You may end up choosing to visit Belgium’s capital only because you’re fascinated with what to eat in Brussels. The city’s center has a large variety of restaurants serving fine dishes and ales. And no trip to Brussels is complete without a visit to the Belgian Chocolate Shoppe to buy some treats for the long way back home!
What to eat in Brussels
From the typical Belgian & French food in and around the Grand Place to the more exotic ethnic choices such as the delicious Italian dishes provided by the Brussels restaurants in Little Italy (along rue Franklin), Brussels is full of exciting dining opportunities.
Of course, we all know that Belgium is paired with Moules and Belgian Frites (mussels and Belgian fries). But, in case you’re wondering what to eat in Brussels city besides Moules Frites, don’t worry: there’s plenty of options! Belgian cuisine has a wide range of influences, including French, Spanish, and Dutch, many of which have dominated the land at some point in history. In fact, Belgian culinary history can be traced back to the Middle Ages!
You can enjoy starters such as Croquettes aux Crevettes Grises and Fondues au Fromage (a form of cheesy croquettes). Try Choesels, a sweet specialty Belgian bread, or Ardennes Pate, a savory one made with pork and garlic. Anguilles au Vert is an eel soup, and Andouillette is a type of sausage.
As for what to eat in Brussels as main dishes, have a taste of Filet American (raw minced meat, mixed with onions and a few spices), Ragout d’Agneau (braised lamb dish marinated with herbs), Stoemp (potato dish), Faisan a la Brabanconne (pheasant baked in butter with onions and endives), Boulets Liegeois (Belgian meatballs), Carbonnade (beef and beer stew), or Waterzooi (another stew dish)
Belgians love their red meat, and it can be the source of a lot of food when you’re in the city. Pheasant and rabbit are also used in specialty dishes. You may expect to see Brussels Sprouts when you’re searching for what to eat in Brussels so look for Choux de Bruxelles if you happen to like them. However, chicory is probably the most commonly used vegetable in Belgian cuisine, in foods such as Witloof, where it is wrapped in cheese and ham.
Damme Blanche vanilla ice cream can be rounded up with a rich chocolate sauce. And don’t skip the Profiteroles, the Tarte Tatin (apple pie served with cream), Belgian waffles, Belgian chocolates, and the simple Speculoos biscuits when you’re wondering what to eat in Brussels for dessert.
There’s no shortage of quality restaurants in Brussels: you can feast on fresh fish in the Lower Town, have dinner at luxury restaurants along Rue Antoine Dansaert… In fact, you can venture to almost any part of the city and find a good place to eat within five minutes. All you need to do is decide what to eat in Brussels and pair it with some fabulous Belgian beer!
Where to eat in Brussels
Restaurants with traditional Belgian food
Chez Leon in the Grand Place offers good food at affordable prices. As you can imagine, there is a Moules et Frites menu, and children under the age of 12 eat for free. Also in the Grand Place, you’ll find La Brouette and La Rose Blanche, the latter known for its stews.
Chez Patrick on Rue des Chapeliers is also popular with tourists who don’t wonder what to eat in Brussels and go straight for the traditional Belgian food. And so is the Brasserie de la Roue d’Or, on the same street.
Italian restaurants in Brussels
Noted for its cozy atmosphere and delicious cuisine, Ambriana on Rue Edith Cavell serves high-quality Italian food at fair prices. Closer to Grand Place, on Rue Franklin, you’ll find Rugantino and Senso, offering beautifully presented food, but rather pricey. Pappa e Citti and Napoli are also in the area, just a short walk away from Rue Franklin.
Asian restaurants in Brussels
Although Brussels has a relatively large number of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants, Indian food is not as commonly available. One of the best choices is La Porte des Indes, on Avenue Louise.
La Citronnelle on Chaussee de Wavre and Hong Hoa are among the favorite Vietnamese choices, while La Cantonnaise is an interesting Chinese restaurant on Rue Tenbosch.
Spanish restaurants in Brussels
Tapas Locas in the Grand Place attracts a younger crowd and offers good food at low prices. Casa Manuel, also in the Grand Place, is another nice restaurant that serves both Spanish and Portuguese cuisine.
Other international restaurants in Brussels
Le Petit Forcado on Chaussee de Charleroi is a Portuguese pastelaria in Brussels.
Along Rue des Grands-Carmes you’ll La Cantina Cubana, which, as you would expect, offers a wide variety of Cuban dishes.
Are you in the mood for African? Go eat and drink in Brussels at Le Grigri on Rue Basse!
Olivia Peeters is a sustainable travel enthusiast from Belgium. She is happiest while sailing, hiking, cycling, or doing anything else outdoors.
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