Famed for piping hot frites, heavenly waffles and a clever way with endives, Brussels is a haven for hungry travellers. But there’s a lot more to tempt the palate than street snacks and ubiquitous dollops of mayo. Whether you’re a sucker for tradition or trying out a new trend, Brussels is teeming with culinary hotspots to satisfy any craving. From a spoonful of fusion food to brunch buffets in a car workshop, see our top five picks for a dining experience with a difference.
Avocado on toast is a sure-fire staple for brunch lovers around the world, but what about avo-bun burgers or with choc-chip ice-cream? That’s the score at hit Amsterdam restaurant the Avocado Show, which has just landed in town. Real enthusiasts can also invest in founders Ron and Julien’s colourful cookbook (impeccably styled and Insta-friendly, behind a millennial-pink cover).
Boulevard Anspach 66, 1000 Brussels
Metro station: De Broukère
Michelin-starred chef Sang-Hoon Degeimbre heads up this remarkable fusion eatery, where French and Asian influences take centre stage. Nestled in a cosy minimalist space, the menu is served in a host of ceramic bowls – with only spoons provided – marrying flavours such as lamb and sea aster or white chocolate and potato. Take a seat at the counter to see how it’s done.
Rue de Flandre 19, 1000 Brussels
Metro Station: Sainte Catherine
When food truck El Camion decided to park up in an old mechanic’s workshop, the Garage à Manger was born. Kids and adults alike will find something to dive into, whether that’s comic books in a caravan or the generous brunch buffets. Local ingredients shine here, from smoked salmon on waffles and tender skirt steak to chilled red-berry soup and confit rhubarb rice pudding.
Rue Washington 185, 1050 Ixelles
Tramway station: Abbaye
Locals love this sleek, white-tiled deli for a taste of the Big Apple, Belgian style. True to form, it’s a one-stop shop for packed pastrami sandwiches, Latke-style waffle fries and the best shrimp croquettes in town (seriously, it’s official). After a laid-back feast, leave plenty of time to browse the shelves for some gourmet treats to sling into your suitcase.
Rue de Tamines 27, 1060 Saint-Gilles
Tramway station: Barrière
Launched in a revamped tavern at the end of last year, Tandem has already made its name as a go-to for foodies. This ‘gourmet canteen’ – the brain-child of a wine buff and a chef – offers a three-course menu for just €35. Expect seasonal dishes such as mackerel carpaccio with fresh quince vinaigrette and a trio of chocolate puds topped with crunchy feuilletine.
Avenue Adolphe Demeur 41, 1060 Saint-Gilles
Tram station: Barrière