Brussels has a growing reputation as a culinary venue. This repute has been a long time in the works and growing. The reasons for visiting the Belgian capital have long been to do with its links to the European Union/ Commission and NATO, its culture - and rather less for its restaurants. The city has never held a candle to Paris dining, for example.
For all that, the lovely cobbled city has its fair share of Michelin stars. Some of these best venues are new places too young to be Michelin recognized, and neighborhood eateries worth exploring and off the beaten track – loved by locals, unknown by outsiders. We all know of Belgian mussels, chocolates, beers and frites, but there is more to life than that.
Here is a short list which may be of use to those in town for BRAFA, or any time of year really. We start with one Michelin pick.
Avenue de Tervueren 453, 1150 Bruxelles, Belgium
This stylish restaurant has two Michelin stars and is run by the chef, Christophe Hardiquest. There is an open kitchen, so you can see your food being prepared.
2: L'idiot du Village
Rue Notre-Seigneur, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
This critic has eaten in The Village Idiot many times. No jokes please. It is a small restaurant with quirky décor and a menu that tries hard. Many of the dishes are very reasonably priced.
3: Le Wine Bar des Marolles
Rue Haute 198, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium
Great wine list, as you might expect; food can be on the pricey side but delicious; atmosphere relaxed and friendly. The dining room is not large and highly rated, so it is a good idea to book to avoid a long wait or disappointment. The meal, when you get to it, certainly should not be disappointing.
4: Le Rabassier
23 Rue de Rollebeek, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium
This gastronomic destination is known for its truffles. There is much else on the menu too (try the cod), though the truffles are the stars and they come with interesting wine pairings. Definitely not cheap. One for a special occasion.
Impasse de la Fidelite 4A, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium
This place has 2,400 beers on the menu, supposedly the most in the world. Crowded, sometimes noisy with music and cool, almost too cool for school.
The BRAFA fair runs from January 27 to February 4 2018