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Brussels can offer some tasty treasures that will please sweet lovers and food connoisseurs alike. Everyone knows about Belgian chocolate and probably the famous gueuze lambic beer, but there are many more lesser known regional specialities that are well worth trying.

Chocolate and beer

Chocolate and beer, as everyone knows, are typical Brussels fare. Visit the Museum of Cacao and ChocolateExternal link close to Grand-Place or make your own pralines in one of the traditional chocolatier kitchens

Beer enthusiasts are also well served in Brussels. Besides the Museum of Belgian Breweries on Grand-PlaceExternal link, why not visit the Cantillon family breweryExternal link, where you can find out exactly how they brew Brussels gueuze lambic. This spontaneous fermentation is used for gueuze, Kriek and Faro. Santé!

Au restaurant

Brussels obviously has a very large number of restaurants serving Belgian and Brussels specialities. A list of Brussels restaurants is published at resto.beExternal link.

'Moules frites' (mussels and chips) and 'anguilles au vert' (eel in green herb sauce) are two Belgian dishes of international renown. Lesser known but no less delicious are 'boudin noir de Bruxelles' (Brussels black pudding), 'Américain frites' (rough mincemeat with eggs and spices) and 'stoemp' (mashed potato mixed with vegetables) with a good slice of bacon and 'saucisse de campagne' (country sausage).

Brussels sprouts are almost never on the menu. Strange but that’s the way it is. Belgian endivesExternal link, on the other hand, sometimes also known as chicory is used in lots of dishes, including salads, entrées and gratins.

If you’re just a little hungry, 'tartine de plattekeis' (a type of white cheese) or a slice of 'tête pressée' (pork paté) might suffice.

Feel like a snack ?

While you’re strolling around Brussels, you will certainly come across booths selling:

  • Caricoles ('escargots' cooked in a spicy soup)
  • Freshly grilled chestnuts (autumn and winter only)
  • Waffles (genuine Brussels waffles)

Most people have never heard of 'pain à la grecque', though. Despite its name it is a Brussels biscuit with no connections to Greece. The word "Grecque" actually comes from the Flemish word "grecht", which means "ditch" in reference to the place where the Augustinians originally made these biscuits. The name "pain à la grecque" was later translated back into Dutch as "Grieks brood" (Greek bread). A Brussels speciality.