I. Love. Food! One of my favorite things about traveling the world is trying new cuisines in new countries; experiencing new flavors, new textures, new aromas. I knew heading to Brussels I was going to experience great chocolate but I didn’t realize all Belgian cuisine was going to knock my socks off!
During our very brief stay in Brussels, we savored some great Belgian food as well as international cuisine (thanks to our fetish of Thai and Japanese cuisine). And whether it was traditional or international, the Belgians know how to do food! If you are ever in Brussels we highly recommend you try the following eateries.
After 110 years of serving food to locals and tourists alike, Chez Leon knows a thing or two about good food. Centrally located just a few short meters away from Grand Place, Chez Leon is one of the best you will find in Brussels.
There are a lot of restaurants in this area and it is actually a minefield trying to find a good one. There are a heap of ‘tourist traps’ sucking in easy money from the tourists and then serving them B Grade food. Chez Leon is certainly not one of those and you won’t go wrong pulling up a chair here.
Serving everything from traditional Belgian cuisine to extraordinary burgers and perfectly cooked steak, whatever you order will be a sensory delight for your pallet. Brussels is very well known for their mussels, and Chez has a great selection.
The atmosphere is great, the staff friendly and the food outstanding. If you are in Brussels, you really must stop here if you want an authentic Brussels experience.
We stopped off at the Comics Café for lunch after our Comic City Tour, which we thought was very fitting. You will find the café in the uptown area of Brussels, just a short walk from the city center. As soon as you walk in you are greeted with walls decorated with comics and memorabilia. Some of them are incredible pieces of art that will have you walking from room to room to get a good look.
Comics Café was named the Number 1 restaurant in Brussels (via TripAdvisor), out of 1150 restaurants to boot! Now that is a pretty big accolade. And we understand why. The food here was amazing. They have a great choice of traditional Belgian food, however, they also have a superb hamburger menu – And I’m not talking about your standard fast food burger. This was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had!
There is also a pub inside so it’s a perfect place just for a drink if you are not hungry – Although, once you smell the food cooking, you may decide you are hungry after all!
Like most men, Michael likes his beer. So when the chance to do a beer tasting came our way we jumped at the chance. The difference here is, beer isn’t just ‘beer’. The guys at Moeder Lambic are very passionate about beer, about the process behind a good beer. We tried 8 different varieties while we were there, all tasting very different, including a raspberry beer.
We also sampled some of Belgians best cheese, cold meats and bread – Now it was my turn to get excited. Like with their beers, Moeder Lambic doesn’t serve stock standard food, they believe that food, like beer, should be traditionally made, excluding additives like sugar and certain preservatives. And you can really taste the difference.
If you want to experience real beer and real food, without all the hidden nasty’s, you cant go past Moeder Lambic. The staff here are friendly, informative and couldn’t be more passionate about their products.
Of course Japanese is not traditional Belgian food but we just love our Japanese and had heard great things about Nakama. We were not disappointed.
You will find Nakama just off the trendy Louise Avenue in the uptown area. There is inside and alfresco seating and because it was such a beautiful day, we ate outside. The menu consists of the typical Japanese cuisine but the flavors were some of the best we’ve had.
Service was quick, food was full of flavor and the location was excellent.
Noordzee Mer du Nord
Noordzee Mer du Nord is a hidden gem. Not too many tourists are aware of this place, yet, but there are plenty of locals who know about it. As we rounded the corner heading towards it, we could see streams of people ordering their freshly cooked seafood.
I am not a huge seafood fan, but this place had flavors I had never experienced before with seafood. You could taste the freshness; another sensory delight for your pallet.
Noordzee Mer du Nord also serve a nice white wine which goes perfectly with the meal. A definite must for seafood lovers in Brussels.
Tip: When looking for somewhere to eat in Brussels be careful not to end up in a ‘tourist restaurant’. The good folk at Visit Brussels have put together a list of good quality restaurants with real local cuisine here
Do you have any Belgium restaurant recommendations?