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The Belgium Foodie

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013

I had a checklist of all the food that Belgium is well-known for, and boy did Rachel and I attack it all! The weather was shit for the most part of our trip, but the food by far made up for all of it! Here are my recommendations if you are planning a trip to Belgium!

BRUSSELS

Le Zinneke - Mussels in Brussels


I chose Le Zinneke for dinner on our first day after an extensive search on Tripadvisor for the best value mussels in Brussels. Nothing can compare to how we felt devouring 1.1kg of creamy, smooth mussels served steaming hot in a pot. At home, there's always never enough, but here I ate every last one till I was thoroughly satisfied.

Le Zinneke's biggest draw for me was the fact that they have 69 different flavors of mussels! It's amazing and so hard to pick, but after coming twice, we both agree that no. 52 Moules Homardine (Lobster Bisque) is the best flavour. The broth is rich, thick and creamy. Mmhmm.

Here's the thing about Le Zinneke - you have to make a reservation before you go because it is packed every day, but this is easily done through their automated system on their website which comes in English as well. Also, helpful hint if you don't have that much to blow on food: if you commit to finishing your dinner before 8:30PM, you get a Happy Hour Discount of 25% off! You can also come during Lunch, which has a special lunch set that lets you sample 4 different flavours in smaller portions. Wish we had the time to come for that!

Le Zinneke is definitely a little off the beaten track in Brussels where it's easy to fall into the tourist trap restaurants near the main square that probably charge a little too much for not as good value, so I'd definitely say that Le Zinneke was worth the 15 min trip by bus out!

All in all, Rachel and I paid about 20 euros each for our Mussels, fries and drinks after discount. Not bad for amazing seafood!

Le Zinneke
Place de la Patrie 26
1030 Schaerbeek, Belgium

Maison Dandoy - Brussels Waffles



You've probably tried Belgium Waffles before in your own country, but they are nothing compared to eating them in Belgium itself. What you have been eating your whole life is shit. Rachel and I both had epiphanies on what real waffles should be like here at Maison Dandoy, our tea stop for the day! They offer many other desserts, but we headed straight for the Bruxelles Waffle (they also had the Liege Waffle which are sold on the streets for 1.00€ a piece, but if you want the real deal you have to come to a "Tea Room" like Maison Dandoy!)

The waffles are definitely more pricey, ranging at around 6.00-7.00€ if you want it with different toppings. There's something about how they do their waffles here - they're crisp, sweet and sticky on the outside, light and airy on the inside. I don't know what they do, but it is goooood. You must, must, must at least try one Belgium Waffle from Belgium in your life!

Maison Dandoy Tea Room
Rue au Beurre 31
1000 Brussels

Mokafe - Affordable fare and waffles

Mokafe is located smack in the middle of St Hubert's Gallery, which we would have missed had we not been recommended by the service staff at the Tourist Information office. It's filled with a considerable amount of locals, which is always a good sign. The food is definitely on the much affordable side at around 8.00-9.00€ a dish compared to what we've been paying for the rest of our meals. I would definitely recommend trying the Salmon Lasagne for it was piping hot and stuffed full of cheese, spinach and so hearty and filling for the price! However, do give the pastas a miss for the one Rachel ordered was tasteless (though portions were still huge). But hey, at that price in a restaurant, you can't complain right?


We also had waffles, again (yes we have waffles every day), which are good by normal waffle standards, but the ones at Maison Dandoy outshined it by a far cry. I would say that the vanilla ice cream was superb though. You know how you can actually taste the vanilla? Yeah, that kind of superb.

Overall, Mokafe is a good place in the center of Brussels to stop and have a nice, hearty, affordable lunch!

Mokafe
Galerie du Roi 9
Brussels 1000, Belgium

Fritland - Belgium's answer to Fast Food

In case you didn't know, Belgium is famous for having the best fries in the world. Rachel and I did have our fair share of them, but to be honest we weren't that impressed. Fritland has been pretty well reviewed online, so we figured out the best place to try fried food is well, a fast food joint. Food is cheap of course - you won't pay more than 5.00€ for mega portions like these! On the left is the Mitraillette (4.70€) which everyone seems to be ordering, which consists of two beef patties on a sandwich that essentially serves as a massive plate for all the fries. I just had a hot dog since I don't do beef ;)

In Belgium, the choice condiment for fries is mayonnaise. Unhealthy but so satisfying to sit under the heater and eat hot food when it's freezing out!

Fritland
49 Rue Henri Maus
Brussels 1000, Belgium

BRUGGE/BRUGES

Cafe Au Lait - Amazing crepes!


We were so busy having fun in Brugge that we skip lunch and head straight for desserts at the Cafe Au Lait Tea Room. It's super classy with big windows that let tons of light in, and all white decor. Perfect for a girly tea! I'm not a big fan of my waffles with strawberries (the sourness takes the focus from the waffle), but they sure look pretty here! I think a must try here at Cafe Au Lait is the Crêpes Brésilienne
which is brilliant and i'm not sure how to describe it but there's maple syrup, some kind of sweet, toasted peanut, and ice cream of course! Total bill worked up to be 13.70€ for the two of us!

Cafe Au Lait
Noordzandstraat 28
Bruges 8000, Belgium

So all in all, I really had a good time eating my way through Belgium with Rachel and fulfilling each others crazy hell-bent need to eat at where we wanted to eat, even if it meant traveling to all kinds of far out places (and almost ending up getting robbed on our way to some obsolete restaurant that was closed in the end!) Belgium certainly is a foodie's paradise, and it's amazing how one country can be so excellent at so many different types of food. I'd eat there again in a heartbeat if I could!

Photos by Rachel Koh and Myself

Discussion

Brian Anand Soosay said...

Just what I needed - off for an impromptu visit to Brussels and Bruges. Am sure to try some of these. Thanks a bunch for this informative post!

Monica Anne Lie said...

@Brian Anand Soosay Terribly jealous that you get to eat it all! Have a great trip :)