Brussels is the beautiful capital city of Belgium. It’s also the capital of comic books fries, beer, waffles, and of course, chocolate! Spend a day in Brussels, Belgium eating and Drinking.
During our vacation, my husband and I took a day trip from Paris to Brussels. Belgium had been on my bucket list! It was hard to choose between all the beautiful Belgian cities. Bruges was highly recommended, but since we only had a day to spend in Belgium, we chose Brussels. It was a closer by train and as well as by bus. I bought our bus tickets in advance online for the Eurostar that goes between Gard Du Nord in Paris to Brussels Belgium. On arrival, we took a short 15 minutes taxi ride tour hotel.
While planning out 24 hours in Brussels, two things kept coming up – food and beer. I will be honest – I went to Brussels to eat and for my husband to drink beer. I am a chocoholic, I love Belgian waffles and “French fries”. Although we did do a hop on/hop off bus tour around the city, we were eager to return to The Grand Place to sample all the delicious Belgium cuisine. There is no shortage of cafes and shops to choose from in Brussels. However, I will share with you where we spent a day in Brussels eating and drinking!
Brussels is a relatively small city, so it’s very possible to see it all in one day. Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Brussels, Belgium
Where to Stay in Brussels
The city has lots of different types of accommodation. From budget to luxury, the options are all pretty special.
Novotel: We stayed here, simply designed and great for families, Novotel is a comfortable place to lay your head during our stay in Brussels.
NH Brussels Louise: This midrange hotel is a refreshingly modern and contemporary place to stay. NH has all the necessities and is about a twenty-minute walk from the Grand Palace.
Hotel Sofitel Brussels: Treat yourself to a luxurious stay at the five-star Hotel Sofitel. Here you will experience French contemporary design and top-notch service.
Meininger Hostel: This is a great budget option in a good location right on the edge of the city. Meininger is an easy ten-minute walk or five-minute tram ride to the city center. The hostel offers different room options ranging from shared mixed dorms to private rooms. It is very clean, and it has a friendly staff and opportunities to be social if you are visiting solo.
Budget Tip: Meininger has hotels all over Europe, and you get a discount after you have stayed at one, so be sure to book again
Where to Eat in Brussels
Chocolate, waffles, fries, and beer… the four main food groups of Brussels! You can find these delicacies all over the city, but here are some of the best.
Chez Leon: This family-owned restaurant opened in 1893 and is the gem of Brussels. For under fifteen euro, you can try the best of traditional Brussels cuisine (the mussels are a must-try).
Peck 47: A cozy café with delicious sweet and savory options for brunch. Peck 47 is most known for its savory waffles and steaming hot lattes.
Café Delirium: When it comes to a night out, Café Delirium is the place to be. This multilevel, multi-building bar offers more than three thousand beers. A world record!
Belgium Fries, Belgium Frites, Pommes Frites, Frites:
If you love “French fries” as much as I do, you will be fascinated to know that many people give credit of this dish to Belgium. It is an ongoing debate as to when and where this dish was created. One theory is that fries were created in Belgium but American soldiers during World War I called them “French fries” because they thought they were in France. But, let us all just be happy that someone did invent them! We tend to dip them in ketchup but in other countries toppings such as mayonnaise and vinegar are used. They are served in a large cardboard cone and topped with the sauce of your choice. Most of the sauces are mayonnaise based, which I am a fan of and they taste great!
You can’t go to Belgium without getting some frites! The best places to find them are from the stands on the streets. They are all over, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
I spotted people queueing for some food. Now I have a rule of thumb when I’m in a place I know little about. If there’s a queue of locals waiting for food, then that’s where I’m going. The place was Fritland.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belgium? Chocolate! In Brussels, there is a chocolate shop on every corner. Any of them is a good choice, but there are some that stand out.
As most of my readers know, I am a wine drinker vs. a beer drinker. But, I could not go 24 hours in Brussels without trying a beer! Beer in Belgium is a lifestyle. I read that in 2016 UNESCO added it to their “Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists”. I have actually never heard of this! There are over 1500 hundred types of beer in Belgium and almost 200 breweries. The beers range in color from pale to red to black. I actually got dizzy reading about all the different types of beer and how they are made. You may also get overwhelmed opening up a menu at a Belgium restaurant and seeing more beers on the menu than food items!
The most common style of beer in Belgium is pale lager or “pils” beers. The brand Stella Artois originated in Belgium and is an example of this type of beer. Wheat beer is from the Flemish part of Belgium. Have you heard of the term “hops”? It is a flavoring used in this type of beer. There are also blonde beers and amber ales and Lambic beers. Fruit beers are made from a mixture of fruits and Lambic beer. I could honestly keep going but I would never finish this post! I decided to try “Lindemans Apple Lambic Beer”. Oh my! It was frothy and delicious! I recommend making a stop at “Poechenellekelder” restaurant located at Rue Du Chene, 5 to sample Belgium beers. They have a large outdoor patio located right across from the Manneken Pis statue. It was a great place for people watching!
While in Belgium I was surprised to learn that they eat waffles as desserts vs. as a breakfast meal. Belgian waffles were invented in Brussels. However, while in Belgium you will notice both the “Brussels waffle” and the “Liege waffle”. Brussels waffles are rectangular in shape, light, crispy and are usually served topped with powdered sugar. Liege waffles are more dense and sweeter. Sugar is added to the batter which caramelizes when they are cooked. They also have irregular edges. Waffles may be topped with chocolate syrup, whip cream, ice cream and fruit but not maple syrup!
My husband and I both tried the liege waffles. I made a stop at “le Funambule” based on the colorful waffle displays they had in their window! I couldn’t decide on toppings so I picked 3 of them! Belgium chocolate, vanilla ice cream and strawberries. It was to die for! Really. I have never had a waffle that tasted so good. I ate it all! My husband chose to have a waffle from the famous “Maison Dandoy”. There are at least two locations around The Grand Place. He also enjoyed his Belgium waffle and ate every bite! There are at least two locations around The Grand Place. He also enjoyed his Belgium waffle and ate every bite!
What to Do in Brussels
Even if you have no plans and you just wander around the city, you are bound to come across some of the main highlights.
Comic Strip Walls: Brussels is the birthplace of iconic comics like the Smurfs and Tintin. In honor of these and many others, you will find comic strip murals all over the city. Start at the Comic Book Centre, and make your way around the comic book route to try to catch them all.
See the Statues: Hidden throughout the city are some iconic little statues that you have to see to believe. There are three in total, and they have something special in common; Mannekin Pis, Zinneke Pis, and Jeanneke-Pis. You will undoubtedly pass all three as you walk around the city, but be sure to keep your eyes open or you might miss one.
Walk Around the Grand-Place: The Grand-Place is the stunning center of the city. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been the home to countless historical events.
I hope you have enjoyed this culinary tour through Brussels Belgium! If you plan on spending 24 hours in Brussels I highly recommend trying all of these foods and beer. Arrive hungry (lol) Have you been to Brussels? If so share your thoughts with us below!