Antwerp Chocolate week is an event that goes on for about 10 days wherein you can visit several participating chocolate stores. You can exchange any of your 10 vouchers for chocolates offered in store. Some stores lets you choose and some stores have it already packed. Locally this event is known as “Antwerpen Week van de Chocolade” and for 2018, it goes from March 2-11. It’s a very short window of time. I was supposed to do it with a friend last Saturday but we didn’t have enough time so I decided to do it after class today.
WHERE TO BUY THE ANTWERP CHOCOLATE WEEK VOUCHERS
I bought mine at the Tourist Information at Antwerp Centraal Station. It was 10 euros. There is the option to pay with cash or Bancontact. You can also purchase the pass from the participating establishments and other tourist offices in Antwerp. There is also an option of buying it from home but the minimum order is for 5 and you can pick up the tickets at the designated pick up point, more information here. This applies to local as it involves bank transfers for payment.
HOW IT WORKS
You are given 10 coupons which corresponds to a chocolate store’s requirement. Most stores only require one coupon but some requires two or three at the most. Some stores have options for one or two coupons. You just exchange the coupon for chocolates. It’s as simple as that. I think it’s such a great way to discover different chocolate stores and their product in the city. It’s also great value.
There are 33 participating stores/cafes/shops. Most of them are chocolate stores but there are also cafes and drink store. These are:
- Antwerp Chocolate Store
- Bakkerij Vervecken
- Chateau Blanc
- Chocolatier & Confiserie Burie
- Cremerie Germaine
- Cross Roast Experience Store
- De Broers van Juliene
- Elisa Pralines
- G. Bastin
- Gunther Watte Chocolade cafe
- Leonidas – de Keyserlei branch
- Maison du Chocolat Belge
- Momade Cupcakes
- Pelican Rouge Coffee Experience Shop
- Sofee Sucree
- The Ice Shop
The selection and options are quite extensive. I would have tried some things because they were really interesting but I was concerned with how far they are from each other so what I did was just select a location where most of them were concentrated. The Groenplaats is the area I have chosen to explore. I also had limited time so I just tried the chocolate stores in those area. It would have been nice to also try the cafes or the ice cream shops, maybe next time. 😉
They have a map which is quite helpful in figuring out which places I wanted to go and which ones are closer to each other.
MY ANTWERP CHOCOLATE WEEK EXPERIENCE
The first store I went to was Galler which is number 18 on the list and the map. I didn’t really know what to do at first. Good thing it was not busy so the lady asked me. I just said Chocolate week and they gave me 2 chocolates in a pack.
They had one milk chocolate and one dark chocolate. I exchanged one coupon for this. They actually explain what kind of chocolate they are giving you which is really nice. I just don’t remember it. Haha
The second store I went to was Neuhaus (number 27) which is just across Galler, very convenient. There was a lady buying chocolates before me so I had to wait for a bit.
Neuhaus was the only store I went to that had a box which is the nicest in my opinion. This was also for one coupon. She also told me what was inside but I forgot what it she said. From looking at it, I see one dark chocolate and one milk chocolate.
From Neuhaus, I walked about a 100 meter down the street to Mary (number 25). When I walked in, there were already 6 Flemish ladies before me. So, I had time to take photos and the store was really pretty inside. I exchanged 2 coupons for 4 chocolates. What I liked with Mary is that you can choose your chocolate. There was a wide variety of options from truffles, pralines, white, milk and dark chocolates.
Then I went to Gunther Watte Chocolade Cafe. Gunther Watte is an award winning chocolatier so even if it’s a bit out of the way, I wanted to try their chocolate. It is number 19 on the list. They were quite busy so I had to wait for a while. Then I said chocolade week and they gave me the packed chocolate instantly and they let me know what they had. This was also equivalent to one coupon. I also got one milk chocolate and one dark chocolate from this store.
I passed by Momade and considered getting something from there but 2 coupons is equivalent to one brownie with almond nuts and I’m not sure if it was in a box or not so I just passed it by.
CHOCOLATE STORES NEAR THE CATHEDRAL
The next store I went to which was not far from Momade was Sjokolat. This is number 31 on the list. I exchanged 2 coupons for 5 chocolate pieces which were already prepacked. I just exchanged my coupon.
Elisa Pralines is located near the Cathedral so it was easy to find. I exchanged one coupon for 3 pralines which is a really good deal. It was also already prepacked and she just handed it to us.
A few doors down from Elisa Pralines is the Sofie Sucree. For one coupon, I exchange it for two chocolates. She just asked me if I wanted white, milk or dark chocolate.
With one coupon left, I went to Chateau Blanc which is also near the Cathedral. I exchange my last coupon for two chocolates and they were also prepacked.
This was my chocolate haul for the day, not bad for 10 euros eh? In total I spent an hour and went to 8 chocolate stores. I spent one coupon on 6 stores and 2 coupons each on 2 stores. I look forward to eating them all tonight and the next couple of days.
ANTWERP CHOCOLATE WEEK 2018
You can view the whole Antwerp Chocolate Week online Brochure here.