Restaurants in Brussels
Thanks to its excellent food and diversity of cuisine, Brussels has moved into the European culinary limelight. While not the cheapest of cities to eat out in, its thousands of restaurants offer consistently high quality fare and spectacular value for money. The excellence exhibited by restaurants like Comme Chez Soi has trickled down to mainstream dining, and as a result, there really is no excuse for eating poorly. With the natives expecting this minimum level of quality, even the trendiest of restaurants are obliged to have a cuisine which matches the sleek decor. Apart from the excellence of the native Belgian fare, the city is among Europe's best for sampling a wide range of different cuisines - from the ubiquitous Italian places, through to Spanish, Vietnamese, Japanese and Russian restaurants.
Restaurants aside, it's worth remembering many bars and cafÃƒÂ©s serve food. Though this is often limited to pastas, soups and croques monsieurs , many have wider-ranging menus usually consisting of traditional Brussels fare. There are also plenty of frites stands and pitta places around the Grand-Place, notably on rue du MarchÃƒÂ© aux Fromages, known locally as "Greek Street", and on rue des Bouchers.
Unfortunately, Brussels is lacking when it comes to specifically catering for vegetarians , but many restaurants, particularly Middle Eastern ones, serve a good selection of vegetarian dishes.
The Lower Town is great for good-quality cuisine that doesn't cost the earth. The fashionable rue Antoine Dansaert is an excellent place to start, with several stylish restaurants. The Lower Town also holds the frenetic rue des Bouchers, a restaurant ghetto well worth checking out. There's another cluster of good restaurants around the lovely place du Grand Sablon in the Upper Town , although the food doesn't come cheap and you may find yourself paying extra for the pretty scenery. Out of the town centre, Ixelles is home to some of the capital's finest restaurants, particularly at the place StÃƒÂ©phanie end of chaussÃƒÂ©e de Charleroi, but also close by the attractive place du ChÃƒÂ¢telain. The EU Quarter holds a few spots that rise above the average business lunch gulpdown, while the commune of Ganshoren is home to two of the finest restaurants in the city.
Generally speaking, most places are open from noon to 3pm and from 7pm to 11pm. Sundays and Mondays tend to be the quietest days, and some restaurants close down altogether in July and August. It's not usually necessary to make a reservation midweek, but it's highly advisable on Friday and Saturday nights.
Restaurant prices vary, depending on where you eat and when. Lunch menus are considerably less expensive than evening menus, whereas the plat du jour - the main course meal of the day - is often great value for money and usually available all day.
Service charges are automatically included, and you need only leave a tip if service is above average.