I Live in Brugge and believe me, All the restaurants are just as expencive for toerist as it is for the locals.
On the market square we as locals don't get any good service either, most times when we want to have a drink we are refused because we take up space for the toerist that spends more money sitting and eating in the market square restaurants.
Don't go on th market square, the Burg and the serouning of the begijnhof. All these restaurants are expencive and not all are quite that good. Some are very good, but then you also pay the price. like this restaurant Cafédraal ***
Unique Suggestions: always look at the prices first, never let a garcon talk you over in comming to sit in his restaurant.
Fun Alternatives: There are a lot of good resturants and snack bar in the city, just have a look around or ask a Local, most will be glad to help as long as you don't speak french to them with an englich accent :-)
For a dirk go to creanenburg or Die meane on the market if you want to have a drink on the square.
another good place is Joey's or the Irich Pub or some places on the zand. That's the other big square away form the center. Go to the Leffe Cafe on the corner and have a Leffe ( drark brouwn Beer )
there are a lot of links on the net to Brugge, maybe this is useful for Eating-drinking :
Mail me for more information if you want
The canal tours are a waste of money and time. Still, as a tourist, we can't help ourselves but shell out hard-earned cash on these tours.
The canals are great just to walk alongside at your own pace, wherever you want to go.
Unique Suggestions: The Gouden Boom brewery has some damn good beer, actually, any belgian beer will always have my mouth watering
It may be a small place but it is full of tourists by mid noon during weekends. The good thing is tourist buses are not allowed to enter the streets. Early mornings or night times are the best times to take in the sights I personally feel. It gets less busy and I can imagine the town growing quiet and the historic elements will outshine us modern dressed tourists.
Be prepared for the highest prices in Belgium? Those arriving by ship to Belgium and only visiting Brugge (or Bruges) should not make their impression about prices from this city. It is difficult here to find a main course for 10 Euro - and that is NOT as true in Brussels, Antwerpen, and certainly not in other Belgian cities.
Unique Suggestions: 1. the local brewery (Half Moon) charges only 2 Euro for their beer which is quite a normal price. Their food prices are also 'normal' at just under 10 Euro.
In the little plein or area outside of the brewery there is a sandwich shop with quite good sandwiches and other food at fairly good prices -- though their beer is more pricey than at the brewery.
Fun Alternatives: Look around -- a lot. Enjoy the wonderful views -- this is a beautiful city.