it`s brusselicious thematic kit
it’s brusselicious
thematic kit
Brussels is the north… and the south. It always has been the crossroads of everything: Europe, major cultures, food and fashion.
Well-established Brussels culinary traditions are a solid foundation for creative cooking, capable of producing surprising dishes
for every palate. Gastronomy in Belgium and Brussels is an art, an “art de vivre”. Traditional Belgian and Brussels recipes more
than ever deserve their moment of international fame. Waterzooi broths, tomatoes stuffed with shrimps, beef stews, steak tartar,
chicory rolls with cheese sauce and meat balls in tomato sauce or even “pottekeis” can hold their heads high. And then of course,
there are the products that are inevitably related to Brussels : chocolate, chips, waffles and last but not least, beer.
The Belgian capital city is packed with over 2,000 places to eat. A city as cosmopolitan as Brussels could not but feed and thrive
on all worldwide culinary trends. The world is your oyster: try out loads of ethnic alternatives, be it African, Asian or Scandinavian,
go for traditional or “fusion”... Among the most common eating places, you’ll find over 265 Asian (Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese,
Thai...), 230 Belgian, 130 French restaurants. The Mediterranean kitchen also is well represented with 180 Italian restaurants and
about sixty Greek and Spanish restaurants, not to mention our awesome local street food providers: chip stands, caricole stalls
and waffle vendors.
Passionate, obsessive and bedecked with stars, our chefs take on the challenge of re-creating traditional Brussels favourites, with
a “back to basics” approach based on authentic products, so in tune with the times. The waffle becomes salted and is served with
lobster cream, beef stew is prepared with a pinch of mustard… In 2013, 14 Brussels restaurants totalled up an impressive 17 stars.
Everybody loves slow food, this new way of consuming that is better for the planet and for our health. In organic shops and markets we are rediscovering seasonal products, vegetables we had totally forgotten and the real taste of food.
Traditional products from the Brussels area are truly delicious and many chefs have chosen preparations that are both subtle and
Following Fashion and Design in 2006 and the Comic Strip in 2009, for 2012 the Brussels-Capital Region decided to put the
spotlight on gastronomy with the Brusselicious theme year. This theme year has helped to promote a whole industry and met with
resounding success. Brussels has more than ever been able to establish itself as the gourmet capital of 500 million Europeans.
Original projects such as the “Tram Experience”, “eat! Brussels” and “Dinner in the Sky” have attracted worldwide media coverage.
So much so, that all three events will be repeated in the coming years.
The entire sector got behind this initiative: from star-rated chefs, chocolate-makers, brewers to chip stall vendors... Every single
one of them pulled out all the stops to give prominence to the Brussels know-how, a know-how that meets with success and increasing popularity abroad through the artisan excellence of people like master chocolate-maker Pierre Marcolini or the Cantillon
master brewers.
Thanks to its inventiveness, originality and diversity, Brussels has been more than capable of conveying its potential as a destination for foodies. So for instance, at the start of spring, 35 street sculptures, BXXL, kept on popping up here and there in the city.
Locals and visitors saw three-meter high Brussels sprouts, chocolate bars, mussels, beer glasses and chip bags appearing on the
streets and in the Park of Brussels. The sculptures all found a new home with private owners or public institutions. No doubt you
haven’t seen the last of them.
Countless activities were created and several records broken. Here is proof:
655 chef’s hats in the air
The year commenced in party mood with the world record for chef’s hat throwing on Brussels’ Grand-Place/
Grote Markt. From suppliers, artisans and caterers up to the city’s major chefs, everybody was there! On
January 9 at 3.45 pm sharp they together threw 655 chef’s hats in the air. With this event, Brusselicious
secured a place in the Guinness World Records Book. What a fabulous start to a flavourful year!
502,500 Easter eggs gathered
On April 8, Brusselicious secured its second world record: that day, more than 5,500 people gathered
502,500 Easter eggs in 10 different Brussels parks.
34.05 meters of chocolate
From October 19 to 25, the Brussels Chocolate Week was in the spotlight. Tastings at chocolatiers,
chocolate workshops, chocolate dinners at various renowned Brussels eateries and a 34.05 meter-long train produced fully in chocolate, a new world record, confirm once again that Brussels and
chocolate are inextricably linked.
Much more than just a theme year, Brusselicious has become a quality label that makes it possible to bring together gastronomic greatness and originality to provide a culinary experience that unquestionably will remain engraved in the memories of our
hosts. Brusselicious is Brussels and its myriad of exquisite tastes and aromas.
May 2013
Tram Experience provides a wonderful and unmatched opportunity to discover the capital
by night, with the focus on gastronomy and just a hint of self-indulgence. Made in the early
1960s, this Tram has been given a complete makeover and is fitted out as a sleek contemporary restaurant. Every evening, it carries 34 passengers along the city’s most attractive
avenues – while allowing them to enjoy a three-course menu that has been put together by
a star-rated chef. When the project began, VISITBRUSSELS saw this Tram as one of the
key concepts for Brusselicious, the year of gastronomy in 2012. Tram Experience sums up
the main goal of Brusselicious: to give people the opportunity to discover or rediscover the
many treasures of Brussels by way of the city’s gastronomy. This Tram is extremely modern,
in terms of its design and gastronomic menu – with pride of place given to local produce.
Tram Experience is back since May 2013. This year we will be turning the spotlight on Michelin-starred chefs from Brussels. In
just one meal, passengers will be invited to discover dishes by two or three different chefs, sometimes in surprising combinations.
