Godiva Pl du Grand Sablon 47/48. (Métro: Louise. Daily 9am-7pm.) Godiva definitely holds its own against the best of the rest. Jealously-guarded recipes and seasonal, handcrafted packaging ensure customers keep coming back for more, despite the price.
Léonidas Bd Anspach 46. (Métro: Bourse. Daily 9am-7pm.) Léonidas remains one of the most popular - and cheapest - widespread outlets for Belgian chocolates and pralines, although like some other choc chains they are straight off the production line. They are rather sickly-sweet in comparison to the others but no one will notice the difference back home. Branches all over.
Mary's Rue Royale, 73. (Tram #92, #93, #94. Tues-Fri & Sun 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-12.30pm & 2-7pm.) A very exclusive and pricey shop, with beautiful period decor, selling handmade chocolates. You can instantly taste the difference between these and those of the chains: these pralines are top-notch, melt-in-the-mouth gourmet delicacies.
Neuhaus Grand-Place 27. (Métro: Gare Centrale. Mon-Sat 9am-6pm.) A chocoholic's paradise, this ludicrously expensive shop stocks some of the best that Belgium has to offer in the chocolate department. Check out their specialties - the handmade Caprices, which are pralines stuffed with crispy nougat, fresh cream and soft-centred chocolate, and the delicious Manons, stuffed white chocolates, which come in fresh cream, vanilla, and coffee fillings. They have branches all over the town, but other central ones are in avenue de la Toison d'Or 27 and in the Galerie de la Reine.
Pierre Marcolini Place du Grand Sablon 39. (Métro: Louise. Wed-Sun 10am-6pm.) Considered by many to be the best chocolatier in the world, Pierre Marcolini is a true master of the genre. Try his spice- and tea-filled chocolates as evidence of his genius. Classy service, beautiful packaging and a wide choice of chocolate cakes that will have you comatose with pleasure.
Planète Chocolat Rue du Lombard 24. (Métro: Bourse. Tues-Sat 10am-6.30pm, Sun 1-6.30pm.) Sells standard boxes of delicious Belgian chocolates as well as a whole range of strangely shaped ones. You also get to see how the bonbons are made in their mini-chocolate museum. When you've had enough of that, pay a visit to their tea-room.
Wittamer Pl du Grand Sablon 6 & 12. (Métro: Gare Centrale. Mon 8am-6pm, Tues-Sat 7am-7pm, Sun 7am-6pm.) Brussels' most famous patisserie and chocolate shop, established in 1910 and still run by the Wittamer family, who sell gorgeous if expensive light pastries, cakes, mousses, and chocolates. Also serves speciality teas and coffees in their tearoom at no. 12.