The Best Cultural Cafés near Rue Dansaert, Belgium

Brussels has much to offer, and its dreamlike quality lends itself to budding photographers
Brussels has much to offer, and its dreamlike quality lends itself to budding photographers | © Peter Forsberg / Europe / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Ioanna Sakellaraki
19 November 2016

Strolling around Rue Dansaert and the surrounding area, one of the most popular areas in downtown Brussels, you will not only come across fancy boutiques and grandiose dining establishments, but also – if you know where to look – some quirky bars and cafés that give an inside eye on the city’s culture.

Whether you plan to sightsee or simply find a relaxing environment away from the crowds, these five spots are some of the best choices to stop for a coffee or a beer in the area.

Au Bassin

Bar, Market, Belgian, $$$
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Situated in a former industrial building dating back to the 19th century, Au Bassin is a spot popular with locals, serving drinks, coffee, and snacks. The wide covered courtyard, combined with a wooden interior space works well for events ranging from plant markets to quiz nights, comedy to concerts. This spot is a multicultural hub, just a few steps away from Place Sainte-Catherine.

Cobra Bar Gallery

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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Cobra Bar Gallery, which borrows its name from the 1950s avant-garde art movement, has remained a cosy escape from the city centre for more than two decades. It offers a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy some of the best whiskey and cocktails in town. A wooden interior with a classic spiral staircase, combined with some live jazz and a wise selection of art displayed on the walls makes for a chilled evening in busy Brussels.

Café KFK Hope

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
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Located in the central junction between Sainte Catherine and Saint Géry, Café KFK Hope is a traditional Belgian café that offers not only a wide range of specialty beers, but also a cultural environment inspired by its association with Czech writer Franz Kafka. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy contemporary art and music while indulging in your favorite beverage.

Café des Halles

Market, Coffee, $$$
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Halles Saint Géry was designed as a covered market on the site of the ancient Church of Saint Géry, dating back to the 16th century. It is now a cultural centre, hosting art exhibitions, events and markets. A protected architectural site in the heart of one of Brussels’ busiest squares, and just a few minutes’ walk from La Bourse, it is the perfect hangout for art lovers, with drinks and refreshment at Café des Halles.