Brussels is an enormous multicultural hub that all kinds of people call their home. On one corner the Congolese rumba can be heard playing, while on the other is a Moroccan bakery with super sweet delicacies. The same diversity can be found in the cuisine around the city center, with numerous restaurants serving food from all around the world. Here we explore 10 of the best restaurants around Brussels’ Grand Place.
One of the best places for Belgian cuisine around the Grand Place is Le Plattesteen. The restaurant’s motto could easily be ‘when in Belgium, do as the Belgians do.’ Local products, simple and generously portioned dishes and a typical Bruxellois interior define Le Plattesteen. The Flemish potato purée and meatballs are a must, and so is the Belgian beer. If you want sophisticated fine dining, you won’t find it at Le Plattesteen. If you want delicious, hearty food that gives you a warm feeling from head to toe, then do not miss out on this restaurant.
Every city has its Italian restaurants, but Osteria A l’Ombra is something quite special. Located in a former butcher’s shop a stone’s throw from the Grand Place, this minuscule restaurant serves some of the best Italian food you can find. The tortellini with black truffle is divine, the pasta is freshly made and the wines match the food perfectly. What is especially charming about this little restaurant is the long table in the middle for shared dining with other bon vivants.
Ricotta & Parmesan is an excellent choice for Italian cuisine in Brussels. Specializing in antipasti, this is the place for endless rounds of entrées, though the lasagna is not to be missed either. The brick walls, low ceiling and atmospheric lights make sure the restaurant is cozy and pleasant. Ricotta & Parmesan is the perfect place for an intimate, romantic dinner or relaxing evening with friends.
La Maison des Crèpes on the corner of the Rue des Pierres and the Rue du Midi seems to belong on a Paris postcard. The beautiful place is reminiscent of an old French café in Montmartre and is perfect for lunch with friends and family, as long as they are true crepe-lovers. As the name suggests, you can only get crepes at La Maison des Crèpes: savory, sweet, with fruit or with mushrooms, with meat and cheese; you name it and it’s yours. Children can’t get enough and after tasting the food, you’ll have to admit, neither can you.
If you like Marrakesh, you will love La Kasbah. The 120 colorful lanterns covering the ceiling create the atmosphere of an old Moroccan medina. The food is authentic as well, with perfectly seasoned couscous and a large array of tajines, of which the lamb tajine with plums and almonds is especially delicious. Along with a wonderful variety of dishes, the menu has an excellent selection of original Moroccan or Algerian wines to accompany the food.
Though more of a snack bar than a real restaurant, the food at Thai Talks deserves its spot among Grand Place’s best places to eat. It serves without a doubt the best Thai food in Brussels, and you’ll be delighted with the positive energy in the kitchen, which carries through to your plate. The food is hot, spicy, and delicious, and is all made using authentic ingredients and techniques. Although at times there may be a queue of hungry diners, this only speaks to the popularity and quality of the restaurant, and the food is well worth it the wait.
For those who love mezze, Al Barmaki is a must-visit. Mezze is a selection of small sized hot and cold dishes to be placed in the middle of the table and shared with your companions, and Al Barmaki serves the best in town. Lebanese food is universally accepted as delicious but Al Barmaki takes it to a higher level. The hummus, the typically Lebanese falafel and kebbe are fantastic, and so are the kebabs. The soft-colored walls decorated with mosaics give the restaurant itself an authentic Middle Eastern appearance.
Restaurant ‘T Kelderke isn’t just a catch for its food, but also for its location. Right in the heart of Brussels, at the famous Grand Place itself, ‘T Kelderke is the ideal place to enjoy a balmy evening on the terrace, mesmerized by the twinkling lights behind the surrounding old buildings. Inside the restaurant you find yourself in an old basement-like space with a soft blazing fire, perfect for a cold winter night. The food itself is quite classic and old-fashioned, and focuses on French-Flemish cuisine, the mussels à la Provençale are simply divine.
This fine Greek restaurant is easy to miss when you walk past it, as the outside looks rather unremarkable. El Greco, however, is a hidden gem. The scents of gyros and grilled sardines entice diners, and once inside, there is an abundance of tasty dishes to choose from. Sitting outside on the terrace guests can see the Grand Place and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the neighborhood.
Le Cercle des Voyageurs is the hot spot for globetrotters. A menu like a world map, with options as diverse as Cambodian salad and Brazilian fish stew, a library with travel guides and a garden with an original twist all come together to make this restaurant a must-visit. It has a marvelous interior, with a wall made of hundreds of old suitcases, leather chairs and dark painted walls, which give this resto-bar a neo-colonial feel.