Where to Eat and Drink in Brussels | 24 hours in Brussels

Under two hours away from London King’s Cross, Brussels is a great city to explore for the weekend or even in 24 hours. I really enjoyed the food scene here, every place I went or stumbled upon prided themselves on sourcing local, seasonal produce; and only using the freshiest ingredients.

Here’s a rundown on where to eat and drink in Brussels.

 

Breakfast at Hinterland

Very much a locals’ spot, for breakfast to lunch, I’d recommend heading over to Hinterland. The food was satisfying and delicious, the service was super friendly and the atmosphere was cosy.

They have an all-day breakfast/brunch menu served until 6pm. There are plenty of options on the menu, from scrambled eggs to pancakes, acai bowls to toasties. If you’re vegan, there are several choices from the menu too.

We ordered their blueberry buttermilk pancakes, avocado and sweet potato toastie, and iced matcha lattes. 

hinterland cafe brussels cafe breakfast in brussels

Address: Hinterland, Chaussée de Charleroi 179, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Belgium
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat, 8AM-6PM / Sun, Closed

 

Morning coffee at OR Coffee

OR coffee brussels city centreWhenever I travel, I always make an effort to check out their coffee scene.

OR Coffee was one of the first specialty coffee shops in Brussels, part of a small chain based in Ghent. With two stores in Brussels, the branch in the city centre will most likely be the more convenient one.

They offer specialty coffee drinks, as well as other methods, like chemex, aeropress and your standard pourover coffee too. I like my coffee strong, creamy and rich – and their coffee was just that. And you know, I love a place that offers dairy-free alternative milks!

Definitely one of the top places in Brussels for a cup of coffee and people watching.

coffee in brussels, OR coffee, brussels coffee
Ordered: Portuguese egg tart with a regular and oat milk latte.

Address: OR Coffee, Rue A. Ortsstraat 9, 1000 Brussels.
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri, 8AM-6PM / Sat, 9AM-6PM / Sun, 10AM-6PM

 

Frites at Friterie de la Barrierefrites in brussels | what to eat in brussels

According to the Internet, this is THE place to get frites in Brussels. Friterie de la Barriere has been a Brussels institution for the past fifty-something years.

Similar to Australia Dairy Co. in Hong Kong, this place has a reputation for bad service (but it adds to the experience). But nonetheless, the frites were SO delicious; freshly cut every day and double fried in beef fat, so the frites had a lot of flavour! I love sauces so I was impressed with their large selection of sauces – from aioli to bearnaise, to curry, to your classic ketchup and mayonnaise.

Address: Avenue du Parc 5, 1060 Saint-Gilles
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:30AM-1AM

 

Read more: Top 3 Restaurants in Stockholm 

 

A healthy lunch at Tich Healthy Living

To balance out the obscene amount of fries we were eating, we opted for a healthy lunch at Tich Healthy Living. A concept store, they sell plant-based cookbooks, sustainable homeware (think mason jars, reusable straws etc.) with a trendy plant-based café, that serves your typical brunch menu (think avocado toast, acai bowls).

tich healthy living brussels | brunch in brussels
On the table: avocado toast, pancakes topped with coconut yogurt, acai bowl, and matcha lattes.

We ordered their avocado toast with pickled onions, banana pancakes topped with coconut yogurt and berries, and acai bowl. NGL, it’s a pretty standard brunch cafe spot, so if you’re vegan, plant-based or just health-conscious, I’d recommend visiting. Although I will note it is quite pricey for the portions.

Address: Tich Healthy Living, Rue de Namur, 25, Brussels, Belgium, 1000
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri, 9AM-6:30PM / Sat-Sun, 10AM-6:30PM

 

A pick-me-up at Belga & Co.

belga and co brussels, coffee shops in brussels

Belga and Co. is another popular specialty coffee-shop in Brussels, so you gotta get their coffee.

We only ordered coffees so can’t vouch for the food, but their brunch menu did sound really good, especially the savory options like their croque monsieur with homemade parsley pesto.

NGL, I would come here just for the aesthetic and to people watch.

Address: Belga & Co, Rue du Bailli 7A – 1000 Brussels
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30AM-6:30PM / Sat-Sun, 8:30AM-6:30PM

 

 

Waffles at Maison Dandoy

maison dandoy brussels, where to get belgium waffles in brussels
On the table: Brussels waffles with icing sugar and the other with brown sugar, hot chocolate, and green tea.

When you think of Belgium, you think of waffles!

Maison Dandoy is well-known for its speculoos and waffles, serving both the Liege and Brussels Waffle.

