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Belgium - Ostend and Diksmuide

I have searched this board for recommendations, but there is nothing as far as I can see. Is there anyone out there who can tell e about cafes and restaurants which do good food at a good price.

We will be in Ostend for a few days, so we are looking for breakfasts, lunches and evening meals. One evening meal will be in Diksmuide.

We are also visiting Bruges, but I have got a fair bit of info on places to eat in this town from previous threads.

We would prefer to eat Belgian/Flemish food, but recommendations for anything which is good for value and quality will be gratefully received.

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  1. I visit Flanders quite regularly but not Diksmuide, I'm afraid.

    From another (non-food) board I use, a Dutch pal recommended the Gouden Mandekan, next to the town hall and, near the market, the more pubby "De Mane". The reccs date back to 2005, so may be well out of date.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Ah - thanks for this, I'll look into them.

      I thought you may have eaten in Diksmuide, because you mentioned visiting the museum there in a thread two years ago. Don't worry - I'm not an internet stalker, it's just that Diksmuide only came up once in a search on these boards! It's quite a long thread on different customs in different countries, and you're talking about Flemish as a language. I can usually master enough of a language to do the restaurant stuff, but I find Flemish tricky ...

      1. re: Theresa

        Museum will have been the Ijzertoren (Flemish history, particularly around the time of the Great War) or the "Trenches of Death" (self explanatory). We usually stay in Ieper, as not only is it more central for battlefield visiting, there's a better range of restaurants on hand.

        Flemish is a dialect of Dutch - and I'm lost on both counts apart from odd words. Fortunately, the locals are usually very good with their English.

        I'm sure we had lunch in the main town square but I've no recollection of whether it was the Gouden Mandekan or another place. Only had a snack, IIRC.

        1. re: Theresa

          Dear Theresa,

          In Oostende you have plenty of choice. Two places stand out imho. Both offer the classics of Flemish cooking associated with the coast - sole, plaice, grey shrimps, fish soups, mussels and mountains of fries.

          Au vieux port is the luxury version - http://www.auvieuxport.be, De Stad Kortrijk in Langestraat 119 is the rough opposite.

          I prefer the latter for its simple minimalism - no reservations, no service worthy of that name and please do not drink their wine, stick with the bottled beer. But the food is very tasty.

          Of course if you were in Diksmuide and had a car you would be less than half an hour away from In de Wulf, consider to be one of the best restaurants in Europe.

          Enjoy and report!

          1. re: hblnk

            Theresa

            Can certainly second the vote for In de Wulf, if your tastes go down the mutli-course tasting menu route. Only a single Michelin star but a stunner of a place. Here's the link to our meal in 2011 - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/778214

            John

            1. re: Harters

              It sounds great - and enjoyed reading about it - so thanks for the link. But we won't be very mobile and we're on a bit of a budget, so can't go for it.

              Having said that, even if we were able to do it, I'm not sure that we would go. Until recently, I've always been up for long tasting menus, but I seem to have gone off them, especially coupled with the Michelin star "experience" - there's a part of me that finds the whole thing a bit stifling, which makes it less enjoyable. I've had some amazing meals along the way, but somewhere down the line, I've fallen out of love with it all ...

              Thanks for the recommendations though. Hope the weather's good...

              1. re: Theresa

                Yep, I know what you mean about tasting menus. We've also gone back to traditional three coursers, although there are some places (In de Wulf being one) that just do it so well that we'll keep going back.

            2. re: hblnk

              Thanks - these sound promising. We won't have a car, and also not looking for high end places this time, so In de Wulf won't be on the cards, but I'll look into those two you mention in Ostend.

              We'll be in Bruges for one day, and there are a few recommendations on this board - are there any places you know of which aren't already mentioned (the most popular ones in my seaches have been Den Dyver and Den Huzaar.

        2. One of my favorite places is Belgium-

          My son and I took the ferry in Ostend -

          i don't remember the names of restaurants there but we enjoyed the seafood castles

          1. Thanks for the tips - they were useful.

            We went to De Stad Kortrijk in Ostend, and it was brilliant. It's a very small menu, and I had a whole plaice, which was perfectly cooked and hubby had a steak with mushrooms - delicious (although part of the steak was tough - the rest was just as a decent rump should be) and there was a lovely pool of meat (and I guess, mushroom) juices on the plate. We had a salad and chips for two, a bottle of water, half a litre of red and half a litre of white. with one coffee, it all came to about 54 Euro.

            I loved the laid back atmosphere, the dining room is lovely - lots of tongue and groove painted cream and a kitchen that made it feel as though you were in someone's open plan kitchen/dining room at home. Thanks for the rec hblnk. We thought the wine was ok - a fairly decent Entre Deux Mers, and the red was an drinkable Bordeaux too. Maybe our expectations are lower than yours! I wanted to go again a couple of days later, but we didn't make it.

            We also tried De Mane in Diksmuide, but I was a bit disappointed. It's a lovely place - an attractive, informal dining room/bar. But the ribs were a bit dry with the meat tasting reheated. The Flemish stew was tasty enough, but I wasn't a fan - I'm struggling to explain why, other than to say it ended up being hard work. The table next to us had the rotisserie chicken, which I thought looked better, but I believe people were waiting quite a while for it. I wished we had looked a bit harder for Gouden Mandeken, but we walked right round the square and couldn't find it. Oh well - the recommendation was an old one, but thanks for passing it on Harters.

            We didn't make it to Bruges this time - the weather was miserable - but after two visits to Ostend, I really do like the place.

            Thanks again for the advice.