If you live in Brussels then you’re never going to face any difficulty when it comes to finding places to eat and drink. On virtually every street corner and in all the parks you can find vans serving delicious waffles or stalls selling fantastically fresh seafood. The streets and squares of the centre of the city are lined with cafes, bars and brasseries and, famously, there’s probably no finer city in the world if you’re idea of a good drink is a delicious specialist beer.
Ask any ten residents of Brussels for the best restaurants in the city and the chances are that you’ll get ten different lists. The following choices, then, can’t possibly claim to be definitive. What they do highlight is the sheer range of food on offer in Brussels, from traditional Belgian fare to cuisine influenced by close neighbour France and then by countries much further afield.
Location: Chaussée de Vleurgat 1
In case you’ve been left behind by the Japanese noodle craze sweeping Europe, ramen are thin wheat noodles that originate in China. They are served in big hot bowls of broth and come with a variety of toppings. Luckily, Brussels has a great place to enjoy these delicious noodles.There's nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of ramen and Umamido is the best place to have one!
- Comme Chez Soi
Location: 23 Place Rouppe
If you’ve got the money to spend on French style haute-cuisine food then Comme Chez Soi is the obvious choice to make. There are only 40 covers in the stunning Art-Nouvea style dining room, and the kitchen is on full view. Comme Chez Soi is one of the most highly thought of restaurants in Brussels, so booking in advance is an absolute necessity.
- La Maison du Cygne
Location: 2 Rue Charles Buls
You can enjoy more classic French cuisine in the heart of Brussels at La Maison de Cygne, a restaurant housed in the spectacular setting of a former butchers’ guild house. The quality of the food is matched by the opulence of the 19th century décor, and if the prices strike you as being a little on the steep side then have no fear. You can sample the atmosphere and some of the food in the ground floor Brasserie L’Ommegang, which also offers the bonus of outdoor seating on the Grand Place.
Location: 1 Kastanjeboomstraat
Enjoy Ethiopian culture at the same time as feasting on its cuisine at Toukul. The interior décor was designed by Belgian photographer Serge Anton and is decorated with artwork and sculpture direct from Ethiopia. As well as traditional Ethiopian treats such as ribs and sourdough pancakes you can enjoy jazz and blues performances given by local artists.
- La Quincaillerie
Location: 45 Rue du Page
Located in a historic ironmonger’s shop, La Quincaillerie combines an upmarket Art Deco ambience with food which combines French inspiration with the finest local ingredients. Indeed, the commitment to fresh produce is such that the restaurant has its’ own farm in Bresse, and no visit is really complete without a stop for starters at the stunning oyster bar.
- Fin de Siècle
Location:9 Rue des Chartreux
If you want to enjoy the very best of traditional Belgian cuisine then look no further than Fin de Siecle. There are no bookings taken, and the popularity of the food and ambience means that you’ll have to be ready to queue for a table unless you get there especially early. Secure a table and you can enjoy classic dishes such as sausage and stoemp (mashed potatoes) or the traditional carbonnade stew, all washed down with a selection of Belgian beers.
- Le Cercle des Voyageurs
Location: 18 Lievevrouwbroersstraat
Le Cercle des Voyageurs describes itself as an ‘art and travel café’ and the interior combines a cosy atmosphere with travel books, background music and constantly changing exhibitions of art and photography. The menu is global in nature, featuring the likes of Brazilian fish stew and North African roast lamb, and the food is often followed by live music and an exciting roster of local cultural events.
- Au Vieux Bruxelles
Location: 35 Rue Saint-Boniface
Au Vieux Bruxelles is another traditional Belgian restaurant, one which has been standing since 1882. The simply decorated interior adds to the charm of the place, as does a menu consisting of local classics such as moules frites and waterzooi chicken stew. Make sure to take note of the address since the fairly non-descript exterior does nothing to advertise the delicious culinary treats that wait inside.
- La Mer du Nord
Location: 45 Rue Sainte-Catherine
This is where we shift from restaurant eating to street food, although La Mer du Nord does offer street food of a particularly high standard. It started life as a fish shop, and now serves deliciously fresh treats such as croquettes aux crevettes, escargots de mer, crabs, scallops, smoked mackerel and fish soup. You eat your food standing at a table on the pavement, and then watch the world go by over a glass of beer or wine.