I didn’t know too much about Belgium prior to my trip there, so I did some digging and discovered some neat things. Like, that Brussels is the capital of the European Union, and home to not only chocolate, but also beer, french fries, and mussels. (: Um, say no more and put me on the next FLIGHT. The itinerary ended up looking like one long meal spread across the span of three days with random breaks to grab a beer. I’m not complaining. I’m actually surprised I managed to come back with pants still on — THAT’S how much of a foodie trip this was.
But anyway, Brussels is also a relatively small city rich with history and culture (not just food), and you can probably see the entirety of it in one day. Whether you have one day or one week, here were my favorites that I suggest you visit. (:
FAVORITE CHOCOLATE & PACKAGING | Mary’s : Mary’s is actually the warrant supplier for the royal court. There are two locations: one inside the Galeries, and the other original store on Rue Royale. Fun fact: When they remodeled Mary’s, they kept the store on Rue Royale FACING the congress to keep some of its history intact. This was where I purchased majority of my souvenir chocolates, a lot of their packaging can serve also as fun storage.
FAVORITE BEER | A La Mort Subite : If you know me personally, then you know I can’t drink. (And not just because I’m underage or my Christian beliefs — it’s a bit uglier than that). My face turns blotchy red, my head starts pounding, and after one sip, I’m ready to rest my head on the next thing that slightly resembles a pillow. #AsianProblems? But considering that beer is a way of life in Brussels, I wanted to drink up the whole experience. No pun intended. So we stopped by this cute little bar, (right across from the Galeries entrance in front of that funny pink bunny cyclist statue,) and ordered ourselves some authentic beer. Did I mention we did this little stroll at around 11 am? It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? We asked the server what his favorite beer was, and he recommended the au fut peche. And you know what, each sip was actually really enjoyable. It tasted like sparkling peach soda and nothing like piss! (: Now only if all beer tasted like that… If you’re a beer hater or a beer connoisseur or someone anywhere on that spectrum, check dis place out.
FAVORITE PIT STOP | Mokafe : Mokafe is a cute diner located inside the Galeries. Due to its prime location and four-star reviews on Trip Advisor, this place tends to always be packed. You can find a seat easily if your party is less then 4 or if you don’t mind sitting outside, but if your group is any bigger, expect to split up. They have a nice ambiance — it feels like you’re eating at your favorite grandmother’s house — with a decent menu. It’s not the CHEAPEST, waffles are > 5 euros, but all my friends kept raving about their salads. For me, it was just the perfect place to rest my legs after walking around all day and thaw out my fingers.
FAVORITE DAY ACTIVITY | Flea markets : This one’s for you all you thrift junkies. Brussels has quite a good amount of flea markets dispersed along the skirts of the city center. There’s one in the Sablon, one near a train station, and a few more that pops up depending on the day. Although I didn’t buy anything, i did see a good amount of items from fun trinkets, to antique china, to decent leather purses. If you have room in your luggage to bring back goodies, definitely swing by one of the flea markets. It’s also just exciting to see the locals scavenging for their own treasures.
FAVORITE TEA | Frederic Blondeel : I think this spot was recommended by Rick Steve’s, but my friends and I stopped by here while we waited for our dinner venue to open. (Restaurants usually stay closed until 7pm since people generally eat later.) This spot is located near St. Catherine’s, so right near the row of all the famous seafood restaurants, so it’s a good spot to kill time, drink tea, and just debrief the day’s activities. Frederic Blondeel was one of my favorite places we went to. The interior design is stunning, the silverware, the tea kettle — the whole set up, actually — is so charming, and it makes you forget about your frozen toes and brings you to a fancy lil tea party. If you’re not into tea, they also have a variety of chocolates and other drinks.
FAVORITE PHOTO OPP | I can’t recall what the name of this little square is, but it’s along Rue Royale, across from the museums. This, I thought, was the perfect view of the city, as well was my favorite place to take photos. One one side it overlooks the gardens and the city, on the other, is a row of really unique buildings, and right in the center is a water fountain.
I hope you enjoyed today’s friday favorites and that it was helpful for you if you’re planning an upcoming trip to Brussels! I tried to include less touristy spots like Mannekin Pis, Grand Palace, Chocolate Museum, etc., because they tend to be blasted on all other travel sites. Overall, Brussels was a relaxing getaway and would make the perfect location for a GNO. (;
On another note, I’m getting on a flight for London tonight! Have a good weekend errbody.