This fourhanded cooking experience makes the Tram Experience, already a unique concept, even more unique!
Another new feature is that the Tram Experience is no longer just for chefs, as some menus
will now include desserts by some of our best chocolatiers and pastry chefs.
June 2013
Brussels in the Sky is a unique opportunity to discover the Brussels starred gastronomy in the
most fabulous way. It welcomes 22 guests and a Michelin-starred chef to live an unforgettable
experience in the Brussels’ sky offering them a breathtaking view over Brussels and its surroundings while tempting their taste buds with exquisite dishes and fine wines. Brussels in
the Sky was held in Brussels in June 2013 and will be undoubtedly back in 2014..
Europe first became acquainted with the famous cocoa bean back in 1502, 10 years after Christopher Columbus landed in America. At this point, nobody was yet aware of the paramount importance it would take on in international trade.
The first trace of chocolate in Belgium dates back to 1635, when records show some was bought
by the abbot of Baudeloo in Ghent. From the 18th century onwards, industrialisation makes it
possible to treat chocolate at a much larger scale and as a consequence, the price of chocolate
decreases. The inventiveness of craftsmen, irrespective of their nationality, did the rest. In 1802,
the Swiss François-Louis Cailler invented a technique to solidify the chocolate. It is the birth of
the tablet! In 1831, Meurisse, the first Belgian to manufacture chocolate on an industrial scale,
opens a factory in Antwerp.
In Brussels, it all begins in 1857 when Jean Neuhaus from Neuchâtel in Switzerland settles in the
brand-new and prestigious Galeries de la Reine shopping arcade in Brussels. As a pharmacist, he
opens a confectionery shop selling cough sweets, liquorice and bitter chocolate sticks (chocolate was still viewed as medicine by many at that time). He prepares them in the cellar of the shop.
In 1870, a certain Charles Neuhaus – whose filiation with Jean Neuhaus has never clearly been established
– opens a confectioner’s/chocolate shop in Brussels. En 1883, he founds and registers the Côte d’Or brand,
thereby referring to the old name of contemporary Ghana (Gold Coast), where he selected much of his cocoa
The success of the Neuhaus family was confirmed in 1912 with young Belgian chocolate-maker Jean Neuhaus. It was under the arches of the Galeries royales Saint-Hubert that this craftsman invented the famous
“praline”: a roasted almond or hazelnut coated in chocolate. These small bites brought fame and glory to the
Neuhaus family and, by popular demand, endless new varieties were created.
In 1915, its success was such that it became necessary to create a specific package to contain customer orders: the “ballotin”. This small cardboard box allows chocolate-makers to place the chocolates on top of each
other without crushing them and means that customers can give them as a beautifully presented gift. Pralines
are a gift that Belgians are very proud to present on all manner of occasions.
These individually-filled chocolates have played an essential role in making Belgium an internationally-renowned chocolate specialist. The essential collection is undoubtedly made up of the manon, the orangettes
and chocolate filled with ganache, gianduja, liqueur or simply praline-flavoured. Although most of these great
classics can be found in all the shops, each master chocolate-maker has developed its own recipe and specialty, so there really is something for every taste.
In Brussels, the aroma of chocolate floats around every street corner tempting those with a sweet tooth. Some areas
have a higher concentration of workshops and shops than others: the Sablon and the Mont des Arts, the area around the GrandPlace and the Galeries royales Saint-Hubert.
While it is an important cultural icon, chocolate is above all a particularly important economic
activity given the fact that the Brussels-Capital Region has 32 companies specialising in working with cocoa, producing chocolate and confectionery products. It also accounts for 850 jobs
a day in this sector. In addition, the Brussels Region has a directory of more than 250 shops
specialising in selling chocolate, pastries and other derived products.
Belgian chocolate is recognised across the world in particular for the refined flavour of the top
quality cocoa butter used by the country’s chocolatiers. In 2003, the European Union decreed
that the butter used in the manufacture of chocolate could contain up to 5% vegetable fats, such
as palm oil. As the addition of such ingredients can adversely affect the quality of the chocolate,
Belgian chocolatiers decided to remain true to the use of 100% cocoa butter. It is this attitude
that extends the reputation of Belgian chocolate far beyond our borders!
Good to know
48 % of cocoa production is consumed in Europe.
68% of global cocoa production comes from Africa (with Ivory Coast the leading producer).
3.5 million tonnes of beans are harvested annually across the world.
1.3% of cocoa is grown under fair-trade conditions.
1 dollar is the average daily income of an African cocoa grower.
9 kg: annual per capita consumption in Belgium.
Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate
The Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate invites you to journey through the world of chocolate, from
its origins to the finished product. You will also learn how cocoa came to Europe, how cocoa is
grown and processed into chocolate. And you will become overnight experts in the manufacturing techniques of the praline or chocolate bar.
Rue de la Tête d’Or 9-11 Guldenhoofdstraat, 1000 Brussels
Recipe for Belgian chocolate mousse
250 g Belgian chocolate, 60 g butter, 8 eggs, 50 g sugar
Preparation steps
Melt the chocolate and butter on a very low heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar
in a bowl until thick in consistency. Gently stir the whisked yolks into melted
chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth and well-combined. Whisk the egg whites
until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed, then gently fold them into the
chocolate mixture. Transfer the mousse to small cups or ramekins and chill in the
More information in our thematic kit on chocolate, here:
Since its creation dating back to well before recorded history, beer remained an important part of
people’s diets because it was seen as a healthy drink and staple food. Beer was the drink of the people, wine that of the nobility. In order to brew beer, it was necessary to boil water, which kills germs.
