During our trip to Europe last summer, we had the opportunity to spend a quick day in Brussels. One of my good friends Andy put together a great itinerary for things to see and do in Brussels. So let’s get started!
I’d recommend beginning at Le pain Quotidien on Avenue Louise. There are plenty of other great breakfast places in that area too and it’s considered the shopping high street. However, the shops are only Hermes, LV, Gucci, etc.
From here you can quickly peruse Avenue Louise and make your way toward the Palais de Justice (Belgiums highest court). The palais is situated on an awesome overlook of the city.
Next you head toward the Grand Sablon via Rue Erest Allard. This area, and the walk to get there, has a couple of great chocolate places. Neuhaus and Pierre Marcolini are the best and by far the most expensive but yea, there the best for a reason. I could never afford the extrevagence, so I recommend a box from Leonidas (there milk assortment in particular).
Continue down Rue Lebeau to Manneken Pis (its not that great but you kinda have to see it).
Now head up Rue de L’Etuve toward the Grand Place but head down Rue des Brasseurs and Rue du Marche aux Fromages. We call this “Pita street” or “Pita Alley“. Pita and gyros are like the Mexican food of northern Europe (mexican food really doesn’t exist there). Frites (what they call french fries, except they were actually invented in Begium) here are good, but I’ve done my research and my vote for the best in Brussels is friteland, which well get to soon. In this area I definitely recommend Goupil Le Fol, an old brothel turned excentric bar. Order whatever vin aromatisés suites your fancy (framboise is the classic).
Now you can check out the Grand Place.
Next head toward the Bourse de Bruseels, its their stock exchange but what you’re really there to do is stop by Fritland and try frites with a traditional mayo based sauce. Cocktail is my favorite (it has absolutely nothing to do with american cocktail sauce), Samurai is really good if you want something with a little kick, or you can be bold and try the plain mayo (fear not, Belgian fry mayo is very very different to Helman’s light).
Now you need to go down Rue de Tabora and turn right on Rue Gretry. This will turn into Rue de Bouchers, we called it “restaurant row”. Cool place to eat and if your there around the lunch or dinner hour restaurants will really flight for your business, its pretty funny. Again, what you’re REALLY there to see there is Delirium Cafe. Delirium boasts the largest beer selection in western Europe with over 2000 varieties. It also has a stupid amount of beer paraphernalia and is just really cool. Go downstairs and order a Peche Mel Bush (should be 5 euro for a pint). On that note…
Kriek (very very popular cherry beer, also comes in Apple)
Now that youre a little tipsy and hungry, walk down restaurant row to Aux Armes de Bruxelles and order a pot of mussels in a white wine sauce. When eating the mussels, use the shells as tongs to pick the mussels out of other shells.
And that concludes my walking tour of Brussels.
Other cool things to see:
Atomium (you should probably drive to see this, only if you have a rental car)