My Brussels guide informs you about my favourite spots in terms of food and drinks. Let me present you the coolest tea rooms, restaurants and lunchrooms, cafés and bars. In Brussels we have many places offering healthy concepts like organic, local, living, vegan and raw food - a trend I love and respect. But of course I will also show you some caloric nom noms like cupkaes, burgers, waffles and mojitosl! And as you will notice, my camera only takes me to awesome interiors. Thanks to the owners for having me and making me taste their specialities!
Prélude is a sympathetic lunch room located in St Gilles. Their speciality: the veggie bento box. They have an unusual selection of vegetables prepared in a tasty way as for example, pumpkin purree, cooked turnip and tabbouleh salad. If you're into organic food, take the veggie box, meat and fish are not organic (but delicious as well). What I appreciate here is that the menu changes daily. It's not like at EXKI where you're bored to eat the same stuff for...years! No, here you have a different bento box every single day. Bravo!
Prélude. Rue Antoine Bréart 82, 1060, Brussels
Le Cercle Des Voyageurs (Circle of travellers) is a café, bar and restaurant next to the Manneken-Pis and a few steps away from my school. It's the most central place of my Brussels guide. My teachers hang out there all the time. It's a place for explorers, bringing together several cultures. The interior design is impressive and the first thing you pay attention to when entering the place is the huge wall covered with old-school suitcases. We shared a tasty sushi plate, great tea and iced coffee. The place has a dramatic history and hides a beautiful cellar where conferences and concerts are organized. The founders behind this place were a married couple who both died on the road while heading for Mali to bring medicine to a nurse. Since then, the place became a cultural meeting point where Belgian food meets Asian, Indian, Brazilian and other specialities, where world music is shared, where clubs meet and philosophies exchanged. I love their cute terrace, will add pictures of this one soon.
Le Cercle des Voyageurs. Lievevrouwbroersstraat 18, 1000 Brussels
Les Filles. Plaisirs culinaires is a hidden modern canteen next to the place St Catherine. MY FAVOURITE PLACE FOR LUNCH. If you don't know the place you won't be aware of its existence when passing. The menu changes every day and you'll eat what you get but as much as you want, sounds good doesn't it? The starters and drinks are brought to the table - we had a pumpkin soup and a plate of ham in a nut cream. The main course of the day (self-service) included polenta gratin, porc with coco sauce and salad. Simple and delicious but take a note that behind this concept hide artisanal food producers. The pretty filles try to select the best (organic!) food for their clients and I appreciate that. Honestly, polenta and porc never tasted so nice. And the dessert..... apple and pear clafoutis with an optional kiwi sauce. Oh my goodness. Go and enjoy lunch in a homely room (second floor), at a shared table, in a cheerful ambiance and out of lovely chinaware. You won't regret it. Thank you ladies for having us twins, especially Tiffany for your time, kindness and generosity. A bientôt!
Les Filles - Plaisirs Culinaires. Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 46, 1000 Brussels
My Little Cup is a small coffee corner behind the Royale street, not far away from Botanique that you cannot leave because first you will be engrossed in conversation with the owners, (Laurent and Bertrand) and secondly because those guys offer the best coffee of the Brussels. Bertrand forced me to try their cappuccino (I hated cappuccino until yesterday) - it was delicious!! I also love their homemade cookies and raspberry financiers. A cool, modern place to stay or take away bringing some light in the grey street de la Croix de Fer. Bertrand has a passion, let's say mania for perfection and authenticity and you can taste it in his coffee and sweets. My new after work must-go. PS. Ask for the wifi code... :P
My Little Cup. Rue de la Croix de Fer 53, 1000 Brussels
Mammouth - an angelical lunchroom located in St Gilles: healthy, (mostly organic), balanced nutrition in a minimalistic, well-designed interior ran by passionate ladies. I really like the Mexican inspiration found in the patterned pillows, clay pots and cactuses (they named their tallest cactus Diego, lol.) You can come at any moment of the day. We came for a healthy lunch and left satisfied. What we had were a humus, chicken, cucumber sandwich and a salad made of cooked vegetables - enough vitamins to continue the day.
Mammouth. Rue de Russie 10, 1060 Brussels
Ponti Corner is a large bar at the Bourse. For me, a nice stop between meetings to enjoy some Belgian pastry or snacks like waffles or shrimp croquettes. In the pictures you can see the pretty plate they brought me with some ice-cream, chocolate, whipped cream and fruits added to the waffle. Yummi. Nice iced coffee as well. This is not a hipster place with a minimalistic, white interior like most of the places I use to go. No, this is a large space with weak lightening (provided by beautiful chandeliers made of cups) and leather sofas offering an intimate, cozy and romantic atmosphere. When you sit over here you feel like if nobody's paying attention to you and this is great. I could sit here for hours. The staff? I love the staff. Ponti's waiters and managers are a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. I think they'll see me quiet often in the future..haha. Special thanks to the lovely Chloé for her attention.
