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Jan 31, 2010 01:37 PM


I'm looking for recommendations for good dining in Brussels and Bruges. Price is not too important as long as the food is excellent. That said, the boss is paying, and I don't think we'd want to spend more than €100 or so without wine.

Thanks for any help. I've never been to Brussels, so it's new territory for me. We would probably want to avoid Indian, Chinese etc., as there is plenty of that to eat at home, and we like to discover what a city is famous for.

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  1. Check out my post from last October:

    Have you done a search on this board? I believe there have been other threads as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      I haven't had time to search yet but will. Thanks for the link!

      1. re: zuriga1

        I have also been restaurant searching for our first time Brussels holiday in July. Thanks rrems for your very informative report. Chez Leon sounds like a good choice for the first night as we will want a casual dinner as we deal with jet lag! La Clef des Champs may also be a dinner consideration.
        While in Brussels we will be celebrating my DH's birthday. I have been reading about Comme Chez Soi & although it is expensive it appears that it has great food. Has anyoone dined there recently and, if so, would you recommend that we try it?
        We are also going to Bruges for one day. Den Dyver looked really great but it will be closed the day that we are there for lunch. Other suggestions would be much appreciated.

        1. re: jmlh

          We spend a lot of time eating in Brussels and would suggest the Aux Armes de Brussels, always good and always crowded. I had an excellent Irish steak there a month ago along with the requiste oysters. Francois in the St Catherine's area is a good fish restaurant, in fact, the restaurants in this area are always good. Have a coctail at the Metropol Hotel followed by dinner at the Sea Grill. Brussels is not a particularly attractive town but I recommend going to the Place du Sablon for sweats and the flea market on the weekend.

      2. re: rrems

        Any suggestions for diners dining alone? I will be there in the beginning of March and may have one or two nights on my own. I have never been to Brussels, are there any can't miss places? What about great pubs/bars? As you can see I need some serious Brussels education.

      3. For Bruxelles, I'm going to recommend Les Brasseries Georges. It has gone up and down over the years, but seems to be on an up these days. Also, it can get a bit loud and busy, but pretty much because the food is so good.

        It's a bit out of the centre, but maybe that's ok with you?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Lizard

          Is it by any chance in the direction of the airport or exhibition halls? I think that's where we'll be before dinners. Thanks.

          Ah, I see it's recommended in a magazine article I saved. They liked the duck cassoulet!

          1. re: zuriga1

            No, I'm afraid not. It's in the commune of Uccle.

            1. re: Lizard

              Thanks. Well, we'll be on a business trip. They pay for cabs, not to mention dinners. :-)

              1. re: zuriga1

                Hi Zuriga1,
                Really looking forward on to your review of Brussels restaurants. I always look forward to your reviews on the Londpn board and really trust your judgment. We are going to Brussels for the first time in July and really need some good advise! Looking to hearing from you!

                1. re: jmlh

                  Oh, sad news about Brussels. My husband's company has cancelled his going to a huge exhibition and is sending his new assistant instead. It's a very stupid move on their part for many reason. But not all was lost as my son will visit from the States that week and we will get to Copenhagen later this year as a trade-off.

                  Thanks so much for your kind words about my reviews. I think my views are based on what visitors may enjoy in London rather than what the 'natives' think is wonderful. Now I will have to look for your advise about Brussels because we WILL go at some time. I bought the guidebooks!

          2. re: Lizard

            I would second Brasserie Georges. I love that you can choose what type of fat your fries are cooked in (I always go for duck) and the steaks are fantastic.

            That being said, I do think my favorite place for steak in all of Brussels is Meet Meat

            Another top destination for me is Bon Bon - but tough to get a reservation. For a really top class meal this is my go to place.

          3. I'm reviving this thread because I'm actually, finally getting to Brussels in mid-June - and a day in Bruges. If anyone has a recent favorite spot or recommendation, I'd appreciate hearing about them. I'd like one dinner to be a bit special as it's our anniversary. Thanks for any ideas.

            2 Replies
            1. re: zuriga1

              Count me among your London board fans. :o)

              Have you got any more details about how long you'll be in Brussels, where you'll be staying and what you might be in the mood for? I have to say that even though I've lived here for 12 years, I'm more likely to go to London or Paris for a special meal! That said, my current faves include:

              Le Fils de Jules - Basque/Landaise cuisine (Place du Chatelain area)
              La Canne en Ville - French/Belgian bistro (ditto, but a few blocks west of the place itself)
              Le Fourneau - Modern European small plates (Place Ste-Catherine)
              De la Vigne a l'Assiette - French bistro (off of Avenue Louise)

              The point-and-have-it-grilled seafood bar Le Mer du Nord on Place Ste-Catherine is also excellent.

              I LOVE the ramen and gyoza at the tiny noodle bar Yamato near Place St-Boniface.

              And if you want downscale, don't miss the frites chez Antoine and the pizza al taglio at Mamma Roma!

              Finally, if you feel like being a guinea pig, I've been wanting to try Orphyse Chaussette, near the Place du Sablon. Southern French cooking with a huge emphasis on carefully sourced ingredients.

              I've not spent any real time in Bruges, although I've heard excellent reports of Den Gouden Harynck - which might well qualify as a special meal...

              1. re: Kelly

                Thanks for all those ideas, Kelly. We'll only be there three nights and are staying near the Grand Sablon area. I noticed that Idiot du Village (what a name!) is nearby and it sounds like something we'd enjoy. Do you know that restaurant? My husband really likes seafood so Le Mer du Nord sounds like a good choice. Orphyse Chaussette is certainly close by.

                I'm just back from two weeks of gorging in California so food, in general, isn't my priority now but I'm sure to recover by June.

                Thanks for your kinds words re the London board. Being a Yank, I often feel less able to give worthy opinions but it's fun to contribute what I can.

            2. two suggestions:

              Avoid Bruges on a weekend. Go in the middle of the week and it is so much less crowded.

              We went one fall and had it all to ourselves. it was fabulous.

              Also try Blond de Bruges. A local beer and probably the best beer I have ever tasted. Still daydream about it.

              Can't remember the restaurant, though.

              I can't say that I had any really memorable food in Belgium--other than chocolate of course.

              To tell you the truth my favorite place to eat was Le Pain Quotidien. Much , much better than the own in NY.

              Don't let the idea of it being a small chain fool you. Excellent pastries, bread and very, very good steak tartare sandwiches, soups and salads. And tres reasonable

              3 Replies
              1. re: gala

                I like Le Pain Quotidien, too. The ones in London are very nice and better than the NY version. We might go to one in Brussels for breakfast - better than spending a fortune at a hotel.

                We're hitting Bruges on a Tuesday, so it should be OK.. hopefully. I'll pass on the beer suggestion to my husband!

                1. re: zuriga1

                  In Bruges, I have read excellent reviews about a restaurant called Hertog Jan. The chef young and seems to be inspired by noma-like cuisine. We will be having dinner there in July.

                  1. re: zuriga1

                    If you're not a beer fan, do give the fruit beers a try. I personally love Lindemans Kriek (sour cherry), Cassis (Black currant) or Pecheresse (peach) they're worth seeking out. Also, if you get a chance, do try a good Belgian Beef stew (also called: stoufvlees, stoverij, carbonnade a la flamande) really good stuff! Enjoy your trip!