Belgian bars are often known for serving fresh, delicious, locally brewed beers you cannot find elsewhere. In Brussels, there are also quirky bars popular among tourists and locals for their cute or creepy decorations, a record-breaking long list of drinks or lovely, furry staff. Read on to find out where to experience the most bizarre joints in Brussels.
The first cat cafe in Brussels (In courtesy of Le Chat Touille)
Le Chat Touille
Bar, Cafe, Healthy, Vegetarian, $$$
Cute decorations in the family-friendly milk bar (In courtesy of Le Balmoral Milk Bar)
Based on the cat café concept originated from Asia, Le Chat Touille is a cosy little place to wind down for feline fans. The cafe is equipped with scratching posts and cat trees as well as toys for guests to play with attention seeking kitties. The cats here come from Maison de Suzy, an animal shelter in the city and are ready for adoption. Here you can have a cup of tea or coffee, treat yourselves to real meals like salads and crêpes made from fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Watch out for the gourmand cats who may try to drink in your cup or steal your food.
This obscure boudoir was once a brothel (In courtesy of Goupil Le Fol)
Stepping into this bar, you may feel like going inside a ‘fantastic Barbie world’. All the walls are painted in pink, covered with Coca Cola posters, licence plates, posters of American icons from Marilyn Monroe to Elvis Presley and Betty Boop figurines. Their menu is vast, ranging from bagels, burgers, sandwiches to Italian and Tex-Mex delights. Weight watchers can pick from more than 10 kinds of salads, various detox juices, almond milk based smoothies, and yogurt with muesli or cereals. Le Balmoral Milk Bar is also a family friendly bar with several play areas for kids, featuring a mini slide, a huge screen showing Disney channel, PlayStation consoles and arcade machines.
Sleepless in Brussels? Check out Goupil Le Fol, a weird and strange bar open until 3am just a few steps from the Grand Place. Getting through the narrow entrance, you will find yourself in a bizarre bazaar of vintage portraits, old books and vinyls, and a mish-mash of taxidermies. Get away from the tourist crowds; here you can sink into an old ragged couch and sip some fruity wine while listening to Edith Piaf or Jacques Brel played from the juke box. Not many know that this dimly lit boudoir with tiny cubbyholes on both floors was a brothel in the past. Today, Goupil Le Fol is not just a charming dive bar, it is also must see in the centre of Brussels.
There's something for everyone at Green Lab | (In courtesy of Green Lab)
Would you like sit at tables made of actual coffins and drink from a skull mug? Located in proximity to Grand Place, Le Cercueil is a quirky bar where you celebrate Halloween any day of the year. The decoration, featuring glow-in-the-dark skeletons, black velvet hangings, wreaths and scary framed pictures, creates a morbid atmosphere all over the tiny tavern. Calm yourself with the bar’s wide selection of alcohol, especially Belgian beers on tap at reasonable prices. With metal music constantly playing out loud, this spooky cocktail bar is a place to see rather than to chitchat with friends.
While Delirium has broken the Guinness record for the largest number of beers, Green Lab, the bar with the largest number of gins in Belgium, is another record breaking spot. In this new bar located in the posh Louise area, you will find young couples and friends sipping huge glasses of gin and tonics garnished with fresh cucumber slices, rose petals, and Belgian specialties such as chocolate and endives. Besides more than 200 kinds of gins, the bar also serves a wide selection of beers and spirits, so there’s something for everyone. As its name suggest, the bar is lit up by green neon lights in an industrial decor featuring vintage music instruments, wooden tables and steel chairs on first floor. If you’re looking for an intimate space, head upstairs and settle in a comfy sofa next to the window looking down the busy crossroad. Enjoy your drink and watch the world go by, inside and outside.