Note to start: This story was written up based on my experiences from a trip I made here in a pre COVID world. I think we all need a bit of arm chair travelling at the moment so I thought I’d still share these to inspire current hot chocolates at home and future trips. Enjoy!
My last hot chocolate in Brussels was just a short walk away from the downtown area on Place Du Grand Sablon. This large square is only about a 10 minute walk from Brussels Central station, in the opposite direction of the Grand Place. This brings you close to the Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts and the Palais de Bruxelles. A nice loop is to visit the neighbourhood around Wittamer and then walk over to the Parc de Bruxelles before returning back to the station. The Square du Petit Sablon is also a nice little spot to take a little break.
Once you get to the Place, you can’t miss Wittamer. It is bright pink, in stark contrast to the surrounding grey buildings. What started, over 100 years ago, as a bakery started by Henri and Marie Wittamer, has evolved into. There are numerous pictures showing the history of the family and of Wittamer over the years on the walls, especially in the staircase that leads up to the café which was opened in 1955. While previous this was very much a bakery, Henri’s grandson was sent to train to become, among other things, a chocolatier and returned from his training to add this to the company’s line up. Today, their store at #6 is entirely dedicated to chocolate. Witamer is still run by members of the original family.
While the downstairs was pretty full of tourists looking to pick up some pralines and cakes to take away with them, I had the upstairs café area pretty much to myself. The hot chocolate was exactly what I expected a hot chocolate from Belgium to taste like, a very nice, classic version. It is made primarily using dark chocolate but also has some milk chocolate mixed in. I believe they use Callebaut chocolate. It is served with a dollop of whipped cream on the side and a generous serving of chocolate eggs, mini chocolates and a mini pound cake. Very easy to drink. Grab a seat along the windows to sip while watching the hustle and bustle of busy Place Du Grand Sablon.
Verdict: Wittamer also has several locations across Japan, if that’s closer to home for you. Wittamer, 6-12-13 Place Du Grand Sablon, Brussels, Belgium