Godiva Wins Readers' Choice Award for Best Chocolate
Godiva is the winner of the Luxist Awards' Readers' Choice Award in the best chocolate category.
Of the many names associated with fine chocolate, there are few as iconic as Godiva. Founded in 1926 by Joseph Draps, the Belgian chocolatier has since blossomed into one of the world's most celebrated.
Draps opened his first store on a cobblestone street in Brussels nearly a century ago, its name inspired by the legendary Lady Godiva. As the story goes, the medieval dame grew upset with the onerous taxes that her husband, Lord Leofric, levied upon his subjects in Coventry, England. Leofric proposed a bargain: If she could ride naked through town without any citizens looking at her, he'd ease their financial burden. Lady Godiva did exactly that, and Leofric relented.
Gallery: More from Godiva
The name Godiva still evokes images of graciousness, luxury and sensuality. Draps first expanded the company beyond Belgium in 1958, opening a boutique in Paris. The first North American shop followed in 1966; another in Tokyo came in 1972. Today there are over 450 Godiva stores in 80 countries around the globe. The chocolates can also be ordered at its online store.
Though Godiva is famous for its truffles, the chocolatier also produces a wide range of fine chocolate candy. Delectable offerings include milk chocolate pretzels ($22 per can), caramel pecan bark ($25 per tin) and chocolate bars ranging from white chocolate to almond to raspberry ($70 per 24-piece box). Unlike the original Lady Godiva, all sweets come wrapped in gold foil packaging.