Restaurants in Brussels
Dining is serious business in Belgium where both the French and
Flemish consider themselves qualified food critiques. Besides
enjoying the national dish, beer, which in Belgium is thick enough
to qualify as a full meal, eating out in Brussels leaves both food
snobs licking their lips and the hungry patting their bellies.
Known for large portions which don't skimp on quality, even cheap dining is held to a high standard. This all bodes well for hungry travellers on a budget although it would be a shame to miss some of the most well regarded, if expensive, of Brussels' restaurants.
For quick eats, embrace street side cafés where Belgium waffles (not only in the morning), chocolate, French fries and beer all make great snacks. The fine dining usually revolves around French cuisine but not to be missed is the Flemish stew waterzooï, which translated to 'watery mess' is better than it sounds, and mussels with chips.
Brussels restaurants are generously sprinkled about the city's districts but several fine dining clusters are close to de Broukére or many options surrounding the Grand Place. A service charge is included in the bill but great service is often rewarded.
Located in the fashion district of Brussels, this trendy restaurant offers diners a selection of both traditional and international cuisine. The menu features a variety of Belgian, Italian and Asian dishes including cold pea soup, fish lasagne, roast lamb and cod carpaccio. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner, and for dinner on weekends. Reservations recommended.
Address: 22 Rue Antoine Dansaert
Telephone: (02) 502 0990
La Maison du Cygne
Once frequented by the likes of Karl Marx and the Belgian Socialist Party, this 17th century house now offers diners a traditional ambience, enhanced by richly coloured décor and polished walnut walls. The menu features mainly Belgian and French cuisine including lobster salad with apples and a curry sauce, beef fillet with a three pepper sauce, and lemon-scented codfish. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner, and for dinner on Saturday. Reservations recommended.
Address: 2 Rue Charles Buls
Telephone: (02) 511 8244
Aux Armes De Bruxelles
Founded in 1921, this is a true Brussels legend that serves the freshest of mussels and finest of French fries. Approach the moules et frite Bruxelles-style by eating the first mussel with your fingers and then use the shell to eat the rest. The entire menu is excellent, especially the beef stewed in beer and the delicious waterzooï. The front room's vintage Art Nouveau interior is delightful. Open for lunch and dinner daily, reservations recommended.
Address: 13 Rue des Bouchers
Telephone: (0)2 511 5598
Comme Chez Soi
This gourmet pilgrimage site never fails to impress, with exceptional quality, refined flavours and an ambient Art Nouveau design. The restaurant boasts both a warmly welcoming atmosphere and truly memorable dishes, such as red mullet fillet with karides or beef fillet with black truffles. For dessert, try the chocolate cake with almonds and hazelnuts. Advanced booking is essential. Closed on Sunday and Monday, and on Wednesday for lunch.
Address: 23 Place Rouppe
Telephone: (0)2 512 2921
La Truffe Noire
For those with a passion for truffles, pay a visit to this shrine created by Italian chef Luigi Ciciriello. It is a friendly establishment renowned for serving superb truffle-focused dishes in its warm and relaxed environment. Don't miss the carpaccio truffles with olive oil and parmesan for starters and the roast duck with Canary Island bananas for mains. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, only open Monday and Sunday for reservations of 30 or more guests.
Address: 12 Boulevard de la Cambre
Telephone: (0)2 640 4422
Housed in a former hardware store, La Quincaillerie has all the raw materials for a fabulous dining experience. The staff are friendly if slightly frenetic; the interior's Horta-inspired industrial qualities are striking; and the food is quite simply fantastic, especially the impeccably fresh seafood. Open for dinner all week, and lunch Monday to Friday. Bookings essential well in advance.
Address: 45 Rue du Page
Telephone: (0)2 533 9833
Belgian brasseries are scattered throughout Brussels so it's hard to tell which are truly outstanding and worth seeking out - we've heard consistently good reports about this local secret, tucked away at the end of a back street in Ixelles. Enjoy tasting some of the 50 local brews while tucking into hearty dishes like rabbit cooked in cherry beer, or the meatloaf with mustard sauce. Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.
Address: 36 Rue Keyenveld
Telephone: (0)2 512 6999
Don't be put off by the picture menu and touristy look, this is the real deal! For celebrated mussel dishes, as well as local fare such as rabbit stewed in kriek (cherry) beer or stoemp (bubble and squeak), the original Chez Leon (near the Grand Place - watch out for imitations!) is the perfect place to dine. Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.
Address: 18 Rue des Bouchers
Telephone: (0)2 511 1415
La Porteuse d' Eau
This beautiful art deco restaurant not only stuns with amazing decor, but keeps locals coming back for more with classic Belgian cuisine and selection of over 70 Belgian beers.
Address: 48a avenue Jean Volders
Telephone: (0)2 537 6646
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