Brussels gastronomy has a long history with deep-rooted traditions, quality produce and bold flavours. Among the many Belgian specialities, three are long-standing favourite taste-sensations, emblematic of Brussels.
Chocolate is undoubtedly the best-known and most-exported gourmet product. Neatly arranged in ballotin boxes, pralines (invented in Brussels) are true jewels. World-renowned chocolatiers like Frédéric Blondeel, Godiva, Laurent Gerbaud, Mary, Neuhaus, Pierre Marcolini, Wittamer can be found in the Galeries de la Reine, around the Sablon and elsewhere.… Moreover, several places – such as Belgian Chocolate Village and Choco-Story Brussels – are devoted to the discovery of chocolate. And, finally, the annual Salon du Chocolat/Chocoladesalon (Chocolate Fair) has become a not-to-miss event for chocolate lovers and professional chocolate makers alike.
Beer is the favourite beverage Brussels citizens and its visitors. From casks or bottles, it flows by the gallon. It may be natural or perfumed, simple or sophisticated. Today, several well-known brewers continue to produce in the Region: Brasserie Cantillon, known all over the world; Brasserie de la Senne, the Brussels Beer Project and, most recently, En Stoemelings. Every year, during Beer Weekend, the Grand-Place and its surrounding area are the scene of tastings of the best of Belgian beer.
Frites stalls, also called friteries, or fritkots in Brussels parlance, fill street corners, squares and fairs with their delicious smell. If there are some stand-out addresses (the friteries on the Place Jourdan, the Place Flagey, the Place de la Chapelle…) the best friterie no doubt will be the one that travellers come across and that tempts their taste buds during their visit to Brussels.
The other characteristic of Brussels gastronomy is its incredible diversity. Italian, Spanish, Irish and Portuguese food is on the menu. Or more exotic cuisine from Asia or Africa. There is plenty of choice with all the restaurants serving the cuisines of different nations. Like everyday life in Brussels, the food is a palette of many colours. The more than 2.000 restaurants in Brussels make it possible to discover the flavours of the world.
Finally, Brussels’ gastronomy is part of a way of life that can be appreciated in a thousand and one different ways, far beyond the four walls of a classic restaurant. Brussels offers the opportunity to eat under the stars with “Dinner in the Sky”; to meet the greatest chefs in the Realm at “Culinaria”; to enjoy a gourmet meal on the “Tram Experience”, travelling the entire city from one end to the other; to discover the Brussels restaurants installed over a long weekend in the Parc de Bruxelles/Warandepark during “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX”; or, just to grab a snack during the Foodtruck Festival, the most important gathering of food trucks in Europe.
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