If we think about food before we arrive to Belgium, we will probably have in mind mussels, waffles and chocolate, but the Belgian cuisine and, specially, the one from Bruges offers us a large variety of specialties.
Bruges is a city close to the North Sea and also close to the Netherlands.Thus, its cooking receives influences coming from different parts: from their French and German neighbors but also from Spain, Italy or Asia. In a city visited every year by more than 4 million tourists, we will sure find cooking for all tastes and pockets.
And of course, you have to know that Bruges offers you more typical dishes and more interesting food than mussels with French fries.
These are some of the most famous and recommended dishes from the Belgian cooking:
- The Flemish carbonade: It could be considered as the main typical dish of Belgium. It is a beef stew made with beer sauce, one of the most famous Belgian products. You can find it prepared in several ways, depending on the restaurant: it could be made with one particular beer (Grimbergencarbonade, Chimaycarbonade…) and it is usually served with French fries or mashed potatoes.
- Witloof(endives) with cheese and ham: The witloof or endive is one of the most important vegetable in Belgium. They are prepared with béchamel sauceand they are wrapped in cheese and ham. They are cooked grilled in the oven.
- Pork knuckle with mustard sauce: this is a German typical dish but very common in the Belgian restaurants. It is usually prepared with mustard sauce and served with a baked potato and a side salad. It could be also prepared with plums, but this way is not very usual.
- Rabbit’s leg in cherry beer sauce: The rabbit’s leg is usually prepared with a cherry beer sauce or with plums and it is very popular in Brussels. This dish is served with applesauce.
- Waterzooi: This dish is a typicalstew from Flanders, more precisely, from the Gent’s region. You can find it made with either chicken or fish. It is usually cooked with some other ingredients such as vegetables(carrots, leek and potatoes), egg or cream. If you find the waterzooi made with chicken, you have to know that it is called kippenwaterzooi. This dish is more common in the city of Gent, but you also can find it in Bruges. In any case, it is better to taste it in winter because it is so filling and it has to be served very hot.
- Stoemp: This is a typical dish from Brussels and it consists of mashed potatoes (usually served with vegetables, for example, carrots) and sausages.
- Mussels: In cities as Bruges the mussels are more common than in Brussels, because this type of shellfish comes from the North Sea, located just 20 km away from Bruges. You will find them prepared in a thousand ways, but the most typical one is with white wine and celery. In our opinion, the previous specialties described here are a better choice than the mussels.
FLEMISH AND FRENCH NAMES FOR THE SPECIALTIES
You will usually find a version of the menu in English in the Belgian restaurants, but just in case, we will provide you the name of the specialties in the two main Belgian official languages. Note however that in Bruges we only speak Flemish thus, you won’t find easily the names of the dishes in French.
- FlemishCarbonade / Carbonadeflamande / Stoofvlees
- Grilled Witlooves / endives / Chiconsgratines / Witloofin de oven
- Pork nuckel in mustard sauce / Jamboneau / Hammetje
- Rabbit’s leg in cherry beer sauce / Lapin a la Kriek / Konijn met Kriek
- Waterzooi / Waterzooi (pescado) Kippenwaterzooi (pollo)
- Stoemp / Saucisse / Stoemp
- Mussels / Moules / Mosselen
BRUGES TYPICAL BEERS
A Belgian food needs to be complemented by a Belgian beer, and in fact, it is usually cheaper than drinking water. A normal bar or restaurant has an average of 40 or 50 type of beers. The most interesting kind to taste during your holydays would be the trappist beers. There are onlyeleven beers in all the world that are called trappist and six are from Belgium (Chimay, Achel, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle y Westvleteren). We recommend you,if it is possible, to taste them draft rather than in bottle.
The most typical beer in Bruges is the BrugseZot and we recommend you, not only tasting it, but also visiting the brewery that produces this beer, located in the center of the city.
We also suggest you to visit the beer museum in Bruges. It is located in the Grote Markt and it has in the inside one of the best beer bars in Bruges, with a variety of high-qualitybeers. Niceday Tours’ clients will have 1€ reduction in the entrance to the beer museum using our discounts cards.
WAFFLES IN BRUGES
One of the most well-known desserts in this country is waffles (or gauffres in french) and you will find them in every corner, in fact, Belgian baking is world-known. The truck located just opposite the Bruges’ City Hall has the reputation of having the best waffles in Bruges.
MEALS PRICES IN BRUGES
The average price of lunch or dinner composed of one dish, dessert and a beverage is between 25 and 30 € per person.
WHERE TO EAT IN BRUGES
The restaurants located in the city center are too touristy and the quality is not the best. We do not recommend you to eat in the main squares: the Grote Markt, Burg Square or the Huidenvettersplein. Around this squares you will find local restaurants with a better quality and a better price. In any case, ask our guides and they will give you some advice according to your budget, your likes and your time.
DIFFERENT CHOICES TO EAT IN BRUGES
You will find the typical specialties in the so-called “bistro” or “brasserie”. They are establishments where you can either have beer or eat. The restaurants are only to eat and they are more expensive.
WHERE TO EAT CHEAP IN BRUGES
However, if you don’t want to spend so much money or time, you can choose other cheaper and faster options. There are a lot of stands and little stores where you can eat French fries, sandwiches, pizza, soups, salads… If you don’t have much time to discover the city, those places could be a good choice to spend less time eating and more time walking around the wonderful streets of Bruges.
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN BRUGES
Bruges has one of the best restaurants in Europe, called De Karmeliet, with 3 Michelin stars. If you are interested in tasting its fantastic food, you have to book in advance.
MEAL TIMES IN BRUGES
We usually have lunch in Bruges between 12:00h and 14:00h and we have dinner between 20:00 and 21:30h. You have to know that after 14:00h for lunch and 21:30h for dinner, the kitchens are closed in many restaurants and brasseries.