Brussels for New Year's
My husband and I just decided today to spend New Year's Eve in Brussels. We will be staying near the Central Station, because we got a good rate, but we usually prefer to stay in and visit neighborhoods where locals actually live and eat.
As a result, I am wondering two things:
- What neighborhoods, and specific restaurants in them, would give us the best local food and environment away from tourist traps?
- As we will be spending New Year's Eve in Brussels, what specific restaurants might be good to contact to reserve a table for December 31st celebrations?
The area around the Place du Grand Sablons (where we stayed) had many good restaurants. We especially liked Lola, but there were many good spots. I didn't feel that any of the local places were tourist traps, but the area around the Grand Place is where you must be wary. The area around Rue Louise (I hope I got that right) also had a lot of restaurants plus good shops. We had one blow-out meal at Maison du Cygne. It's a wonderful... and pricey restaurant of long standing.
Great waffle at the little place right across the street from the Pis statue!
Many places will close on New Year's Eve whilst others will have a menu du reveillon. For anywhere good, you will need to book and the many tourist traps in town are best shunned. Lola would be a good choice but also Brasserie George on Avenue Winston Churchill (great athmopshere and food is not bad), Toucan sur Mer on avenue Louis Lepoutre (idem, smaller and fishy) or Chou on Place de Londres. I've just got a flyer from Chalet Robinson which is a pretty spot on a lake in the Bois de la Cambre http://www.chaletrobinson.be/newyear/ which could be worth following up. If you are reserving by phone, they will probably all speak enough English.
None of these are in the centre of town but Brussels is compact so think of 10 or 15 minutes by taxi. Clients will be local/international (Brussels has lot of foreign residents) and you will not feel like you have wandered into a tourist trap.