The Best Bars and Cafés in Ixelles, Brussels

Lively evenings at Café Belga | Courtesy of Café Belga
Lively evenings at Café Belga | Courtesy of Café Belga
Elsene for the Flemish, Ixelles for the Walloons, this hyperlocal yet international neighbourhood shows a part of the capital that is, in some parts, still unexplored by the masses of tourists. Multicultural, bilingual and very, very Brussels, Ixelles is a fantastic neighbourhood to discover. So move away from the beaten tourist path, and imagine yourself a local, with a beer in your hand, of course.

Karsmakers Coffee House

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Enjoy a Frappuccino in the garden | Courtesy of Karsmakers Coffee House
Enjoy a Frappuccino in the garden | Courtesy of Karsmakers Coffee House
Located near the European Quarter, Karsmakers Coffee House is, in short, a great place for some excellent morning coffee and a bagel during lunchtime. You can relax on the soft sofas or settle down in the cosy little garden to enjoy a rare sunny day in Brussels. You can even order your lunch or snack in English, the staff speak it very well.
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Café Belga

Cafe, Belgian, Pub Grub, $$$
Behind the bar at Cafe Belga
Behind the bar at Cafe Belga | © Alper Çuğun/Flickr
Whether you’re after brunch, lunch, or just some coffee, Café Belga has all of this and more. Found at the lively Place Flagey and located within the historic Radio House, this café is laid-back during the day and packed in the evening. The evening live concerts are great, and often you’ll find people dancing inside or on the terrace. The view and atmosphere on the terrace are marvellous by the way, when the weather allows it.
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L'Amère à Boire

Bar, Belgian, $$$
Several choices for bottled beer
Several choices for bottled beer | ©TheDigitel Beaufort/Flickr
The name of this bar translates to ‘the bitter drink’. Not that there’s anything bitter about this bar, it’s the place to be for beer enthusiasts. The large variety of beers (L’Amère à Boire serves about a hundred different kinds), shows the bar’s great love for the national drink. The passion for beers also shows in the selection of fine quality brews. So join the drinking students, the locals and the beer fans on a taste exploration through the Belgian world of hop and brew, close to the Place Flagey.
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Le Tavernier

Bar, Pub, Contemporary, Pub Grub, Belgian, $$$

Some bars are easily found in city centres, while others are hidden gems in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Le Tavernier obviously belongs in the second category. The heated outdoor terrace is a great place to sit at any season, and the many drink options and live concerts will make you want to stay longer. If live music isn’t for you, you can relax on the comfortable sofas of the first floor and watch a sports game on the big screen with the other Brussels residents.

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Bar, Restaurant, Belgian, $$$
Cosy and lively, an evening at 77 Bar easily turns into a spontaneous party among strangers. Besides having a vibrant ambiance, 77 Bar has a large selection of beers and hosts sporting events. Not that you’ll do sports at the bar, it’s for the supporters and the fans. 77 Bar is also a bit of a restaurant, you can try out a large variety of dishes and snacks. But what makes this bar really unique is that you can fill up your glass yourself, as there are beer pumps at the tables.
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Cafe, Coffee
The go-to place for the young, artistic crowd, Flip is a calm café, with a hipster-like atmosphere and a friendly barman, where you can just take it easy with some beer and excellent music, perhaps trying out the pool table. Creative minds come together here in the vintage interior where the art pieces are sometimes on sale. It’s a great place to go when you just want to unwind in a world of art, with beer, of course.
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These recommendations were updated on January 9, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.