5 Recommended Places To Have Lunch In Brussels
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At CityXplora we get a lot of interest in our 24-hour City Sightseeing Brussels Tour. For many of these people it's their first time visiting the Belgian capital and what they're looking for is a means by which to experience the city's top landmarks as easily as possible before continuing their European adventure. With the fleeting sightseer in mind we put together this eclectic list of city centre eateries. Three are personal favourites of our own and the others were recommended by a brilliant pair of professional travel bloggers whom we follow on Twitter. So when you start to feel peckish while rolling past the Palais Royal or Atomium, hop-off the bus and seek out one of these inspired lunch spots.
1) Les Brassins (Rue Keyenveld 36, 1050 Ixelles):
Les Brassins is a quaint and traditional eatery nestled halfway along Rue Keyenveld. It's the kind of place we keep a close eye out for every time we explore the culinary landscape of our featured cities. Location and atmosphere wise it displays all the qualities typical of a hidden gem, with a red-painted Art Nouveau exterior facing out onto a quite cobblestone street. Add to this the fact that its reviews are varied, honest and generally very positive. Inside you're greeted by rustic wooden tables, delectably old-fashioned lighting and classic posters on every wall.
Pull up a chair alongside the local regulars and order up one of their meat, fish, salad or pasta dishes. If it were me I'd be asking for the Parmesan Cheese Penne with Pleurotes Mushrooms and Rucola Dressing. Not being a dessert man myself (I know, not exactly foodie talk) I'd compliment the main course with a chilly bottle of Belgian draft beer. Les Brassins stock Bière de Silly, Taras Boulba and Caulier.
2) Ninja House (Rue de la Vierge Noire 16, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles):
It was the atmosphere of the Ninja House that really caught my attention. This neat little sushi bar lies just a short walk south of St. Catherine's Church and mixes together a stunning variety of popular Japanese flavours. Lunch is conducted in an authentically Japanese manner, with sushi delivered on a wooden serving plate and patrons free to pick and choose as they please. Decide amongst yourselves beforehand which varieties you'd like the chefs to whip up. What makes the Ninja House even more relevant to this list is that it seems to offer a special lunch box packed with all the flavours of the day.
3) De Noordzee/La Mer du Nord (Rue Sainte-Catherine 45, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles):
There was no way I could complete this list without ample helpings of fish, and that's why I've included the popular Noordzee/La Mer du Nord fish bar. It actually sits polar opposite the Ninja House on the other side of the block. So when you arrive in the neighbourhood you can have a crisis over which style of fish you'd like- unless you're really not a fan of sushi. Once you're done exploring St. Catherine's Church and Square make for the distinctive blue sign and prepare your taste buds for fresh shrimp croquettes, steaming razor clams and warm seafood soup. It's street food done in such a way that you can either dig-in on site or have it packed up as a takeaway treat.
One thing to note is that it does get very busy, especially during the weekends. But I guess in a way this only adds to the atmosphere: warm sunshine (or crisp autumn air), company of locals, and the smell of cooking seafood thick in the air.
4) Gaudron (1050, Place Georges Brugmann 3, 1050 Ixelles):
If you find yourself around the Horta Museum or the Church of the Annunciation of Ixelles, consider checking out this first recommendation by travel blogger, photographer and all-round foodie Giulia Mulè via Twitter (@mulia). Gaudron is a classy café in a leafy southern part of the city centre. Its posh surroundings and fairly large terrace make it an ideal place to enjoy freshly prepared organic grub in the sun. They do hearty fare such as gourmet burgers, pizzas and club sandwiches, combined with an on-site bakery that churns out pastries and other baked sweets that hopefully taste as good as they look.
Check out what Giulia had to say about Gaudron by clicking on the link in her name above.
5) La Maison des Crêpes (Zuidstraat 13, 1000 Brussel):
Giulia's second recommendation is probably my personal favourite on this list. La Maison des Crêpes sits right across from the Grand Place and specialises in one of the finest convenience foods that money can buy. Crêpes are quick to prepare, versatile, fantastically tasty, and represent a staple aspect of the local French-derived cuisine. While English speakers normally associate crêpes with sweet toppings such as chocolate and powered sugar, La Maison also sell the savoury varieties common throughout French-speaking areas. To top it all off you can even kick back with a chilly cidre. Magnifique!
But what about dinner? Though the focus of this blog is on places to have lunch I couldn't help but include this final 6th recommendation.
6) Nuetnigenough (Rue du Lombard 25, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles):
I was informed of Nuetnigenough by professional travel blogger Valerie via Twitter (@Valerie_Valise). Since first appearances matter I'd just like to draw attention to the fact that the building's Art Nouveaux frontage, while not extensive, is enticingly beautiful. It gets even better inside, where a compact, wood-panelled interior transports you straight back to the early 20th-century. What the building lacks in overall size it defiantly makes up for in atmosphere and character. Its motto proudly declares: "The Brussels brasserie for greedy gluttons and fine beer lovers".
Nuetnigenough don't accept reservations, so patrons are encouraged to simply head along and pull up a chair. Try their Beef Stew in Rochefort Sauce, complimented by Rédor Pils from the Dupont brewery in Tourpes.