EATING MY WAY THROUGH BRUSSELS

You might already know that the Belgian capital is Brussels. But what you might not know is that Brussels is a weird city. For starters, their official monument is a 61cm tall peeing boy. They have two official languages (French and Dutch), they wear pajamas out in public and are listed among the world’s finest cities for eating. Despite its small size and reputation the Belgian people sure love their cute capital and are proud of their country.

But before I get into the food portion, because let’s be honest, I spent most of my three days there eating and drinking. I also want to tell you some other things to do in Brussels. I don’t normally start my blog posts with tours, but Brussels is such a small city that you can see everything there is to see if you choose the right tours. I did two tours during my time here, one was free and the other paid but both covered a majority of the city in a short period of time.

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Sandeman Free Walking Tour

Sandeman is an amazing company, I’ve done a few tours with them throughout Europe and each one was entertaining, insightful and fun. I love the concept of a free walking tour (first you take the tour and then you decide what you think the tour is worth). Maggi was my tour guide for this one. She had incredible energy and great enthusiasm. The tour balanced both history and fun facts as well as mentioned awesome culinary delights of the country. You really see a lot of the city with this tour.

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Beer and Chocolate Tour

Well… You just can’t visit Brussels without eating chocolate and drinking beer. This is the perfect tour in Brussels and probably one of my favorite tours ever. The Beer and Chocolate tour walks you through the entire city while tasting some of the best chocolates I’ve ever tried in my life followed by delicious craft beers. They are kept to a fairly small group so they feel intimate and you’re able to chat with the other people in the group as well as get all of your questions answered.

The tour starts off slow and quiet but by the end of the tour everyone is talking and chatting like you’ve known each other for years. The history of chocolate in Brussels was explained well and we were allowed to sample many different chocolates from 4 different high-end chocolate establishments. Following the delicious delights, we went to 4 different pubs, including the oldest pub in Brussels, to drink several different kinds of beers. The tour was fun, entertaining, and it left me boozy.

It really is the perfect tour for all ages. We had couples, families with children (they had great options of juices and soft drinks instead of beer) and also singles. Highly recommended.

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Neuhaus chocolate factory

You will see many Neuhaus locations throughout Brussels. But before going to the locations in the city I recommend you visit the factory. Located just outside of the city (you can even get there with public transportation), this is a must for any chocolate lover. It’s a showroom and you can sample as many chocolates as you want, they have many different kinds and they are all so delicious.

It is recommended that you make a purchase (so you’re not just sampling free chocolates). I, however, recommend you make a small purchase. Inside the locations throughout the city, you can make your own variation pack of the chocolates that you really enjoyed instead of a pre-made box. So remember the ones you really enjoyed from your tasting and purchase only the ones you like. Unless you’re trying to save money then buying directly from the factory showroom will be cheaper.

Unfortunately, they don’t offer tours because the Belgian people are really secretive about their chocolate recipes. Even the families of the chocolatiers cannot go on a tour.

Tip: Bring some water and a buddy, this way you don’t get dehydrated and you can split the chocolates in half to try more of them. You also don’t have to eat the entire chocolate if you don’t like it. They have bins throughout the entire showroom where you can toss your leftovers.

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The Famous Manneken Pis

The most famous statue in Belgium, this is a 61 cm tall peeing boy located in the center of the city. Literally translated to “small man peeing” no one knows the real story of why he is there. I have heard different variations of this story but they all say that it has to do with this boy saving the city. Probably the most famous of the stories, and one you might have heard before is that there was a fire in Brussels and the boy peed on the city to get the fire out. I personally think it has something to do with the Belgian people drinking a lot of beer haha.

A fun and quirky fact about Manneken Pis is that he has over 1000 different outfits. More outfits than Madonna and Lady Gaga combined. You can see the schedule of his outfits here and visit all of his outfits in the wardrobe gallery.

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Where to eat:

Pop Up Sablon

I can’t say enough good things about this place. Pop Up Sablon serves delicious food at a reasonable price with a great wine selection. Before coming here I scoped out their menu to see if they were pescatarian friendly. They had many fish and veggie options which drew me to this restaurant right away. The décor inside is absolutely elegant, beautiful and modern, you can get lost staring at the walls with their eclectic artwork. However, it was a beautiful day out so I sat outside which allowed me to people watch while enjoying my amazing cod dish. The service was friendly and professional and the atmosphere was amazing. I saw the owner of the restaurant walk up to every table and ask about their meal. This gave a great personal touch to the dining experience, something I’ve only seen back home in Chicago. It’s a lovely elegant place to enjoy a lunch or dinner in a chic part of town.