That’s why, at that time, the people of Brussels used to prefer beer to water. Beer was to be found
everywhere, although different methods of brewing were practised. Gauls made beer production
first a family concern. Brewing was generally done at home, following a recipe that was handed
down by word of mouth from generation to generation. Consumption was still kept for the family
circle. So, there was very little marketing of this beverage then.
Over the course of the centuries that followed, beer-making got organised. Each village had its own public brewery. Monasteries
also began to produce it to meet the needs of their own community.
With its commercialisation, beer began to be consumed in large quantities. In the 17th century, that consumption could be as
much as 400 litres per person. In the 19th century, the brewer’s trade occupied a very important place in Brussels. Brewers were
usually powerful and wealthy. In those days, the sector was not organised into large production units but into a whole host of small
breweries, known as “cammen” in Flemish. Each inn had to purchase its supplies from one “cam” (old Flemish word for brewery)…
food traceability as early as the Middle Ages!
They were so influential that they were even able to object to the most ambitious town-planning projects if they felt those projects
weren’t in their interests.
Final proof of how important the breweries were for Brussels is the many street names that refer
to them: rue des Brasseurs (brewers’ street), rue du Houblon (hop street) and rue de la Braie
(wort street). What’s more, quite a few of them correspond to the names of inns on those streets.
A good example is rue du Miroir, with the Auberge du Miroir (inn) on the corner of rue Haute.
After the Second World War, the situation of Belgian brewing industry began to deteriorate. The
increase in the costs of the raw materials, the rising wage costs, the burden of taxes… all these
factors encouraged the phenomenon of mergers mainly among small breweries. Between 1965
and 1973, the number of breweries fell by 30%. That decline was such that, in the late seventies,
seven brewers owned 75% of production.
Today, despite the disappearance of many breweries, Belgium is still recognised for its know-how. Many new initiatives are being
introduced all over the country, both in Wallonia and Flanders. Brussels, its capital, is proud of having 2 traditional breweries
within its walls, Brasserie Cantillon and Brasserie de la Senne.
Good to know
Gueuze and kriek are two essential elements of Brussels “zwanze”. The former, slightly acid and mellow, is the most
popular of Brussels’ beers. Kriek is made by adding 60 kg of Schaerbeek flat-top cherries to each 250 litre barrel of
Both of these beers are produced from Lambic, the beer forming the basis of these blends and resulting from “spontaneous fermentation”. Lambic survives thanks to a handful of Brussels breweries and to the presence of two micro-organisms that exist only in the Senne valley: Brettanomyces Bruxellensis and Brettanomyces Lambicus.
The addition of fruits and spices then releases the full magic of traditional beers: Strawberry, Kriek (Cherry), Peach,
Raspberry and Fruits of the Forest as well as Oude Gueuze, Kriek Retro, Gueuze, White Lambicus and Faro. Faro is made
by brewers when they add brown sugar to Lambic. This process creates a second fermentation.
The Brussels Gueuze Museum – Cantillon Brewery
Discover a truly unique brewery heritage, a lambic brewery dating back to 1900 and still
fully operating, run by a family of master brewers that is proud of its traditions and its
Rue Gheude 56 Gheudestraat, 1070 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 521 49 28
Schaerbeek Beer Museum
The museum is proud to show a collection of over 1,000 Belgian beer bottles, for the most part, with matching glass. Visitors get
to see a variety of ancient machines used in brewing and beer production, cooper tools, a fine collection of café hoardings (café
signs, trays, publicity material) and ancient documents from existing or bygone breweries.
Avenue Louis Bertrand 33-35 Louis Bertrandlaan, 1030 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 241 56 27
Belgian Brewers’ Museum
In the Museum of “Belgian Brewers”, you’ll find the rich tradition of Belgian beer. There, visitors can see all the utensils, the brewing and fermentation vats, the cauldrons and all the brewing equipment used in the 18th century.
Grand-Place 10 Grote Markt, 1000 Brussels
T. + 32 (0)2 511 49 87
Brasserie de la Senne (not open to the public)
The beers of the Senne brewery are produced by two young brewers from Brussels, Yvan De Baets and Bernard Leboucq, who are,
first and foremost, two beer fanatics. They operate in a small artisan brewery and make it a point of honour to produce traditional
beers, unfiltered, unpasteurised and free from any additives, using only first-class natural raw materials. With their complex flavour and distinctive personality, these beers are full of character. Their bitterness appeals to beer-lovers. They re-ferment in the
bottle or cask, which means they keep for a long time and their flavour is allowed to evolve and develop.
Chaussée de Gand 565 Gentsesteenweg, 1080 Brussels
Moeder Lambic
A paradise for beer lovers with more than 600 different beers. The bar of Place Fontainas
is even ranked amongst the top 10 of best beer bars in the world according to the website.
Rue de Savoie 68 Savoiestraat, 1060 Brussels
Place Fontainas 8 Fontainasplein, 1000 Brussels
La Porte Noire
With plenty of typical beers and various live music offerings, this vaulted space with its
Celtic and medieval ambience was once the kitchen of the Alexian Brothers’ monastery.
Rue des Alexiens 67 Cellebroersstraat, 1000 Brussels
Le Poechenellekelder
A “cellar for dolls” the size of a pocket handkerchief but that collects lovely big old
Rue du Chêne 5 Eikstraat, 1000 Brussels
Café Toone VII
Bistro and Brussels folk puppet show.
Impasse Sainte-Pétronille - rue du Marché-aux-Herbes 66 Sint-Petronillagang - Grasmarkt 66, 1000 Brussels
Delirium Café
Close to a mention in the Guinness Record Book with no less than 2,500 different beers.
