A Foodie's Guide to Brussels
Being a small city, you may be forgiven for thinking that Brussels doesn’t have much to offer a gastronome, but the reality is quite the contrary. With an eclectic mix of restaurants on practically every corner, Brussels is a deceptively culinary city and well worth a visit, even if only to pay a visit to its famous chocolate boutique.
Be a taste trendsetter at Belga Queen ££
Belga Queen Restaurant Rue fossé aux loups, 32 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 217 21 87 belgaqueen.be/en/Brussels.aspx
A hipster’s haven, glamorous Belga Queen Restaurant is a hotspot for young people. Local chef, architect and designer Antoine Pinto serves up some of the finest food this side of the Senne River. At Belga Queen, the food is traditional with a modern twist and the menu changes on a weekly basis. As well as seasonal menus, the restaurant also has some enticing specials, including a great selection of fish dishes such as lobster baked on a hot plate, birds beak peppers, lemon juice and lobster oil and roasted royal cod with Oostende sauce and Steenbrugge beer.
Chocolate creativity at Patrick Roger Boutique ££
Patrick Roger Boutique Place de Grand Sablon, 43 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 514 70 46 patrickroger.com
Patrick Roger is a name not only synonymous with chocolate but also with art and sculpture. Not just a chocolatier, Patrick’s boutique looks more like a trendy art gallery than a shop that sells chocolate. Inside, the décor is quirky yet organic with exposed brickwork, dangling tubular lighting and huge chocolate sculptures of fish. With some unusual flavours on the menu, those which come highly recommended include jasmine flowers, lemon and basil, vinegar and caramel and even beer flavoured chocolate.
Brussels’ best kept secret – Les Brassins Restaurant ££
Les Brassins Rue Keyenveld ,36 1050 Brussels +32 (0) 2 512 69 99 lesbrassins.com
They say good things come in small packages, and Les Brassins is no exception. Located on an unassuming side street near to the Porte de Namur metro, this restaurant is well-hidden but particularly popular with locals. Expect to find a range of meat dishes on the menu here, including duck leg confit with grilled mushrooms and lamb cutlets cooked in thyme with zucchini gratin. With an extensive beer menu too, Les Brassins makes for a comfortable evening and a perfect way to spend an hour or three. It’s worth mentioning, however, that this restaurant is old school and doesn’t accept cards so make sure you have cash to hand.
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Brussels beer tasting tour ££
Brussels Beer Tasting Tour Grand Place 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 4 7931 90 03 globalenterprises.be/brussels-beer-tasting-tour/
Belgium has a famous beer brewing tradition and on this four hour pub tour you’ll discover some of its capital city’s oldest watering holes and learn about its beer heritage. Numbers on the tour are limited to a maximum of twenty people which guarantees personal attention from the tour guide. Brussels offers a vast array of artisan brews and each one has a unique flavour. On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to sample such favourites as Malheur Blonde, IV Saisons and the creamy Trappist beers that come with a white head and go down nice and smooth. This tour is really popular so ensure you book in advance of your trip. And a little word from the wise – make sure you proceed on a full stomach.