Although a tiny country sandwiched between France and Germany, Belgian cuisine has some of the tastiest dishes to offer to its visitors, and you can’t miss out on trying them if you visit Brussels! Check out our guide to the tastiest traditional dishes, and the local eateries you should visit if you want to try the very best of them! Truly authentic Belgian food isn't found in the guidebooks but with locals, so read on to see the spots our local Celine recommends.
Chicons au Gratin at Restobieres
Chicons au gratin is perhaps one of the most classical Belgian recipes; a hearty dish of endive rolls in a rich cheese sauce that's often eaten during winter. The best place to try this has got to be Restobieres, a restaurant that offers a true gastronomic Belgian experience but is still a well kept local secret! They cook almost every dish on the menu with Belgian beer, ranging from dark to blond, and even including flavored brews like coconut mango beer. There’s even a chocolate mousse for dessert flavored with blonde Hercule beer, but chicons au gratin is their specialty dish and the reason to visit!
Belgian Fries at Fritland
The easiest way to get a Belgian irrevocably angry is to claim that the French are the inventors of fries. Early Belgians settled down by the river Meuse (a.k.a Maas) that flows through Belgium, France and the Netherlands, where they used to catch fish and fry them, and after the potato reached Europe, they started to cut potatoes into the shapes of fish and fry them. The Belgian way of frying makes the fries crispy on the outside and soft in the inside, so they melt away in your mouth. When you’re in Brussels, you’ll certainly see a long line in front of Fritland. Sometimes you might need to wait up to half an hour to order a cone of fries, but boy, it’s worth it!
Vol au Vents at C’est Bon C’est Belge
C’est Bon C’est Belge is a very cozy restaurant hidden in a long backstreet located in the district of Sablon. They make almost all of the traditional Belgian dishes that are mentioned in this article, but their specialty is vol au vent. As the name suggests, the dish is light as the wind (vent literally means wind), and consists of citrus chicken and creamy mushrooms stuffed in soft and light pastry. The French version of this dish is called bouchée à la reine, literally meaning ‘queen’s bite’. Well, it is quite large for one bite but we are sure you will savor this dish in just a few bites because it is so yummy!
Meatballs in Tomato Sauce at La Fleur en Papier Doré
This is a local brasserie whose wooden walls are covered with the pieces of art by Magritte, one of the most famous painters of the country. Dating from the 18th century, this place was once the meeting point for surrealist art lovers and famed Belgian surrealist artists. They say Magritte had the inspiration to draw his best pieces of art in this tiny brasserie. They serve a wide selection of Belgian beers and regional dishes, but their best dish is the meatballs in tomato sauce. Pair it with their draft Kriek, cherry flavoured beer and you are on your way to heaven!
Stoemp and Sausage at Be My Stoemp
Stoemp means puree, and it’s a mash of all sorts of vegetables, especially potatoes which is an essential part of Belgian alimentation. Be My Stoemp adds a Belgian twist to the classic hot dogs, serving Belgian-style hot dogs with mashed vegetables and salad on the side. Be My Stoemp is located inside the ancient brick-and-wrought-iron meat market called Halles St. Gery, a fine work of architecture that is free to visit, and they even have an information center where you can get a free map of Brussels.
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