We went to Brussels 12 days ago with no other reason than to escape the routine for a weekend and visit a city neither of us had visited before. I have to confess that, contrary to Paris, I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of food (no raclette, this time!) and when I googled, pinterest-ed and searched all around the web, all I could find was recommendations on the best waffles or the must-try fries. I’m here to tell you that we found more than that (and it was amazing!).
Of course we had waffles! And the ones I enjoyed the most were in the most touristic spot, by the manneken pis, and I’m not embarrassed to say it.
We didn’t try the fries because there just wasn’t a time when I had enough room in my belly for a big cone of fries (and also, I’m not a fan of standing-food. I prefer to sit down and enjoy my meal).
What we did try was two restaurants we absolutely adored. Neither of them was near any of the touristic spots and, unless you were paying attention, you probably could have walked past them in a heartbeat and not even notice the place. I personally think this tiny hidden gems are the best spots to visit, as they’re usually family owned and the people behind the bar/kitchen are usually incredibly passionate about what they do. Here’s my experience:
Le Wine Bar des Marolles
This spot was on the route between our hotel and the city centre, in a not-so-touristic area, but it’s completely worth the walk. When we arrived we realised the place was part of the 2017 Michelin guide and had many other awards and recognitions for their amazing food. By this point I knew we were onto something.
We had Homemade Duck Foie gras as a starter, and then Gabs went for some duck while I picked a beef dish. Everything we tried was fantastic, and even though all the dishes were quite simple, every component was cooked perfectly and every bite you had was full of the most exquisite flavours.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have simple dishes done right, than ultra fancy foods done okay-ish. Les Wine Bar des Marolles served me, by far, one of the best meals I’ve ever had (with a beautiful wine to complement it all). An absolute must!
On Sunday we decided to go for another place with a similar vibe, but this time it was Italian cuisine.
Just like our previous experience, this was a place that nailed every single one of the dishes they served. All pasta was fresh, and so were the rest of the ingredients on your plate, and to me that makes all the difference when you’re looking for exceptional quality on a dish.
We went for some burrata as our starter, and to this day I still dream of that delicious creaminess. It was absolutely perfect, and I would have it every day if I had the chance.
I went for the gnocchi, and G had the black tagliolini. We both loved every mouthful and, again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Portions were fantastic, even a little bit big (but we have lots of room in our bellies, so we were fine!). The pasta was cooked to perfection, the flavours complemented each other beautifully, and the service matched their top quality food.
We had some wine again because, clearly, holidays are the time to treat yourself and enjoy your time out of the country 😉
One of the things we realised is that, in both cases, even though we had a couple of glasses of wine and great amounts of food, the bill was not as high as it would have been with the same amount of food and drinks in Manchester.
Don’t get me wrong, it was not cheap, but it was worth every penny, specially since I haven’t found anything with similar quality and value in the year I’ve been living in the UK, so no complaints on my side.
Overall, we had the best time in Brussels and we were surprised to see how much we actually enjoyed a city that might not be as famous as other capitals in Europe (e.g. Paris, Rome, Berlin, etc.). We loved getting lost walking around and just wandering without a plan (I didn’t have the chance to do an itinerary for this trip, but it ended up being the best thing for us!), I think we’ll try to do it more often 😉
Now I’d love to know, have you been to Brussels before? If so, what kind of food did you have? Did you enjoy it? Please let me know! You can either comment here or message me on social. You can find me on Instagram (@michellelovestoeat), Twitter (@mlovestoeat), and Facebook (@michellelovestoeat). I’m always posting food pictures and some of my best food-blogging fails so make sure to check those out.
Thank you so much for reading me, I hope this post inspires you to wander around and go outside of the touristic areas on your next trip. The experience was fab, and I’m sure you’ll find something to remember!
I’ll come back next week with more yummy foodventures so stay tuned.