BRUSSELS -- With so many good restaurants in every corner of this
tiny country, it is no wonder why Belgians can be found lingering
long over their meals.
The following list of restaurants focuses on establishments in
Flanders and the Ardennes that serve traditional Belgian dishes and
Most restaurants change their menus frequently and for that
reason this listing avoids highlighting specific menu items.
Belgium's capital city serves a plethora of dining choices in
every price range. Clients should be aware that many of the cafes
and restaurants located on the Grand'Place are geared to tourists
and can be quite pricey. Also, while colorful, the restaurants
along the Rue des Bouchers, adjacent to the Grand'Place, can be a
hit-or-miss dining experience and are best avoided unless
recommended by a local.
The following are a few restaurant suggestions around the
city:Les 4 Saisons, (011) 32-2 505-5555, in the Royal Windsor Hotel,
steps from the Grand'Place. The menu is French cuisine infused with
international flavors. Prices for main courses start at around $22.
The cheese cart features a number of Belgian cheeses. The menu
changes every few months. The atmosphere is elegant with linens,
silver and fresh flowers dressing the tables.'t Kelderke (011) 32-2 513-7344.
Situated right on Grand'Place, this family-style cellar
restaurant serves a variety of Belgian dishes, including a number
of fish specials that are tasty and reasonably priced. Prices for
main courses start at around $12.L'Auberge des Chapeliers, (011) 32-2 513-7378, on the rue des
Chapeliers 1-3. Situated right off the Grand'Place, this little
restaurant is one of the places locals go for mussels and fries.
The atmosphere is casual and the portions are large. The average
cost of a meal consisting of mussels, fries and a beer is $20.
This small, colorful city overlooked by many visitors, perhaps
because at first glance it isn't as picturesque as Bruges, has a
remarkably wide selection of more than 350 restaurants and
Galgenjousje (the Gallow House), a favorite with locals but
unknown to most visitors, might be the city's smallest eatery, but
it is huge on atmosphere and taste. The restaurant is named as such
because it is housed in what was once the holding space for people
condemned to death by hanging. The cave-like dining room is
strategically lighted, and nooses hanging from a tiny gallow tree
display the menu. The menu changes monthly, and main courses are
priced around $14. The waterzooi is always available and highly
Most of the restaurants listed below are located in country
hotels and inns situated in small towns or villages in the Ardennes
The Hotel du Moulin, (011) 32-80 570-081, is a charming
Tudor-style property that is family-owned and run. The hotel's
restaurant, popular with guests and locals, features a menu of
French haute cuisine with local influences. Meals are served in a
large, comfortable dining room. Fresh local trout is the house
specialty. Prices for main courses start around $30.
The Hostellerie Vachter, (011) 32-82 61 1314, is a country hotel
and restaurant located right down the river from the popular
tourist town of Dinant. The restaurant is formal but a more relaxed
atmosphere prevails on the veranda, the place to dine during warm
weather. Once again, French haute cuisine is the fare of choice,
including a great selection of wines and wonderful desserts. Dinner
for two costs about $100, including wine and dessert.
Hostellerie Le Roannay, (011) 32-87 275-311, has been operated
since 1926 by the Aubinet-Schmitz family. The property, which has
large, well-appointed rooms, boasts the only sauna in town. The
atmosphere borders on formal in the dining room, which features
stone archways and large picture windows. Ask for the grilled goose
liver pate smothered in strawberries for an appetizer. Meal prices
range from $40 to $70 per person.
The restaurant Villa Mouchenne, (011) 32-82 226-751, overlooks
the cluster of shops, cafes and restaurants located across the
river in the center of Dinant. The formal dining room is light and
airy with large picture windows. The garden tables outside are the
best place to sit and relax over some dessert and coffee. As in all
the upscale restaurants I visited here, French cuisine dominates
the menu. Dinner is priced from $40 per person.
Contact Numbers to Book Tours
NEW YORK -- A number of tour operators offer escorted tours that
include Belgium as well as FIT programs to the country.
In addition to consulting the partial list of operators provided
below, contact the Belgian Tourist Office here for further
information on planning culinary or other specialty tours to
Belgium.Auto Europe, phone: (800) 223-5555Europe Express, phone: (800) 927-3876; fax (800) 370-0509Euroseven, phone: (800) 890-3876 or (212) 255-8166; fax (212)
255-8944IST Cultural Tours, phone: (800) 833-2111 or (212) 563-1202;
fax (212) 594-6953Sabena Airlines (Eurostarters packages), phone: (888)
722-3621United Vacations, phone: (800) 328-6877