The Best of Brussels in Less than a Day
I'm only going to be in Brussels for about seven hours and would love to have any and all suggestions on where to find the best beer (I love dark beer), the best food (restaurant or street or pub), and the best chocolate.
Budget isn't really too much a concern so I'm open to anything within the city. I'm definitely willing to do anything for good food and drinks.
Is that seven hours in the city center? Or are you asking about a 7-hour layover at the airport? In either case, for such a limited number of hours, your best bet for an overall "Brussels food and drink experience" is the historic center, around the Grand Place. Yes, I know that's where all the tourists go, but with good reason. The area is packed with bars and restaurants. Wander the streets there and eat what looks good. You will find plenty of beer pubs, chocolate, mussels and frites, etc. It's all good stuff--nothing you find there will be bad. But if you insist on "THE best" of everything, you will find yourself scurrying around from highly recommended place to highly recommended place (which will not be all that much better than the highly touristed places) and not have time to savor anything. To me, the best Brussels experience involves planting oneself in a pub/brasserie, ordering a brown abbey-style ale and some mussels and frites. Okay, the waffles and chocolate are good, too. But there are loads of shops--all perfectly good and beckoning to visitors. Don't worry!
My advice is similar. Go to La Grand Place and find a seat at Le Roy d'Espagne. Have some beer there (they have a great Kir, a wine based coctail, if your companion(s) would prefer that), walk around the square, have a greasy warm waffle at a street vendor and if you really want to go to some other place to eat, go to the Restaurant Street nearby - rue de Bouchers and choose some place that looks good to you. There was this article in the NY Times about that street: http://www.nytimes.com/1983/11/13/tra...