Gùsto! How • What • Where Locals Eat (& Drink) In Brussels
Unfairly living in the shadow of neighboring France, the Belgian capital boasts some outstanding places to eat and drink — from AM to PM. Here's a quick guide, based on local sources, to help you pick the very best beer, waffle, speculoos and much more!
While the origin of French fries is one of the great debates of the culinary world, with both neighboring countries claiming them as an authentic product of their gastronomy, we choose not to weigh in on the controversy. That is, except for suggesting that you really should just go to Belgium and try it for yourself ...
Here’s a guide to a day of eating and drinking all around the European capital of Brussels, including some of the best places to eat typical Belgian cuisine.
Breakfast: Start your day with a Belgian waffle at Le Funambule
First, choose what type of waffle you'd like to enjoy: the small, thick Liège waffle with rounded edges, or the larger, rectangular Brussels waffle sprinkled with powdered sugar. Then, choose your toppings and let your imagination run wild. With chocolate or caramel, strawberries or bananas, whipped cream, all of them or just old-fashioned plain?
Now that you've tried out one of the best waffle places in Brussels, you're ready for a nice stroll in the Forest Park, a stone's throw from our next spot.
Belgian waffles in Brussels
Snack: Explore Brussels street food at Fernand Obb Delicatessen
A fan of street food? Already feeling peckish – and it's still before noon? You've come to the right place. According to Belgian dailyL'Avenir, Brussels is among the world's top 10 cities for street food, and we've found the perfect spot for your craving: Fernand Obb Delicatessen.
From the fricadelle to the famous "américain" – a loaf of bread filled with minced raw beef, garnished with onions, capers, pickles and a homemade sauce – Belgium's street food paradise opens its doors to you. Opened by Cédric Mosbeux in 2018 and named after his cat Fernand, this popular Brussels food counter offers food prepared on-site and made with products of Belgian origin.
Make sure you don’t miss its signature dish, the shrimp croquette, a Belgian street food must-try for which Cédric Mosbeux won a prize in 2018 and 2019.
The shrimp croquette
@fernand_obb via Instagram
Lunch: Try the famous Carbonnade with fries at Fritland
Lunch time already? It's finally time to taste the long-awaited Belgian fries. For that, what could be better than a trip to the kingdom of fries? Head to Fritland, ask for a cup of Belgian fries, choose your sauce and enjoy!
To go with your fries, opt for carbonade ("stoofvlees" in Flemish), a typical and very popular Belgian dish that comes from Dutch-speaking Flanders in northern Belgium. This beer-flavored Belgian stew, made with caramelized onions, bacon and tender, slow-cooked beef goes perfectly with Belgian fries – enough to satisfy your hungry stomach.
You can find this dish in most street food stands on most Brussels streets, or even restaurants like Aux Armes de Bruxelles, a traditional brasserie serving Belgian specialties.
Afternoon snack: Enjoy a Speculoos with your café liégeois... or another waffle at Maison Dandoy
Climbed up to the Mont des Arts after exploring the Grand-Place neighborhood? Looks like you need a snack.
For this, nothing beats the traditional Spectaculoos Speculoos dipped in a delicious café liégeois, a dessert coffee drink made with cold coffee, vanilla and coffee-flavoured ice cream, topped with whipped cream. As Belgian daily La Libre writes, Maison Dandoy is one of Brussels' must-see places.
To satisfy your cravings, Maison Dandoy, a family-run business, offers you its speculoos, a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation for more than 180 years. What makes these biscuits special? They can be eaten in a thousand different ways, and come in a range of ever more surprising flavors. Let the speculoos covered in milk chocolate take your taste buds away.
For the hungrier, or if the Belgian waffle won your heart, you can also try their special Maison Dandoy waffle, a Belgian waffle sprinkled with crumbled speculoos and topped with a scoop of speculoos ice cream. Definitely worth a mention in the top 10.
Speculoos waffle at Maison Dandoy
@maisondandoy via Instagram
Drinks: Touch base with a Belgian beer
After a long day of sightseeing, there's only one thing to do: relax over a drink. Refresh yourself with a traditional Belgian beer at the Delirium Cafe, the "temple of beer of excellence," according to daily La Libre.
Belgian beer culture was registered on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2016. Choosing the right beer is a dilemma, and the Delirium has a world-record number of beers to try. Amber ale, Lambic, Flemish red ale, brown ale, strong ale or a stout? We've got the solution for you: share the famous "Metre of Beer" with your friends, a long wooden board with 10 glasses of different kinds of beer.
For beer connoisseurs, you can take part in a bar-athon of the Top 20 places to drink beer in Brussels. For example, taste traditional beers from Lambic to Gueuze to Kriek in a 100-year-old tasting room at Brasserie Cantillon.
Metre of Beer at the Delirium Café in Brussels.
ryandunloptaylor via Instagram
Dinner: Have a taste of traditional Belgian cuisine at Les Brigittines
Just a few steps away from the Brussels Palace, explore traditional Belgian cuisine at Les Brigittines, an emblematic restaurant of the capital. At Les Brigittines, you're the guest of master chef Dirk Myny, a Brussels native. In addition to the chic decor, you'll find local beers and local cuisine, including the famous vol-au-vent with morel mushrooms, a classic of Brussels gastronomy made from puff pastry, with a variety of fillings: pieces of chicken and small minced meatballs, or fish, all served with a béchamel sauce.
The chef's tip: let yourself be tempted by one of Les Brigittines' creations, the Zenne Pot. It consists of cabbage cooked in Gueuze Cantillon beer, Bloempanch (traditional Brussels black blood sausage), dry sausage and whelk. This dish offers an irresistible blend of flavors.
Must-have experience: For the gourmets, enjoy Belgium's signature chocolate at the Chocolate Museum
We found the perfect place for chocolate lovers. Enter the world of chocolate and learn more about your favorite snack at Choco-Story Brussels, the Chocolate Museum. This immersive experience in the history of chocolate combines games and tastings, perfect for all ages.
Among other delights, you'll discover Belgium’s signature chocolate, the Praline, a filled chocolate created in 1912 by Jean Neuhaus Jr. to replace medicines with sweets.
Here's a tip: if you attend the demonstration of the creation of the famous praline at the end of your visit, you'll surely have the chance to eat one for free, so don't miss out!
Spotlight: "Moules frites" at Chez Leon
One cannot go to Brussels and not try its most-iconic dish, moules frites, or mussels and fries. First served in Liège in 1875, moules frites are a traditional culinary specialty emblematic of Belgian cuisine. You can find moules frites in almost every restaurant in Brussels, but not all are as good as the one served at the mussel specialist Chez Leon.
At Chez Leon, the spirit of Brussels is on your plate. Located in the heart of the capital, in the same spot next to the Grand-Place for 170 years, the restaurant welcomes you with a 100% Belgian decor to enjoy traditional moules frites.
These, like the waffles, come in dozens of variations, leaving you free to choose the sauce you prefer to dip in your Belgian Fries.
- A Kebab With Your Salad, And Other New Paths To Healthy Eating ›
- Italy's Right-Wing Government Turns Up The Heat On 'Gastronationalism' ›
- Not All Frites and Beer: Does Eating Belgian Make Sense? ›
- Niger Ultimatum, Pakistan Blast Aftermath, Michelle Yeoh’s Very Long Engagement - Worldcrunch ›