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Aug 9, 2013 12:06 PM

Croquettes, chocolate, waffles and frites- one day in Brussels

I am planning a daytrip from Paris to Brussels in two weeks.
It is last minute and my research is not going very well. Perhaps you all can help me.

I will almost certainly be alone. I will be taking public transportation. Ideally, I would like to try the best fries, waffles and chocolate in the area near the train station. It would also be nice to try vegetarian croquettes.
This will be a whirlwind visit so street food or cafes will suffice. I do not drink beer.

Yes, I have read the previous similar posts but I need specific info about what will be open in August near gare Bruxelles Midi.

I am leaving the US today so my searching capabilities will be minimal. Details will therefore be very welcome.


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  1. How near Gare de Bruxelles Midi do you wish to stay? Granted, I've never spent much time there, save for when taking the train, but there's other spots that may provide you with the sites you want.

    I like the walk around Rue Blaes and Rue de Haute for the shops and the like. From there, along Blvd de l'Empereur you can walk into an area that has more museums, galleries, and the like. (On the walk over, you could go to Pitta de la Chappelle for frites, but I could not vouch for them. When I go for frites in the centre of town it's the place by Falstaff (by the Bourse)-- especially as it's also by the shops I like to visit. That is further down town, near the Grand Place, and Blvd Anspach)

    I've recently been dismayed by the gaufre situation (there is a weirdness of putting things on them-- and that's just not how it used to be) but that said, there are some vans out by the musée des beaux arts that have delivered solid product.

    And closer to that area (uptown) there may also be more options for chocolates. For all the fancy things, I suppose you should go to the place de grand Sablon where you'll find chocolatiers, and you may enjoy a stop by Wittamer. Nearby a Côte d'or shop opened a while back for the 125th anniversary, and you may have some fun there.

    Brussels is small, and fairly walkable. If you do get tired though, I imagine you can find public transport from Central Station back to Midi.

    This is a bit meandering, and I'm sorry; I'm enjoying the walks in my head. I can't vouch for the best in some ways, because some things are very much tinged with my nostalgia (Wittamer was a family treat) and my bests are out of the way of where you might wish to stay to make the most of a short day trip.

    Enjoy your trip.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lizard

      Area around Midi is not recommended - take the metro to Louise, about 3 stops, and then walk down towards Sablon and eventually on to Grand Place. Brussels is compact and this is a 20 minute walk and you will find what you are looking for.
      By way of exception, the Midi fair takes runs during August and whilst slightly tacky is authentic in its own way - evenings will find street stalls selling frits, waffles, etc, etc - watch out for pick-pockets but this remark applies to popular areas anywhere.

    2. Thanks, Everyone. Do you know if there is an online reservation system for Brussels. Like "lafourchette" or "opentable"?

      1. The suggestion to go to Wittamer is an excellent one, and Pierre Marcolini is across the Place des Sablons so you will be good with chocolates. Here's a link to the Brussels transportation system site, I know there is a bus from Gare du Midi to les Sablons
        It takes about 15 minutes max.

        The Gare du Midi itself and the surrounding area are rather bleak. There's an excellent baraque à frites not too far
        if you take the subway or the tram, it's about 2 stops I think.

        For croquettes I have no idea... it tends to be a starter when you go to sit-down restaurants. I've had some excellent ones at Les Armes de Bruxelles and La Taverne but there are rather expensive places.
        This being said if you end up going to Les Sablons for chocolate there might be some restaurant nearby where you can have lunch. In Belgium by default almost all dishes come with frites and they're almost always excellent.

        1 Reply