Dining at the bar in Belgium for Foodies

1) Melchior

If you are looking for a carefully crafted and inventive meal, you may consider visiting Melchior★. Chef Gilles Melchior’s playful combinations of sweet, savoury and spicy flavours have garnered widespread praise. The unusually dark interior makes a refreshingly informal impression with a distinctive playlist and graffiti on the terrace. Book a seat at the bar to imagine yourself dining in Paris or Berlin.

a dish with fish from Melchior restaurant

2) Little Paris

When the ice-cream parlour housed in this location closed up shop, French chef Arold Bourgeois and his family decided to take action. Their modest Little Paris★ bistro with comptoir (counter) is not to be missed. Arold has a no-fuss attitude and focusses on the essence of each ingredient, which is illustrated by his high-quality wine list as well. The menu exudes a love for French gastronomy, and at the same time combines classic flavours with originality and subtlety.

a plate of delicious shells served at Bistro Little Paris

Chaussée de Bruxelles 89, Waterloo

+32 (0)2 354 84 57

https://little-paris.be

Discover more

The Belgium for Foodies guide lists the very best places to eat and drink in Belgium. Available in our webshop now.

Buy the book

3) Baracca

Very young at heart, Baracca offers a stimulating and ambitious counter dining experience with fresh food – vitello tonnato, tacos, oysters, croques and Neapolitan pizzas – which can be shared if you so wish. Mainly inspired by the tasty simplicity of Italian cuisine, Baracca also incorporates Mexican cocktails as well as Asian desserts into its menu. The counter in the centre of the room provides a nice view on the open kitchen’s hustle and bustle, while the heated terrace is open year round.

baking fresh oven pizza at Baracca restaurant in Leuven

Tiensestraat 34, Louvain

https://baracca.be

4) Café René

Don’t be fooled by the location’s Flemish country-style exterior; inside you will find a casual family restaurant with an open kitchen, manned by chefs Pieter and Maarten Callant. If you want to try real Flemish classics done right, then De Kruier is the place to go. At the back of the idyllic garden – where you can dine al fresco when the weather allows it – you will find Café René in the restored windmill, offering a selection of wines and tapas, where guests can mingle and munch at the bar.

Café René inside of an old country-stile cottage and windmill in Belgium

Ramskapellestraat 66, Ramskapelle

+32 (0)50 51 53 13

https://caferene-knokke.be

5) InVINcible

Seated at the kitchen counter at InVINcible, you can feel the heat coming off of the giant rotisserie and watch chef Kenny Burssens work his magic. Enjoy the company of other diners – 18 in total – while you savour the recommended wine pairings that are always spot-on, because Kenny spent part of his career working as a sommelier. The fish in salt crust, the clams in white-wine sauce or the dry-aged beef: choosing won’t be easy, because Kenny really makes each dish his own. Good to know: Bon Bon★★ chef Christophe Hardiquest adores this establishment.

a dish of butterfly trout at Invincible

6) Eén Twee Vijf

This intimate and outstanding gastronomic bistro feels like home. You can go to Één twee vijf for a lunch or dinner prepared by the talented Tomek Mroszczak. His menu offers a limited number of starters, main dishes and desserts, always combining unusual flavours and textures. Host Lieven Cobbaut is equally creative, serving interesting discovery wines and the best negroni cocktails in town – they’re made using selected vermouths, which stabilise for hours at 53 degrees, resulting in a wonderful cocktail with exceptional bitterness, best enjoyed at their counter.

the chef of Een Twee Vijf restaurant preparing a cocktail

Molenaarsstraat 125, Ghent

+32 (0)9 311 52 15

https://eentweevijf.be

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up