Excellent recommendation by Brecht , my VTer (Museeuw) meet up and reliable purveyor of all things Belgian!, this stew made with Leffe beer and tender cuts of beef (but 'even better when made at home by Brecht himself'!) with an excellent salad with a large cold glass of Leffe blonde (my preference to the darker stronger stuff!) in one of those lovely Belgian beer glasses of course! was good value at only 17 euro.
The ambience was definitely of a Leffe kind - being a Leffe pub/cafe all things Leffe were here - the Leffe trademark advertised around the place - but noticeably clean both up around the restaurant and bar and downstairs around the loo areas.
Favorite Dish: Only tried this dish - but Id recommend it - and would most likely choose again if back.
After all those explanations, we deserved a little something to fill our stomachs, so we walked the Tiensestraat to reach the restaurant Herberg Domus, where we found local specialties to eat. Almost everyone chose to try the “stofvlees met Domus bier”, a plate of flemish carbonades cooked in the beer Domus.
Domus is the local beer of Leuven, so we tried three different sorts of the brand : Con Domus (pils), Nostra Domus (amber) and Engel (dark).
In the Muntstraat, where this restaurant is situated, you are spoiled for choice. However, a VT member recommended it in a tip, and friends, who live nearby Leuven, did also.
The menu is a classic Belgian one. There were main courses for 13-15 euro (for instance the Leuvens stoofvlees (simmered beef). Still, I found the menu costing just a wee bit more than what I am used to in Belgium.
Favorite Dish: Though most mussels come from The Netherlands (Zeeuwse mosselen - mussels from the province Zeeland), they are eaten most in Belgium. The big difference is: in The Netherlands you should have no expectations as to what kind (size/quality) mussels you will get in a restaurant.
In The Netherlands you usually pay just under 20 euro for 'unlimited' mussels.
But in Belgium you get the very best, the largest and most tasty.
You get a kilo or 1.5 kilo boiled and flavoured to your taste (I had garlic, mind you... your loving partner will not love you that night!).
They were excellent. That course cost 23 euro, including fries and some bread.
Shrimp croquettes are a Belgian speciality. These were good. So was the sauce, a good quality flavoured mayonaise. This dish cost 10.50 euro.
The lamb chop dish with herb butter was, well... BIG. A bit too big for a normal eater, which makes it just a bit less fun. The dish was tasty but not very refined. There were no vegetables with the dish.
Salads and side-dishes to be ordered separately.
All in all we paid 83.10 euro for 2 persons, including coffees, beer and tonic and 0.5 ltr red house win.
In a 32-m high former silo building just outside the center of Leuven, you can eat different wok meals as much as you like for only 18 euro.
How does it work?
You go to a refreshment bar, choose your ingredients, give them to a cook in the back of the restaurant, tell him which sauce you want (there is a whole list of normal - medium and hot sauces) and he will prepare it for you in a wok. It's just delicious.
Favorite Dish: Start with a cocktail "Caïpirinha". It's very refreshing.
If you like your food very hot, try the Korean sauce.
In a small street near the market place one of the many restaurants in this area. Services was good and friendly.
Favorite Dish: I chosed the only vegetarian dish of the menu - tofu with diffrent vegetables, mmmmmhhhh - very tasty! My friend Susanne and her boyfriend chosed salm which was also good. Again we went for the house wine which was a good red wine from South Africa. The coffee was served with some little pieces of chocolate (unfortunately not the good Belgium one) and small pices of cake.
Just had a look on their webside and on their menu which seems to change regularly.
Het Dagelijks Brood means Daily Bread.
If you want to skip your hotel breakfast, this is the place to go. Organic breads, jams, boiled eggs with a bowl of coffee.
Or later in the morning a cappuccino with a wonderful rich cake.
Lunches with some hot dishes, all organic.
It was busy with customers while we were sitting there. Rightly so!
Monday-Saturday 7.30-18.00 hrs
Sunday and holidays: 8.00-16.00 hrs
Favorite Dish: We had coffee, cappuccino and 1 chocolate fudge cake and one 'merveilleux' made of meringue, cream with chocolate chips and a chocolate topping. Delicious!
You can also buy your bread here. Some of them are mighty big so you can buy half or a quarter bread.
Mind you, it is a bit pricy. Our cakes were 4 euro each. But I think it was worth it!
On holiday your eating habits may be a bit different from home. Especially in Belgium where there's such a lot of good quality food. So you want a light lunch? Go here!
You'll be in THE restaurant street of Leuven, hopefully eating on the street and watching people pass by, which I think is fun.
We were looking at the menu but were undecided when the waiter came. He said: why not take the tapas lunch menu? He described it, ending with: and you'll have eaten well.
Thus said, thus done. With the greatest pleasure!
Favorite Dish: We had a tapas lunch menu consisting of (no little portions!):
fresh crusty bread with little dips of garlic/basil butter, good olive oil and finely cubed tasty tomatoes,
terrine of salmon,
terrine of shrimp,
fried fresh (!) calameres.
This cost us an amazing 15 euro each. Which I assure you, is next to nothing for a lovely meal.
Adding up drinks and coffee, we spent 40 euro.
At the cooking ware shop we asked for a typical Belgian 'frietkot' (literally a shed where you can buy fries but usually it's simply a shop) in the center of town. One of the staff was glad we asked. That's because it seems to be city council policy to get those fries shops out of the city center.
