Brussels sits at the crossroads of Europe. Its status as a cultural melting pot and political and commercial center make it a wonderful place to eat. The restaurant scene ranges from traditional eateries focused on classic Belgian favorites to modern fusion venues with cutting edge cuisine and amazing ambiance. And of course, you can try the only in Belgium favorites: the waffles, the mussels, the beer, and the chocolate.

If you find yourself in Brussels, there is no better way to spend your time than eating your way around the city.

Here is where you can find the best restaurants in Brussels.

Brussels sits at the crossroads of Europe. Its status as a cultural melting pot and political and commercial center make it a wonderful place to eat. The restaurant scene ranges from traditional eateries focused on classic Belgian favorites to modern fusion venues with cutting edge cuisine and amazing ambiance. And of course, you can try the only in Belgium favorites: the waffles, the mussels, the beer, and the chocolate.

If you find yourself in Brussels, there is no better way to spend your time than eating your way around the city.

Here is where you can find the best restaurants in Brussels.

Where to find the best frites

Frites
Photo: Matthew Hine / Flickr

If you are search for a cheap eats in Brussels, you can’t go wrong with one of the many (hundreds) of small shops serving frites (these spots are called friteries in French and fritkots in Dutch). The frites here are served with an almost uncountable number of sauces, and every Brussels local will recommend their favorite place and the favorite sauce you should try there.  Spots like Friterie Tabora come highly recommended by chip connoisseurs, while Maison Antoine is another favorite because they fry their potatoes in rendered beef fat for extra flavor. Or you could always ask locals for their recommendation; you are never too far from a good friterie anywhere in Brussels.

Other budget options

Belgian Waffle
Photo: a.pasquier / Flickr

Crepes are another option for cheap eats. The hearty and generous fillings and the overall quality of crepes in Brussels makes them a good choice for a meal. The same goes for the famous Belgian waffles. Though these sugar-dusted treats are usually eaten for dessert, they are substantial enough to make you full for breakfast (or even lunch). Popular basic restaurants like Arcadi are great lunchtime options with quality fare at sub-€10 prices.

Mid-range restaurants

Les Brassins
Photo: Francisco Antunes / Flickr

Actually, you don’t have to spend a lot to have a great meal in Brussels. You can pretty much choose whatever style of cooking that you want and find a great meal somewhere in the city. If you want to enjoy some classic Belgian cuisine, Si Bemol is a great option, as is the centrally-located ‘T Kelderke, which sits near the Grand Place. If you want beer with your meal, Les Brassins has a lot of varieties to choose from, though most restaurants above the budget price-range will have several high quality brews on tap. You can even find authentic ramen (at Yamato) and spicy-but-savory Thai food (at a popular restaurant called Thanh-Binh) in Brussels.

Expensive (but very delicious) eats

De Bijegaarden is the kind of restaurant that you will not often find in today’s world. The service is impeccable, the wood paneling and intricate chandeliers provide an exquisite ambiance and the food manages to be both modern and traditional (think European gourmet classics that have just the right amount of modern fusion flavor). Yes, De Bijegaarden is very expensive, but if you factor in the overall experience, it is worth the price for anyone looking for one big splurge while they are in Brussels. Les Brasseries Georges, meanwhile, is much more accessible as a dinnertime option. It offers an epic seafood platter and other Belgian favorites like steamed cod and lamb shoulder.  Anyone who has an interest in the Brussels foods scene should put both these restaurants on their eating itinerary.

Other Brussels specialties

Mussels
Photo: Frédérique Voisin-Demery / Flickr

Mussels are a popular Belgian treat. Sometimes you can even find these shellfish for sale on the street. Many beer-houses have them on the menu as well. And, of course, you can’t mention eating in Brussels without talking about chocolate. You can find some really legendary names amongst the chocolatiers of Brussels: Neuhaus, Leonidas, Godiva, Wittamer, or Galler. These places have earned their reputation and they really do make some of the world’s finest chocolates.  But there are also plenty of smaller shops all around the city where you can sample the edible artwork and find slightly lower prices for equally tasty treats.  As with the frites, you can ask locals for their recommendations and find some great chocolate in unexpected corners of Brussels.

Have you been to this amazing Belgian city? Let us know what we should add to our list of the best restaurants in Brussels in the comments section below.

Categories: Brussels

2 Comments

Finding Fabulous Flavors at the Best Restaurants in Brussels

  1. My husband and I visited Brussels in 2010. We were there for 3 days and I ate mussels for lunch everyday. I had Moules Marineier so tasty and the mussels were so plump. Beats the mussels I\’ve eaten at other coastal towns in CA, FL, NC and MA. My favorite place to get the mussels was at Le Grand Bi.

  2. Maison Antoine, for sure, for your frite fix! Probably 30+ sauces and many of the cafés in Place Jourdan let you bring your frites in while you enjoy a drink. Just look for the \”Frites Acceptées\” signs.
    Oh, and Pierre Marcolini chocolate… To. Die. For.

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