The Flemish carbonnade is associated with pieces of beef cooked in beer, with gingerbread and mustard. Do you know the origin of the Flemish stew? The word ‘carbonnade’ comes from the word ‘coal’, because traditionally this dish was simmered for a long time on coal coals, especially by the workers in the coal mines.
> Where to taste it? Nüetnigenough, 100% local and friendly establishment in the historical heart of Brussels.
Have you ever tasted a Waterzooi? Mainly cooked in winter, Waterzooi means “boiling water” in Flemish due to the broth made from carrots, celery, leeks and potatoes. This broth is then mixed with egg yolk and cream for a creamy texture. Waterzooi was originally prepared with fish, but it is now common to cook it with chicken.
Anecdote: The waterzooi is featured several times in Asterix in Belgium!
> Where to taste it? C’est bon C’est belge, Delicatessen, caterer and restaurant 100% specialties and traditional Belgian dishes.
“Chicons au gratin”
Are you an art lover? Then this museum is made for you. In the heart of the Place Royale, the Magritte Museum, dedicated to the surrealism, owns the world’s largest collection of the Belgium artist René Magritte. Every year, more than 300,000 visitors come here for all over the world to discover his life and the 230 works of the artist on display in the museum. What’s more, you can also enjoy temporary exhibitions.
> Where to taste it? Le Prétexte, typical Brasserie.
A Belgian classic that needs no introduction! Originally from Namur, the first frites were created when the Meuse was frozen and no longer allowed to catch fish. Do you know the secret of these Belgian fries? It lies in the cooking technique: they are first cooked in beef fat and then cooked a second time at a different temperature.
> Where to taste it? Just wander around the city and you’ll come around many places selling fries. For example, Café Georgette, next to the Royal Galleries.
If you are visiting Brussels, a Belgian beer tasting is a must! According to a 2018 study, the average Belgian consumes 252 litres of beer per year. There are more than 2500 varieties of Belgian beer. The “Belgian beer culture” has even been listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO since 2016. A classic in a Belgian bar? The Duvel, for example.
> Where to taste it? As you can imagine, there are many beer bars to discover in Brussels. To name just one, you can go to Délirium Café, where you can taste Belgian beers but also more than 2000 beers from around the globe.
A monument of Belgian gastronomy, the smell of waffles in the streets of Brussels will not escape you! Try the light, rectangular Brussels waffles and the round, caramelised Liège waffles to choose your favourite. A little extra: discover also the Flemish waffles filled with brown sugar.
> Where to taste it? An idea for an address among the many waffle shops: Aux Gaufres De Bruxelles, next to the hotel and Grand Place.
Brussels, the world capital of chocolate, is a magnet for chocolate lovers. Between shops, workshops, events or museums (see our blog article Top 10 museums), Belgian chocolate is in the spotlight. By the way, do you know what pralines are? Created in 1857 in a pharmacy by Jean Neuhaus, the praline is a filled chocolate that you will find in many varieties.
> Where to taste it? For an original experience, discover Pierre Marcolini‘s masterpieces, with their modern aesthetics and delicate flavors, in the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert.
Cramique is a brioche bread filled with raisins. This brioche originates from Belgium and is also found in the north of France and in Luxembourg. The cramique is usually eaten for breakfast and snack, most often sliced, with butter, jam or cocoa. It is also served plain or as a toasted slice to accompany foie gras. The cramique owes its success to the combination of the softness of its dough and the grapes with which it is filled.
> Where to taste it? You will find this pastry in many bakeries in Brussels, such as Aux Merveilleux de Fred, next to the Grand Place.
When it comes to the classic dishes of Belgian cuisine, moules-frites is certainly a popular choice. From the Belgian coast to the streets of Brussels, most people are familiar with the large steaming pots laden with mussels coated with a white wine sauce and drizzled with fresh herbs and vegetables.Did you know that there is also a day dedicated to mussels fries? Well, on the Belgian bank holidays, 21 July, a big mussels and chips dinner is organised on the Place du Jeu de Balle: not to be missed!
> Where to taste it? Chez Léon, a small estaminet dedicated to mussels and typical Belgian dishes – a must in Brussels.
The delicious grey shrimp croquettes originated during the First World War and were one of the soldiers’ meals. The croquettes are made of béchamel sauce and shrimp, then coated with breadcrumbs and fried. Did you know: It is said that Belgians eat no less than 4 and a half million kilos of shrimp per year!
> Where to taste it? At Fernand Obb Delicatessen, awarded best Brussels grey shrimp croquette two years in a row