We ordered the Brussels waffle (because when in Brussels!). Rectangularly shaped,  the Brussels waffle has a light and crispy texture and is sprinkled with icing sugar. Whereas the Liege waffle is more similar to what we see in the UK marketed as a Belgian waffle. It’s much

Address: Maison Dandoy – Galeries, Galerie du Roi, 2. 1000 Bruxelles.
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs, 10AM-7PM / Fri-Sat, 10AM-9PM / Sun, 10AM-7PM

 

Dinner at Tero

We stumbled across this restaurant on our way back to our Airbnb, and I’m so glad we ended up having dinner here. Tero is a sharing small-plates type of restaurant, and although from the outside it looks slightly pretentious, inside the atmosphere is very cosy and warm.

tero brussels, best restaurants in brussels

The restaurant prides itself on using only organic and seasonal produce, either directly from their farm, or from local suppliers. So as you can expect, their menu changes with the seasons.

We ordered four plates to share and then dessert, and there was a complimentary bread basket with amazing sourdough bread. All the dishes we ordered, the quality and freshness of the ingredients were noticeable.

I’d recommend trying to book a table. We visited for an early dinner and were lucky to be seated, as the restaurant got really busy as the night went on.

Address: Tero, Rue St.Bernard 1, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Belgium
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat, 12PM-1:45PM and 7-9:45PM / Sun, Closed

 

Indulge in Belgium chocolates from Elisabeth.

what to eat and drink in brussels | brussels elisabeth chocolatier store

And of course, you can’t leave Brussels without buying and eating chocolate. The most popular Belgian chocolatiers are Pierre Marcolini, Neuhaus, and Leonidas – all great chocolatiers. But it’s been two years since my trip to Brussels, and I still think about the chocolates I brought from Elisabeth. There are several stores in the city centre, so I’d recommend going in sampling a few, and buying boxes in bulk to bring home so you can reminisce about your time in Brussels (oh, and maybe for souvenir gifts for friends and family).

 

City Break Guide: Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is the perfect destination for the perfect Christmas weekend city break. Get the low-down on where to stay, what and where to eat in Prague, and the best things to do in Prague.

Prague is the perfect destination for a winter weekend city break. It has everything – Christmas markets, mulled wine, delicious food and doesn’t break the bank!

Recommend: 2-3 days. Great for couples and trips with friends. £.


Stay.

Golden Key, located in Prague 1, is a boutique hotel in a 13th-century building. Despite formerly being a locksmith’s workshop, the rooms were modern, spacious and cosy. The location of the hotel was great: walking distance to the Prazsky Castle (ten minutes) and the iconic Charles Bridge (15 minutes) and the other tourist attractions. For any ventures outside of Prague 1, the transit system was nearby and also easy to use. Use the discount code FRIENDS for 10% off.

Getting Around.

Public transport fares/prices are cheap, and they do offer a variety of tickets based on the duration of travel – 60 mins, 90 mins, 24 hours, and 3 days – as opposed to the number of trips. Similar to other European public transport systems, it’s so easy to use. To soak in as much of the city as you can, I’d opt against using public transport, and walk as much as possible, just remember to wrap up warm!

Eats.

For breakfast or brunch, head on over to Cafe Savoy, located in the Little Quarter. It has gorgeous interiors, which includes a listed neo-renaissance ceiling which dates back to the 1890s. 

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Cafe Savoy’s french toast

It’s regarded as one of the best places to eat breakfast by the locals since it serves an array of different dishes and has its own bakery, which offers fresh confectionery and baked goods daily.

Order the french toast with fresh fruits and maple syrup with a freshly brewed pot of black tea to cut the sweetness, I’d recommend either the French breakfast or the Ruschka. Then finish off breakfast with a selection of their freshly baked in-house cakes. 3/5.

For a spot of coffee and a snack, head to EMA Espresso Bar, loved by the foodies of Prague. They serve good coffee in a minimal and Shoreditch-sque spot. 5/5.

Latte at EMA Espresso Bar
Latte at EMA Espresso Bar

For lunch, if you fancy something different and want to experience more of the Czech food culture, dine in a Vietnamese restaurant. The Vietnamese community makes up the largest ethnic minority group in the country, so if you’re up for some exploring and venturing outside the city centre, make a stop to Czech’s ‘Little Hanoi’ or ‘Sapa’. Although there isn’t much there to do since it’s a huge industrial park with supermarket stores and a place to buy bulk items. But there, lies a gem called Phuong Phuong, which sells in a northern Vietnamese speciality, banh cuon – a favourite of mine. Banh cuon is steamed rice rolls, either served plain or with a meat and mushroom filling, accompanied with a fish sauce vinaigrette and Vietnamese pork roll. 4/5.

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Banh Cuon at Phuong Phuong

Alternatively, for somewhere in the centre of Prague, head over to Remember, a family-run restaurant serving cheap yet hearty delicious Vietnamese dishes. 3/5.

