Quite surprisingly and despite its size, Bruges has an enviable gastronomy that matches the variety and quality of that in larger cities. For those with a sophisticated palate, this small city is actually the home of several Michelin star restaurants. Many others can also be found along Bib Gourmand and GaultMillau listings. Impressive!
However, and despite our little fancy moments (and of those we have many), Sam and I try to go local whenever possible. We love going back to the roots and get the most of each regional cuisine as much as we can.
In this case, Belgian cuisine seems to reflect that of neighbouring France, Netherlands and Germany. Say hello to moules, fries, waffles, chocolate and beers galore!
It has been difficult to pick among all the cute little places in Bruges, believe me! However, we think these are the places to eat traditional Belgian food in Bruges. Along with where the best pubs in Bruges are, to wash it down with a Belgian beer.
Chocolatiers – The Chocolate Line & Chocolat de Julie
No trip to Bruges (or Belgium in general) is complete without chocolate. The Food of the Gods. Because who doesn’t love chocolate? We have a close friend that doesn’t but that is a whole different story. Unbelievable, I know.
Anyhow, Belgium is one of the two most important chocolate producers in Europe alongside Switzerland. You can expect to see this delicacy everywhere you go. Easter in Bruges is probably one of the best times to visit, as Easter eggs and Easter bunnies decorate the chocolate shops. For the adults, cheeky chocolate boobies and bums hide between the different varieties of pralines and truffles.
Don’t worry about finding the best Belgian chocolate, when you can buy the best chocolate in the world at The Chocolate Line (by Dominique Persoone) in Bruges. Make sure you pay a visit to this amazingly delicious, International Chocolate Awards Winner either in Bruges or Antwerp!
The Chocolate Line | Simon Stevinplein 19, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
There is also the yummy (yet slightly more affordable) Chocolat de Julie near the Belfry of Bruges. Here you can continue to feed your appetite for the many varieties of Belgian chocolate.
Chocolat de Julie | Wollestraat 4b, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
It goes without saying that Belgian beer is like no other. In 2016, UNESCO inscribed it on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Belgians have been involved in the beer fermentation industry since the early XIIth century, and they now proud themselves on the production of more than 1,500 types of beer!
Leffe, Tripel Karmeliet, Tungri…the names (and their strength) go on an on! We chose the very well hidden t’Poatergat for a chill and cosy beer night. Literally a “hole in the wall”, this large cellar is really easy to miss as the entrance is not at eye level. Old fashioned furniture, dozens of beer names on the walls and 80s music in the background – oh.yes.
t’Poatergat | Vlamingstraat 82, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
If you’d like to experience freshly brewed beer in Bruges, make sure you drop by De Halve Maan Brewery (Brouwerij De Halve Maan). The atmosphere is a bit different here, as it is quite open and very well known by the public, but it is still a great place to enjoy a good (half) pint of fresh Brugse Zot or Straffe Hendrik! You can even take a guided tour of the brewery that includes a drink at the end.
De Halve Maan | Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Belgian Cuisine – Waffles & Fries
I myself am not a big fan of waffles (I know, I know…), but when in Rome…or Bruges in this case! I have let Sam judge this bit of the trip as I only tried a little piece of his waffle. He described his waffle drizzled in dark chocolate from Oyya Waffles as:
“Little grids of heaven that tantalise every taste bud.”
Oyya | Noordzandstraat 1, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Apparently, French fries are in fact from Belgium. So make sure you do not miss getting Fries or Frites (we tried some from the stall just in front of the Belfry of Bruges in Markt and they were delish) and my personal favourite Bitterballen. These are like little round Spanish croquetas but not as thick on the inside.
Belfry of Bruges | Markt 7, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Mmm. Heavenly. *insert Homer Simpson meme here*
Our next stop is Brussels. Get ready for more (way more) chocolate, gigantic frites sandwiches and a worth mentioning healthy brunch place to go on a lil detox after all these extra carbs.
Want to read more posts about Belgium? Check out:
- Your ultimate guide to Belgian cuisine (Part 2) – Brussels
- Essential things you must see in Bruges – TRAVEL GUIDE
- Best Brunch place in Brussels, Peck 47 | REVIEW