Eating Your Way Through Belgium: Where To Eat In Brussels
Zach and I love making our way through Europe for the sole fact that almost every country is world famous for at least one type of food, Belgium is obviously no different! When visiting Brussels we planned to eat the most famous foods while here: waffles, chocolate, and frites. However, we soon realized Belgium has a lot more to offer than just their more most well known foods. Coming to Belgium we learned of how Brussels in particular is a melting pot of people from all around the world. In Belgium the national language is a tie between French and Dutch and walking the streets your ears hear everything from Spanish to Hindi. Naturally there is is a wide range of foods here from all over the world. Everywhere we ate while in Belgium blew us away at how perfect it all tasted! It’s almost as though each nationality sent their best cooks to Belgium
Below we have highlighted our favorite foods that we had in Belgium (because those are the only ones that really matter) and where to find the best places to eat them! I suggest grabbing a cloth to wipe the drool from your face as we’re diving right into the good stuff.
Top Foods To Try In Brussels
The best thing about Belgium right?? I LOVE to make these type of waffles at home for breakfast, so the fact that it was acceptable to eat them at anytime of the day meant I was in heaven! These babies are even better in their motherland. When we arrived to Belgium we got off the bus and saw a little truck selling them and practically ran to it. The waffle was so fresh and crispy I wanted to frame it and put it on my wall. It was almost as if it was saying, “welcome to Belgium you big fatties.”
I was somewhat taken back though when the guy gave us the waffles with no syrup! The Belgian waffle I’ve come to know and love was ALWAYS been served with some form of syrup. I was skeptical before taking a bite but then my world changed. Love at first bite some would say! The traditional Belgian waffle is so sweet that to put syrup on it would be a sugar overload. Given to you in a paper and eaten with your hands the Belgians really perfected their trademarked item.
The #1 thing to know about the waffles in Belgium is that there are two types! The more traditional “Belgium waffle”, which is rectangular and a bit softer and then the other is the “Leige waffle” which is more dense like bread. The Belgium Waffle is not as sweet as the Leigie waffle but is much lighter. While the liege waffle is much crisper and sweeter than the Belgian Waffle. Even though the liege waffle has rough imperfect edges, the true perfection lies in the scrumptious taste.
Walking around in Brussels you’ll see a ton of waffles in the windows with mountainous toppings loaded on. While these picturesque delights may look enticing, my advice to you is less is more. These waffles are so sweet on their own putting on whipped cream or fruit is more than enough. Eating them with nothing is also a tasteful treat. Here are my favorite places for getting a waffle in Brussels.
Maison Dandoy – Rue Charles Buls 14
Possibly the best in the business, Maison Dandoy has some serious waffle making under their belts. They have been family owned for generations and WOW it shows. Everything here is a little more expensive than the “normal” price but it’s so worth it. ($6 vs $4 for a waffle) If you happen to stop by make sure you get whipped cream on top because it’s the best whipped cream I’ve ever had. EVER. (That’s saying a lot because I DON’T like whipped cream) It’s a thick vanilla bean cream that tastes just like ice cream. Maison Dandoy is a must try when in Brussels!
Vitalgaufre – 23-29 Rue Neu
Even though you may be waiting in a line Vitalgaufre is worth the wait. They make light and crispy waffles that burst with flavor everyday, ALL day.
Peck 47 – Rue du Marché aux Poulets 47
Sugared out? Yeah, me too. The good news is that you can still get a tasty waffle, but with actual savory fillings and wholesome toppings. Peck 47 is known for their delicious waffle brunch dishes and is a good compromise if you still crave a waffle but need something with actual sustenance. Do yourself a favor and try the Peck Special, made with two poached eggs placed on top, chorizo, goat cheese, bacon, and a spicy sauce. These waffles are to die for!
I have really grown to love fries while traveling. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of home or maybe it is because they are the only consistent food we have had everywhere we go. Either way they’ve become one of my favorite foods. So when we came to Belgium we HAD to try their famous frites! Frites are pretty much the same compared to fries except for one big thing, they are double fried. This extra step makes frites super crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
These babies are served fresh in a cone and handed to you with your choice of sauce on top. Here are my top frites picks!
Frit Flagey – Place Eugène Flagey
Asking around for the best frites in town a lot of locals sent us directly to Frit Flagey. So glad we went! Not only are their frites surprisingly cheap, they were the best I think we had while in Brussels.
Friteland – Rue Henri Maus 49
Zach Enjoying His Frites
One of the MANY shops around city center selling Belgium’s famous frites, we were pleasantly surprised when we stumbled upon Friteland. The guy fried our potatoes right before our eyes, they were hot and steamy when we got them in our chubby little hands. I suggest trying the Andalouse sauce which is a traditional Belgian sauce! It’s made of mayonnaise, tomato paste, and peppers, it is to die for.
Mussels or known locally as “moules” are a surprising specialty among the Belgian people. The mussels are often cooked in a white wine and cream sauce and served with frites, known as moules-frites. This dish is highly favorited around town. While I personally don’t care for shellfish like mussels or oysters but Zach LOVES them, so of course we had to try it out.