Impasse de la Fidélité 4a Getrouwheidsgang, 1000 Brussels
More information in our thematic kit on beer, here:
Now, let’s talk about a national food product that is the envy of the world and
one that our French neighbours love so much that they even try to make it their
own. We’re talking of course about genuine and unmatched Belgian chips, also
known as fries! Crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, that’s the
secret. It is typical finger food traditionally served in a sheet of paper rolled
into an upside down cone. And they would not be Belgian chips without the
overabundance of sauces that wear the most exotic names: mammoth, samurai, “andalouse”… Talk of chips naturally brings us to the subject of chip shops
and especially “fritkots”, the traditional stands for vendors of chips, found on
streets all over the city of Brussels!
If we want to draw attention to chips in Brussels, we should make sure that we
also highlight the people who make them. Generally speaking, those who run
fritkots are colourful characters and are well-known in their local area. So when you fancy some chips you will normally head for a
stand run by Titine, or Jean-Jacques or Henri… These are local celebrities, the ones you can chat with, and the ones who see so
many people passing that they always know a little about everyone…
There’s no doubt about it: the chip does well and truly belong to Belgium’s heritage!
“Belgian fries”
On December 13, 2012 – as part of Brusselicious, VISITBRUSSELS assembled a panel of top culinary historians in an attempt to
establish which nation can rightfully claim paternity over the chip…
To ensure the historic-gastronomic debate went well, the culinary teacher and historian Philippe Ligron from Lausanne watched
over it with an – as one could expect from a Swiss – impartial and objective eye. The Belgian historians Pierre Leclercq (ULB) and
Roel Jacobs (VISITBRUSSELS) as well as French historian Madeleine Ferrière (Avignon Faculty of Arts and Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme (MMSH) in Aix-en-Provence) set out and described the different theories.
About the origin of the potato, then, the version cooked in butter, in fat or even a fat fryer…in slices, in sticks…According to Madeleine Ferrière though, chips may have originated in several different places over a period of time. But she added that now it may
not be possible to say definitively that chips came from any specific nation or to link them to any particular period.
However, Pierre Leclercq came up with a surprising historical fact that would tend to prove today that the chip cut into stick form
is an invention of the Kingdom of Belgium! Mr Leclercq highlighted that, Monsieur Fritz, the first Belgian chip-maker to set up a
stall at a fair, was already selling chips cut into sticks. From 1840 onwards, he was selling “vigilantes” and “omnibus”, which were
cut into slices. He would rename these “russes” and “cosaques”, according to an advertisement dated 1855. The new names evoke
characters. So, one could reasonably assume that the authentic chip sticks so dear to every Belgian’s heart, were born on the
nation’s prosperous fairs during the economic boom years of the 19th century.
More over, Belgians adopted and improved the recipe. The improvement, double cooking, is only practised in Belgium. It results in
chips that are golden and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. And it just so happens that historian Pierre Leclercq found
the first written track of this double cooking in a Belgian book signed by Louisa Mathieu and published around 1900-1910.
Also, in Belgium, chips are elevated to the rank of a meal’s main ingredient. Abroad, chips are simply considered a side dish. And
furthermore, only in Belgium, do we eat our chips in paper cones that have become a national symbol.
In view of all these historic and cultural facts, we can only conclude in these terms: Belgians are entitled to feel a true sense of pride.
So we should no longer say “French Fries”, but use the term “Belgian Fries”!
Source: Hugues Henry ( & Philip Debuck (food consultant)
Place Jourdan- Jourdanplein, 1040 Brussels
“Chez Clémentine”
Place Saint-Job - Sint-Jobplein, 1180 Brussels
“Chez Fernand”
Avenue Georges Henri 187 Georges Henrilaan, 1200 Brussels
Place Eugène Flagey - Eugène Flageyplein, 1050 Brussels
Fritkot de la Chapelle
Place de la Chapelle - Kapellemarkt, 1000 Brussels
Once you have peeled and washed the potatoes, ideally “bintjes”, slice into
slices maximum 1 cm thick. Repeat this in the other direction, keeping an equal
distance between cuts.
Immediately put the fat or oil to heat at 140°C for the first fry, wait for one minute and then remove from the fat.
Then raise the temperature to 180 °C and dunk the chips again until they are
Once you have drained them, remove any remaining fat and add salt or place
the chips into a bag shaped like an upturned cone just like on real chip stands.
The exact date of birth of the Brussels waffle remains unknown mainly because its recipe has been traditionally passed down from generation to generation. However, the ingredients and the cooking techniques already existed in 1740. The oldest recognized reference to “gaufre de Bruxelles” (Brussels waffle) by name is found in 1842. At that time, the “Grosses Gaufres de Bruxelles” (thick Brussels waffles)
were on the menu of various waffle houses. The first ever to publish the recipe of the Brussels waffle
is Philippe Cauderlier. His recipe dates back to 1874 and is extremely simple.
Back then Brussels waffles did not contain any yeast. Their preparation was therefore relatively expensive. Indeed, without yeast to leaven the batter, a larger amount of batter was necessary. In coffee and waffle houses of that period, waffles were generally prepared without yeast. Waffles were
also very much appreciated by people attending fairs and other festivities, these on the contrary
were prepared with a yeast-leavened batter.
Source : vzw vol-au-vent (
Brussels waffle versus Liège waffle
The Brussels waffle differs from others by a few specific features. It is light, crisper and rectangular. Its basic ingredients are
eggs, butter, milk and flour. Depending on the recipe, other ingredients can be added. The most ancient recipes do not use yeast.
