

Have you noticed that so far all the chocolatiers were men? Well, not all, there were some women too. Mary Delluc, the founder of Mary was probably the most famous one. This entrepreneur opened a tea room in the very centre of Brussels in 1919. She served her chocolates and kept notes of which were liked by most of the customers. Mary re-created and re-invented her recipes in the same shop’s basement in her chocolate laboratory.

Mary Chocolate, Brussels
Mary Chocolate, Brussels

Signature item: Visit Mary’s to try her famous langues de chat (cat tongues). You can find them in milk, white and dark chocolate.

Website: https://www.mary.be

53 Replies to “Belgian Chocolate in Galeries Royales, Brussels”

  1. O Eemmmm Geee I would be in heaven if I had to go to the Galeries Royales. All that decadent chocolaty yumminess. Love the behind the scenes stories and history you shared too Ana. That makes each chocolatier even more special

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      😀 Right?! I was in heaven for this short while. But then again, it’s sooo beautiful that you feel almost like committing a crime by eating it!

  2. These places all look amazing! Chocolate making is an art when it is done like this, each shop looks so beautiful and well presented. The first one makes me think of a chocolate art gallery!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Good point! It also feels a bit like an art gallery – every little piece is such a work of art that I felt almost guilty eating some of them. 🙂

  3. I have passed through the Galerie and gazed at the beautiful shop windows. I do remember seeing Mary and also tasting a little treat from Pierre Marconi. But my favorite chocolatier in Bruxelles remains Passion, in Place de Grand Sablon. 🙂

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Joanna thank you for your comment! I actually never tried anything from Passion. I will make a note and remember it for the future.

  4. This is what paradise looks like for a chocolate addict. I cannot wait to visit Brussels and check all of these chocolatiers.

    ❥ tanvii.com

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      All of Brussels is a chocolate heaven, but this place in particular 😉

  5. That looks incredible! What a cool place to visit, and eat your way through 🙂

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Absolutely! Those places are a bit dangerous, but definitely worth a choco-crime 😉

  6. OMG, yes. This is the post for me. I feel like if I ever went to one of these places, the chocolate would totally ruin what I consider to be good chocolate here in the states. BRB, getting my chocolate fix!

    Mary
    http://www.meanwhilewith.com

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Mary, the most dangerous part (for your wallet at least) is that they some of them ship to the US! So once you get addicted, there is no way to stop. 😉

  7. Wow this was so informative and has now made me crave some chocolate!!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      And imagine how it was for me writing it!

  8. Yummmy!!!

  9. You have created a fabulous resource for Belgian chocolate lovers. Loved reading Leonidas story!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Thank you! I initially thought to just describe the chocolate, but when I started reading about the history, it got soo interesting.

  10. Oh my mouth is watering while reading this, as I have a major sweet tooth! Would love to try those macaroons at Pierre Marcolini!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      They are super-instagramable, but I’m actually not that much into macarons myself. Truffles are my thing!

  11. Chocolate and Belgium in the same sentence can’t mean anything else than happiness. I will pin this to have on hand when I’ll visit Belgium.

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      I’m glad it was helpful 😉

  12. I have tried the Leonidas truffles and must agree. They are pretty good. Great time to add chocolate to the gift ideas for under the tree.

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      I can’t believe it is actually the time to plan the presents. Summer was just here!

  13. these shops literally look to die for – i can almost smell the fragrance of chocolate as i scrolled through your post you did such a good job with your pictures!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Thank you!

  14. Wow, I wouldn’t go out of this place! It’s amazing! Wish here is similar shop next to my home. Thank you for sharing.

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Maybe it’s for the best we don’t have something like that close to our homes, eh?

  15. I have officially renamed Brussels, Chocolate Heaven! All these places look so perfect! And you just did my trip for when I go there, Chocolate Shop hoppin’!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Hey Bea, I’m glad it was useful! Choco shopping sounds perfect!

  16. Looks like kingdom of deliciousness. If not anything i will visit Brussels for chocolate. Lovely post and good to know all the information.

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Actually, I’m writing another post at the moment about OTHER sights in Brussels. I wonder if that one could ever be more popular than the chocolate though 😉

  17. I would LOVE to do a chocolate tour of all of these! 😍 I wish they still made medicine covered in chocolate too! 😋

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Me too! 🙂

  18. Oh my god! I am dying to see this place. It looks so beautiful and the place is look so heaven.

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Chocolate heaven!

  19. Ooooh I would love to visit Brussels one day! I’ve been all throughout Europe, but never to Brussels!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Oh, I hope you get to see it! It is very well-connected to other places as well, you have great place to London, Paris and some other cities. You can plan even a day or two in Brussels next time, if you find yourself somewhere nearby.

  20. This list consists of brands I’ve never heard of and it’s crazy because I love chocolates. I think I will end up being stuck in that street oogling at the variety of chocolates!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      The world of chocolate is huge! 🙂 There is always something new to explore 🙂

  21. This looks amazing. Being in a beautiful place surrounded by chocolate???? YES please!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      I didn’t wish for more, until my friend told me that you can actually visit Neuhaus factory, where you can taste as much as you want!

  22. YUM! I love Belgian chocolates and how fun would it be to visit all of these delicious chocolatiers! I need to add this place to my travel bucket list!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      It is a good way to explore the city for sure!

  23. nicoleflintkontrol says: Reply

    Omg all of the chocolates! I will eat my weight in chocolate if I was there.

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Lol!!! I think the price would have stopped you though – they are quite expensive, except for more or less decent Leonidas 🙂 It did stop me from doing the same!

  24. if I am in Brussels I know where to go!

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      I’m glad it was helpful! 😉

  25. Paradise on earth! I would love to be there and experience these exquisite chocolates. I love dark chocolates with nuts. I know they might be a little pricey but considering the quality of these chocolates, I’d risk being broke. Haha.

  26. This is a dream come true! Omg, chocolate in Belgium?! I’m so jealous that you got to experience this. It looks amazing.

  27. Yes please. Cheap high quality chocolate to everyone! 🙂

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Most of them are rather expensive though! 😉

  28. This may sound funny but I still remember my first Belgian chocolate that I have tasted. I remember the texture and the taste as well 🙂 This place is to die for.

    1. merrygoroundslowly says: Reply

      Oh that’s so nice! You are a proper chocolate lover then!

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