Belgium is noted for its cuisine and Brussels offers a great number of restaurants with a wide selection of local and international foods. Restaurant opening hours differ according to the establishment and location. Some are open from lunch until late at night, while some are open for just lunch and dinner, or just dinner. It is generally recommended to call ahead for reservations, in particular for evenings, as people in Brussels do enjoy going out for dinner.
Brussels is full of people from many parts of the world, therefore you can expect a wide range of international dining options, from Turkish, Moroccan, African, Latin American, Asian to European. The standards go from fast-food joints to gourmet establishments with everything in between. Spicy foods are rather harder to find as many are toned down to cater to generally less tolerant palates. If you like spicy, though, there are some and finding them is a pleasant voyage of discovery that will take you to many interesting parts of the city. The diversity in food, the different settings of where you dine, and the more than vast choice of restaurants are guaranteed to ensure you will never get bored of dining out in Brussels.
Probably the most famous Belgian “dish” is fries, known locally as “frites“. Nearly every restaurant you go to will serve fries but some of the most popular places to buy them are at “frituurs“, small, often mobile constructions found in many squares and streets throughout the city. These are a particularly popular lunchtime hang-out and long lines can be found. They also sell a host of other fast-foods. Other popular local dishes include mussels, pasta, Flemish Hotpot, beef casseroles, steak, and a variety of seafood and will almost always be offered with fries and a number of other vegetable dishes. Dining in Brussels is a high-point amongst expats and locals, be it for local or foreign foods and it is a great city for people who like to dine out. Restaurants of all sorts are literally littered around the city and there is sure to be a restaurant for even the fussiest eater.
Below are a few places to find restaurants in the city and see reviews. The local newspapers carry advertisements and reviews as well and the websites listed below do not by any means cover the many restaurants in the city. In time you will discover your own favorites as well as receive recommendations from friends, colleagues and other expats.
- Restopass – A unique manner of discovering new restaurants is through http://www.restopass.com/belgium/index.html. This website offers a discount card for 30 restaurants offering potential savings of up to 1,500€ and can be used once at each restaurant selected to participate. The card costs 35€ and it is a great way to get to know restaurants in the city and provides an enjoyable way of discovering your personal favorites.
- http://www.resto.be/ware/index.jsp – This website helps you find particular restaurants in the city by name, cuisine and price.
- http://www.thebackpacker.net/travel-guide/world-restaurants/belgium/brussels/brussels/ – This website provides customer ratings, reviews and recommendations on not too pricey restaurants in the city.