Brussels might just be paradise on earth for foodie travelers with a sweet tooth (but not only)! And, believe me, it has so much more to offer than its world-famous chocolate. So if you’re ready to eat your way through the Belgian capital, here’s a list of 5 popular Belgian foods you can’t miss next time you find yourself in Brussels, Belgium… and where to find them!
Speculoos biscuits have got to be every Belgian’s Madeleine de Proust (it certainly is one of mine). They’re usually made with a mix of spices (nutmeg, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and clove) and are traditionally baked for Saint Nicolas/Sinter Klaas, though you can find them in any Belgian supermarket year-round. Crispy, spicy, and overall fabulous… What else could you ask for?
In Belgium, you will also find a whole range of speculoos flavoured products: bread spread, ice cream, chocolate and all kinds of desserts such as tiramisu, pannacotta, macarons… which you are likely to find on the menu of many restaurants (you can even find Speculoos MacFlurry at Mc Donald’s).
But what does it actually taste like? Well, it looks like you’ve just found something to add to your Brussels bucket list 😉
Where to find the best speculoos in Brussels?
Elisabeth Chocolatier! And if you’re not a fan of the spices traditionally found in speculoos biscuits, you will also find vanilla flavoured speculoos at their lovely store!
They’re obviously more expensive than the ones you’ll find at the supermarket, but there’s just no comparision in terms of taste and quality! The best proof of this is that I ate the whole bag in one day… oops.
Price range: €€
2. Belgian Fries
Ironically world known as “French fries”, you will definitely find the best ones in Belgium. And Brussels has countless options to offer!
While in Belgium, the most challenging part about ordering French fries (or frites as we call them here in French) is definitely choosing the sauce.
You could go for the classic ketchup or mayonnaise, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you might be tempted by:
• Cocktail: mayonnaise + ketchup + Worcester sauce + whiskey + tabasco
• Andalouse: mayonaise + tomato paste + bell pepper
• Tartare: mayonnaise + chopped capers
• Brazil: mayonnaise + pineapple + curry
• Samurai: mayonnaise + ketchup + harissa
And the list goes on and on… and on.
Even though many of them are mayonnaise-based, you’d be surprised how different they all taste. Fruity, creamy or spicy, you can be sure you’ll find one you like.
Oh and the secret to Belgium fries taste and crispiness? They’re usually fried twice!
Where to find the best fries in Brussels?
Well, this is actually a huge debate around here ;p. To be honest, I don’t even have an ultimate favorite myself as there are many great spots in Brussels. However, I can definitely recommend any of these 3:
• Frietland in the city centre next to the Grand Place
• Chez Gorgette in the city centre close to rue des Bouchers
• La Maison Antoine located on Place Jourdan (European quarter) has become a real institution in Brussels overtime. It opened in 1948. Three generations later, you can stillregularly see people queuing in front of La Maison Antoine to get their “frites”.
Price range: €
Cuberdons might be Belgium’s best-kept secret! This traditional coned shaped candy originally tasted like raspberry but modern ones come in a variety of tastes and colours: strawberry, pear, apple, orange, lemon, blueberry, blackcurrent you name it!
The legend has it that Cuberdons were created by mistake by De Vynck – a pharmacist from Ghent – in 1873.
If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely the one for you! The hard exterior contains a kind of syrupy and sweet liquid. It’s pretty unique; I’ve never found anything similar anywhere else.
Where to find the best Cuberdons in Brussels?
La Belgique Gourmande is my go to place for Cuberdons in Brussels!
Though if you’re visiting Brussels during the colder months (November-early January), make sure to buy some at Brussels Christmas Market, Winter Wonders.
My personal favorite? Lemon without a doubt 🙂
Price range: €€
4. Liège waffles or Brussels waffles
Did you know that there is no such thing as “Belgian waffles”? In Belgium, we call them Liège or Brussels waffles.
Brussels waffles are rectangular and tend to be lighter & crispier. Liège waffles on the other hand have irregular edges and a thicker texture. They do have one thing in common though: they’re both to die for!
Where to find the best waffles in Brussels?
Brussels waffles: Waffle factory which is one of the only spots that advertise homemade waffles. It is located rue du Lombard 30, next to the Manneken Pis
Liège waffles: Vitalgaufre located in rue Neuve 23/29 in the city centre (or at Debrouckère metro station) is my personal favorite!
Price range: €-€€
5. Belgian Chocolate and pralines
It is literally impossible to make a list of the most popular Belgian foods without mentioning chocolate & pralines, right? 😉
Where to find the best chocolate in Brussels?
There are many different brands available in Brussels, for all tastes and all budgets! Here’s an idea per brand and price range for 500 g (around 35-40 chocolates per box).
High end €€€: Mary, Neuhaus, Godiva, Marcolini
Mid-range €€: La Belgique Gourmande, Elisabeth chocolatier
You can find all these chocolate shops in the city centre or very closeby! And if you’d like to make your own chocolates and learn all the tips and tricks behind their making, there’s another workshop for you!
Bonus: macarons from La Belgique Gourmande
Ok, they might not be typically Belgian but are they good! And there’s always a good excuse to ear macarons, right? 😉
I can’t recommend La Belgique Gourmande’s caramel and strawberry/vanilla macarons enough!
I hope this guide has helped you make your Brussels bucket list a little longer! Let me know which popular Belgian foods sound the most tempting to you! I’m super curious 😀 You can find me @rosesandpostcards on Instagram.
See you xx