Charleroi might not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re looking for a good meal. But thanks to the city’s industrial past, you can find most flavours of the world here. A mostly working class town, cheap eats are a dime a dozen in Charleroi, but these six options stand out in quality, atmosphere, and service.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
In the centre of Charleroi, a short walk from the city hall, you’ll find 2 Fenêtres restaurant. A nice and cosy place with big windows, 2 Fenêtres serves hearty Italian food based on family recipes. The owner is highly likely to be your server and she gives great personal wine recommendations. Very vegetarian-friendly in general, 2 Fenêtres has a Veggie Thursday where they serve vegetarian meals only. Gluten-free options are available on request every day.
Restaurant, French, $$$
This popular neighbourhood restaurant has been around since 1993 and is run by Christophe Duchêne, or Duche for short. Serving excellent and very moderately priced French cuisine, this place can get busy real quick, so make sure to book a reservation if you really want a table. Chez Duche is not a very big restaurant and tables are quite close together, so depending on the crowd it can get a bit noisy at times. On the weekend, there is no fixed menu. The chef picks a theme and cooks whatever he feels like. The house specialty is horse meat.
Restaurant, French, $$$
Chef Stéphane Chermanne earned his stripes in the kitchen at Brussels’ top restaurant Comme Chez Soi many years ago, and this experience still shines through in the excellent food at Restaurant Chermanne. The chef grows his own vegetables and knows the right season for every ingredient. Restaurant Chermanne also has a very contemporary interior, but still feels homely and romantic.
Restaurant, Asian, Chinese, $$$
If you’re looking for something a little less fancy or just a quick bite to eat, Chez Minh is the place to be. This no-nonsense Chinese restaurant offers great value for money and is a favourite among locals. The service is great and the waiters love to crack a joke. After your meal you can opt for a (facial) massage.
Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$
Not exactly in the city centre, but easy to reach by metro or bus, this Portuguese restaurant is worth going a little off the beaten tourist path for. If grilled meat or large fish dishes are your thing, Portus Cale is where you’ll want to be. The wine menu offers a good selection of mostly Portuguese wine and after your meal you can enjoy an Amendoa Amarga, a bitter almond flavoured liqueur from Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal.
Restaurant, Greek, $$$
Next to Parc Charleroi you’ll find Delphes, the best Greek restaurant in town. Walking through the door, you instantly imagine yourself on the Mediterranean, with the yellow tablecloths, wooden chairs, and Greek-style paintings covering the walls. Greek cuisine is not known for its vegetarian options, but Delphes offers a few great meat-free dishes.