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Traditional Czech dinner at Krcma

Accidentally finding Krcma, a tavern serving traditional Czech dishes, was the best thing to happen on my trip to Prague. Located in the Old Town near the street lit up by all the designer stores, it was a full-house on a weekday, packed with locals and tourists. We luckily managed to grab the last table of the evening. Must-have dishes include the beef goulash and the roasted duck with dumplings, and a side of mash potatoes. The portions were enormous, delicious and really good value for money. Highly recommended. 5/5.

 

Do.

charles+bridge+prague

Walk and get lost in the city. As I mentioned, the best way to really explore the city is to just walk and get lost, and you’ll find yourself strolling along Charles Bridge, walking past Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, and through the Jewish Quarter.

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Climb 229 steps to Petrin Hill (or a ride the funicular railway). From the top of the hill, it offers a lovely view of the city and gives you a moment to appreciate Prague from a different perspective! 5/5.

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Christmas market in Prague
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Trdelík

Wander around the two main Christmas markets which are open during the Christmas period. Located at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, both markets walking distance from each other. Grab a cup (or five cups) of mulled wine, some delicious overpriced cured ham, and the Czech traditional pastry, trdelík, a fully circular pastry which has the option of fruit, cream or ice cream fillings. 5/5.

 

 

City Break Guide: Berlin, Germany

My Berlin city break guide on where to stay, what to eat, and what to do, based on my short trip in the summer of 2016.


Stay

We stayed at Sana Berlin Hotel, in the Charlottenburg area. The room was spacious, clean and modern; and the staff was friendly and helpful! Another plus was the hotel was in a very convenient location, located near two train stations, making traveling around Berlin accessible and easy. The only complaint would be their wi-fi signal was terrible as we were only able to access the internet from the lobby. 

Travel 

Public transport is the ideal way to discover the city. So, definitely purchase a train pass for the duration of your visit. It will get you everywhere. If you’re familiar with London’s tube map, then navigating your way around Berlin will be a breeze. And of course, download Citymapper so you’re informed of any disruptions during your trip.

Eats: 

distrikt-coffee-mitte-berlin-review
Breakfast pancakes at Distrikt Coffee

For breakfast or brunch, head over to Distrikt Coffee in Mitte, a Insta-worthy and aesthetically pleasing coffee shop.

Treat yourself and order their buttermilk pancakes and prepare to be amazed by the complimentary flavours of their house-made berry compote and fresh basil with their fluffy pancakes. For something savoury, order their avocado toast with beets and radish. (4/5) From here you can make your way to the remnants of the Berlin Wall on foot.

Alternatively, go to Silo Coffee in Friedrichshain, an Australian coffee shop serving classic Aussie brunch dishes. We ordered ‘The Silo’ which is an big order of pancakes, bacon and poached eggs, their shakshuka, with a cappuccino and iced latte to cool down. It was a pricey brunch, at €30 for two. (3/5)

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Zeit fur Brot

For a pick-me-up, go to Zeit fur Brot, located in Mitte. Grab a cappuccino, along with their freshly baked in-house buttery croissants and cinnamon buns. (4/5)

A savoury snack option would be köfte sandwiches from Gel Gor Inegol Kofteci in Kreuzberg. The ultimate cheap eat – good quality, delicious meat and cheap! (4/5)

berlin food guide | Gel Gor Inegol Kofteci
Köfte sandwiches

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Lunch at Gasthaus Kromach

 

For lunch, head over to Gasthaus Kromach in Charlottenburg. It ticks all the boxes: friendly and cosy atmosphere (check), delicious large portions of traditional German food (check), and reasonable prices (check)! Recommendations include their pork schnitzel and bratwurst sausage. (4/5) Burn off the calories and make your way to the shopping district, Kurfürstendamm, and shop till you drop!

Saving best for last, for dinner make your way to Henne in Kreuzberg, home to the best fried chicken. Filled with locals, you know this is the place to be at. The menu is simple and to the point – fried chicken with side options of slaw and potato salad. (5/5) Unlike other recommendations, I suggest you make time for dinner here. Reservations are a must so remember to book in advance.

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Fried chicken and sides at Henne

Do.

Take photos in an old Photoautomat. Whilst other cities have digital photo booths, in Berlin, you can find vintage chemical photo booths plotted around the city. Remember to have some change (€2 or so) with you, pop it in and take a series of four photos, which will be printed out in black and white. A great experience and a little something for you to bring back home with you instead of a tacky souvenir.

Have lunch at the Reistag. It offers a beautiful view of the city and you also get a free and queue-free peak of the government building.

Visit the East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie (and all the other places of historical significance). 

Sample Vietnamese food! Berlin is home to a large Vietnamese community, so you’ll find an array of Vietnamese restaurants plotted around Berlin.

Spend an afternoon at Tiergarden especially if the weather is nice too!