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Brussels: best fries, best waffles, best moules, best beer bar/brewery

hi everyone: i'll be in brussels next weekend and i would love to find the best of belgian street food (waffles/frites) in addition to the best place for mussels and, very importantly, the best place to spend a long afternoon outside (or inside a great place) drinking belgian beer. if you have reasonably priced (belgian or italian) dinner suggestions, i am also eager to know. thanks a lot!

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  1. I was only in Brussels for under 2 days, but I enjoyed Falstaff for its beers, outdoor terrace and chicken waterzooi(http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...) and the touristy, but worth it Chez Leon on Rue de Bouchers for Moules Frites (http://uk.chezleon.be/index.asp?ID=476

    )

    You'll see waffles freshly made all over the place in stores and on the streets. I tried one that was made by a vendor selling them out of his renovated VW Bus!

    And just about every chocolate maker you can imagine is represented here (Godiva, Leonidas, Neuhaus and more: http://www.visitbelgium.com/Chocolate...), so make sure to sample some of those!

    1 Reply
    1. re: npwest

      To add to that (Chez Leon can be fun), you might want to consider Aux Armes des Bruxelles, also on Rue de Bouchers, and an institution. Be sure to order Croquettes aux Crevettes as a starter.

      I've often enjoyed going down to Place St Catherine and enjoying a beer in any one of the outdoor spots. Falstaff is a famous place to go, of course, and a lovely building at that. In that vein, you might also consider a visit to Roy d'Espagne in the Grand Place.

      For traditional Belgian food in a lovely atmosphere, I'd think about the Brasserie in the Art Museum.

      And if you're keen on looking at chocolates and pastries, take a visit to the Sablon, where you'll find Wittamer (http://www.wittamer.com/fr/index.php) and Pierre Marcolini, as well as possibly a flea market (on the right days; there's also a big one at Place du jeu de Balle, a short walk from the Sablon) and other bars and cafés for people watching.

    2. Frites stands are disappearing by the minute - at least the ones that cook the fries in true traditional Belgian fashion. The only two I have had recommended are Chez Antoine on Place Jourdan in Etterbeek and another place in Uccle that I've forgotten. We eat at Antoine's once a week (including last night). None of the downtown places comes close.

      Almost all the walk-up waffle places are okay, at least for a Liegeoise (the simple sugary version, which is the traditional one). We don't eat the other (Bruxelloise), so can't say about that.

      Best stand-up seafood is on the corner of Saint-Catherine's (Mer du Nord). Especially on Sundays at noon. Very limited menu, but good, cheap food and a terrific crowd. Best moules in town would be Chez Vincent (expensive) off Rue des Bouchers, or Bij den Boer (reasonable) on Quai aux Brics.

      Best italian near town is Fin de Siecle off Montgomery (taxi) - we know some others farther out, but have never found anything good in town. Would love to hear suggestions.

      We only go to the Armes with parents (to foot the hyper-expensive bill) and gave up on Leon 20 years ago when they went mass-market. We are apparently not unusual, since last time we were in the area, Leon was empty and the Armes was filled with grandparents treating their families.

      Love the Roi d'Espagne, touristy or not. Been going there for 30 years, and the upstairs hasn't changed a bit.

      Mary for chocolates.

      4 Replies
      1. re: glindaraye

        Is the frites stand in Uccle at St Job?

        1. re: Lizard

          Yes, Clementine on Place Saint-Job. I haven't been there in years, even though I actually grew up relatively close by on Moliere.

          1. re: glindaraye

            Cheers, glindaraye, If you end up in the general area again, I'll recommend to you that you check out Le Cap du Vivier d'Oie (nearby Saint-Job)-- a poissonnerie traiteur with lovely fish. I'm not impressed with their sushi (which struggles given they don't know how to do rice) but the tartares and salades are really wonderful. And the fish on offer, whenever I've had it, has been fresh.

            ETA: Kind of dear, but in that neighbourhood, what isn't?

        2. Does anyone have any good middle-eastern or north african restaurants? Preferably out of the way?

          1. I need to amend an earlier post. Ate at Bij den Boer last night, and the prices were pretty outlandish (tomate crevettes, meuniere, 2 glasses of wine, 50E). Part of the reason for the error might be that I started going there a gazillion years ago, when it was a neighborhood hang-out for poor Flemish moule lovers. This was back when you could drive the Grand Place and the Wilkomm on Bouchers was still a haven for chess-playing drug addicts. Bruxelles is changing, and I sometimes forget myself. But it was sensational food as always, and on Monday you get in without fuss.

            1. You must visit Morte Subite (http://www.alamortsubite.com/) and Le Cirio. They are lovely places to have a beer, drink, or coffee. Turn of the century architecture that hasn't changed in 100 years and the best part is they are but a 5 minute walk from each other.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kraskland

                i wanted to reply to everybody and thank you all for your great recommendations! my favorite food experience by far was sunday at Mer du Nord at Place St. Catherine. It was cheap and unbelievably delicious. The menu was small but everything on it was perfectly seasoned, fresh, and perfectly prepared. My favorite beer place was definitely A La Morte Subite: I will never forget the peach lambic and will dream of it until I am back there to get more! Pierre Marcolini was great for chocolate and pastries. I had a killer tarte au citron.

                1. re: khornstein

                  Thanks for the update, I'm glad you had a nice time.