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A foodie's adventure in Brussels

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Messages: 1 - 11 of 11
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Cupcake182 (U14551447) on Monday, 18th July 2011

    Hello! I will be moving to Brussels for two years in a few months, and I am already very excited about all the new food-related discoveries I will (hopefully!) be making. Do you have any recommendation for local dishes I should try (apart from the usual suspects, i.e. moules frites, steak frites, chocolate, waffles) or restaurants to visit?

    Thank you in advance!

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Ramona Andrews BBC Food host (U14570541) on Tuesday, 19th July 2011

    Have you seen this blog?

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by bellehelene (U14831087) on Tuesday, 19th July 2011

    The few times that I have been to Brussels I mostly go to the flea market area and pick up some bargains then have lunch around there in some fine corner cafes and restaurants and people watch.

    The evenings mainly ate down the walking street near the Grand Place where the food is very good, not that cheap but the beer selection is fantastic.I can remember being served carlsberg Elephant beer in a tusk shaped glass which I had never even seen in Denmark. But the Belgian beers (which also have their own glasses) are superb too.

    It is good to take day trips to places like Leuvan (Stella land), Brugges, Antwerp (diamond capitol) and Zeebrugges (for the beach). Germany, France and Holland are not too far away too!

    Danku vell!

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Cupcake182 (U14551447) on Tuesday, 19th July 2011

    Thank you both for the excellent suggestion, my excitement is increasing by the hour smiley - smiley

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by hargwyne (U14219192) on Tuesday, 19th July 2011

    Oh, lucky you. I used to visit Brussels quite frequently but I’m afraid I forget the names of any places. But I do remember that the standard of food was generally VERY high and that it seemed easier getting a good meal in Brussels than it was in Paris.

    As for local dishes, it’s a good place to order Steak Hache, if you’re not veggie or of a delicate disposition.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Ruth-M (U2219005) on Tuesday, 19th July 2011

    I agree with Hargwyne - the food standard is high and often (at mid price range) better quality than in Paris. It may be because it's a much smaller city, with most restaurants clustered in a small area, so easier to wander round and choose one you fancy.

    One of my favourites (though I have not been in a while) was Vincents - a traditional old restaurant with good mussels and steaks:


    You used not to be able to book, but they put you in the pub opposite, then come and get you when the table is ready. It's not haute cuisine, but fun and lively.

    For starters try the garlic mussels (covered with parmesan, and garlic, then grilled), also the tomatoes stuffed with shrimps. For mains - a steak of your choosing.

    The beers are very interesting (e.g. raspberry beer), but can be quite strong smiley - smiley

    Hope you have a great time.

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Bluedoyenne (U2341157) on Friday, 22nd July 2011

    Hello Cupcake,

    Congratulations - you will be living in a wonderful country and you'll not have time to be bored.

    If you live in Brussels, then the world's your oyster as regards restaurants. The people around you will surely give you lots of advice on where to find the best restaurants for different occasions and the sky's the limit when it comes to choice and budget. One piece of advice I would give anyone coming to Brussels is to steer clear of the tourist restos in the narrow streets directly off the Grande Place. A very useful weekly publication for english-speaking expats is 'The Bulletin', a good place to start with resto recommendations, films, concerts; brief explanations of what's happening politically in the country; in general it's a good buy for getting 'clued-in' to Belgium. For food shopping, there are the wonderful weekly markets which happen on different days in different 'communes' (administrative areas) and you'll need to ask your direct neighbours if there's one in your area. For supermarkets, briefly, the 'top' foody place is 'Rob' (Woluwe Saint Lambert), a gourmet's paradise. The 'normal' supermarkets are the French chain 'Carrefour' or 'delhaize'. There are also chains such as Lidl and Aldi but I have no experience of using either. Carrefour has a fresh fish, shellfish counter which is good, but it's impossible to find one of the expat's most important ingredients there: fresh cream! Delhaize on the other hand does sell real fresh cream (look for it in the fresh milk fridges). For meat, the best butcher is Jack O'Sheas (this famous butcher started his business life here in Brussels before opening his place near Harrods in London).

    Hope this helps - and good luck with your move!

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by clarabellski (U7837948) on Friday, 22nd July 2011

    The Delerium Cafe does excellent cheeses, which provides a really reasonably priced lunch.

    A nice soft white cheese, rye bread and a dark beer - delish!

    I think you'll find them on google - quite a popular place.


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  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by lusciouslush (U3917132) on Friday, 22nd July 2011

    Such a shame - Belgian Endive, a well respected member of this board used to post here frequently & would be able to point you in the right direction, but she doesn't pop in so much these days since the radical changes to the board .

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Cupcake182 (U14551447) on Sunday, 24th July 2011

    Thank you so much again for the numerous suggestions, I have two years in Brussels ahead of me so I will make sure I try them all smiley - smiley

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by leaguer471 (U1318540) on Sunday, 24th July 2011

    I was there last weekend and really enjoyed it, i personally found it quite expensive. We visited a place called Leons and had the special, stuffed tomato with shrimps, main course of mussels in a big bowser and a beer 32 euros(each), we found that it didn't really hit the spot.
    Next night we opted for a 3 course in the hotel and 35 euros, this was totally different and lovely.
    We also went to Bruge and paid 9 euros for Onion soup.
    Obviously the same goes if you know places you can find out yourself if you are there long enough.
    My only other gripe was they don't fill the glass with beer!
    Mind they certainly like their chocolate.

    Report message11

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