STUK is the kind of mixed-use space that Europeans always do so well. A bit like the Vooruit in Ghent but more focused on students and their needs. Kind of like a really cool student union! Part cafe, part cinema, etc., etc. Lots of students studying as well as chatting. Apparently, can get very crowded on clubStuk nights. Have a beer and enjoy!
Dress Code: Casual
A place festooned in the ribbons and stripes of club revelries (and rivalries) past. What a great atmosphere. The bartender- Jacky- told me he has tended bar their 42 years and counting. Now that's the kind of tenured "faculty" I like! There was even a little raffishness in the once-nicotine stained air as the hour drew late and the normal anti-vice rules (effective since July 1, 2011) temporarily suspended. As the oldest student bar, seniority has its privileges!
Dress Code: The gamet from casual to men in suits.
An attractive spot very popular with the students. The bartender admitted that most of the jazz legends pictured around the place NEVER set foot here. Still, their spirit surrounds this place! Most of the time it is dj programmed music so check for the occasional live sets on their website.
Dress Code: Casual
The beautiful long square called 'Oude Markt' is lined with very old, tall houses. But when you take your eyes off that wonderful view, you see that the whole square is filled with restaurants and bars and outside terraces. Literally hundreds of people can sit here to enjoy a meal or a drink.
I think the restaurants are for every budget, from fast foodish, sushi, local Belgian and anything else you can think of.
This square is obviously used for music festivals. At one end of the square there was a temporary stage no less than 20 metres wide and 15 metres deep.
Above the streets that turn off the square, there were banners saying 'exit'. I can't imagine otherwise than that the square can be filled with crowds during a concert and the banners are there for safety, so people know how to get off the square.
Dress Code: Informal
When brewing became a nationwide industry in the 19th century, Leuven became worldfamous for its beers. Today the city is to be known as the beer capital of Belgium.
Besides, where else would you rather sit back, relax and have a drink than on the 'Old Market
square': a traffic-free market square, counting 52 different pubs hidden behind picturesque and historical façades?
And don't forget that Leuven is the home of Stella Artois, worldwide known as INBEV, one of Belgium's most famous breweries.
Nearby you can find "De Kotmadam" (The Landlady), the statue of a woman on a bench holding a teapot. She is as typical for Leuven as the "Manneken Pis" is for Brussels.
Loungy environment where you can enjoy a nice cocktail or one of the other refreshing drinks, while relaxing with some nice r&b or lounge tunes or enjoying cool music videos on one of the 40 flatscreens hanging on the wall. They have really nice food (tapas, salads, pastas,...) and coffee with a piece of pie... There's also an X-box lounge and internet access through the internetcomputers, but you can also connect your laptop to the internet for free.
A nice atmosphere, nice food and drinks,... It's not as crowded as the small bars at the Oude Markt so it's really a nice place to sit, relax and have fun.
EDIT: Doesn't exist anymore!!!! It's now replaced by an art gallery.
I only went here once, on a quiet night in June when all the students were revising for their exams; but I could feel an amazing warmth and friendliness from the empty bar. I will definetely come to see this bar on a more busy night around freshers time!
We decided to end our day-trip in a place very popular among the students, the Oude Markt, also known to be the largest bar in Western Europe !! We chose StudentenCafe de Rector, to have a drink and a little something to eat. I liked the very simple atmosphere of the place, and also the pancakes we ate with a good hot chocolate or tea :-)
This ended our city-trip in Leuven, but the experience was so pleasant that we already asked Alex to prepare more of those interesting discoveries of our country's beautiful heritage...
Next excursion planned : Gent !!!
A very nice Grand-cafe situated in the centre of Leuven, excelent food, and a wide variety of beers and wine!
I love to sit here and see all kinds of students and other people walk, cycle along, gossiping and chatting, life, as it is, wonderful!
Dress Code: You can go here with the whole family, no dress code
In case you want to go dining during your night out on the town and want to go some place where you have plenty of choice when it comes to restaurants, you can go to the Muntstraat. This narrow center street runs between Naamsestraat and Tiensestraat, right behind the town hall. Plenty of places to choose from with ample variety, and when the weather permits you can also eat outside.
As the night falls, make your way to the historical center of Leuven. Watch the gothic buildings bathe in a mellow, yellowish light. See the crowds - young and old - make their way to the hundreds of cafés and restaurants the town has to offer. Many of them are students, either foreign or from elsewhere in the country, and chances are they are (nearly) as new to the city as you are. Everyone seems to be in a good mood, the streets are clean and safe...
So, as the darkness falls, walk around the Grote Markt (great market square) where you can see architectural beauties such as the Tafelrond building, the town hall and St. Peter's church. Walk past the Police station into the narrow Boekhandelstraat - a bit further you're in the even more narrow Muntstraat - our version of the Rue des Bouchers in Brussels : a cozy alley lined with restaurants and bars. Walk behind the town hall building and cross Naamsestraat - now walk down to the Oude Markt (old market square) where you'll find dozens of cafe's, all different, one next to the other... there's bound to be something to suit your taste.
Leuven - you may have never heard of this place before, but you'll love it right away. It's cozy, beautiful, and somehow feels familiar and magical at the same time ...
Just a short walk from the center of town is a great little bar called De Kleine Taffel. I'm not exactly sure of the spelling of the name because it's been a couple of years since I've been there. However, they've got one of the best unique beer deals in town. Upon special request, you can buy a full litre of just about any of the more common (and delicious) Belgian beers for about eight Euros. The beer is served to you in a beautiful tall vessel (a larger version of a Kwak glass, for those more familiar with Belgian beers). The waiter may warn you about the glasses, and I advise you to heed his warnings. The things are beautiful yard glasses in wooden stands, rumored to cost several hundred Euros each. Half a dozen of these slender behemoths on the table gives one the impression of wandering through a sparkling, frothy forest of beer. They manage to bring class to binge drinking. Very cool.
Dress Code: No specific dress code is required. But come on now, don't show up in your pyjamas.
My friends and I always go to cocktailbar "College" in the Muntstraat, which is close to the city hall. There you'll find a large variety of cocktails and Belgian beers.
Make sure to try their "Mojitos"!
The "Old Market"( Oude Markt ) square is the most vibrant nightlife spot. It's in the middle of Leuven ( on two hundred meters from the CIty Hall ), and its sides are FULL of cafés, there's only cafés, so they call it "De langste toog ter wereld" ( "toog" is the thing in a bar where you can sit at and place your order, don't know the english word ).
At every hour of the night, you can expect folks to be there, cafés are open till the early morning ..
The whole square is in the summer covered with terraces, give a lovely look!
Dress Code: None. You can wear what you want !
As Leuven is known as the University city, nightlife is present all over. One off the main places to find bars, cafes etc is "de oude markt" you will find a multitude of eating and drinking places.
If you're looking for other places to dine you should go to the "Muntstraat". This street is full of restaurants.