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AU Brussels | Food

Taste Belgium's Specialties

Colorful chairs on the patio of a cafe

Belgium is famous in Europe for its culinary delights. As the Belgians like to say, Belgian cuisine combines French excellence with German proportions. Try some of these local favorites when you come to Brussels:

Traditional Belgian meals with french fries
  • Mussels with Fries: The classic Belgian dish in which steamed mussels, prepared with a variety of different sauces, are served with the famous Belgian fries. (In America they are known as French fries, but in reality they are Belgian.)
  • Waterzooi: A specialty of the city of Ghent, it combines either chicken or fish served with either a vegetable sauce or stew and normally accompanied by mashed potatoes
  • Flemish carbonade: Chunks of meet simmered for many hours in a Belgian beer-based sauce and served with fries. (pictured left)
  • Vol au Vent: Chicken chunks served in a cream sauce on a pastry, usually served with fries
  • Belgian endives wrapped in ham and cheese and baked in a cream sauce, normally served with mashed potatoes
  • Stoemp: Sausages served with a mixture of mashed potatoes and mashed vegetables
  • Oostende-style Sole: Sole filets served in a sauce with tiny shrimps and other shellfish, normally served with mashed potatoes
  • Eel served “au vert”: Eel stewed in a green sauce
  • Rabbit à la Kriek: Rabbit served in a Belgian beer-based sauce, served with fries
  • Filet Américain: Belgium’s version of steak tartar, served with fries
Assortment of Belgian pastries with candles in them for a birthday celebration.
  • Dessert pastries: Past students nearly all say that Belgium has some of the best cakes, pies, and other pastries that you will ever taste in your life
  • Dame Blanche: Belgium's version of an ice cream sundae, made with Belgian chocolate
Little Italy restaurant window in downtown Brussels

Front window of 'Little Italy', a favorite restaurant for AU Brussels students

Don’t forget though that people from all over the world live in Brussels. Consequently, you can find restaurants that serve authentic food from nearly every country in the world, usually run by natives of those countries!

The exterior of a cafe with a Belgian flag hanging from above.
Outdoor seating is a cultural norm in Brussels.