Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope that was sufficiently enthusiastic? Today is not one of my favorite holidays (and I know I’m not alone here). But despite my belief that Valentine’s is a commercially driven celebration, JessinBelgium has convinced me otherwise with her research on the subject. So with a positive view on all things love, here are my top picks for where to find a last-minute sweet treat for your sweetie (or yourself) in Brussels.
The no-fail option – Pierre Marcolini. Although they are a bit more expensive than your average box of chocolates, Marcolinis in their sleek black packaging are top-of-the-line Belgian chocolates and will always impress. The regular variety box includes classic and more adventurous flavors (like Earl Grey tea), and I’m sure they have some special offers for Valentine’s Day. Besides the flagship store on Sablon, you can also find them at Rob supermarket, the Midi train station or the Marcolini stores in Uccle and Woluwe.
1 Rue des Minimes, Place du Grand Sablon, 1000 Brussels
Tel : +32 2 514 12 06
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 10am-7pm, Friday and Saturday, 10am-8pm
Something a little different – Laurent Gerbaud. This up-and-coming chocolatier has gathered inspiration travelling through Asia, especially China, and incorporates several unusual flavors and ingredients with Belgian chocolate to make for a unique treat. Located in a small shop across from BOZAR, Laurent is often in the atelier himself, whipping up a fresh batch and chatting with customers. Another recent discovery is Alex & Alex, a champagne and chocolate bar just off the Sablon. They do lovely pairings of bubbly and hand-made chocolates, which in my book would make a great Valentine’s gift.
2D Rue Ravenstein, 1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 511 16 02
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10:30am-7:30pm
For non-chocolate lovers – Maison Dandoy. If you’re looking for something sweet that isn’t made from cocoa, cookies (biscuits) from Dandoy are the way to go. Set up in 1829 by Jean-Baptiste Dandoy, the original shop is still located near the Grand Place and filled to the brim with different flavor speculoos and other types of cookies. There are six other locations around the city, including Brugmann, Sablon and Uccle. Another good option is a box of macaroons from the famous French pâtissière Ladurée. Although we don’t have a shop in Brussels, the store People Concept downtown (14 rue du Lombard) sells them. The Paul bakery chain also does a nice assortment of macaroons.
31 Rue au Beurre, 1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 511 03 26
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:30am-7pm
So enjoy something sweet today and spread the love!
Images via ETVonWeb, Discover Kiosk and New York Serious Eats.