Food in Brussels

While Brussels may lack the every day bakery, it actually makes up for it in Michelin Star restaurants.  From what I recall, Brussels is in the top five in terms of European cities with the most Michelin Star eatieres.  However, we did not go to any so I can not help you there...wah wah.  With that said, we still enjoyed some must have staples of Brussels.
Beer, mussels, and frites; the perfect Belgian meal
Frites: Fries are a must in Brussels, and were served with almost all of our meals.  In some instances they tasted like they were out of an Ore-ida bag where as in other cases they were down right delicious.  One place that is known for their fries is Fritland which is located right by the Bourse station.  It is meant more for take out but they have some picnic tables to sit at; which is highly recommended especially if you get the steak & frites sandwich as it can be quite messy.
Our monstrous meal at Fritland
Mussels: Aside from frites, mussels might be the most popular dish in Brussels.  You will see a number of places that serve mussels including most spots around the Grand Place.  We first ate some in the small square outside of Grand Place but I would recommend staying clear of here as it is very touristy and a little over priced.  On our second day we stumbled upon a plaza by Saint Catherine that had a number of outdoor sea food restaurants.  I would recommend sitting down here as there were far less tourists, the mussels were great and not too pricey.  We actually ended up eating dinner at a restaurant in the square, Les Crestaces, which included not only Mussels but duck, lobster and chocolate mousse.
The place to get mussels is in the square by Saint Catherine
Waffles: The Belgian waffle, while it is a favorite of American breakfast goers, it is actually more of an afternoon snack in Brussels.  Mofake, located in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, serves more of a crisper waffle with a dusting of powder sugar whereas the stands on the street serve more of a softer waffle and the toppings range from Nutella to all different types of fruit.  My memory might not be serving me correctly but I believe we had two a day...
The crisper waffle at Mofake
Stay Away: One place a number of locals told me to stay clear of is Rue de Bouchers.  It is located right off Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert and looks like a place you may want to eat as it is a charming little ally-way with a number of places with outdoor seating.  However, it is very touristy, expensive and I was told the food is very blah.
Another one of our waffles, this time with Nutella and strawberries 
A few other tips: 

Even though there are not a bakeries on every corner, there are plenty of places to get your sweet fix.
Our loaf of raisin challah from Paul

  • Dandoy, with a few locations around town, is known for their mouth watering cookies
  • Paul, although a chain, has to die for raisin challah and by to die for, I mean you will get a whole loaf and eat it yourself to death
  • Chocolate, unlike bakeries, are on every street corner and you can't go wrong with any store you go visit...that hour 
Our many stops in a Belgian chocolate shop
French toast cookies from Dandoy

The options are endless when it comes to Belgian beer but be sure to try a Trappist beer brewed by one of the eleven Trappist monasteries (six are in Belgium).  I may have told you to stay clear of Rue de Bouchers but that was mainly for eating.  Delirum is located here and has the longest list of beers in the 2,000 options long.
One of our Trappist beers
If you are looking for a good bakery and happen to be by the Grand Place, Pandos is a good option.  It is located in the smaller square off the Grand Place and has fresh croissants in the morning and tasty chicken sandwiches for lunch.

If you happen to find yourself in Ixelles, known for being an expat neighborhood in Brussels, a great restaurant is Les Brassins.  It is located right next to the birth place of Audrey Hepburn, has great rabbit and long list of beers.
Rabbit from Les Brassins 


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