Brussels is one of Europe’s most delicious destinations. From its old-world beer pubs and taverns to its heritage breweries, the Belgian capital is one of the world’s most special places for beer geeks. It’s also a top-tier city for frites fans, chocoholics, and waffles enthusiasts.
But traditional Belgian fare isn’t the end of the city’s charms. Thanks to being the de facto capital of the European Union, Brussels is populated with people from far and wide, and its eclectic dining scene reflects the diversity of its populace. From the Congolese restaurants in Matongé to hip eateries of Saint-Gilles, here’s how to spend three days sampling the best of Brussels.
Brussels has a generally temperate climate—pack according to the seasons.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a Brussels beer tour to learn about the city’s liquid history.
Start your food-centric Brussels trip with chocolate—one of Belgium’s best-known culinary highlights. In the morning, embark on a local-led tour of Brussels’ chocolate shops to sample the city’s sweet treats, and visit Choco-Story, a museum for chocoholics. Alternatively, take part in a chocolate-making workshop to learn the secrets of the master chocolatiers and create your own gourmet delicacies.
Once you’re sugar-saturated, discover other culinary staples. Try a tour of the city’s classic dishes—from waffles and frites to speculoos (biscuits)—and even escargots. Or, for heartier fare, book a dinnertime dash to indulge in beef stew, mussels, and more.
With a breadth of local styles ranging from Trappist ales to lambics, blonde ales to lagers, saisons to gueuze, Belgium is a must-visit destination for beer lovers. Discover its new-school scene—and visit craft breweries—on a local-led walking and tasting tour. You’ll enjoy plentiful tastings and learn about the brewing process.
Once you’ve sampled your fill of IPAs, stouts, and other international styles, it’s time to go trad. Discover the city’s most atmospheric pubs and cafes on a beer walk, learn the history of Belgian beer (and the secret of beer-and-food pairings), or enjoy your suds alongside cheeses, smoked meats, or chocolate.
You’ve done the Brussels classics—now, discover what that locals savor. On a customized foodie walking tour, experience the city like a resident and seek out new-to-you flavors. Whether you prefer the hip brunch spots of Saint-Gilles, Congolese dishes in Matongé, or family-owned taverns, experience the variety of Brussels’ food scene.
In the evening, sign on for a local-led cooking class held in a Brussels home. Pair your culinary lesson with a market visit to scope out ingredients. Or, let a host cook an array of international dishes (plus wine pairings) for you in a local home.