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beer, chocolate and mussels

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St.Louis, MO
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beer, chocolate and mussels

Hi we are planning a trip in Mid August to Belgium. Starting in Brussels with no plans from there. We will be staying 5-6 days before heading back to Paris can anyone direct us to some "MUST SEE"S" for chocolate, beer and mussels as these are a few things we must experience in Belgium. We are open to leaving Brussels but also would love a hotel under $150 w an awesome location. Or a fav bed & breakfast.

Does anyone have good recommendations for tours of any of these topics? It can be overwhelming to try and find the best beer, mussel and chocolate spots on our own.

Thank you!

Tennessee
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for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
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1. Re: beer, chocolate and mussels

First, it is almost impossible to find a bad beer in Brussels. Hundreds of different selections. From the famous Abbaye Lambics, to Heffeizen, to pale ales, stouts and etc. It is served everywhere.

One of our favorite places for mussels and frites is Chez Leon in the Rue des Bouchers area. A fascinating "old world" street full of cafes, markets and most interesting sights. Other places of interest are the Grand Place, Sablon and Place Saint Catherine.

Favorite chocolate is Leonidas. Sometimes it is still warm when we walk up to one of the shops on the street and we are served through the service window.

Another fun treat is a Belgium waffle. Served on street corner, like hot dogs in NYC.

There are many culinary tastes for all. Enjoy!

brussels
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2. Re: beer, chocolate and mussels

sorry but i dont agree with much of the earlier post.

There are a large selection of beers available not many will be bad but some if not many may not be to your taste

For belgian beers try the Kwak, Hoegarden, go to morte subite and try a couple of fruit beers and a faro. La becasse for the lambic doux. try a duvel and orval get a westvletern beer if you can. Delerium has a lot of beers but most are not belgian and very well kept. I like delerium nocturnum and barbar winterbok.

For moules try zinneke or the bonne humeur both are a little outside the centre but the latter is a sort walk from schuman through palce ambiorix which a nice walk anyway.

Sablon is the place to see most of the main chocolate stores and i like cafe wittamer for a very chocolatey snack.

The most impressive shop is pierre marcolini but they are all pretty good.

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: beer, chocolate and mussels

While I don't accept the concept of "MUST SEE" anything I also don't agree with "Sometimes it is still warm when we walk up to one of the shops on the street and we are served through the service window." Léonidas chocolates are not made on the premises they sell them from, but in any case, chocolates are not buns or cakes - it is NOT a good sign if they are ("still"?) warm! Léonidas are a local favourite, being cheaper than other brands: and there is a reason for that, which is that they are mass-produced, hardly the best Belgium has to offer. But of course, it all depends on what you are looking for.

In addition to Marcolini and Wittamer - AND Godiva, Neuhaus, Léonidas and Côte d'Or - the artisanal chocolatier "Passion Chocolat" now has a shop in the Sablon so you can buy at least 7 Belgian brands in and around that one square. The Galeries St. Hubert are another good location, with the original Neuhaus shop and several Cornés - this feuding family of chocolatiers now has 3 offshoots, Corné Port Royal, Corné Toison d'Or and Corné Dynastie. But my personal favourite is still Frédéric Blondeel next to St. Catherine metro station.

For anyone who wants to try "BelgIAN" waffles, the ones - which are actually Liégeois, the firmer type being easier to eat from the hand - that they sell in the metro and on street corners are industrially manufactured and are reheated, not fresh. If you want the real ones, of either the Brussels or the Liège variety (both of these being "Belgian" but they have to be one or the other!) go to Dandoy opposite the Amigo Hotel near the Grand' Place and order them in the café upstairs.

There is no such thing as a "mussels" tour, and as far as I know no beer tour either - and it isn''t possible to select "best beer spots" without knowing exactly what you mean: you can visit the Cantillon brewery if you are interested in Gueuze, and there are any number of pubs and cafés with a range of local beers, including the Poechenellekelder right next to the Mannekin Pis, which is the only place in Brussels where the bill is in Bruxellois. There are however chocolate tours, one organised by Planète Chocolat in 24 rue du Lombard, not far from the Bourse: see www.planetechocolat.be. However, I would skip the Chocolate Museum and the Beer Museum in the GP is not that interesting either although the entrance price includes a "free" beer at the end of the tour which might make it worthwhile.

As for a hotel in an "awesome location" - this is BRUSSELS, remember, not Paris: we don't really have awesome locations unless you count the Grand' Place. In which case, the Hotel St. Michel and Concept Hotel are just within your price range: www.booking.com/hotel/be/saintmichel.en.html, or you could look at this b&b: www.concepthotel.be/index.lasso?Lang=EN?

Le Dix Septieme (www.dixseptieme.be), behind the Madeleine Church between Gare centrale and the Grand' Place, would meet price criterion only if you can take the weekend package, but it is worth asking what their rates would be in August : Brussels gets more business/official visitors than tourists, and they don't come at weekends which is why hotel rates are lower then, and the same may apply to August when there are no EU meetings.

Otherwise, consider the Alma, http://www.almahotel.be/index-en.html, or this b&b (which is not quite as close to the GP as it implies, but near the Sablon!) http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/belgium-brussels-bbinluxurypenthouseneargrandplace-reviews.html; or the one here near the Sablon: http://brussels.elinity.com/gsm.html

Madison, Wisconsin...
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4. Re: beer, chocolate and mussels

Viator offers "Beer tour" through Global Enterprises Sightseeing. Love to know if it's worth the 50 Euro (beer included).

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: beer, chocolate and mussels

If you're looking for amazing sour beers, you have to head to the the Cantillon brewery! It's a mecca for all brewers and everyone leaves there with a few bottles in their suitcase!

http://www.cantillon.be/br/3_1

We did hit up Delirium bar - great place with a great beer selection. I'm bummed that we didn't get to go to a Mort Subite bar.

6. Re: beer, chocolate and mussels

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