It’s not hard to find delicious Belgian chocolate in Bruges. What’s more difficult is finding a place that stands out and creates an experience unlike every other chocolate shop in town. In all my research about Bruges, one chocolate shop kept coming up: The Old Chocolate Shop. While it’s not the oldest in the city, it’s full of old world charm and has been family-owned and operated since 1997. Here’s everything you need to know!
This unassuming, historic building can be found on Mariastraat, just a few blocks from Markt Square. It’s close to churches, museums, lots of shopping, and even a Christmas Market at Christmas time, so it’s in a great location for your explorations! We stopped into their Tea Room on a rainy afternoon after a visit to the nearby Diamond Museum.
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You’ll smell the sweetness before you even walk inside! They have every kind of chocolate you could want, including the rare and delightful ruby chocolate! You can buy melting chocolate to make hot chocolate, solid chocolate bars, chocolate covered everything, and truffles of every flavor. The chocolates here make wonderful gifts for your friends and family back home… and also for yourself!
You can choose from pre-selected boxes, or choose your own and fill a box with your favorites. I picked out a variety, and thankfully the woman working behind the counter was helpful in translating flavors for me. Choose your own boxes are pay-by-weight, and they come tied with a pretty ribbon!
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The Tea Room
The unique thing about this particular chocolate shop is the tea room upstairs. Interestingly, tea is not their specialty, there is no savory food or tea sandwiches available, and it’s super tiny up there, but it was one of the most fun dining experiences we had in Bruges! They’re known for their hot chocolate (of course) and their waffles, but their other sweets change every so often, so there’s always something new to try! Here’s a sneak peek at what we chose on our visit in December.
Specialty Hot Chocolate
Belgian hot chocolate, which is made by melting chocolate into warm milk, is already pretty special. However, the Old Chocolate House takes it a step or two beyond with their “specialty” hot chocolate options.
Choices included Tiramisu Hot Chocolate made with amaretto, espresso, and marscapone cream; Winnie the Pooh Hot Chocolate with dark chocolate and honeycomb from the Pyrenees Mountains; Speculoos Bomb made with milk chocolate and Belgian speculoos cookies; Pistachio Praline Bomb with dark chocolate and pistachio praline. Or, you can choose the same as Steve and get the Death by Chocolate, made with milk and dark chocolate, Oreoes, M&Ms, chocolate whipped cream, cookie crumbles, and marshmallows!
Ruby Hot Chocolate
What was my choice? As a life-long middle child, I always want to choose something a little different, maybe a little odd. When I saw ruby chocolate on the menu, I knew that was the one for me! It’s the “new” fourth chocolate: milk, dark, white, and now ruby. It’s pink, it tastes a little fruity, and it actually was produced for the first time in Belgium! It comes from a different part of the cocoa bean than other chocolates, and if you’ve never tried any, get a taste here and support my small business in the process!
How does it work? All their hot chocolates are presented with melting chocolate pieces and a large mug of hot milk with a small whisk. You’re meant to pour the chocolate melts into the milk and stir. It’s rich, it’s tasty, and I think you’ll love it.
As you can see in the photos above, my ruby hot chocolate came with cookies and pieces of chocolate, but I also wanted to try their gingerbreads. The order came with a variety of three types of gingerbread, plus chocolate frosting, and butter. The Old Chocolate House is also famous for their waffles drizzled in chocolate, so if you’re in the market for waffles, you can get those here, too. Everything was delicious. I only wish we’d been hungrier!
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