Belgium has long been hailed as a haven for food-lovers. The country is well known all over for being the best place to get chocolates, fries, waffles, and other food staples. At the heart of this foodie destination is Brussels, the capital city as well as a hub for culture and gastronomy. For this reason, thousands of tourists from all over the world come to the city to sample the best cuisine that Brussels has to offer.
Belgian cuisine is quite varied but generally takes influence from some of its neighboring countries, particularly France, Germany, and the Netherlands. This is why it’s no surprise that the Belgian capital boasts an array of restaurants that offer European cuisine. We’ve narrowed it down and put together this list of top European restaurants in Brussels that you need to try when visiting the city.
(Pro tip: If you want to have a hassle-free dining experience in Brussels, find a luggage locker in the city and temporarily store your shopping bags and other luggage there.)
Top 10 European Restaurants in Brussels
Headed by Chef Christophe Hardiquest, Restaurant Bon Bon is one of Brussels’ culinary highlights and a definite must-try when in the city. The restaurant, whose name means “good good” in French, was established in 2001 and has quickly made waves in the Belgian capital’s dining scene, earning two Michelin stars.
Bon Bon has an innovative menu that changes daily according to whatever quality ingredients are available but features a core of contemporary French cooking. Expect your tasting menu here to contain anything from luxurious ingredients such as oysters to more common ones such as potatoes and cheese.
Picture: restaurant Bon Bon
2. Belga Queen
Housed within a former bank, Belga Queen is one of the top places to go to in Brussels for an authentic Belgian dining experience. The restaurant itself is already something to behold with its over-the-top interiors consisting of columns, pillars, and frescoes.
Their slogan is “Made in Belgium” and they certainly live up to it with an extensive menu that features some delectable dishes such as rack of lamb and sole meunière with pan-fried veggies. The restaurant also has an oyster bar as well as a long beverage list consisting of over 500 different beers, wines, and cocktails.
Picture: Belga Queen
If you’re wanting to experience a bit of Brussels history, then you should definitely include Aux Armes de Bruxelles in your restaurant bucket list. Opened in 1921, the restaurant has become a Belgian dining institution that both locals and tourists love.
Keeping up with its timeless atmosphere, the waiters are all formally dressed and the menu largely remains unchanged; some of the classic dishes served here include Belgian staples such as chicken waterzooi, vol-au-vent, and beef carbonnade as well as seafood favorites such as lobster and oysters.
When talking about the best restaurants in Brussels, the name Comme Chez Soi always comes up in the conversation, and it’s easy to see why. This classic French restaurant has established itself as one, if not the top dining spot in the Belgian capital, a claim that is solidified by its two Michelin stars and a membership at the prestigious Les Grandes Tables du Monde.
The restaurant features an Art Nouveau-style interior and is head by chef Lionel Rigolet, who makes sure the food is made from organic ingredients. Comme Chez Soi offers a three-course menu as well as an a la carte menu, with dishes such as spicy pigeon breast with wild rice and lobster salad with black truffles and potatoes.
If you’re looking for the best Italian food in the city, look no further than La Pizza è Bella in the famous Sablon district. The restaurant offers authentic Neapolitan cuisine with the aim of bringing the flavors of Southern Italy in the Belgian capital; in fact, it has been named 5th best pizza restaurant in Europe by the Italian 50 Top Pizza in 2020.
Headed by Chef Salvatore Santoro, who has 20 years of culinary experience under his belt, the restaurant serves dishes whose ingredients are sourced from Italy’s Campania region. The star of the menu is obviously the pizza but they do serve other items such as antipasto and dessert.
Established in 1988, La Quincaillerie is considered a dining institution in Brussels famous for its Franco-Belgian cuisine. Located in a former ironmonger shop, the restaurant boasts an Art-Nouveau interior that’s worth the visit alone.
At La Quincaillerie, all ingredients are sourced locally and sustainably – from the seafood and meat down to the vegetables. It is well known for its seafood dishes, such as bestsellers like lobster with lemon sauce, grilled scallops, and their incredible oyster bar.
It doesn’t get as traditional as In ’t Spinnekopke, a restaurant located in the heart of Brussels, a stone’s throw away from Place Sainte-Catherine. This bistro-style eatery serves classic Belgian favorites such as moules frites (mussels with fries), croquettes and waterzooi (a kind of meat stew).
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Belgian restaurant without an extensive collection of artisanal beers, which pairs well with any meal; the waiters can help you choose the perfect beer to go with your food.
Found in the famous Grand Place in the center of Brussels, Restaurant ‘T Kelderke is another excellent choice when looking for classic Belgian cuisine. Located in a 17th-century basement-like cellar, the restaurant offers traditional food with a focus on French-Flemish cuisine.
‘T Kelderke’s specialty is mussels, particularly their mussels à la Provençale, which everyone raves about, although their stoemp et saucisses (sausages and mashed potatoes) is also a must-try.
Widely regarded as the place to get the best fries in Brussels, Maison Antoine is a definite must-try when in the capital. This frites stand, which sees a long queue comprised of both locals and tourists on the daily, sets itself apart from others because of its overwhelming amount of condiments (including their signature vol-au-vent sauce and the local favorite “Bicky” sauce). Customers have the option to sit inside or outside and even order a Belgian beer to go with their frites.
Situated in Brussel’s hip Sablon district, Lola is a beloved brasserie that has been serving some excellent pan-European food in the capital. Founded in 1994, the restaurant has an incredible menu comprised of traditional brasserie fare such as the vol-au-vent, Belgian shrimp croquettes, and duck breast with mashed potatoes. Lola also boasts an extensive wine list..
What restaurants did we miss in our Top 10 European Restaurants in Brussels?
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