We thought this is ridiculous. A 'frietkot' (also known as 'frituur') is a typical Belgian thing that you see on just about every street corner normally.
We were directed to the best one in town, in the Muntstraat (exactly! That's the street where there a just about only restaurants and eateries).
It's called Fonske. Probably after the statue of Fonske (fountain of wisdom) standing on Foch square.
So... remember Fonske!
Favorite Dish: Unfortunately we were there just between opening hours. We will have to enjoy those wonderful golden, 3x baked fries with Belgian mayonaise next time.
Open every day from 17.30 hrs
See the website for more restaurants, including Fonske.
The Chess Café is a very trendy place, in an industrial style building. It's a "wok away" restaurant where you make your choice of meat, fish, veggies, ... at a buffet. You put everything on a plate and bring it to the wokking counter where you select the sauce you would like to have with it (sweet & sour, curry, hot & spicey - up to you). After a few minutes you get your plate back, stir fried and ready to eat.
Favorite Dish: Their "eat as much as you can" formula costs 18 euro and you can refill your plate as manyy times as you like.
Of course you can have an appetizer first and a dessert, if you wish.
Try the caipirinha (house aperitif) which is very good!
De Wiering is a tavern/restaurant which focuses on local cuisine - for instance meat stews made with Belgian beers, and typically Belgian desserts like Brussels waffels - and they have 60 or so beer varieties to choose from. So, just like Domus (see first tip), this is a good spot to sample some typical, Belgian no-nonsense cuisine. They also serve seafood, grilled meat dishes, pastas, and so on. Prices are moderate and the setting is quite nice : the back side of the building overlooks the Dyle river (see pic). You can view the menu (including English translation) on their web site : here
De wiering means that the restaurant is made in an old attic where they stored grain.
Inside the restaurant whole place is like ti was before.
In the restaurant you can have fishdishes, vegetarian food, spare ribs, scampidishes, meatdishes etc.
It's not expansive
You're also welcome to taste a belgium beer or have a long drink.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish, are the spareribs. They have them on 10 different ways.
What i also like, are the scampidishes. They have them on 11 different ways.
Lukemieke is a good vegetarian restaurant.
It's situated near the city park.
You can choose each day of the meal of the day or a meal cooked au gratin.
They also have a garden, where it is nice to stay and eat in summer.
Low price restaurant (7.50 € voor a meal)
Favorite Dish: I take the meal of the day. It countains 7 or 8 different vegetables.
It changes every day and is marked on the entrance of the restaurant.
I'm not a real vegetarian, but i like it very much.
Although Leuven is the home of internationally operating brewing empire InBev, formerly known as Interbrew, you can get a good beer that has nothing to do with this dubious firm. A local brewpub called Domus offers a wide selection of beers from other breweries, mostly Belgian of course, and also three made in their own brewery and only available here. Con Domus and Nostra Domus (you get the jokes?) are two of them, but the first time I tried the stronger third one, Engel ("angel"), which has a nice bittersweet taste with a slight hint of nuts. This one is available only from October until April. It's excellent. At my second visit I tried Con Domus. This is advertized as an unfiltered pilsner. I was a bit disappointed; it didn't look unfiltered to me, it looked clear as water. It tastes like a regular lager too, perhaps a little more bitter, but still a bit too mediocre for my taste. The kind of beer that many people drink in large quantities, something that I never do. My third visit gave me the chance to try Nostra Domus. Again it's a darker beer. A bit bitterish, a bit sweet with a slightly burned aftertaste. Nice one, but Engel is the absolute winner here.
Oh, and you can eat here too, from a simple breakfast to a vast meal for dinner. I had a simple lunch the first time, an Uitsmijter, two slices of bread with eggs with cheese and ham on top. On a later occassion I tried the macaroni. It's to die for.
Unfortunately it took us a couple of visits until we discovered the non-smoking section in the back. It's too small but I'm glad it is there at all. If only they would make it clearer that it is there.
And there even seems to be an alternative for the previous place. Het Pleidooi proudly advertises with its Pilsner Urquel and other superior beers.
Kapsiki offers affordable and excellent "world kitchen" and has ten or so vegetarian dishes, as well. Great food, plenty of variety and good service at moderate prices. Beautiful setting and nice ambience, as well - and it's just around the corner of the Oude Markt where you can get a drink afterwards, if you wish.
Opening hours : 12:00-23:00 daily,
closed on Monday afternoon & Sunday afternoon.
De Kansel has a few things that make it highly recommended in my book : no-nonsense food at a decent price, friendly staff and a beautiful setting.
The word "kansel" means pulpit and they actually have one in the restaurant, among other antique, neo-gothic church furniture and stained glass. There is even a vague smell of incense. If you appreciate the Leuven atmosphere and architecture, you'll love it - I think it's a wonderful, cozy little restaurant.
While the menu may seem a bit generic and uninspired ar first glance, the food is surprisingly good. For a typical regional dish, try the "Leuvens Stoofvlees", a delicious, slightly sweet and tender beef stew - great with fries.
Location is a plus, being just a two minute walk from the Oude and Grote Markt.
open mon-fri 12:00-22:30, sat 12:00-24:00
sundays only in June - July - August.