Brussels may be home to the European Union’s HQ, impressive architecture and historical sites, but the real gem of the Belgian capital is its traditional delicacies; chocolate, chips and beer. With street food stalls to beat the band and artisanal bakeries spreading like wildfire, if there was ever a city to ditch the weight watcher’s guide, this is it! Let go of all your inhibitions and prepare to go full out with our foodies guide to Brussels.
One thing’s for sure, you can’t visit Brussels without trying at least one of their specialty waffles – I say at least because I guarantee you’ll be back for more! Usually served as street-food in a napkin, Maison Dandoy is adding a splash of sophistication to this age old tradition by offering up the delicacy in its tearoom. Try either a Belgian or Liege waffle dusted with icing sugar and topped with warm chocolate, whipped cream or fruit. Head up the small wooden staircase, take a seat and enjoy the homemade treat that’s made with 100 percent natural ingredients and decades of expertise.
The French might say they’re responsible for blessing us all with the humble chip however that’s majorly up for debate by anyone who’s ordered a Belgian cornet from one of the local friteries. With so many scattered around the city, it’s near impossible to pinpoint the very best but Frit-Flagey comes close. Popular amongst locals, the street food hut is heaving almost all day and for good reason. Double fried in beef tallow, the chips wrapped in a traditional paper cornet come topped with a sauce of your choice, whether that be ketchup, mayo or tartar and have a budget friendly price tag. The beauty of this particular fritok is its location next to the beautiful ponds of Etangs d’Ixelles, the perfect setting to enjoy your fries on a sunny day. Open early and not closed until late, be tactful and plan your trip to avoid hungry queues around peak eating hours.
A real contender in the city’s artisan foodie scene, Coco Donuts, off Petit Salon, pride themselves on being Brussel’s premier donut hotspot. Run by a pair of friends, these are donuts with a difference: the base is created using 24-hour raised brioche. Offering up a social media friendly seating space, the team handmake no less than 200 baked goods every morning for you to sweeten up your Instagram feed with. Using organic and locally sourced ingredients, choose from an impressive variety of alternative flavours such as maple syrup and bacon, salted caramel and lavender and violet. This is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth and rest your feet for a well-earned sight-seeing pitstop.
Located in Châtelain, you can’t miss this spot for the massive British Bulldog logo blasted across its window. Posing as an average burger joint, Marcel takes the American cuisine to a new level of gourmet with its quality ground beef sourced from Metzger, artisan cheese and homemade buns, resulting in one of the best burgers you’re likely to find in the city. Every burger on the menu is paired with a Belgian beer to compliment the grub, as a welcome nod to the traditional culture in an otherwise American inspired eatery. Contemporarily designed to be a bright open space, the restaurant is children-friendly so it’s the perfect spot for a casual meal with all the family.
Famous for their seaweed salted potato wedges, the fish and chip shop founded in Dublin, is bringing sustainable fast food to Brussels. With the aim of promoting more responsible sourcing of underwater species, the founders of Bia Mara have come up with a new way to eat everyone’s favourite weekend treat. Coating alternative fish such as Mackerel and Pollock with weird and wonderful toppings, the fish shop is taking the continent by storm. Stop by and sink your teeth into the Cajun spiced Mackerel with garlic truffle sauce – one bite and you’ll realise fish and chips will never be the same again!
Planning a visit to Brussels soon? Tag us in your photos of the best cheat meals from our foodies guide to Brussels, using the hashtag #ryanairstories, for a chance to be featured on Ryanair’s social media feeds.
Flights to Brussels
- Lucy Norris