Most visitors to the city, as well as the one million people living here, love Brussels for a particular kind of European experience: the food! Almost every variety of food can be sampled in this one city, thanks to the huge diversity of backgrounds this city brings together. Italy, Greece, Thailand, England….
Think of a country and most likely you will find a restaurant serving its food here. Brussels also caters to a range of different lifestyle choices and dietary needs when it comes to tantalising your taste buds, including a growing number of vegan cafes and shops.
With contributions from Brussels Vegans, Belgian Cuisine, Brussels Expats and Étudiants français à Bruxelles, Italiani e Italiane a Bruxelles, BCT – Brussels Childbirth Trust and Bruxellois, une fois!
A real favourite amongst the communities, this restaurant calls itself “the Brussels brasserie for greedy gluttons and fine beer lovers”! The eatery takes its name from a Brussels dialect word meaning “the person who has never had enough” and will cater to anyone wanting to make the most of their time in a city famous for its food and drink. Nüetnigenough is also a showcase for one of Brussels’ most famous architectural features, because it is located in a pretty art nouveau building.
Chez Leon serves up some of the city’s famous mussels. Considered a national dish, at Chez Leon you’re guaranteed to have them all year round. The decor is a pretty old school brasserie, making it feel rather homey.
For probably the best filet américain (a raw minced beef speciality) in Brussels, this restaurant is recommended by groups as one of the nicest Belgian brasseries.
An old school and very basic brasserie in Ixelles, this restaurant is located next to the Matonge neighbourhood. Their carbonnades flamandes (beef cooked in beer) is described by the groups as amazing.
A typical Belgian place where you can enjoy a variety of beers. A la Morte Subite is located at the end of the Galerie de la Reine, close to the Grand Place, which makes it the ideal place to rest after a long day of sightseeing.
You can find the best Belgian fries in “Frietkots” (little house on the streets), many of them away from the usual tourist sites. Fried potato recommendations include Master Frites (Chaussée de Louvain 503), and Chez Fernand (Rue Montagne des Cerisiers 39). The best-known Fritkots are Maison Antoine (Place Jourdan 2) and Frit Flagey (Place Flagey). Tasty Belgian mashed potatoes and vegetables speciality stoemp should be tried at Madame Chapeau (Rue Marché au Charbon 94) and waffles at Vitalgaufre (Rue Neuve 23-29) or Maison Dandoy (several locations). The curious Belgian sugary speciality known as the cuberdon gets its own shop: La Maison Du Cuberdon (Chaussée de Mons 1193). Don’t leave town without trying the traditional moules-frites with mayonnaise, the shrimp croquettes and the pistolet (a round bread)!
Other tastes of the world
An “Oriental Natural Eatery” serving Lebanese and Moroccan classics – made with products from local, sustainable Belgian suppliers. Set menus are available at lunchtime and in the evening, along with vegan-friendly humus, labneh, tabbouleh… and the famous Assiette Horia.
Yummy Bowl caters to vegetarian and vegan diners with soups, bowls and wonderful desserts. This Korean-inspired fusion food spot doesn’t skimp on portion sizes, making it a good address even if you’re having a busy day of touring the city’s sights!
This pizza restaurant caters for lactose and gluten intolerant diners, without skimping on taste. A small, family-run spot offering gluten-free pastas, pizzas, bread, and even beer.
A wine bar serving light meals and snacks, off the tourist trail in trendy Schaerbeek. Daje also sells restored second-hand objects and pictures in a unique Belgian “brocante.”
A Greek deli located close to Place Luxembourg; this is a little gem. Very limited seating, but perhaps the best Greek food you can try in Brussels.
Photo by Ergon
This little restaurant serves Syrian street food near Place Flagey. My Tannour has a small canteen where chefs make their own flatbread, falafels and slow cooked smoked meat.
Photo by My Tannour
This is one of the new “food to share” places in the Chatelain neighbourhood, with a very simple, short menu of Asian fusion food. It’s always packed and doesn’t take reservations due to the limited number of tables. So, you normally have to wait 15 to 20 minutes to be seated – but the food is described by the groups as “simply divine”, with a special mention for the pulled pork bao.
For families with children
If you are looking for a nice place to enjoy a meal with your kids, Chicago Café (Rue de Flandre 45) offers pancakes, milkshakes, pastries and salads, in a retro and laid-back atmosphere. For younger children, Haricot Magique (Rue Fritz Toussaint 8) has infrastructure and equipment for toddlers and babies to play around while grown-ups drink coffee. It even has a room to leave strollers! When the sun is out, Cook & Book (Place du Temps Libre 1) is especially enjoyable: you can sit outside, and there are usually mini cars for the kids to use. Lloyd Café Presse (Avenue de la Couronne 443) and Leopold Café Presse (Avenue de Tervuren 107) are ideal for relaxing and offer an attractive menu for children.