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Restaurants in Brussels

Dining is serious business in Belgium, where both the French and Flemish consider themselves serious gourmands. Besides enjoying the national dish â€' beer! â€' which, in Belgium, is often dense enough to qualify as a full meal, eating out in Brussels leaves food snobs licking their lips, and famished travellers patting their bellies after a full day of sightseeing.

For quick eats, visitors should embrace humble street-side cafés, where Belgium waffles, chocolate, French fries and beer all make great snacks. The city's fine dining usually revolves around French cuisine, though mussels with chips, and the Flemish stew waterzooi, which translates to 'watery mess', are not to be missed (the latter certainly tastes better than it sounds).

Restaurants are generously sprinkled throughout the city's districts, but several fine dining clusters can be found close to de Broukére, and many options surround the Grand Place as well. A service charge is included in the bill, but great service is often rewarded.

$$$$$ | French

Bonsoir Clara

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: +32 2 502 0990

$$$$$ | French

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. Their cellars include a collection of some 20,000 bottles of some of the finest vintages.

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: Grand Place 9
Telephone: +32 2 511 8244

$$$$$ | Local

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: +32 2 511 5550

$$$$$ | French

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: +32 2 512 2921

$$$$$ | French

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: +32 2 640 4422

$$$$$ | Gastropubs

La Quincaillerie

Housed in a former hardware store, La Quincaillerie has all the raw materials for a fabulous dining experience. The staff is 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 are essential and they need to be made well in advance.

Address: 45 Rue du Page
Telephone: +32 2 533 9833

$$$$$ | Local

Les Brassins

Belgian brasseries are scattered throughout Brussels so it's hard to tell which are truly outstanding and worth seeking out. But there are 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: +32 2 512 6999

$$$$$ | Local

Chez Leon

Travellers should not be put off by the picture menu and touristy look of Chez Leon, as it 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 is the perfect place to dine. Found near the Grand Place, it is open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.

Address: 18 Rue des Bouchers
Telephone: +32 2 511 1415

$$$$$ | Local

La Porteuse d' Eau

La Porteuse d'Eau is a beautiful art deco restaurant that not only stuns with amazing décor, but keeps locals coming back for more with classic Belgian cuisine and a selection of over 70 Belgian beers. This wonderful brasserie in Brussels operates from 11am until 3pm and 6 until 10.30 pm from Tuesday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it's open from 11am until 11.30pm, while on Sunday it closes at 10.30pm.

Address: 48a avenue Jean Volders
Telephone: +32 2 537 6646

Our Travel Expert

Maria L'Episcopo is an architect born and raised in Turin, Italy. Since 2006 she has moved to different countries around the world to work as project manager for the construction sites of the Olympic Games. She moved to Brussels last October and is currently working for NATO for a project related to the construction of the new Headquarters. The passions of her life are travelling, culture and sport.

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