The service was friendly and professional and the atmosphere was amazing. I saw the owner of the restaurant walk up to every table and ask about their meal. This gave a great personal touch to the dining experience, something I’ve only seen back home in Chicago. It’s a lovely elegant place to enjoy a lunch or dinner in a chic part of town.

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Restaurant L’Ocean

I love this concept! This is a must for seafood lovers like myself. They have a huge selection of fresh seafood where you can go and pick out your fish/sides then they cook them for you on the spot. The fish is super tasty and comes with different sauces and bread as a side. It made me feel like I was back at a fish market in South East Asia with the freshness of fish being made in front of me.

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Belgium Fries

As an American, we are used to calling them French Fries, please don’t call them this here, as the Belgian people get offended. What makes the Belgian Fries so special is that they are fried twice. Once at a lower temperature to cook them, the second time at a higher temperature to make them crispy. If you order fries at a sit-down restaurant you probably won’t notice a difference between those and fries from back home. There are several shops (usually small and found on the corners) throughout the city that sell these fries with an assortment of sauces.

FYI: These are fried in beef oil, and will leave you with a beef taste in your mouth. If you don’t eat meat like me you can ask for them to be cooked in vegetable oil.

Belgium Waffles

When in Belgium you have to try Belgium Waffles. You will find many shops and food trucks serving this amazingly delicious desert; there is even a whole street dedicated to Belgian Waffles near Manneken Pis, but try to avoid this street as the quality of waffles isn’t the best here.

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5 Fun Facts about Brussels

  • The Brussels International Airport is the number one chocolate selling point in the world.
  • Capital of comic books (The Smurfs, Tintin, and more all originated in Belgium)
  • Belgium has over 1000 different beers from 150 breweries. Beers to match any taste buds. I’m not a big beer drinker but they even have beers that taste like Champagne and fizzy rose. They’re delicious.
  • Brussels has the 2nd highest number of immigrants in the world
  • Galeries St. Hubert was the first shopping arcades in all of Europe opened in 1847

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Despite the fact that many people are still afraid to travel to Brussels and there being armed military around the entire city Brussels is a neat and unique city. I highly suggest you visit this odd little city for yourself and create your own things to do in Brussels list.

Traveling through Europe? Search for train tickets here.

Xoxo Ania Travels 💜


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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Pop Up Sablon Restaurant and the Beer and Chocolate Tour. I paid for my additional tours and food myself. As always, all opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links which will earn me a few cents to contribute to the running of this site if you make a qualifying purchase at no extra cost to you.

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  • Esperanza

    Brussels, Belgium is on my travel list! I would love to do the Neuhaus tour, I have a major sweet tooth! Those waffles too <3

    • Ania Ewelina

      Oh my gosh soooo much delicious chocolates <3

  • Annkatrin Simon

    Sweet 😍 I have been to Brussels before but I obviously missed something! Thank you for your awesome tips ☺

    • Ania Ewelina

      Hope this helps for your next visit.

  • Wow, great photos and some LOVELY looking food. I love a walking tour too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you 🙂

  • I have been to Brussels recently and tried neuhaus chocolate factory and Belgium waffles. I would definitely love to visit Belgium and visit the places I failed to visit in this trip.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Hope you can make it out sometime soon. The food there is just amazing

  • Lydia Smith

    I also didn’t miss the Belgium Waffles when I visited but I missed the rest. If I ever get to visit again, I’ll for sure.

    • Ania Ewelina

      the waffles are a must 🙂

  • 1AdventureTraveler

    Wow, the beer and chocolate tour sounds like the perfect tour. I have never been to Brussels but this looks like a great place to visit. #feetdotravel

    • Ania Ewelina

      hope you can make it there sometime

  • Punita Malhotra

    Chocolate factory tours would be on my list next time I visit Brussels. Great tip on Sandeman. Will be sure to check them out in Prague, where we’re headed next.

