BELGIUM: Simple, unpretentioius, inexpensive restaurant(s) sought in Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent
Hi, everybody! I'm going to Belgium in March/April and would love to find places to eat without pretension that serve regular Belgian food -- nothing fancy or innovative. While rock bottom cheapness is not necessary, it would be helpful to us. In any case the places I am happiest with usually aren't expensive. Atmosphere is completely unimportant. I would love places that are not frequented by tourists, though I won't have a car to get to them. Any thoughts? I'll be in Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent (I speak French but not Flemish if that matters.) Thanks so much!
In Brussels, I would recommend Brasserie L'ultime Atom on Rue Saint Boniface. Lovely little area (worth discovering), definitely not touristy. Delicious Belgian food, amazing beer selection (I don't drink beer, and this is almost the only place in the world where I slightly regret that). ESSENTIAL to save room for their profiteroles for dessert; they are extraordinary, filled with ice-cream rather than whipped cream and with lashings of hot Belgian chocolate sauce.
Just back from eating a lovely beef steak with roquefort sauce at Le Corbeau, Rue Saint-Michel, For lunch. I drank my first Gueze there as well. Perfectly prepared although I don't know if the salad would be the same in summer. For lunch, get there no later than quarter after twelve or seating will be an issue.
Bistro Margaux (in Ternat, 15 minutes taxi trip well worth it)
Veranda (book now for April, seriously!)
Vrijmoed (relatively cheap for now, but will soar)
If you did get an urge for a very fancy and innovative meal, you never know, these things happen, don't forget to look for Benoit Dewitte in Zingem, just 15 minutes south of Ghent.
And just to reassure you: people in the northern part of Belgium are Flemish, but their language is Dutch. And they are, much more than in Brussels, prone to speak English fluently.
Enjoy and report back.
If you want to eat well in Belgium, just stand still and food will come to you. I heard all my life about French food but nothing about Belgian food. In fact, Belgium is one big feed. Every town, crossroads, and rock formation has good restaurants as well as street stands selling fried potatoes, waffles, and chocolates, and sometimes all of the above in combination. And every single thing is delicious.