For a small capital, Brussels punches way above its culinary weight. At last count, the city boasted no fewer than 24 Michelin-star restaurants. And it’s no surprise: thanks to elegant Art Nouveau settings, excellent local produce and stellar seafood, Brussels has all the ingredients for a seductive dining scene. From the chic Avenue Louise to the backstreets of Uccle, we’ve handpicked five of the best fine-dining spots in town.
120 metres up in the air, this glass-clad restaurant wows with the best vistas in town. But there’s more to it than floor-to-ceiling views. Chef Alexandre Dionisio’s Spanish-inflected cuisine has earned the restaurant two stars. Tasting menus change every day depending on the market haul. Expect impressive fish dishes, precision presentation and expert use of farm-fresh Belgian produce.
No prizes for guessing the star ingredient at this elegant spot in Ixelles. Start with a carpaccio of rare-breed beef: the chef will shave summer truffles at your table. The rest of the menu is equally enticing, sweeping from the classic (winter truffle risotto) to the more exotic chocolate-infused lobster. For savvy diners, there’s a wallet-friendly €50 menu available Monday to Friday.
This two-star stalwart of Brussels’ dining scene traces its origin to 1926, when the first-generation chef rustled up dishes ‘like at home’. The Horta-inspired dining room has lost none of its historical charm. You’ll need to book weeks in advance, particularly if you’re after the sought-after chef’s table in the kitchen, right at the heart of the action.
Don’t be fooled by this restaurant’s modest appearance. Tucked away in the residential Uccle neighbourhood, Le Pigeon Noir does French terroir cuisine exceedingly well. The welcoming owner is a fan of good, simple food: grey prawn croquettes, say, or braised veal cheeks. Do book ahead: it may be off the beaten path, but it’s much loved by in-the-know locals.
Dubbed the ‘Pie King’ of Belgium, chef Karen Torosyan is a dab hand with crust. You’d be forgiven for coming here for a simple duck pithivier or a beef Wellington, but there’s plenty more to entice. The dining room’s dressed to impress in shades of chocolate and praline, and the menu’s studded with brasserie classics done exceedingly well. The Horta-designed setting’s not to be sneered at, either.
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Image credits: © Shutterstock; © Shutterstock; © Morgane-Ball; © La Truffe Noire; © Gaetan Miclotte; © Le Pigeon Noir; © Gaetan Miclotte; © The Avocado Show; © Radiokafka via Shutterstock; © Alamy