The 5 most original restaurant concepts in Brussels
Local foodies agree that Barbara and Grégoire have created a downtown Brussels restaurant that is almost perfect. The couple have taken over a former cafe in a forgotten neighbourhood and transformed it into a cool urban spot with exposed brick and sober furniture. People come here for the relaxed setting and the downtown buzz. But they are equally charmed by Grégoire’s creative cooking based on organic produce from local farms, along with Barbara’s offbeat wine list.
2) Cook & Book
Here is a place where you can eat lunch in one of nine beautiful bookshops. Each bookshop/restaurant has a different theme and decor: a Fiat 500 sits in the cookbook section, an Airstream is parked in the middle of the travel books, and novels hang from the ceiling in the literature shop. It’s quite confusing, but it somehow works, a bit like Belgium.
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3) Wolf Food Market
This vast food hall opened in 2019 in an architectural landmark formerly occupied by a savings bank. Designed by interior architect Lionel Jadot in a quirky eclectic style, Wolf gets its name from the street Fossé aux Loups, literally Wolves’ Ditch. The complex brings together 19 food stands run by small local restaurants, along with two bars, a microbrewery and a chocolate maker.
A new lunch restaurant with a stunning city view opened in 2021 in the former canteen of the National Library. Designed by architect firm Agmen, the fifth-floor restaurant blends the building’s sober 1950s modernism with contemporary touches. The acclaimed chef Filip Fransen creates innovative dishes inspired by Belgian and French cooking, and the rooftop terrace makes this a special spot for a summer lunch, drinks and music.
5) Le Chalet Robinson
Built in 1877 on an island in the woods, the Chalet Robinson burned down in 1896 and again in 1991. It reopened in the summer of 2009 in a style close to the original. The island location, reached by an old ferry, makes it one of the most romantic spots in Brussels. The menu offers traditional Belgian tavern food like meatballs in tomato sauce, Limousin steaks and pancakes. Service can be slow on a busy day.
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