Unique coffee bars in Belgium
1) Maison Jacobs
Nothing has changed in this Dinant tea room since the interior was modernised in 1948. It has kept its dark wood panelled walls, mirrors and folding tables. The coffee is still served in silver pots and the Couques de Dinant are made according to a recipe dating from 1860.
2) Kaffee Ine
This bohemian coffee bar in downtown Mechelen is a favourite dive for young local creatives. The cluttered interior has a shabby chic look with assorted leather armchairs, a wall plastered with photos of cycling heroes and a romantic den on the mezzanine level. Look out for concerts by indie bands.
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3) Café Entrepot
This stunning cafe opened in 2012 in a renovated industrial building on Leuven’s Vaartkom waterfront. It has a rough industrial interior with recycled wooden tables, iron pipes and a suspended silver sculpture by Pieter Jansen. The terrace on the waterfront is the perfect spot for a coffee or a chilled Hoegaarden beer.
4) Le Cappuccino 1971
A strange cafe is buried inside a curious round library in the centre of Liège. Designed by Pierre Schuster in 1971, it is a dark, mysterious den with exposed brickwork, wooden rafters and dim lighting. Furnished with old armchairs, piles of magazines and round tables, the cafe has a serious, literary atmosphere. It might look a bit odd, but the young owners have created a relaxed mood with good music, photo exhibitions and excellent espresso coffee.
It’s worth tracking down this coffee bar hidden down a quiet lane in Aalst. It’s a relaxed spot with vintage furniture, a window counter where you can perch with a laptop and tables out in the street. It also sells books, postcards, jewellery and unusual gifts. Locals swear the coffee served here is the best in town.
6) De Dingen
De Dingen is a quirky bar in Kortrijk furnished with odd tables, potted plants and a vintage school wall map. It’s a relaxed spot with a cultural feel where they sell jewellery made by local designers and organise concerts by Kortrijk bands. They put out a few tables on the street in the summer where you can sit with a bowl of soup and a West Flanders craft beer.
7) Cåfé du Sabløn
This relaxed coffee bar in the elegant Sablon district of Brussels has embraced Nordic style right down to the letters in its name. Located in a raw concrete interior, it has perfected the Scandinavian look of pale wood, scattered cushions and international newspapers. The coffee is roasted on the spot.
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