Egg whites should therefore be beaten. The “thick Brussels waffle” has approximately 20 square pockets and is baked using a
special “crosshatched” pattern waffle iron. The thicker the waffle, the lighter it will be: the minimum thickness of the waffle varies
between 2.8 cm and 3 cm. It is unthinkable to serve the Brussels waffle without any sort of topping, be it sugar, whipped cream,
strawberries or any other ingredient.
Nowadays, the most popular waffle is unquestionably the Liège waffle. Liège waffles sold as “Brussels
waffles” are no exception. But what exactly is the difference between a Liège waffle and a Brussels waffle?
The Liège waffle is small, has uneven edges and contains chunks of sugar. Its dough is sweet, so it
does not need any topping. The Liège waffle hence lends itself perfectly as quick snack. It also lends
itself well to an industrial production. So much so that today you can find Liège waffles in almost every
supermarket. On the other hand, to bake the Brussels waffle, a special waffle iron with “large squares”
is needed. What’s more, the batter of the Brussels waffle should be prepared and used on the day as it
contains fresh milk. It is more refined than its Liège counterpart although less common and easy to find.
Source : vzw vol-au-vent (
In Brussels, you can buy Liège and Brussels waffles almost everywhere in the city, mostly sold by street vendors in small waffle
stalls or mobile waffle trucks. Some neighbourhoods welcome these street vendors and their waffle trucks, so for instance Porte
de Laeken, Bois de la Cambre, étangs d’Ixelles (Ixelles ponds) and Place Royale.
In the 18th century, the “Allée aux Gaufres” (“Wafelengang” or Waffle Alley) was a street famous for its choice of waffle houses.
This street was located in the ancient Notre-Dame-aux-Neiges area. Unfortunately, there are not many cosy places left where you
can treat yourself to a delicious Brussels waffle. Even so, we have made a small list of worthwhile coffee houses:
Rue Charles Buls 14 Charles Bulsstraat, 1000 Brussels
Glacier Zizi
Rue de la Mutualité 57A Onderlinge Bijstandstraat, 1180 Brussels
Drug Opera
Rue Grétry 51 Grétrystraat, 1000 Brussels
La Brasserie de Bruxelles
Place de la Vieille-Halle-aux-Blés 39 Oud Korenhuis, 1000 Brussels
Whether you are at the “Foire du midi”, at Winter Wonders, on a local market or attending any other festive occasion, around every
street corner, you’ll smell the sweet aroma of waffles being cooked …
Brussels waffle recipe (yield: approximately 30 waffles):
1/2 kg all purpose flour, 5 eggs, 3/4 l milk, 250 g butter, 32.5 g active dry yeast
(fresh – available from your baker or in your local supermarket), a pinch of salt,
2 packets vanilla sugar
Preparation steps
Set aside a small bowl of milk. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks,
flour, rest of milk, melted butter, vanilla sugar and salt. Heat the small bowl of
milk (lukewarm) and dissolve yeast, stir well. Stir the yeast mixture into the batter. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, gently fold into the batter.
Cover the large bowl with a clean cloth and let rise the batter in a warm place
until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Bake your waffles using a waffle iron with
large holes. Preheat the waffle iron. Brush it with oil. Spoon a small ladle of
batter inside the edges of the iron. Close the lid and turn the waffle iron over in
order for the batter to spread evenly in both parts. After a few minutes, the waffle
is golden brown. Serve immediately.
In the 17th century, “moules” were still known as “mouscles”, hence the name of the classic dish “mouclade”.
The English call them mussels, the Dutch “mosselen”, the Italians “cozze” and the Spanish “mejillones”.
Mussels are high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Compared to meat, mussels have a higher iron, phosphorous and vitamin B content. They also contain only 25 calories per 100 g. A very healthy choice! The
ones you’ll eat in Brussels are North Sea mussels. They’re grown on the sea bottom in beds and the most
famous ones come from Zeeland.
The Zeeland Mussel season usually starts in July. The world’s only mussel auction in Yerseke in the Netherlands determines the official date as well as the prices.
Mussels are served in most Brussels brasseries. But the “king” of the mussels is “Chez Léon” (Rue des
Bouchers 18). For more than 160 years, mussels have reigned supreme in this very nice restaurant. Their
basic recipe for “Moules spéciales” is authentic and the genuine article!
The mussels are served in their own black saucepan. They’re eaten by hand using an empty shell to detach the mussels from their
shells. The shells are thrown into the lid. Never eat a mussel that hasn’t opened after cooking!
Chez Léon
Rue des Bouchers 18 Beenhouwersstraat, 1000 Brussels |
Pré Salé
Rue de Flandre 20 Vlaamsesteenweg, 1000 Brussels
Rue de Flandre 113 Vlaamsesteenweg, 1000 Brussels |
Place Sainte-Catherine 23 Sint-Katelijneplein, 1000 Brussels
Bij den Boer
Quai aux Briques 60 Baksteenkaai, 1000 Brussels |
Recipe from “Chez Léon”
2 kilos of Zeeland mussels, 2 onions, 2 sticks of celery, butter, water, salt and pepper
Preparation steps
Wash and scrub the mussels carefully. Dice onions and celery very finely. Take a tall-sided,
heavy-based container: casserole dish or stockpot. Put the vegetables and butter in and
brown for 3 minutes. Add water. Once boiling, add the mussels and continue cooking over a
high heat. Allow precisely 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve piping hot still in
the pan together with fairly thick-cut chips or a salad. Throw away any unopened mussels.
