Belgium = foodie heaven. This tiny country is the birthplace of the french fry, the infamous Belgium waffle, and the home of arguably the world’s best chocolate. Not to mention it is one of the biggest beer markets worldwide, with over 800 kinds of uniquely Belgium beer. Here’s your guide to the best on a budget, as confirmed by the locals. Let’s get this party started, shall we?
Why: Boy do I love a good crepe. This ain’t your run of the mill street crepe, but the real French deal. Mind you, there is a huge French influence in Belgium, so crepes are everywhere. I split two crepes, both of which were TO-DIE-FOR. This is a family owned establishment that has been making crepes for 115 years. Over a century later, I’m going to say that they have mastered the art, and then some. Aram, the nephew of the owner said to me, “We live to make pancakes.” ‘Nuff said.
What to order: La Savoyarde with Rablochon French cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, and creme. Or, go for the L’Hélene, with bacon, apples and French goat cheese. YEA.
Price: Averages at 9€ for a big, juicy, savory crepe. Get a sweet crepe for only 4€. Remember, this is Belgium. Food ain’t cheap.
Find it: Zuidstraat 13, 1000 Brussel
Why? Ok, I know I am normally about finding the off-the-beaten path places, but this is an exception. When you want a big, greasy, crunchy, and classic cone of “frits” to walk down the streets of Brussels with, this is your spot. Located in the center of the center, it is constantly packed with hungry frit- fiends. From locals to tourists, this is your frit haven. This place has been fryin’ up a storm for 30 years now, all done by hand.
What to order: You can’t go wrong with the classic cone of fries. Or, if your feeling ambitious, go for the Mitraillette sandwich. This monster is complete with fries, shaved steak, salad and onions. THEY KEY: No matter what you order, get the curry ketchup. It makes it.
Price: A large cone of fries is 3.20€, and the Mitraillette sandwich is 4.70€.
Find it: Rue Henri Maus 49
Why: Ok, I must admit that I am a sucker for free samples. But aren’t we all? This place does not only have the best chocolate with the most unique and wide variety, BUT, the free samples are endless. Literally, every where you look, you can find a free piece of chocolate to eat.
What to get: The classic dark chocolate was my favorite. Or, if you’re feeling wild, go for the killer green tea chocolate. They are also known for their hot chocolate.
Price: Prices vary. About 4€ for a big chocolate bar. Samples? Priceless.
Find it: Rue Marché aux Herbes 15
Why: I didn’t come to Belgium to eat burgers. With that being said, I quickly learned that a big, juicy, burger is the hot and trendy thing in Belgium these days. So, I had to find the best. To my surprise, burgers are extremely expensive in Belgium. I’m talkin’ 14€ for what’s considered to be a high quality burger. So, I did some digging, and found this gem. Take it to go, or sit down and eat it, this might have been THE BEST bacon cheeseburger I have ever had. I kid you not. And this is coming from a girl who is from the land of the free and the home of the burger. After speaking with Valerio, the burger man himself, it’s no wonder these burgers are so juicy and delicious. He wakes up extra early every morning to make the burgers by hand. Take that, Micky D’s.
What to get: Bacon cheeseburger. Hands down.
Price: 6.95€ for take away. To stay and sit, they charge a couple of more Euro’s, but it also then comes with a side of fries. NOTE: This is a lunch place. It close at 5 PM.
Find it: 32 Rue d’Arenberg/ Arenbergstraat
Why: First, I need to make a disclaimer. BE AWARE OF THE 1€ WAFFLE. It is not actually 1€. There are a bajillion of these “1€” waffle places all over Brussels. However, it is not actually 1€ unless you get it plain. And honestly, who does that. It actually ends up coming to 5€ when all said and done, so you might as well spend the extra 2€ to get the real deal. From this place. Have your waffle with strawberries, cookie speculoos, chocolate sauce, ice cream, you name it. They do it best.
What to get: The waffle with strawberries, chocolate sauce and fresh whipped cream
Price: Averages 7€
Find it: Rue Charles Buls 14
Why: I am a sucker for baklava. And all flaky, buttery, sticky pastries, really. This family run mediterranean pastry shop is spot on. And the minute you walk inside, you will understand why. First the tantalizing smell gets you in the door. Then, your eyes have a feast before your stomach does, at all of the BEAUTIFUL pastries. Oh, not to mention the family that runs it adopted my friends and I for Christmas Eve tea and pastries. Now that is good customer service. (But even without that Christmas Eve bakLOVEin, they’d still be top on my list!!) Read my blog post about it to get the full scoop.
What to get: The classic baklava. ALSO. Try their sesame butter concoction. It’s like the arabic peanut butter (but made with sesame seeds), and topped off with pistachios.
Price: 5€ for 7/8 pieces in a box
Find it: Rue du Marche aux Herbes 19
Why: Ok, this place ain’t no secret. Just about everyone will tell you to go here, and I am not going to be the first who doesn’t. It’s that damn amazing. The Delirium brewery has broke the official world record for having the most beers, of over 3,000 to choose from. So my thirsty friends, start early. However, Delirium is not just a single brewery (although, that is what it is infamous for). It’s a whole STREET full of Delirium bars, including an Absinth bar and a tequila bar, called “Delirium Village.” Check out the website and be amazed.
What to order: I would tell you my favorite beer, but it’s nearly impossible to choose. However, a must-try is their famous cherry beer. (And boys, it’s totally socially acceptable for you to order it too!)
Price: Ranges. About 3-5€.
Find it: Be warned: There are two, a smaller brewery and a bigger one in “Delirium Village.” Find the big one at: Impasse de la Fidélité 4A
Why: With a slight caramel flavor, it leaves a sweet yet herbal taste in your mouth…not to mention the funky glass makes you feel like you’re part of a science experiment!
AND DON’T FORGET TO TRY A TRAPPIST BEER!
As we have already established, Belgium is known for its beer. However, what you might not have known is that Belgium is the home of Trappist beers, or “monk beer.” That’s right. Beer brewed by Monks. In real, live monasteries. The coolest part about these beers is that all proceeds go to the monasteries! A few names to try are : Rochefort, Orval, La Trappe and Westmalle… but you truly can’t go wrong with any! If you are a beer drinker, that is. And even if you aren’t, take one for the Monks 😉
Sooo, whose booking a flight to Brussels?
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