We arrived around 7 PM without a reservation and the place was full. The waiter checked with Chef Tom and informed us that it would be OK to wait for the first table. Since we didn't have any other restaurants in mind, and had heard such good things about this place we decided to have a seat at the cozy bar and wait it out.
The restaurant has great ambience and it's located outside the main tourist area so it seems to be a local establishment.
It seemed that we picked an evening where everyone had decided to make an evening of their visit there so our wait was about 2 hours, but it was well worth it. Our daughter had Tom's Pasta which she loved while I had the meatloaf which was the best I have ever tasted or made myself.
The only thing I'd do differently next time is to call ahead for reservations. In Brussels the following day we were helped by a family who were traveling to Brugge the next day and we suggested they dine at Tom's. We also suggested they call ahead for reservations.
This restaurant is a little out of the way (but very handy if you are staying at the hotels around St Giles' Church), but well worth seeking out. The restaurant is in an old house, and the atmosphere is low-key and relaxed, with gentle jazz music setting the mood. An ideal place to eat whether you're looking for somewhere as a couple, or if you're with a group - all welcome! As it is away from the main tourist areas, the prices are a little lower.
The restaurant is closed on (I think) Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so check before you go.
Favorite Dish: I had salmon with mozzarella and seasonal asparagus - tasty and very filling. My husband's steak was fantastic and I was a little jealous that I hadn't had one myself. We were too full to try the dessert menu unfortunately.
We had several recommendations for Tom's Diner and as it was relatively close to our hotel, we selected this for our 2nd dinner in Brugge. Our hotel and this restaurant are a little off the tourist path which I find to be a positive draw, the prices aren't inflated and the food is good. Tom's Diner is known for using fresh local ingredients, the interior is very homey and rustic, a quiet place to have a meal.
Favorite Dish: We started with a couple of appetizers, shrimp croquettes garnished with pesto and tomato and fried cheese. I liked the croquettes, the cheese was good but it had an odd sweet flavor to it.
I tried to order the mussel appetizer as my entree so I could get a smaller portion but when the meal came out it was clear that she understood that I wanted a larger portion of the appetizer. The mussels were in a white wine garlic cream sauce and were good, they naturally came with a side of frites. David tried the quesadillas with spicy pork, he laughed when he noticed that they had no cheese as queso is the Spanish word for cheese.
Our meal with 2 appetizers, 2 entrees and 2 drinks each was 66E, a little expensive but good food.
Although Tom's Diner is a bit out of the tourist area, the place was packed. It is a small restaurant with seatings both downstairs and at the first floor. The building is very small and narrow and not attractive from the outside but inside it's very authentic Flemish with wooden tables and basic chairs, wooden beams on the ceiling, etc.
Favorite Dish: I think this is my favorite little restaurant in Brugge in terms of food. Especially considering the price/quality aspect!
We were with a group of 9 and were asked to limit ourselves to 4 different entrées and 4 main courses, in order to allow the kitchen staff to serve our whole table together.
My husband and myself ordered fennel soup with smoked salmon which was a large bowl of fine fennel soup with lots of smoked salmon. His main was saddle of hare with winter veggies and croquettes while mine was chicken wok with pasta and a sweet mango sauce. Delicious!!
Favorite Dish: Right in the heart of Brugge you can find this nice little restaurant. It was built in the 17th century and has a rustic interior. It's also known for its excellent meals and outstanding service