mussels in brussels

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Mussels in Brussels - Food Guide

Yep. Another European food guide. I promise this one on Brussels will be quick and the last (if you haven’t already, check out my Berlin and Prague guides too). 

I’d been to Brussels once before and really didn’t like it. This time, I left with a much better impression of the place and I owe it all to the improved dining choices. Since not everyone will get a second chance at visiting, follow my few recommendations and you’re sure to have a great time. 

Brussels Food Guide - Chez Leon{Chez Leon with my dear Janet}

Brussels manages to be both the refined center of European government and one majorly tacky tourist trap. With the constant barrage of “Eat here!” and “Best Mussels! Best Value,” looking for a restaurant near Grand Place can be a major headache. The trick to navigating the chaos is to know where you’re going, and Chez Leon is the only place you need to know. 

Founded in 1893, Leon’s claim to fame is its moules frites, aka mussels and Belgian fries. Janet and I shared the Mussels Special with a celery, onion and butter sauce. They were perfect.

Having made the mistake of getting my mussels elsewhere, I can confidently say that Chez Leon is the place to be, so please don’t bother with the posers. 

Brussels Food Guide - Belgian Fries
Another great Belgian restaurant with a good mix of locals and tourists is Nuet Nigenough, known in English as The Greedy Glutton. Janet wrote a great description of the place, so head on over to her blog Janet Eats to check it out. 

Belgians like their fries with mayo, and this place makes its own. It was a bit too eggy for my taste, so I’m still quite partial to Hellman’s. 

Brussels Food Guide - Kafenio
If you’re looking for a break from french fries and mussels, I highly recommend you try Kafenio, a wonderful Greek restaurant right by the European Commission. The European Commission is worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood. 

Brussels Food Guide - Kafenio Greek Salad
I didn’t expect to have the best Greek food in Brussels, but that’s exactly what happened. 

Kafenio Calamari
I mean, just look at the size of that calamari. 

Kafenio Eggplant Croquettes
The eggplant croquettes were my favorite. 

Brussels Food Guide - Belgian Waffels
Of course, the Belgian waffles were magnificent no matter where you got them. 

Brussels Food Guide - McDonald's
And for my very last meal in Europe, I stopped in a McDonald’s to use the wifi and see what Belgian Mickey D’s had to offer. The answer: the motherload. 

I’ve seen quite a few McDonald’s in my travels and have to say that Belgium wins for best menu. Not only did it include french macarons, but the menu also boasted Cheese Rocks (fried gouda balls) and the Belgo Burger (chicken or beef), a hamburger with bacon, Belgian Maredsous cheese, roasted onions, and sort of Russian sauce. It was the best McDonald’s sandwich I’ve ever had. 

And with that, I’ll end this walk down Belgian food memory lane. Next stop: New York, New York. Have a great weekend!

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