Comme Chez Soi **
Bon-Bon *
San Daniele *
Place Rouppe 23 Rouppeplein
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 512 29 21
Avenue de Tervueren 453 Tervurenlaan
1150 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 346 66 15
Avenue Charles Quint 6 Keizer Karellaan
1083 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 426 79 23
Sea Grill **
Brasserie La Paix *
Senza Nome *
Rue Fossé aux Loups 47 Wolvengracht
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 212 08 00
Rue Ropsy-Chaudron 49 RopsyChaudronstraat, 1070 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 523 09 58
Rue Royale Sainte-Marie 22 Koninklijke
Sinte-Mariastraat, 1030 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 223 16 17
Châlet de la Forêt (Le) **
Jaloa *
Truffe Noire (La) *
Drève de Lorraine 43 Lorrainedreef
1180 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 374 54 16
Quai aux Barques 4 Schuitenkaai
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 513 19 92
Boulevard de la Cambre 12 Ter Kamerenlaan, 1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 640 44 22
Alexandre *
Kamo *
Va Doux Vent *
Rue du Midi 164 Zuidstraat
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 502 40 55
Avenue des Saisons 123 Jaargetijdenlaan, 1050 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 648 78 48
Rue des Carmélites 93 Karmelietenstraat
1180 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 346 65 05
Bruneau *
Avenue J & P Carsoel 17
J & P Carsoellaan, 1180 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 374 66 94
Avenue Broustin 73-75 Broustinlaan
1083 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 421 70 70
Passage (Le) *
06/09/2013 – 08/09/2013
“Laughter is to man what beer is to the pump”, said French writer Alphonse Allais. And as the one does not go without the other, we
cannot but celebrate the precious beverage that makes Belgium a unique country in that respect. A collection of ancient brewers’ vehicles and carts, presentation of new beers, beer tasting and concerts... In short, you will enjoy laughter and beer in excellent company!
Grand-Place/Grote Markt, 1000 Brussels
Given their barbecue, these “lunatics” will cook stoves “live” to the sounds of birds chirping in the Parc de la Woluwe. Friendly,
family and very urban, the seventh “Brussels Urban BBQ” awaits you, big and small, young and old, Brussels for a day or to celebrate together and in good spirits, the pleasure of eating in complete freedom within an urban space transformed into green
“dining room.”Bon appetit!
Parc de Woluwe, av. du Parc de Woluwe, 1150 Brussels
12/09/2013 – 15/09/2013
Over 30 restaurants, 6 regions around the world and a number of culinary experts will
demonstrate their talents and know-how, stretched out along a picturesque walk through
the Bois de la Cambre. Entrance is free.
Bois de la Cambre
Over 100 organic, local and slow-food producers, farmers and chefs especially gather in the heart of the capital city to share their
talents and love for good products. You will come across no less than 6 different themed areas promoting sustainable food: the
producers and farmers market, the Slow Food market, the organic market, the bread village, the counter of artisan brewers, the
fair-trade products.
Place des Palais / Parc de Bruxelles – Paleizenplein / Park van Brussel (Warande)
From 22/09/2013
Hinging on the philosophy of the Slow Food movement which is all about enjoying “good food raised in clean, safe conditions and
sold at a fair profit for the farmer”, Taste Brussels, an initiative of Karikol asbl (the Brussels Slow Food convivium), wants to show
a different side of Brussels, a city which thrives on its culinary heritage and traditions. Brussels, a city where its habitants, all
epicureans at heart, intend to develop and enjoy a healthy and responsible “art de vivre”, and most of all be proud to share it with
their hosts and foreign visitors. Brussels: a food-loving capital, a green city where it’s a pleasure to walk around, a city to explore
with all your senses.
14/11/2013 – 24/11/2013
For a full ten days, Flanders and Brussels host a multi-genre culinary showcase: tasting and sampling sessions, gourmet walks, literary festive dinners, these are some of the flavoursome activities
you are welcome to participate in during the Week of Taste which attracts about 50,000 visitors
each year.
The Brussels gastronomy summarizes the entire Belgian culinary culture with its weird-sounding dishes. It epitomizes all the best
this part of the Low Countries has to offer but can also fall back onto some quirky specialties. With a few exceptions, the Brussels
and Belgian gastronomies merrily intermingle with one another.
A few typically Brussels specialties:
Speculoos (in French and “speculaas” in
Flemish) is a traditional Belgian biscuit
initially baked to celebrate Saint Nicholas.
As December 6 approaches, these slightly browned short crust cookies thrive in
all patisserie shop windows. On the front
side are usually stamped images or figures of the life of the great Saint Nicholas.
Due to its success, you can find speculoos all year round in all sorts of shapes
and sizes, sometimes even covered with
delicious Belgian chocolate.
If you are looking for the “speculoos du
speculoos” then head for La Maison Dandoy. It’s pointless resisting these “homemade” biscuits with their rather intoxicating aroma.
Stoemp, a typically Brussels dish, associates mashed potatoes with vegetables.
These vegetables are generally chicory
(endives), Brussels sprouts, spinach,
carrots, turnip or onions. Stoemp is
served with mixed-in diced bacon and/
or sausages aside.
