My favourite areas are Saint Gillis and Ixelles (Elsene) away from the touristy city centre. Because here each time I am amazed of the stunning art nouveau buildings, cosy and prominent residential neighbourhoods and local cafes & eateries where many Brusselians gather over food and drinks. But also the area close to the Canal is worth to discover. In this blog I share my favourite places for coffee, drinks and food to stop by and recharge while wandering the pretty streets of Brussels.
Coffee in Brussels
Almost at the very end of the long Antoine Dansaertstreet close to the Brussels Canal, you will find MOK Coffee. A micro coffee roastery where they roast small batches of beans to be able to fully control the roasting process. In this way they make sure you and I can enjoy each cup of coffee with high quality. There is a small menu for breakfast and lunch with homemade and seasonal (mostly plant based) dishes like soup, toast, sandwich, some sweets and a salad. The wall with coffee brewing necessities and coffee beans offers all you need to brew a good cup at home too.
Every time I visit Café Capitale at Rue Ernest Allard and look outside the window, I feel like I am in Paris. I really like the energy of this area and the beautiful terraces and corner houses. I keep coming back to this coffee bar over and over again, because of their great coffee, home made pastries and pleasant atmosphere. Besides this coffee shop & training centre they have two more locations; a shop and roastery at Rue Haute and the main location is found at Rue du Midi.
☞ Rue Ernerst Allard is closed. Rue du Midi 45 is open.
Hinterland is surrounded by art nouveau buildings in the area of Sint-Gillis nearby the famous Horta Museum. Their slogan 'urban refuge' translates in my opinion into a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle form the busy streets and to enjoy healthy food and drinks. With organic ingredients they make (vegetarian and vegan, with lactose/gluten free options) all-day breakfast, brunch and lunch such as toast, eggs, pancakes and several kinds of bowls (granola, buddha and açaï).
The next coffee shop is situated in the street with my favourite name, Rue de la Paix, or Peace Street. Fika Coffee lies just around the corner of the charming Place Saint Boniface with lots of good restaurants and cafés.
This coffee bar is named after the Swedish tradition of Fika, which is an important part of the day (preferably shared with family, friends or colleagues, but alone is also perfectly fine) where they take time to drink a cup of coffee, eat something (sweet) and chat a bit. You can't see it from the front, but at the back there is a huge garden where you can enjoy some tranquility during the summer months.
Lunch and dinner in Brussels
Within a stone throw from above mentioned Fika there is a wide range of restaurants at the Place Saint Boniface. Little Tokyo is one of the Japanese inspired restaurants here. Their menu changes by the season, but all time favourites like gyoza (pan-fried dumplings), donburi (rice bowls) and ramen (noodles) are luckily there to stay at any time of year.
At the corner of the lively Place Fernand Cocq you will find Café Tulipant. This nicely styled restaurant/bar opened its doors in march 2019 and is already popular in the area. Here you can stop by for breakfast, brunch, lunch and drinks. Later during the day it transforms more into a bar with small bites and an extensive beverage menu.
Gazzetta is my favourite 100% Italian caffè, wine bar and deli of Brussels. Here you can enjoy great food like several antipasti, two types of pasta and 1 type secondi (second dish) with 1 daily changing side dish. With this briefly menu it's not hard to choose and you can be assured your food will be market-fresh.
Ramen restaurant Kumiko Izakaya is situated close to above mentioned MOK Coffee. This might not be the place for a romantic private dinner (order at the bar and collect your own food at the kitchen when the buzzer goes off), but it's an ideal eatery for a quick and tasty lunch or dinner when you don't have the time to spend the whole evening at a restaurant. Besides ramen there is a lot to choose from, like donburi (rice bowls) with various toppings, onigiri's (rice wrapped in nori), salads, a burger and several sides and sweets. During weekdays there are three types of bento lunchboxes.
If you are looking for a charming restaurant suited for intimate dining, then Ars Vinorum might be the right place. The restaurant is divided (but connected) in two parts, one half contains the bar and the other half houses the delicatessen where you can buy all types of culinary Italian specialties to take home. The great menu with several types of antipasti and all kinds of pasta/risotto (no pizza) changes monthly and continuous to surprise you every time you visit.
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