Belgium boasts a proud tradition of food and beers. From Belgian fries, mussels, cheeses and chocolate to the world-famous beers, there is a wide variety and deep pride that goes with the cuisine. A Belgian feast typically offers large portions (gourmands) with a wide range of foods from which to choose. The basics are similar to most, with beef, pork, chicken and seafood very common, while rabbit and horse may also feature, along with a wide range of salads.
As any true Belgian will tell you, potatoes are a genuine staple, with many locals having a potato dish of some sort at least once a day, and certainly fries once a week at least. Belgians lay a fierce claim to inventing fries. What differentiates Belgium fries from the French fry is that Belgian fries are thicker and usually fried in animal fat. Frituurs (usually mobile constructions) can be found in most of the many squares in the city and are popular lunch-time hangouts featuring menus ranging from fries to chicken wings, sausages and hamburgers. Seafood is also very popular in Brussels. Mussels in Brussels is a typical meal in the city. There are many restaurants that specialize in mussels, often offering dozens of different preparations. Desserts are very popular and there is a choice for every taste. Waffles and chocolate are a famous Belgian tradition with shops littered around the city specializing in countless varieties.
As with waffles and chocolate, so it is with beer and cheeses. There are dozens of cheeses and hundreds of different beers in Belgium. The beers ranges from light beers (lagers) to white beers, to dark ales, ranging in strength with some over 11%. To beer enthusiasts, there are Belgian books and diaries in bookshops around the city where it is possible to buy guides on the many beers and some have pages to write your own opinion and rate the beers you have tried. Most restaurants and bars in the city will feature several different options, while some bars will have several hundred beers that can be enjoyed there. Another recommendation for beer-lovers is a trip to a Trappist brewery. Belgium is a small country so all breweries are within a 2 hour drive of Brussels.
Those hankering for something different need not worry. Brussels, as a truly international and cosmopolitan city, offers the most popular dining options from around the world. There are many supermarket chains that stock most ingredients you need, with their abundance making it convenient regardless of where you are in the city. Some specialist supermarkets do exist as well that specialize in British, American, Indian, Moroccan and South African specialties among others. Prices of restaurants and supermarkets in Brussels compare favourably with most Western European capital cities.