    • Ania Ewelina

      you need to check them out, it’s a great company with an even better mission

  • Sindhu Murthy

    A peeing boy for a city monument is something that intrigued me. I would rather reason it with the beer thing than with the legend of the boy saving the city on fire 🙂 Going by your post, Brussels seems to be an amazing destination for a short getaway. Btw, I love the colour scheme of your blog. It looks quite elegant.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you so much 🙂 and it was a great short getaway 🙂

  • As a street art enthusiast the Sandeman Free Walking Tour really appeals to me as the art is beautiful and its a free tour too. I would love to go on a chocolate tour as well x

    • Ania Ewelina

      Sandeman is an awesome company for the tours. But chocolate…. <3

      • Haha there is something about chocolate that makes me happy. Where are you thinking of going next? x

  • Nelu

    I love the wall art! Brussels seems like a brilliant city overall. Definitely worth adding to my list.

    • Ania Ewelina

      you need to it was a neat city 🙂

  • That grub looks DEElicious Ania. LOL on the peeing boy. Definitely down with walking around in my jammies though. They do that in SE Asia too. Especially in Cambodia and Vietnam, with Thailand coming in a close third. Folks always out in their pajamas.

    • Ania Ewelina

      hahaha right! that was my one of my favorite things about living in SEA.

  • The chocolate and beer tour sounds pretty cool – I would definitely do that. I was in New Orleans last month and we found a Belgium style fry store – they were delicious!

    • Ania Ewelina

      ohhhh thats awesome! the fries really are delish!

  • Inspired To Explore

    I loved Brussels! While being there, chocolate was a part of every single one of my meals. It felt like heaven 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      Seriously same here haha, it’s some of the best in the world!

  • The beer and chocolate tour sounds great. I need to pop over to Brussels for a weekend as it’s so quick and easy to get to x

    • Ania Ewelina

      I hope you make it there sometime, it really is an amazing place.

  • Love to read, pictures are awesome.
    Visit my website – https://www.ansnetwork.in/

    • Ania Ewelina

      Than you

  • Kristian

    That waffle and chocolate factory are goals. Lovely photography too.

    • Ania Ewelina

      seriously, right!!!!

  • Glimpses of The World

    I always have fun with walking tours, it’s amazing how much you can see and learn just by strolling around. But that chocolate tour.. Oh my, seems like a must! Don’t let me even start on the waffle photo though, still drooling! 😀

    • Ania Ewelina

      it really is. And brussels is so small we literally saw the entire city in just a few hours.

  • Girl Gone London

    Your pictures are so gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  • Brussels is on the list for this next year. All that beer and chocolate sounds amazing! And they wear their pjs out? Surprising for a European city.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I thought the same thing, but they like being “weird”

  • Agnes Vazhure

    Omg, those pictures with the seafood have me drooling. I like the look of the restaurant and the seafood looks delicious. Brussels is definitely a place I would like to visit.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really was delicious. Hope you make it out sometime.

  • I have to admit, it’s the food pictures from travels that really entice me into going myself! Looks fab!

    • Ania Ewelina

      hahaha me too!!! I’m such a foodie!

  • I would love to eat my way through Brussels! I have not been there so I do intend on visiting one day. I would love the beer and chocolate tour 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      I hope you visit, their food scene is incredible.

  • Adrianna Vogel

    You sold me with that Beer and Chocolate Tour ! That sounds fabulous! I live so close to Belgium I cant believe I haven’t visit it yet! Especially now when you tell me that great fact about the airport! 😀 Great recommendations!

    • Ania Ewelina

      I really hope you make it out, tell me about your visit when you do <3

  • Hal Yusuf

    i remember the pop up sablon – very nice venue and the service was on point! i guess i wasn’t the only one who noticed!

    • Ania Ewelina

      I’m so glad you remember it, ti was such a wonderful dining experience 🙂

  • Jessica Lynn Martin

    It is normal to go out in pajamas in Brussels? I want to move there just for that! The chocolate factory sounds amazing. I’m a little addicted to chocolate.

    • Ania Ewelina

      haha, they like being weird. You totally should and I’ll visit lol.

  • Eating is one of my favorite things to do, so I’d love this! I lived in Belgium for 3 years and I remember loving the food. That chocolate? Yes! The fries in a cone? YES!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Oh my goodness, so dang good!!!!!

  • Nellwyn

    I have awesome memories of the incredible waffles in Brussels. I also really enjoyed all the Magrittes at the Museum of Fine Art.

