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Belgo vs. Markt

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I'm coming home to Manhattan for a couple of nights and want to try one of the Belgian places which have sprung up fairly recently. Any suggestions on which is better, Belgo or Markt? Also any dishes which should not be missed?

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  1. Markt has better fries, lots of models and an ambitious, if not necessarily well executed menu; Belgo has arguably better mussels. Bruxelles feels right, like a great bistro, and the food is fine. Waterloo--well, Waterloo has a doorman. All of them have Belgian beer in spades. But the consensus choice (as originally determined by Mr. Sietsema) is probably the simplest: Petite Abielle.

    7 Replies
    1. re: j gold

      And what about Le Frit Kot on W 4th?
      The fries and mussels are great, and they now serve beer too.
      It is of course lacking a bit in the scene end of things.

      1. re: Alan Divack

        I found Belgo to be a bummer: crowded, noisy and uncomfortable. The bar area was too small to comfortably hang out and all the tables were taken. Frites were rediculously bad. They were american french fries with Hellman's mayo. For the price, an abomination. Beer was very expensive but an excellent and enjoyable selction, for sure, and may have been appropriately priced.
        I love Caffe Bruxelles, excellent frites (and real frite sauce), beer and food. A quieter, more upscale ambience.
        I will have to try Markt.
        And for just frites I like Pomme Frites the little frite joint on 7th St. and 2nd Ave. (I think.)

        1. re: Jessica

          Can't agree with you more on Belgo. Went some months ago with a London-originated friend who was astounded - as was I - at how bad it was. Apparently there is a sister restaurant in London which he remembered as quite good. Soggy frites, rubbery moules. We had some kind of salad with asparagus that was so over cooked I could've sworn it was the Jolly Green Giant's. The expensive (albeit extensive) brew list did little to moderate the experience. Never again.

          1. re: Barbara S

            Glad to see I'm not alone. Never again, sums it up!

            1. re: Jessica

              I've had the misfortune of attending free (i.e. company-sponsored) meals at Belgo twice. Yuck. The food, service and atmosphere all rated lower than McDonald's. The staff in particular were amazingly ameteurish, having no clue about the beers or the food. The first time I was there, we literally had to wait 45 minutes after being seated - for APPETIZERS! There were two good things - the beer, and the memories I have of Belgo Noord in London, where the food, decor, atmosphere and beer are all superb. There is another Belgo in London called Belgo Centraal - although easier to get to, it is on par with Belgo NY - BEWARE. Stick with Cafe de Bruxelles or Petite A. They are the real Belgian deals in NY.

              1. re: wayne

                It seems I am alone in my opinion of Belgo...Mussels were delicious, beer list was extensive, and the service was friendly and efficient. Attended a b-day party for a friend of mine, (14 people at one table!), and we had an AMAZING time. My server, I think his name was Jeff?, was very knowledgeable of all things Belgian, even misc. trivia....Could not have asked for a better time...

      2. re: j gold

        I have to agree, Petit Abielle is by far the best. A friend knows the staff fairly well at Markt and even so the experiences I have had there have been so so. I'd go to Markt, though if you are looking for afun night out.