Anderlecht’s infamous old abattoir, guarded by two stone bulls at its main entrance, isn’t nearly as menacing as it looks from the outside. Setting foot inside the former slaughterhouse, foodies will be delighted to discover a big renewed market hall with Southern vibes. Shouting market vendors, mountains of exotic fruits, colorful spices and fresh meat and fish draw a big crowd interested in a lengthy Sunday shop.
The Abattoir’s organization cherishes big dreams. Plans are all set to create Europe’s largest urban farm on the hall’s stretched out rooftop in 2016. Greenhouses and open gardens will grow fruits and vegetables in sustainable ways, without pesticides or antibiotics. The crops will be tasty local produce such as chicory (originated in Le Botanique) and Brussels sprouts, which you’ll be able to enjoy in the restaurant or garden terrace looking out over all the green glory. With the greenhouses being built this summer, 2017 promises to be a great year for foodies around the Canal area.
The Taproom of the Brussels Beer Project
Near the end of the hip Dansaert area lays a necessary stop for anyone in the mood for a different kind of brewski. The Brussels Beer Project is adamant about bringing a breath of fresh air to the Belgian beer scene by leaving the abbey tradition for what it is and opening up a whole new conversation. Each year, Beer lovers and brewers from all over the world are invited to share their opinion and expertise on the new recipes being produces. This results in some 20 new drinks being created every single year. At the end of the cycle, the community chooses the very best recipe while the rest get the boot.
Brussels Beer Project, Rue Antoine Dansaert 188, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 502 28 56
Blessed with a cozy courtyard terrace, Bravo Bxl is one of the few places near the water that serves food all day long. The brainchild of Frédéric Nicolay, creator of many atmospheric establishments in the capital, the bar is a welcoming space to enjoy a mea. Within a short time, the place with the simple wooden interior has grown into one of the city’s premier places for local jazz artists to try out their stuff. Friday night cocktails traditionally come with a side of mellifluous tunes.
Bravo Bxl, Rue d’Alost 7, Brussels, Belgium, +32 485 94 53 17
The ideal spot to start a cultural outing is at Kaaicafé at the Kaai Theater, where you can find a small but diverse menu. There’s Belgian comfort food like stoemp to heat up cold winter days and healthy salads do the trick during the summer. Special attention goes to all of the ingredients being responsibly sourced. Once your belly has been filled, enjoy a matinee at the adjoining theater.
Kaaicafé, Square Sainctelette 18, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 427 87 72
Bistro du Canal
A charming restaurant with an even more charming location on the waterside, Bistro du Canal takes up the corner of the trendy Rue Dansaert and the canal. Once you’ve been drawn in by its big windows and beautiful cast iron details, the French-Belgian kitchen and wine selection will surprise with its straightforward deliciousness and reasonable prices. The flock of green vintage lamps hanging from the ceiling gives off a semi-hipster feel while you enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything in between.
Bistro du Canal, Rue Antoine Dansaert 208, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 511 03 60
A bar, brewery and music venue all in one, Walvis is the creation of café guru Frédéric Nicolay. One of the first hip places to usher in a new era for the neighborhood over a decade ago, Walvis is known for bringing together a diverse Brussels crowd around its exceptionally long counter. A recent revamp inspired a simple menu to enjoy on the sunlit terrace, though the selection of Belgian beers and weekend DJ sets remain the famous café’s biggest assets.
Walvis, Rue Antoine Dansaert 209, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 201 85 81