No matter where you are or what you’re doing in the Belgian capital, you’re bound to get hungry at some point. If you’re travelling on a budget, it’s unlikely that you’ll be getting your fill at fancy restaurants and cafés. However, you probably still want to experience local flavours, so it’s good to know what foods Brussels is famous for and where to find them. Here’s a quick rundown:
1. Beer heaven
Belgium is famous for its variety of beers. If you’re having a night out with friends, visit Cafe Delirium – it’s home to the largest selection in Brussels. If you really want to taste different beers and save money in the process, visit gourmet beer shops in the city centre, find out what the best beer brands are and then go and buy them from the supermarket. The range available at supermarkets is really big so you’ll surely find a favourite.
Or why not take a beer tasting tour to taste the best Belgian beers selected by an expert beer guide.
Photo credit: a olin
2. Belgium’s most famous street food – Frites
When visiting a foreign city, you tend to move around a lot in an effort to see as much as possible. This is where street food comes in handy as it allows you to eat on the go. The most popular street food in Belgium are fries, or frites, as the locals call them. You’ll find fries on many street corners throughout the city, but the absolute best place to buy them would have to be Maison Antoine on Place Jourdan (near the European Parliament building). Established in 1948, Maison Antoine serves their fries with a choice of many different sauces. If you want to eat like a real Brussels local, this is one of the best places to do it.
Photo credit: Frank Weber
3. When in Brussels, try mussels
Mussels are another popular food in Belgium. Typically served with frites, you can find them at almost every restaurant in the city centre. Chez Léon is probably the most famous restaurant for mussels in the capital. If you’re not willing to pay the restaurant prices but are willing to spend some time in the kitchen, have a go at cooking mussels yourself. You’ll need fresh mussels (available at almost every supermarket), cream, white wine, garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. If you’re not a fan of seafood, at least try the sauce and leave the mussels for your friends.
It´s possible also to try the culinary delights like mussels and frites while doing some sightseeing when joining a Brussels All-In Discovery Tour.
Photo credit: Taiwai Yun
4. Don’t leave Belgium without tasting the waffles
Although eating waffles on the streets seems to be something that only tourists do, you can’t leave town without taking at least one bite of Belgium’s famous warm waffles. The most common toppings include whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, fresh strawberries and sliced bananas. Many cafés feature waffles on their menus, but since they’re a typical street food in Brussels, you can find them on pretty much every street corner in the city centre.
Even more fun is to prepare, cook, and then enjoy your own made delicious Belgian waffles in a fun and easy 90-minute Brussels Waffle Workshop.
Photo credit: Jason Rogers
5. For true chocolate connoisseurs
Belgian chocolate is another must when you’re in Brussels. Belgians really know how to make good chocolate, especially considering the number of chocolate shops dotted throughout the city centre. You don’t really need a map to find them – their bright lights, colourful window displays and, in some places, chocolate fountains will surely capture your attentions. Some shops even allow customers to taste their delicacies to help make choosing easier. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, just buy some from the supermarket – the selection is really good (search for brands like Neuhaus, Godiva and Cote d’Or).
You can also learn how to make delectable Belgian chocolates from scratch during a Belgian Chocolate-Making Workshop and take a nice gift home to your family and friends.
Photo credit: KLMircea
Opening photo credit: Jean-Marc Albert