Brussels, Queen of taste
The capital of Belgium has over 1,500 restaurants, each of which is living proof that the city has the best food in Europe:
Exquisite mussels, meat and fish, waffles and, of course, the world's most fabulous beer and chocolate (Belgium's Gourmet Cuisine and Gastronomy)!
© OPT / J.P. Rémy
Day 1: Saturday
A treat for your taste-buds at the Sablon!
Drop off your bags at your hotel and then head straight for the first gourmet treats of the weekend in the Sablon district (Place du Grand Sablon (BRUXELLES)). There are plenty of treats there for your other senses as well as your taste-buds!
Place du Grand Sablon (BRUXELLES), the chocolatiers' kingdom
Popular with the aristocracy, it’s no surprise that you can find some of the best chocolatiers in Belgium and Europe in this prestigious square today, including Neuhaus, Wittamer, Pierre Marcolini, and Godiva. They open the doors to their workshops which border onto a wide range of cafés and restaurants. Your taste-buds will be spoiled!
But the Grand Sablon is also the preserve of antique shops, jewellers, interior designers and other collectors (Weekly Sablon Antiques Market (BRUXELLES)) … its views of the historic city centre let you admire the splendid steeple of Brussels Town Hall (BRUXELLES), which dominates the superb The Grand-Place in Brussels (BRUXELLES).
Brewers in the Grand'Place!
Cocteau called it “the most beautiful theatre in the world”. At number 10 in The Grand-Place in Brussels (BRUXELLES) you will find the Museum of Belgian Brewers (BRUXELLES), with its displays of brewing machinery from the eighteenth century to the present day’s high technology. A glass or two in the bar will reveal why the city’s inhabitants love their beer!
A sparkling and tasty woodcock
Continue the beer theme by visiting a Brussels institution, A La Bécasse (BRUXELLES) (“The Woodcock”)! They serve Faro and Gueuze, two of the most typical beers made in Brussels. Why not try them with some Belgian cheese!
Tasty vaudeville in the gallery
Is your stomach rumbling? Then head for the ROYAL SAINT-HUBERT GALLERIES (BRUXELLES) and the “Café du Vaudeville”, one of the most charismatic places in the city. Although the inside is elegantly decorated, we suggest a table on the terrace, where you can admire the grandeur of the galleries.
The menu includes the best Belgian specialities: shrimp croquettes, beef carbonnade made with dark beer or the famous sausages with stoemp. Don’t forget the other local speciality, waffles, for dessert.
The galleries were built in 1846 in a style inspired by the Italian Renaissance and under their splendid glass roofs you'll find many famous fashion boutiques and arty shops. Most people can't resist a visit to Neuhaus’ chocolate shop, with its tempting displays. It was on this very spot that Jean Neuhaus invented his famous pralines in 1912.
Cocoa and chocolate in the Grand Place
If you like cocoa and chocolate you’re in luck, because Brussels has a museum devoted to them! Located in the Grand Place, the Brussels Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate (BRUXELLES) ) is the place to go to find out more about these delights, including their Aztec origins and their arrival in Europe. You'll also have a chance to make your own pralines and, of course, to taste them!
The new art of beer
Let’s return to beer with a visit to one of the most iconic cafés in Brussels: A La Mort Subite (BRUXELLES). Its unique ambiance and Art Nouveau decor will take you back 100 years… and will inspire you to try some new brands of Belgian beer. Did you know that Jacques Brel would often come here for a drink when he lived in Brussels?
Saint Catherine, patron saint of innovative restaurants
A thirteenth-century church which looks delightfully run-down and whose stone facade has become blackened. It has the last open-air urinal in the city on one of its walls, (SAINTE-CATHERINE 'S CHURCH (BRUXELLES)), and now finds itself surrounded by restaurants whose chefs have a reputation for inventive new dishes, all around the former SAINTE-CATHERINE SQUARE - FISH MARKET (BRUXELLES)!
Among the restaurants is “Le Fourneau” with its huge bar-counter running all around the room, where diners sit and watch their meals being prepared in the kitchen in the centre of the room. Wherever you eat, you will be delighted by the culinary creations of our many chefs!
Day 2: Sunday
For your second and last day in Brussels we have put together a programme of gastronomic delights against the ever-present background of Belgian beer and traditional Brussels cuisine!
Cantillon, an old-fashioned brewery
A visit to the Cantillon brewery is a journey through the history of Brussels' beer, because this is the only brewery in the city to have retained its nineteenth-century machinery and brewing process. This means it produces one of the most flavoursome beers, which you get to sample at the end of the visit!
Châtelain and St. Boniface on the menu
To say farewell to the capital of Belgium, you'll swing between excellence and... excellence! First stop is the St Boniface district that you can reach by metro. Its restaurants are popular with the city's gastronomes and its Modernist buildings blend together brilliantly with the older buildings.
For lunch, we suggest you head to “La Quincaillerie” near the Place du Châtelain, a restaurant serving succulent fish and meat in the unusual setting of an old-fashioned ironmonger’s shop!
We recommend the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in the centre of Brussels (BRUXELLES) and the Silken Berlaymont Brussels (BRUXELLES). They're only 20 minutes by train from the airport!
Welcome to one of the most luxurious and famous hotels in Brussels, a stone’s throw from the Grand-Place! It will enchant you with its “Sea Grill” restaurant, which has been awarded two stars by the prestigious Michelin guide, and where you can enjoy the best of Belgian fish and seafood.
Silken Berlaymont Brussels (BRUXELLES)
Located at the heart of the European district, the hotel’s 214 rooms all have high-speed WiFi internet access, a mini-bar and 24-hour room service.