    • Ania Ewelina

      they’re the best!!! I wish I went to the fine art museum, time just didn’t permit.

  • A beer and chocolate tour? Say no more!

  • John Ezell

    You had me at beer and chocolate! The Waffles look incredible too! Looks like i need to take a trip to Belgium!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Yes you do, you’ll love all the food there.

  • love the photos. the food looks so delish. So… what do you call Belgian fries?

    • Ania Ewelina

      Belgian fries 😛

  • Kris M.

    I’m all about that chocolate! It looks delicious.

  • Wow looks like you has some amazing food in Brussels, the art work on that wall was amazing, love the colors.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It was so colorful, I loved it.

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra VA

    Wow. So many sights to see and food to sample! I have never been to Brussels. It has been on my travel bucket list of quite some time. I really have to save so I can fly there soon.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I hope you make it out there soon, it’s an incredible place.

  • Thanks for sharing! This is a great guide (and really well designed, the post and your site too!) to the best parts of Belgium, the food! The beer is great too, nice shout out there at the end. I read you’re not a beer drinker, but did you try many of the beers while you were there? They have some really unique styles in Brussels! Glad you liked some at least 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you Tom. Belgian beer is actually my favorite of all beers, lesser of all evils so to say lol. They do have some incredible ones, even one that tastes like champage. Now that’s a beer I like lol. Thanks for the blog compliments as well 🙂

  • I love seafood … those pictures tempting me to have seafood right now 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us your experience.

    • Ania Ewelina

      so dang good!!!

  • Ania

    Will be in Brussels next weekend. Took a bunch of screenshots of this post. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Let me know what you visit 🙂

  • Cindy Nicoletti

    This is heaven for me. Love my chocolate. Would love to take a great tour on all different chocolate.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really was so dang delicipouos.

  • What a fun trip! Brussels looks like such a beautiful place to visit and explore. Your photos are great too 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you.

  • Becca Talbot

    I bloody loved Brussels when I went with a friend a few years ago. The weather wasn’t the bestest, but we hung out in Galeries St. Hubert and people watched while drinking hot chocolate, then as soon as the clouds broke, we headed out to pubs and bars, trying loads of different beers 🙂 x

    • Ania Ewelina

      Who needs good weather in a city that’s just so incredible either way!

  • What a cool guide! I love beer and I love chocolate!

  • Thanks for your guide. I love food and I loooove chocolate. Must go to Brussels very, very soon 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      Hope you make it out there.

  • Shona Grant

    You had me at “Eating my way through…..” 😉

  • Christina

    Where to start?!?! I knew I was going to love this post when I read the article. I am a huge foodie and lover of chocolate. All the places you visited sound like a great experience. I like your recommendation of buying chocolate from the places you visit or a friend to help split the cost and tummy ache 🙂 The seafood and waffles also had my mouth watering! I hope I get to read your next foodie adventure!

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really does help, but let’s be honest even with friends there I ate most of the chocolate anyways lol.

  • Vladvaida.com

    Interesting facts!! Oh and I kinda lost it at Beer and chocolate tours haha!! I skipped the waffles because I’m supposed to be eating healthier LOL

    • Ania Ewelina

      hahahha!!!! you have to have the waffles, they have fruit on them so they’re healthy lol!!!!

  • Wish I’d seen this before I’d gone to Brussels! The only thing I’ve had here is the waffles – couldn’t miss those!

    • Ania Ewelina

      hope you make it there again.

  • Young And Undecided

    One of the main things I’ve heard about Brussels is that the food is top notch! This is sucha great guide! I’ve never been to Brussels before but now I reallly want to! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really is, so incredible.

  • Ana Ojha

    What a great comprehensive guide! That Belgium Waffle looks divine and that Neuhaus chocolate factory looks ultimate fun!

    • Ania Ewelina

      They really were, I hope you make it there sometime.

  • Danish Akhtar Multani

    Brussels looks beautiful through your post. its a small city but have so much to eat. architecture is also beautiful.

  • I need to go, especially if I Can wear my pjamas in public haha That seafood restaurant looks like what dreams are made of

  • Louise Smith

    This is one of the best travel guides I’ve ever seen. You’ve got me wanting to visit Brussels RIGHT NOW!!

    Louise x