Ponti Corner. Rue Henri Maus 39-43, 1000 Brussels
YAG* is a restaurant in Ixelles based on living food. Whuut? Jumping frogs or snails??? No. Living food is a back to the roots cooking method - uncooked or at low temperature, healthy and raw food retaining the necessary micro-nutrients for our body such as enzymes, vitamins and minerals. You should know that high-temperature cooking not only destroys many benefits of your food but becomes toxic as well. So in this restaurant you will only find 100% organic and seasonal food free of gluten and milk products. The food is cooked at max. 100° and the most healthy combinations are selected to provide you with a balanced, healthy meal.
The space is a masterpiece - oriental tiling, plants, open kitchen and harmonious combination of desaturated furniture and purple pillows. The (very caring and pleasant..) cooks Khanh and Francois made a wonderful job, not only the meals were delicious but the presentation of the meals was extraordinary as well - look at the pictures! I see them as scientists and artists at the same time, they prepare healthy food, study the combination of each component an present it as artwork, crazy isn'it it?
We were offered a 6-course blind tasting menu full of delicious flavours including typical living food components such as first cold pressed oil, seaweed, umeboshi (pickled ume fruits common in Japan), lacto-fermented vegetables, natural sugar such as raw honey and germinated seeds (preserve all their intact vitamins). The appetizers were a fermented cabbage, seaweed salad with crispy dehydrated apple leaves followed by beets dipped into avocado mayonnaise and covered with beet powder presented in a shell of an oyster. We then enjoyed fish in a fresh lemon sauce, tender pork loin resting in a a creamy pesto mash, vegetables, and and and. Go and see for yourself !! Unfortunately we couldn't stay for the dessert because school was calling but we'll catch up on it soon.
This is a lot of text for once. But it was such an unusual experience that hides hard work, so I needed to write a little bit more about it. My conclusion - if you live in Brussels or visit Brussels, this is a must-go for a healthy lunch inspired by the gastronomical kitchen. Special thanks to Lucie, Coralie, Khanh and Francois for this special moment, thank you YAG* !
YAG*. Rue Washington 59, 1050 Brussels
Jat', a big enthusiastic cafeteria close to the Royal Palace. Good for a quick lunch, tea time and productive afternoons. Businessmen gather around the large table while some students relax in old-fashioned armchairs - in two words, a place for everyone. I really like the ambiance here and their iced coffee and vanilla cupcakes. The staff and management here are... busy.
JAT' Café. Rue de Namur 28, 1000 Brussels
Epaulé Jeté is a restaurant / bar on Place Flagey with different concepts integrated. You find here workshops for kids, tapas, dayli changing menus, a public washing machine, photocopier and concerts. We came for lunch and had a pesto risotto and fish plate. The portions are not big but full of quality, taste and are presented with elegance. I liked! The interior is crazy, a mix of modern design and kitsch - many colours, many patterns, many clients as well! You can see their daily plat du jour on their website that by the way is well designed. Looking forward to come back here soon..
Epaulé Jeté. Place Eugene Flagey 13, 1050 Brussels
Peck 47, two minutes away from the Grand-Place is a small quiet hipster café with tasty stuff for any time of the day. Chillax-pillow corner, wooden tables, blackboard with strange bunnies on it and vegan food options. They make nice warm sandwiches, among them my favourite one filled with raw ginger and sweet potatoes accompanied by the soup of the day. I love coming over for tea and their home-made pistache cake. They have a creative selection of teas, not usual mass-market ones. The staff is gentle and quiet.
Peck 47. Rue du Marché aux Poulets 47, 1000 Bruxelles
Manhattn's is the new must-go place on the Avenue Louise for a unique burger experience. Of course I was curious to check it out and I must say - awesome place. Two brothers are behind it, Jerry and Phil Vandermeulen. Phil is definitely the crazy part of the brotherhood, haha. He welcomed me with a smile and suggested their Gatsy Burger. I took it, waited at the table until my buzzer ringed to pick up my plate and once served I received a collective Bon appétit! shout from the cooks. I felt like a queen! The burger - awesome. Inside: mushrooms, truffles, grass-fed matured beef, bacon, cheese, salad and an amazing sauce. Also on my plate - tasty homemade fries and a berry smoothie. I appreciate the unique visual identity of the restaurant and the discrete, clean interior design inspired by America. The positive energy here overwhelms me.
Manhattn's. Avenue Louise. 164, 1000 Brussels
Chicago Café at the Place Sainte-Catherine. Crazy interior. Multiple old cinema doors, modern wooden furniture, weird photographs on the walls, toys for kids all around, pretty glass ceiling (perfect for food photography) and those sliced benches.. Of course my iphone disappeared between two of such slices and landed on the floor.. but it survived without a scratch. I came alone for once and enjoyed a great piece of cheesecake and a mojito and analysed the space with my camera for one hour. The owner wrote me afterwards that she was surprised about the combination of my order but hey, I can't drink tea all the time!! The bar man here not only makes good cocktails but is also the most attentive among the waiters.
Chicago Café. Rue de Flandre 45, 1000 Brussels