I commute to Brussels almost every day and at least once a week I head out for lunch. The amazing thing in Brussels is that I only have to walk for a quarter to forget about my job and to get the feeling I am on a holiday in the neighbourhood of the Place Saint-Catherine or the Katelijneplein in Dutch. But usually I have lunch in the Northern Quarter where I work. It’s not a touristic area, if you don’t take the prostitutes into account, but it isn’t far from the shopping street Nieuwstraat and definitely worth a detour if you want good food.
These are my favourite spots:
- Soup in the City, Lakensestraat 36
Contrary to what their name suggests, they serve more than soup. I’d say they have the best croque monsieur in town and their salads are very tasty too. Soupwise their Saint-Germain soup is to die for. Think peas and lardons. It has been my favourite soup since I was a little kid, so I’m hard to please. The soup menu changes every day. You can find it on their Facebook. The staff at Soup in the City is the best, I can’t think of a place where waiters are friendlier. And you get your food really quickly!
- PhoPho, Kruidtuinlaan 24
It’s no secret that I love Vietnamese food and PhoPho does an excellent noodle soup. You can eat in or take away. Their appetisers are fab too: the nems are amazing, but I also like the spring rolls and their wan-tans frits a lot. Their pho’s are invigorating
- Café Congo, Arduinkaai 9
A hidden gem. It’s a small place, on the first floor of the KVS Box Office. I just love the quiet vibe. It’s the ideal place if you want to talk and the food is great and fair trade. I usually take a sandwich and a fresh mint tea. Don’t forget to bring cash as they don’t have a machine (even though the website says something else, so I should check it next time).
- Boulangerie Paul, Emile Jacqmainlaan 144
A classic across the street of my office, but I love their bread, their pastries and everything else a lot. The only thing I’m less fond of is their macarons. Their pizza provençale is fab: fresh tomatoes, olives and a crunchy crust. The lemon tarts are amazing too as well as their chocolate éclairs. I often buy bread (with figs or olives) there as well. It’s expensive, but it’s worth the money.
- Kaaicafé, Sainctelettesquare 18
Another theater lunch place, with a great outside terrace. I love the interior as well. You can view it on this website. I recommand their spaghetti as well as their croque monsieur and my friends tell me their other food is pretty good as well.