Where to Eat: Brussels

Any city with a "Butter Street" gets instant respect

If you are looking for a beautiful city with great food for your next vacation, put Brussels on your list. I didn't have much time to venture far for my meals, so these are all located in accessible areas close to the main attractions.

Rue au Beurre living up to its name at La Cure Gourmande

Confections at Elisabeth Chocolates

Traditional Belgian Fare:

Chez Leon

This popular restaurant is located on the touristic, restaurant lined Rue des Bouchers. However, don't let the location dissuade you from enjoying a meal here; the food is well-prepared and reasonably priced. I tried Lapin à la Kriek (rabbit with cherry beer) and Moules Frites (mussels with fries). The rabbit was mild and lean (a little like, well, chicken). While I couldn't taste the beer in the sauce, the flavour was given a boost with fresh cherries. Moules Frites is another classic Belgian dish. As soon as the lid of the cast iron pot was removed, a cloud of steam carried the oceany scent of mussels, perfumed with white wine and shallots. The fries were nothing to write home about (better ones to come) but it was a delicious meal overall.

Lapin à la Kriek

Moules Frites
Le Roy d'Espagne
The greatest attraction of this restaurant is the atmosphere. It is located right on the Grand Place square. It is both cavernous yet cozy, and if you're lucky enough to get one of the window seats upstairs, you get great views of the square. The food is decent, traditional Belgian fare. In general, dishes are simple and casual. Sausage stoemp is a sausage served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The Liege meatballs were also served with mashed potatoes. They are prepared with Belgian apple syrup, which made them a bit sweet for my taste. My one complaint is the tell-tale dryness on the top of the mashed potatoes; evidence of hasty reheating.
P.S. The Kriek beer is highly recommended. The cherry beer is red, lightly sweet and completely delicious.

Frites (Fries)

Maison Antoine
This famous frites stand has been churning out the BEST frites in Brussles for 58 years. I think their secret may have something to do with the beef fat they twice-fry their frites in. What's so special about plain ol' fries, you ask? The best ones have perfect, coppery edges with golden yellow sides. The outside must be crunchy, but also light and crisp, with a fluffy interior. They are so flavorful they don't need salt. Just a dab of mayonnaise (or any other sauce you choose from their extensive menu). The stand is located in a square a little ways away from the main tourist attractions, but their incredible frites were well worth my trek through the pouring rain.

Would you like fries with that?

Gaufres (Waffles)

Maison J. Dandoy

It is virtually impossible to travel in Brussels without running into a waffle stand. They are literally everywhere (just like the Belgian chocolate stores). I tried several waffles, but J. Dandoy's were the tastiest, in my opinion.Their Liege waffle is chewy and dense with a bread-like texture. The special pearl sugar used to make the waffles create a lovely crunchy texture when it melts and caramelizes against the hot iron.

Grab and go: Gaufre de Liege

The Brussels waffle is a complete contrast. It is light and crispy, with a moist, eggy interior. I would advise against overwhelming your waffle with fruit and cream and sauce; a light dusting of powdered sugar is all that is necessary.

Eat Here!

Chez Leon
Rue des Bouchers 18, 1000 Bruxelles, België

Roy d'Espagne
Grand-Place 1/A, 1000 Bruxelles, België

Maison Antoine
Jourdanplein, 1040 Etterbeek, België

Maison J. Dandoy
Rue au Beurre 31, 1000 Bruxelles, België

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