Under two hours away from London King’s Cross, Brussels is a great city to explore for the weekend or even in 24 hours. I really enjoyed the food scene here, every place I went or stumbled upon prided themselves on sourcing local, seasonal produce; and only using the freshiest ingredients.
Here’s a rundown on where to eat and drink in Brussels.
Breakfast at Hinterland
Very much a locals’ spot, for breakfast to lunch, I’d recommend heading over to Hinterland. The food was satisfying and delicious, the service was super friendly and the atmosphere was cosy.
They have an all-day breakfast/brunch menu served until 6pm. There are plenty of options on the menu, from scrambled eggs to pancakes, acai bowls to toasties. If you’re vegan, there are several choices from the menu too.
We ordered their blueberry buttermilk pancakes, avocado and sweet potato toastie, and iced matcha lattes.
Address: Hinterland, Chaussée de Charleroi 179, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Belgium
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat, 8AM-6PM / Sun, Closed
Morning coffee at OR Coffee
Whenever I travel, I always make an effort to check out their coffee scene.
OR Coffee was one of the first specialty coffee shops in Brussels, part of a small chain based in Ghent. With two stores in Brussels, the branch in the city centre will most likely be the more convenient one.
They offer specialty coffee drinks, as well as other methods, like chemex, aeropress and your standard pourover coffee too. I like my coffee strong, creamy and rich – and their coffee was just that. And you know, I love a place that offers dairy-free alternative milks!
Definitely one of the top places in Brussels for a cup of coffee and people watching.
Address: OR Coffee, Rue A. Ortsstraat 9, 1000 Brussels.
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri, 8AM-6PM / Sat, 9AM-6PM / Sun, 10AM-6PM
Frites at Friterie de la Barriere
According to the Internet, this is THE place to get frites in Brussels. Friterie de la Barriere has been a Brussels institution for the past fifty-something years.
Similar to Australia Dairy Co. in Hong Kong, this place has a reputation for bad service (but it adds to the experience). But nonetheless, the frites were SO delicious; freshly cut every day and double fried in beef fat, so the frites had a lot of flavour! I love sauces so I was impressed with their large selection of sauces – from aioli to bearnaise, to curry, to your classic ketchup and mayonnaise.
Address: Avenue du Parc 5, 1060 Saint-Gilles
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:30AM-1AM
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A healthy lunch at Tich Healthy Living
To balance out the obscene amount of fries we were eating, we opted for a healthy lunch at Tich Healthy Living. A concept store, they sell plant-based cookbooks, sustainable homeware (think mason jars, reusable straws etc.) with a trendy plant-based café, that serves your typical brunch menu (think avocado toast, acai bowls).
We ordered their avocado toast with pickled onions, banana pancakes topped with coconut yogurt and berries, and acai bowl. NGL, it’s a pretty standard brunch cafe spot, so if you’re vegan, plant-based or just health-conscious, I’d recommend visiting. Although I will note it is quite pricey for the portions.
Address: Tich Healthy Living, Rue de Namur, 25, Brussels, Belgium, 1000
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri, 9AM-6:30PM / Sat-Sun, 10AM-6:30PM
A pick-me-up at Belga & Co.
Belga and Co. is another popular specialty coffee-shop in Brussels, so you gotta get their coffee.
We only ordered coffees so can’t vouch for the food, but their brunch menu did sound really good, especially the savory options like their croque monsieur with homemade parsley pesto.
NGL, I would come here just for the aesthetic and to people watch.
Address: Belga & Co, Rue du Bailli 7A – 1000 Brussels
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30AM-6:30PM / Sat-Sun, 8:30AM-6:30PM
Waffles at Maison Dandoy
When you think of Belgium, you think of waffles!
Maison Dandoy is well-known for its speculoos and waffles, serving both the Liege and Brussels Waffle.
We ordered the Brussels waffle (because when in Brussels!). Rectangularly shaped, the Brussels waffle has a light and crispy texture and is sprinkled with icing sugar. Whereas the Liege waffle is more similar to what we see in the UK marketed as a Belgian waffle. It’s much
Address: Maison Dandoy – Galeries, Galerie du Roi, 2. 1000 Bruxelles.
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs, 10AM-7PM / Fri-Sat, 10AM-9PM / Sun, 10AM-7PM
Dinner at Tero
We stumbled across this restaurant on our way back to our Airbnb, and I’m so glad we ended up having dinner here. Tero is a sharing small-plates type of restaurant, and although from the outside it looks slightly pretentious, inside the atmosphere is very cosy and warm.
The restaurant prides itself on using only organic and seasonal produce, either directly from their farm, or from local suppliers. So as you can expect, their menu changes with the seasons.
We ordered four plates to share and then dessert, and there was a complimentary bread basket with amazing sourdough bread. All the dishes we ordered, the quality and freshness of the ingredients were noticeable.
I’d recommend trying to book a table. We visited for an early dinner and were lucky to be seated, as the restaurant got really busy as the night went on.
Address: Tero, Rue St.Bernard 1, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Belgium
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat, 12PM-1:45PM and 7-9:45PM / Sun, Closed
Indulge in Belgium chocolates from Elisabeth.
And of course, you can’t leave Brussels without buying and eating chocolate. The most popular Belgian chocolatiers are Pierre Marcolini, Neuhaus, and Leonidas – all great chocolatiers. But it’s been two years since my trip to Brussels, and I still think about the chocolates I brought from Elisabeth. There are several stores in the city centre, so I’d recommend going in sampling a few, and buying boxes in bulk to bring home so you can reminisce about your time in Brussels (oh, and maybe for souvenir gifts for friends and family).