A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

We get it: Brussels is a foodie’s dream. You’re not only visiting the capital of Europe for its amazing architecture, the inspiring museums, or to create a unique photograph – you’re also looking to discover some of the best food and restaurants in Brussels (and maybe even the world)! 

Trying local dishes is largely connected with the cultural experience and supporting the local community, so please make sure you taste at least 1 of the 3 National dishes: Mussels, Belgian Waffles & Fries.

Restaurants in Brussels the national dish of waffles, shown with lots of raspberry jam and powered sugar on a white plate

We also advise you to try out Belgian chocolate and Belgian beers, because they are a delicacy as well. 

Please keep in mind when trying out the beers: The minimum age for drinking in Belgium is 16 for beer and wine, and 18 for spirits.

Best Restaurants in Brussels

CŎCĪNA

Address: Washingtonstraat 149, 1050 Brussels

The best spot in this Italian restaurant is at the bar, so you can watch everything happening in the kitchen.

  • © Instagram – @cocinabrussels

Kokuban

Address: Belliardstraat 180, 1040 Brussels

Kokubun, a Japanese restaurant famous for serving some of the best ramen in Brussels!

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

Colonel

Address: Jean Stasstraat 24, 1060 Brussels

The Colonel is a fine meat restaurant and is particularly enamoured of the regions of France and especially of the high-quality beef produced there.

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

The menu of this unusual restaurant also pays tribute to gourmet products unearthed in some of the furthermost corners of France.

Humus x Hortense

Address: Vergniesstraat 2, 1050 Brussels

Humus x Hortense is a vegan restaurant in the heart of Ixelles’ Flagey neighbourhood, led by Flemish Chef Nicolas Decloedt.

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

This restaurant was crowned the best vegan restaurant in the world, beating 800 other venues from around the world at the 2019 edition of the We’re Smart Taste Summit in Amsterdam.

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

Yi Chan

Address: Rue Jules Van Praet 13, 1000 Brussels

Yi Chan – meaning “heritage” in Chinese – is a modest and friendly family-run restaurant, known for its zesty cocktails, superb dim sum, and unforgettable pho soup.

The homemade dim sum is legendary, and the menu offers a few different Vietnamese options as well

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

The Avocado Show

Address: Boulevard Anspach 66, 1000 Brussels

The Avocado Show is a restaurant located near La Bourse in Brussels, and is known to focus on taste, presentation and originality … resulting in very instagrammable dishes!

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

Or how they say it: “Pretty Healthy Food made with love from sustainable avocados.”

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

Knees to Chin

Address: Livornostraat 125, 1000 Brussels

Knees to Chin is a restaurant chain, focused on Vietnamese food, which revisits the traditional rice paper rolls and creates a whole new concept of affordable Asian-inspired street food.

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

Chez Leon

Address: Rue des Bouchers 18, 1000 Brussels

Chez Leon is the favourite restaurant of many tourists because it serves the best ‘Mussels from Brussels’ (Mussels).

The restaurant is located in the heart of Brussels: less than 500 meters from Manneken Pis and 200 meters from the Grand Place.

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

Belgian Frites

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper food trip to Brussels if you didn’t get the chance to have some frites. Some say that Belgian frites are authentic, original french fries. Others say that Belgian fries are cut much thicker than French fries and that they hold a myriad of sauces much better.

One historic explanation is that during WWI when the Americans began to arrive to liberate Belgium they had fries but since the language of the time was French the fries became “French fries”. But what does it matter really a great frite or a great French fry the Belgians have elevated the humble potato stick to new heights.

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

In virtually every town in Belgium, you will find a “friterie” or “fritur” which is usually a tiny street food place that only sells frites. There is a wide variety of toppings you can have on your frites and these range from truffle mayo, to plain mayo, ketchup, curry sauce, Andalouse which is a sort of Thousand Island-type sauce. Though Belgians do not sprinkle vinegar on fries, they may eat them with cold mussels out of the shells preserved in vinegar, or other types of additions.

Belgian Waffles

Everybody loves a waffle but in Belgium once again they have raised the bar. Belgian waffles have a much deep pocket all the better to hold those yummy accompaniments. From a chocolate sauce to fresh fruit Belgian waffles reign supreme and can be purchased virtually everywhere as street food all over Brussels.

A locals guide to the best restaurants in Brussels

So have you managed to eat your way through Brussels yet? What was your favourite?

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