Pain à la grecque
Over two centuries ago, an abbey ran by
Augustine monks was located on the site
of the current Place De Brouckère, and
catered for the capital’s destitute. In a
neighbouring street, the Wolvengracht
(or rue Fossé-aux-Loups), the good fathers gave bread to the poor. This was
called “bruut van de grecht” (bread from
the ditch, “gracht” in Flemish and “fossé”
in French), or “grecht” in Brussels dialect. This has been distorted to the name
we know today. The famous “pain à la
grecque” has become more refined over
the years, taking on an elongated, golden
twisted shape, spiced with cinnamon and
sprinkled with crystallised sugar.
The term “caricoles” refers to sea snails
(buccinum undatum or whelk in English)
boiled in a very spicy broth and sold by
street vendors in Brussels. These street
vendors have been around for centuries, since the time when Brussels was
connected to the sea. As it is an ancient
Brussels culinary tradition, you rarely
have markets or fairground without their
“caricoles” vendor with their huge steaming casseroles.
The bloempanch (black pudding – “panch”
is what’s called “pens” elsewhere in Flanders and corresponds to the English word
“paunch”or sausage), is a typical pork
meat preparation originating from the
Marolles. It consists of a huge – about 15
centimetres in diameter – black pudding
studded with squares of pure white belly
fat. A true delicacy that is becoming rather
scarce nowadays.
The “ettekeis” (or Fromage de Bruxelles
– Brussels cheese) is what we may call
the dinosaur of our local gastronomic
culture: incredibly salty and stinky, typically Brussels cheese. Its rind is formed
by micro-organisms only present in the
ambient air of the capital (the same that
give us our lambic beers). Ettekeis, just
like bloempanch, is hard to get but if you
are so lucky, just try it out on a thick slice
of good sourdough bread.
The “pottekeis” is made by mixing (5050) “plattekeis” (a fresh sour cream kind
of like plain yogurt) and “ettekeis”. It is
served on a slice of bread sprinkled with
numerous thin slices of radish and a
healthy dose of grounded pepper. A real
treat with a fresh pint of gueuze!
Half en half
The Brusseleirs (true Brussels natives)
claim that the only genuine “half en half”
is a mixture of two different typical beer
types from Brussels: 50% lambic and 50%
faro. But if you order a “half en half” today, you’re more likely to get a glass filled
with a sweet half and half mixture of white
wine and champagne (or sparkling wine).
A delicious aperitif that will taste even
better in the remarkable art nouveau architecture of the Cirio brasserie (rue de
la Bourse 18 Beursstraat, 1000 Brussels).
But Brussels also flaunts other
jewels of Belgian gastronomy:
The cuberdons – also called “neuzeke”
or “Gentse neus” – are cone-shaped Belgian candies originating from Ghent in
Flanders and made of sugar, Arabic gum
and gelatin. The cuberdon is hard on the
outside and all soft and gooey on the
inside. They are usually raspberry flavoured. It’s important to taste them fresh
otherwise the syrupy inside crystallizes
and you miss the whole point. This is
also the reason why this product is not
exported outside our frontiers.
The waterzooi is a dish originating from
Ghent, a boiled water preparation initially mixing fish and vegetables (carrots
and leek as well as potatoes), spices and
cream. A variation for those who don’t
like fish: chicken waterzooi. Just as good!
“Vol-au-vent” is the name of a light (so
light it blows away with the wind – hence
its name), round shell of puff pastry, generally with a pastry lid. The pastry case
is served with a delicate filling of moist
chicken and mushroom sauce. A true
savoury pastry often served with a good
portion of Belgian chips!
La Brasserie de Bruxelles
On the menu: stoemp, waterzooi and
Brussels waffles!
Place de la Vieille-Halle-aux-Blés 39
Oud Korenhuis, 1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 513 98 12
La Taverne du Passage
It is amid an art deco backdrop, in the
heart of the elegant Galeries royales
Saint-Hubert, that you will zap away
a century and taste some Belgian
classics such as shrimp croquettes, “filet
américain” (raw minced beef), waterzooi
and many other faithful national dishes!
Galerie de la Reine 30 Koninginnegalerij
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 512 37 31
Les Brigittines
Aux Marches de la Chapelle
Bloempanch, Zenne pot, vol-au-vent
and Brussels beers are the top names
amongst a very varied choice of dishes.
Place de la Chapelle 5 Kapellemarkt
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 512 68 91
La Fleur en Papier Doré
La Fleur en Papier Doré is much more
than just an ordinary café. It has long
played a prevailing role in Brussels’
cultural life since it was the preferred
meeting place of the capital’s surrealistic
scene. On the menu: stoemp, pottekeis,
vol-au-vent, bloempanch, “kip-kap” (jellied pig cheeks) and “ballekes” (meat
balls) in tomato sauce – all delicious and
unpretentious Belgian culinary specimens that you will enjoy in a disconcerting melting pot decor dating back to the
20th century.
Rue des Alexiens 55 Cellebroersstraat
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 511 16 59
Théâtre Toone VII
The small tavern of this puppet theatre, located at the far end of Impasse
Sainte-Pétronille, is a place dear to Brussels locals. It seems like it has been stuck
in a time warp for centuries. Try out their
well-prepared pottekeis in all simplicity.
Impasse Sainte-Pétronille
rue du Marché-aux-Herbes 66
Grasmarkt 66
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 511 71 37
Homeland of surrealism, Brussels is a breeding ground for the most ingenious ideas. There is room for all concepts and
everything is possible! The Brussels native is curious by nature and open to all kinds of new encounters. Here is a sample of
Brussels’ inventiveness!
Hop Dog
And inventiveness is what this concept
has by the shiploads. Hop Dog proposes
a new take on the illustrious New-York
hot dog. There is no shortage of extreme
tasty hot dogs here to satisfy even the
most demanding foodies. Vegans also
are welcome to try the veggie and organic version of this American snack.
