Culinary tips for Brussels, instead of drinking beer
Brussels is the perfect place where you can enjoy the delicious Belgian cuisine in some of the best restaurants Belgium has to offer. Forget the Belgian beer (even though it’s so delicious) and try something else typical Belgian! Brussels offers a variety of cosy, high-quality restaurants and lively eateries situated in the charming centre to do just that. We help you out a bit with eight Belgian dishes you can eat in Brussels without immediately going for beer!
Fries, also called pommes frites
When you think of Belgium and food, you probably immediately think of fries. In the French-speaking part it is called pommes frites. In Brussels, you can get this dish on almost every street corner, or at a so-called “frietkot.” Fries taste nowhere as good as in Brussels, and the smell of freshly fried potatoes never seems to go away in this city. The haute cuisine of Belgian fries can be found at Maison Antoine. Here you eat the fries out of a cone, as it should, with a delicious sauce of your choice spread all over it. Go for a spicy samurai sauce or some aioli, and make the fries taste even better!
Another Belgian dish that is anbsolutely exquisite (with some fries) is Belgian stew. In Flanders this is called vol-au-vent. This meat dish is magnificently tender as it almost melts in your mouth. Beef stew is the perfect comfort food during the cold winter days to warm up your body, ideally in front of fireplace in a woodshed. The ideal place to enjoy the Belgian dish in Brussels, though, is at restaurant Friture René - a Michelin-starred restaurant! Firture René does some great wine pairing with the vol-au-vent, which makes for a very tasty night out.
Restaurant Sea Grill
If you’re looking for more Michelin-starred restaurants, you are at the right place in the capital of Belgium. Brussels has 21 Michelin starred restaurants, so as a real foodie you can expect some unique experiences here. 2-starred restaurant Sea Grill is one of them, located on Rue Fosse aux Loups, and is specialized in (shell)fish. This place has an aristocratic atmosphere where they serve one of the most delicious lobsters of Brussels and some world class wines. Book your table in advance and let yourself be pampered royally.
Another typical Belgian delicacy are the Belgian mussels. The mussels are often served in a large black pot with (organic) vegetables, mixed with some cream or mustard sauce, and mostly eaten in combination with a glass of sauvignon blanc. The majority of the restaurants in Belgium serve this dish, so it’s no challenge to find one, but we really recommend brasserie Zinneke. This is a very authentic place where you enjoy the delicious molluscs in a unique, ancient ambiance. This brasserie has no less than 69 different ways of preparing the mussels, so there is no way to go wrong here!
As you may notice, the Belgian cuisine offers many delicious dishes with meat, and we have another one for you. What you definitely should not miss out on when in Brussels, are the Belgian meatballs. In the Flemish part of Brussels, you’ll find the original Belgian meatballs, made from a mixture of beef and pork, and dipped in tomato sauce or a Belgian cherry sauce. In the French-speaking part of Brussels, the boulets Liegeois are very popular. These meatballs are served with a savoury meat sauce, herb, Liège syrup and some apples and pears. We love both versions, but would you like to judge for yourself, go to Balls & Glory where you can try both the Flemish and French meatballs, and go rank them!
Choux des Bruxelles
You might think sprouts are a pretty simple dish, but that’s because you haven’t tried the Brussels’ one yet! Brussels offers this delicacy in its own unique way, and it’s on almost every restaurant’s menu, called Choux de Bruxelles. Try for example the sprout soup, scalloped sprouts or sprout stew for a totally new sprout-experience. You are ought to be amazed by the mild, nutty flavour sensation of Choux de Bruxelles! Chou Restaurant is highly recommended because of its sprouts, and offers a cosy atmosphere – a homely ambiance you would expect while eating your sprouts.
You’re probably in for some dessert now. In Brussels, the choice for dessert is not that difficult: go for the Belgian waffle! On almost every street of Brussels you get seduced by the delicious scent of freshly baked, sweet, sugared waffles. And lucky you, on almost every street there actually is a food stall to be found where you can choose from a wide range: waffles with chocolate, waffles with whipped cream or, another specialty of Brussels, waffles with cherries – Brussels offers you the most delicious variations! Besides the many food stalls, try a “haute cuisine” waffle on the second floor of Maison Dandoy – this is an essential place for the real sweet tooth!
Chocolate at the chocolatiers
Brussels and chocolate are inseparable, so you have to leave some room for this delicacy (even if you just finished a waffle somewhere). Brussels has many known chocolatiers where the chocolate is made according to traditional methods. The most famous chocolatier in Brussels that does that, is Corné Port-Royal. Corné Port-Royal is a mecca of chocolate and the place to get the most delicious handmade chocolates. In addition, the chocolatier offers a unique insight into the manufacturing process. Learn more about the traditional methods of making chocolate and experience chocolate like never before!