The best local restaurants in Brussels put a great emphasis on seasonal ingredients and freshly prepared dishes. The city was one of the first places outside France where restaurants received the coveted 3 Michelin stars, but there are plenty of places where you can enjoy simple yet authentic Belgian cuisine alongside flavours from around the globe.

    This guide shows you the top spots for discovering Brussel’s local food scene. Read on for ideas on where to dine and what to try in the Belgian capital. Most of these places bear the official Brusselicious label, an indicator of authenticity and quality.



    A popular food court offering diverse flavours

    • Food
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Wolf is a popular food hall in Brussels that houses many popular eateries under one roof. Nineteen diverse restaurants share the space in this global dining destination. Bollyfood Stories serves up spicy Delhi street food. Nearby, other Asian favourites such as dim sum and sushi are on the menu.

    Some of the cuisines that are represented are rather more unusual – try Ethiopian food at Toukoul and experience the versatility of injera (sour fermented flatbread) or head to My Tannour for some delicious Syrian specialities.

    Location: Rue du Fossé aux Loups 50, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Daily from noon to 11 pm



    The Brussels spot for traditional Belgian meatballs

    • Food
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Ballekes is a Brussels restaurant that’s simply named after the traditional meatballs that it serves. This tasty and authentic Belgian dish is at the heart of the menu. The restaurant’s founders wanted to showcase their family’s recipes and they remained true to the techniques that they’d grown up with.

    Using high-quality ingredients, the Ballekes team roll meatballs each day, ensuring they’re as fresh as can be. Choose from pork and beef, chicken or vegan and enjoy them with Belgian fries and a glass of local beer.

    Location: Chau. de Charleroi 174, 1060 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from noon to 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)


    Le Zinneke

    Belgian bistro cuisine at its best

    Le Zinneke is a slow-food Belgian bistro in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels. Its owners established the restaurant with a mission to supply fresh, high-quality Brussels-style comfort food that everyone can enjoy.

    Find crowd-pleasers such as moules frites (mussels and fries), meatballs, rich meat stew and stoemp (Belgian mashed potatoes) on the menu. Inside, a wood-panelled interior and colourful murals create a homely, unpretentious atmosphere. There’s also a spacious covered terrace to accommodate outside dining.

    Location: Pl. de la Patrie 26, 1030 Schaerbeek, Belgium

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from noon to 2 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +32 (0)2 245 03 22


    Humphrey Chez Pias

    Innovative Filipino-Belgian sharing plates

    Humphrey is a casual yet chic Filipino-Belgian restaurant owned by a husband-and-wife team in Brussels. It is housed in the PIAS building, the base of several Belgian record companies.

    The owners are keen market gardeners and much of Humphrey’s organic produce, including edible flowers and herbs, originates in their vegetable garden near Mechelen. The chef's creativity and talent in the kitchen reference a Filipino childhood. The menu changes frequently, but must-tries include the seabass guisado (braise) with olive tomatoes and beets and the char siu pork with pickled vegetables.

    Location: Rue Saint-Laurent 36/38, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Monday–Friday from noon to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10.30 pm (closed Friday–Sunday)

    Phone: +32 (0)2 219 39 16


    Friture René

    A Belgian cafe-resto serving steak-frites

    • Food
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Friture René is an old-school, family-run restaurant that’s been a fixture on the Brussels dining scene for decades. Checked tablecloths and a marble-topped bar set the tone for this traditional establishment that focuses on Belgian cuisine.

    Expect to receive a warm welcome along with a generous serving of mussels, steak and of course fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. If you crave frites (fries), this is a step up from the Belgian capital’s ubiquitous chip vans.

    Location: Pl. de la Résistance 14, 1070 Anderlecht, Belgium

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 11.30 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +32 (0)2 523 28 76


    La Roue d’Or

    An old-fashioned brasserie serving classic Belgian fare

    La Roue d’Or is a Belgian brasserie in Brussels serving mussels, including the classic moules marinière as well as versions with white wine, garlic or snails. Also on the menu are traditional dishes such as rabbit stew, duck cassoulet and a range of other meat dishes based around lamb, beef and veal.

    This is one of the great local places in Brussels for a hearty meal in a cosy setting. It has bags of old-fashioned charm, where dark wood panelling is lifted by chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

    Location: Rue des Chapeliers 26, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 10.30 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +32 (0)2 514 25 54


    photo by Benoît Prieur (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified



    Fish galore in Brussels

    Noordzee, also known as La Mer du Nord, is a fish bar located in the heart of the Belgian capital. All your seafood favourites are here, from razor clams to crab and smoked trout to shrimp croquettes. The roadside setting with tables under wide parasols offers great people-watching.

    In casual surroundings, sip a glass of wine as you chat to friends over a sharing fish platter or enjoy a date with a special someone over a plate of shucked oysters. Every effort is made to ensure that supplies come from reliably sustainable sources.

    Location: Pl. Sainte-Catherine 50, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 8 am to 6.30 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 6.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +32 (0)2 513 11 92


    Taverne du Passage

    Sophisticated Deco style meets traditional Belgian cuisine

    Taverne du Passage is a Belgian restaurant in Brussels that is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the belly. Located in the prestigious Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, this quintessentially local restaurant is a triumph of Art Deco excess, with its black-and-white chequerboard floor, brass accents and glamorous decor.

    The menu brims with Belgian classics and boasts an exceptional wine list. It’s not quite cheap, but if you’re looking for a splurge-worthy venue, this characterful place ticks all the boxes for a memorable local meal.   

    Location: Galerie de la Reine 30, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from noon to 10.30 pm, Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 pm

    Phone: +32 (0)2 512 14 13



    Sophisticated dining in an elegant setting

    Barge is a stylish restaurant in Brussels where you can experience multiple set courses featuring innovative Belgian and European dishes. It is the brainchild of a culinary duo – a creative chef and a sommelier – who’ve come up with a winning concept that food should be exciting and meaningful.

    The chef presents artisanal dishes by cleverly combining seasonal, fresh ingredients. His menu adapts according to the daily arrivals and greatly depends on what’s in season. This means no visit is the same as the other and creative twists are frequently applied. The contemporary decor – with exposed brick and simple furnishings – allows the food to shine.

    Location: Boulevard d'Ypres 33, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday from 7 pm to 8.30 pm, Friday from noon to 1.30 pm and 7 pm to 8.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +32 (0)2 425 73 60



    A popular Belgian chippie in a central location

    Fritland is a fast-food joint that’s been serving popular Belgian fries known as frites since opening back in 1978. You’ll find it conveniently close to Brussels’ Grand Place, but its enviable reputation means it’s likely you’ll have to wait in line. That’s all part of the experience as you move away from the hatch to eat your sauce-laden frites on the go.

    Whether you opt for the classic mayonnaise or something a little more radical like curry ketchup, the chips remain the star: light and fluffy potato on the inside, yet crispy and golden on the outside. You could order a burger or chicken to go with them but that’s missing the point.

    Location: Rue Henri Maus 49, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +32 (0)2 514 06 27

    Julia Hammond | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    Back to top