Rue des Fripiers 21 Kleerkopersstraat
1000 Brussels
La Cabane du Fou chantant
Believe it or not, but this is a place where
you can eat perched up in the trees.
Climb the stairs and you end up in a cosy
and comfortable cabin situated above
the ground for an exceptional dinner in
an intimate atmosphere.
Avenue de Fré 176 de Frélaan
1180 Brussels
Cook & Book
Keep on toasting
The tram-friterie
Resto Days
A restaurant set in the middle of a bookshop? Why not! Rediscover your favourite comic strip while ordering a tasty little dish. This place has become a must in
our capital city.
Chaussée de Waterloo 1357
Waterloosesteenweg, 1180 Brussels
Good news for Belgian chips lovers! In
Watermael-Boitsfort an old Brussels tram
will be transformed into a genuine “fritkot”
this summer. The tram-friterie is not open
yet but promises to be worth a visit.
Place Payfa-Fosseprez –
Payfa-Fosseprezplein, 1170 Brussels
Jean-Baptiste’s foodtruck (or rather topof-the-range mobile kitchen) offers gourmet grilled sandwiches: street food at its
best with organic bread and top ingredients. Check the Keep on toasting website
to see when it’s near you or even a bit further away!
The Resto Days allow you to enjoy a
classy lunch or dinner at light-weight
prices in the best restaurants Belgium
and therefore also Brussels have to offer: over 350 restaurants amongst which
24 Michelin-star houses propose lowpriced three-course menus.
Brussels is the place to be for gourmet tours and visits. Needless to say, you are spoilt for choice. The selection of organisations
below proposes not only guided tours but also mouth-watering tastings and discoveries.
Brussels by water
La Fonderie
Sterkmans Event
Quai des Péniches 2bis Akenkaai
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 203 64 06
Rue Ransfort 27 Ransfortstraat
1080 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 410 99 50
Galerie de la Reine 17 Koninginnegalerij
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)495 50 54 87
In & Out
Pro Velo
Sterrebeekstraat 108, 1930 Zaventem
T. +32 (0)2 713 27 24
Rue de Londres 15 Londenstraat
1050 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 502 73 55
Corduwaniersstraat 4A, 9000 Gent
T. +32 (0)9 233 76 89
Rue de l’Aqueduc 171
1050 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 541 03 77
Q-rius to taste
Geerwijnstraat 9, 8000 Brugge
T. +32 (0)50 44 12 81
More guided tours on
Here is a review of three mini-size maps to discover Brussels through its specialties.
Available for €0.50 at our information desks
BIP - rue Royale 2-4 Koningsstraat, 1000 Brussels or Town Hall, Grand-Place / Grote Markt, 1000 Brussels.
VISITBRUSSELS-sized for sweet tooths
sized for
50 €
Cougnous, cramiques, craquelins, couques, pistolets, boules de Berlin, bodding, spéculoos,
tartes au riz, tartes au sucre and waffles from Brussels or Liège... Alongside traditional bakery-patisserie specialities, some of Brussels’ artisans also offer more gourmet-style creations.
And all this besides being world famous for their chocolates and “pralines” (individual chocolates with delicious fillings). In addition, many shops also serve as “tea rooms” offering savoury
VISITBRUSSELS-sized for gourmets
sized for
Tastes and colours may be subjective but there are restaurants that meet with unanimous approval. On this map, we offer you a collection of the best of gastronomy in Brussels: Michelin-starred restaurants, cuisine from the sea, home grown or worldwide, savoury and sweet,
markets, organic food and even chip stalls and café-bars serving great beers.
50 €
VISITBRUSSELS-sized for typical food
sized for
50 €
Straightforward and generous, Brussels’ cuisine is just like its inhabitants: good produce, well
prepared, sometimes as great classic dishes, sometimes with the creativity of the new generation of chefs. The many cafés (where beer’s drunk more than coffee) are friendly and welcoming, whether they’re “stamcafés” (the regular’s haunts) or “eetcafés” (for a quick bite to eat). Not
forgetting the superstar: the “fritkot”, or chip stall, whose duty it is to serve hot chips (“French”
fried potatoes) in paper cones, freshly cooked in “blanc de bœuf” (beef fat) and served with an
impressive list of sauces.
Karikol is the Brussels Slow Food Convivium (which means “banquet” in Latin) – a local unit regrouping people determined to
support the slow food movement and what it stands for through encounters and activities. Naming it “Karikol” is a great way of
personalizing the movement as it embodies not only an ancient Brussels culinary tradition, but is also a great example of what
slow food represents: bringing good eating and conviviality together while supporting biodiversity, protecting the environment
and forging a direct connection between food producers and consumers and also highlighting the wide variety of cuisines available in the city.
Vzw Karikol ASBL
Rue Léopold 1er 357 Leopold I-straat, 1090 Brussels
T. +32 (0) 473 55 26 32
Rue Royale 2-4 Koningsstraat
1000 Brussels
Tel : + 32 (0) 2 513 89 40
Press :
Martha Meeze
Pierre Massart
Gary Divito
T +32 (0)2 549 50 93
T +32 (0)2 548 04 45
T +32 (0)2 548 04 46
Culture & leisure:
Catherine Dardenne
Emmanuelle Osselaer
Tineke De Waele
Brusselicious Project Manager
Olivier Marette
More information on
W W W. V I S I T B R U S S E L S . B E
© PHOTOS: VISITBRUSSELS|M.Vanhulst|E.Danhier|M.Zunini|L.Viatour
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