Big Mama – Oud Korenhuis 41
Big Mama is another place we told about by many locals and since it’s not in the center of the city it’s not too busy. The mussels were actually really good, I tried one off Zach’s plate and I thought it was great! He gives them 9/10 which is a very good score in Zach’s rating system. Even if you don’t care for moules there is other options on the menu for you to try. I personally had their meatballs which were so so yummy.
Le Chou de Bruxelles – Rue de Florence 26
At Le Chou they really pay attention to every detail. The service was excellent and the food was even better! This was our favorite restaurant in Brussels. They had a wide variety of mussels and each one was as good as the next. But this place does get booked pretty fast at night so be sure to make a reservation before you go!
Chocolate. The Belgian Specialty! There’s no doubt that the Belgian chocolatiers are the best in the business. It’s almost guaranteed that the chocolate you have here will be the best you’ve ever tasted! While on your trip in Belgium you’ll see so many advertisements for chocolate tours. Don’t fall for it, it really is not necessary. Go on a self guided tour instead! City center itself is practically overflowing with chocolate shops. Yes it can be intimidating but we have included our favorites down below for the perfect chocolate exploration adventure. You don’t have spend a ton of money either. Each shop we visited we only spent a few Euros and got a few chocolates to split them between us to taste. There is no need to spend upward of $90 for someone to talk your ear off about each shops chocolate.
If you’re interested about the history of chocolate or looking for something fun to do to start your self guided tour we recommend Choco-story. It’s the coolest museum that teaches about the history of chocolate. Of course it has samples throughout because would it really be a chocolate museum without a horde of samples to satisfy your craving? The best part is they make all their samples in-house! They even have a chocolatier at the end of the tour giving a presentation of how they make the chocolate and mold it, you also will be able to try some of his chocolate! Double check the times for the presentations but while we were there they had a presentation every hour on the hour. It’s really a fun thing for everyone and I highly recommend going! Any who… onward to the best chocolate places in Brussels!
Choco-Story Chocolatier Showing Us How Chocolate Is Made
Leonidas – Rue de l’Etuve 45
Leonidas is a very famous Belgian chocolate brand and for good reason. I personally don’t care too much for chocolate *gasp*…. but WOW THIS WAS GOOD. Biting into the first piece I was taken back. What fake chocolate have I been consuming all my life?? (Hershey you have some explaining to do) I wish we could have taken some home to our families because this was unlike anything we had at home.
Godiva – Grand Place 21/22
An oldie but goodie. Everyone anywhere knows that Godiva is originally Belgian, so of course they have them here in Brussels! I know it was all mental because I am pretty sure they don’t even make their chocolate in Belgium. But I thought their chocolate was even better than back at home. I guess you have to try for yourself! 🙂
Pierre Marcolini – Galerie de la Reine 21
Pierre Marcolini is one of our favorites not just for the smells, but for the looks too. Each one of their chocolates are works of art and almost too pretty to eat…ALMOST. They’re so decadent and rich you can’t have but a few before your head starts spinning! Try their macaroons while you’re there as well, they’re just as pretty and yummy as the chocolate!
Neuhaus – Rue de l’Etuve 46
Fun fact: Neuhaus started off as a pharmacy that sold chocolate covered medicine to it’s customers!
Obviously you can’t buy chocolate covered meds anymore (sadly). But you can partake of their truffles and nougats! They feature some pretty original things in their shop such as Cornet Dore, small chocolates that look like little ice cream cones. They also have irresistible nougats that are filled with cream and coated with chocolate. Yum. This was one of our top places to get our chocolate fix so make sure Neuhaus is on your chocolate tour list!
In the winter months hot chocolate can be the best thing on earth. It has been a cult favorite between Zach and I and we have really loved trying new places and comparing them. Now that we were in Belgium a country known for their chocolate, we figured their hot chocolate should be just as good right?? Yes-sir-ree it was.
Le Comptoir de Mathilde – Rue Au Beurre 17
OH my gosh if you’re ready to cry over some hot chocolate then get ready. This place is THAT good. It was really cold and rainy the day we went to Le Comptoir and we were super stoked to get something to warm us up. We thought we were to be given maybe one or two options of hot chocolate and to be given it pre-made or something similar. NOPE! They lay out about 20 or so different options in a case. You then choose and get a stick of fresh chocolate to mix in yourself! Your options range from dark to white chocolate; mixed with orange flavor or topped with speculoo crumbs. They steam the milk to a frothy perfection and then you mix your chocolate in! It was a perfect end to our day and we had wished we had found it sooner! This is a must try if I do say so myself.
Wherever you find yourself in Brussels you’re destined to discover something delicious and exciting. You really can’t go home without finding a new favorite restaurant or shop! So run to Brussels with forks at the ready, you’ll be needing them!
Have you been to Brussels? Where did you find the best waffles, chocolates or frites? Tell us in the comments below!