Mer du Nord
Not only a fish shop, La Mer du Nord – Noordzee – is a true Belgian institution in Brussels for anyone who wants to enjoy seafood at reasonable prices. Looking for a place to have a glass of wine and eat some fresh fish? This is the one for you. The concept is simple: order at the counter, give your name, grab a table across the street and enjoy your meal. Make sure to give the Belgian shrimp croquettes a try.
With a simultaneously modern and minimalist decoration, this cozy Japanese restaurant serves tasty bowls of ramen noodles. Deciding to give priority to the quality of their products rather than the quantity, the restaurant provides a short menu from which you can choose among five different bowls: miso, soy sauce, kara miso, tonkotsu, and the vegetarian. All broths are slow-cooked between one and two days, and then served with noodles imported from Japan, complete with toppings like vegetables, pieces of pork from Malmédy and an egg. Umamido, or translated as, ‘the way of the savory,’ takes on its full meaning here.
Forget about other sushi chains, Makisu gives you the opportunity to create your own maki with fresh products. After having chosen your style of maki, pick a protein, like fish (salmon, tuna) or chicken, then add some veggies and top it off with your choice of sauce. If you aren’t feeling particularly creative, simply pick some of the already-prepared maki sold by the eight piece pack. For only 2.50 Euros, feel free to add to your menu a miso soup or some fresh edamame. With more than 30 ingredients, maki combinations are infinite at Makisu.
Makisu, Rue de Flandre, 6, Brussels, Belgium, +32 02 513 81 31
Jack O’Shea Chophouse
Jack O’Shea and his team welcome you to his ranch on Saint-Catherine street. With his convivial and fancy steakhouse, the famous Irish butcher is a requirement to visit for carnivores in Brussels. All the classic cuts of meat figure are on the menu, such as Angus fillet, US beef rib eye, or lamb chops served with cherry tomatoes or jacket potatoes and a sauce of your choice. Let yourself succumb to the smell of meat from Jack’s grill, you won’t regret it.
Jack O’Shea Chophouse, Rue Ste Catherine, 32, Brussels, Belgium, +32 02 503 36 61
Another option for meat lovers is Amadeo, a concept restaurant imported from the Belgian city Ghent. Seated at a little table with vichy red and white tablecloths, you can eat endless spare ribs with a delicious jacket potato. Enjoy your meal in a vintage atmosphere, with red lights and music from the ’30s, in a room filled with tons of books and pictures. Need to feel far away from home at meal time? Amadeo has a seat for you.
Amadeo, Rue St Catherine, 26, Brussels, Belgium, +32 495 167 753
Le Fourneau de Bruxelles
Previously called Le Fourneau Ibérique, this Spanish restaurant gives prominence to the gourmet tapas created by the two cooks, Tony Rodriguez and Raul Sierra, in their huge open kitchen. Made with local produce, their food is an ode to Spain and Portugal and their sunny Iberian cooking. In a softened and classy atmosphere, make sure to try the raw tuna tataki with its spicy avocado mix or the Iberian ham with a tasty southern wine.
Le Fourneau de Bruxelles, Place Ste Catherine, 8, Brussels, Belgium, +32 02 513 10 02
Toukoul is an Ethiopian restaurant and bar where you are totally immersed in exotic Africa. In this restaurant, the rule is to share a big platter made with succulent flavor combinations, and to simply eat it with your hands or with the injera, a typical Ethiopian flatbread. From Thursday to Saturday, the bar also organizes concerts with local bands.
Toukoul, Rue de Laeken, 34, Brussels, Belgium, +32 02 223 73 77
Not far from the canal, Chicago Café is another reason to come hang out in Saint-Catherine. This hip canteen with its vintage and industrial look proposes different types of meals from the morning to the end of the day, like breakfast, burgers, quesadillas, pasta or the daily special. You can also opt for the Sunday brunch in a friendly atmosphere. There’s a kid’s corner if you come with your family.
Chicago Café, Rue de Flandre, 45, Brussels, Belgium, +32 02 502 18 41
Les Filles, Plaisirs Culinaires
Les Filles, a house repurposed into a restaurant, is the kind of place you could stay for hours. It makes you feel like you’re at a friend’s home for dinner. Choose from a seasonal menu composed of two starters, a main meal and a dessert cooked with only organic local produce. In the main room, there are a few long wood tables where meals are shared, creating a family atmosphere. The owners, a group of girls, welcome you to their cozy house, not only to enjoy their home-made food, but also to take a cooking class or shop at the delicatessen on the ground floor. Be sure to also enjoy their lovely brunch on the weekends.
The restaurant Gramm reflects head chef Erwan Kenzo Nakata’s desire to reinvent Eurasian cooking with fresh organic food mixed in a delicate way. This self-taught cook, who is half Breton and half Japanese, proposes modern and trendy bistro food. There is only one menu, which changes every week, as well as an attractive wine list with knowledgeable suggestions from the staff for the assortment of the dishes. The tasty cuisine is as surprising in your mouth as it is to your eyes.
Gramm, Rue de Flandre, 86, Brussels, Belgium, +32 495 10 18 22