Estaminets & Beers, Brussels
Favorite thing: We found several nice bars in the vicinity of the Grand Place and for so touristy an area didn’t think the prices were over-inflated. One we particularly liked was La Faucon to the east of the square, where we enjoyed a post-dinner coffee and guenever. Another was the Mannekin Taverne – confusingly not very near the Mannekin Pis but to the north west of the Grand Place on the road leading to the Bourse. Here I liked the draught brown beer, Grimbergen.
Belgium produces some 400 brands of beer. i didn't have time to sample them all, but the ones I did come highly recommended.
Stella Artois, Juliper and Maes are your standard lagers and are vey good, but Lambic is a traditional Brussels beer.
Not forgetting of course all those beers that the monks brew...far to many to mention...brilliant to drink!
try out the chocolates & beer.
The choice of both is just amazing - not too good for the waistline but they taste really good & you're on holidays so go on & spoil yourself!!
The bars on the Grand Place are pretty pricey but it's worth having at least one beer there so that you can sit outside, soak up the atmosphere & people watch.
Finally you find your way inside a cosy Estaminet ready to order one of the more or less 1000 Belgian Beers.
Here at La Bécasse you can taste FARO beer on tap which is served in earthenware jugs.
FARO is a substyle of LAMBIC which is a type of wheat beer that has the unique distinction of using unmalted wheat and being spontaneously fermented using the wild yeasts of the Senne Valley (Brussels).
The lambic family of beers includes also these substyles: gueuze, faro, kriek, framboise and pêcheresse - the ONLY beer I like to drink!
Notice: Each and every type of Belgian beer has its OWN glass!
When you think you are about to enter the place and have a cold beer...
- you find out there is a very narrow alley leading somewhere...
...Not looking good but...
...hopefully it's the way to an Estaminet!
This one leads to *TOONE* an Estaminet and a marionette theatre.
It is found along - Petite Rue Des Bouchers - and with the crowd cannot be very well located unless you walk with your head up - Remember (the sign)... ;-)!
6, impasse Schuddeveld (off petite rue des Bouchers),
...by "La Tournée Des Grands Ducs" where you stroll from Estaminet to Estaminet and taste BELGIAN BEERS before diner! To find these - belgian pubs - you should walk with your head a little bit up in order to see these Estaminets' signs.
Notice that these pubs are extremely well hidden and you can easily miss the entrance...
...see on the picture the sign "À LA BÉCASSE" and the incredibly narrow entrance?
In this case there is also a mark on the pavement so can find it easier by also looking down, lol!!
Favorite thing: A belgian beer is a MUST so let's go now for theTOURNÉE DES GRANDS DUCS: oyee, oyee, beer lovers, lol, follow me to find out the best places to enjoy a good belgian beer...
This pub was themed after a funeral parlor. Really morbid looking place. The tables were coffins covered with glass and we got our drinks in skull-shaped mugs. I was rather irritated when I discovered that my fruit cocktail cost more than the two beers the girls had, put together. Isn’t that almost like encouraging people to drink?
Anyway, the place was good fun and the bartender was absolutely hilarious. He wouldn’t stop flirting with the three of us. He gave us his card at the end of the evening and made us promise we would write to him. Hmm. Interesting character. We escaped with our sanity intact, thankfully.
An old inn owned by the same people as A La Bécasse, and similar in style. It, too, is hidden down an alleyway (keep-up your head) and has a heritage feel, with old wooden tables, stained glass and leather benches. Good for cold days or gloomy Sunday evenings.
8 rue Marché aux Herbes, 1000 Brussels
This nice estaminet is located just next to the Opéra De La Monnaie (see picture above) and along the shopping street Rue Neuve.
The Belgian revolution of 1830 started in this square "Place de la Monnaie", when opera-goers were inflamed with patriotic fervour.
It has been renovated since and has mirrors and wooden panels creating a pleasant place to sit and read history books or watch the world go by.
Watch out, however, if you order a *lunette* of beer - it's a LITRE (= 3 X 33cl of a beer of your choice) served in champagne-"coupe" glass and requires some careful thinking of how to drink its content before starting, lol!!
3 place de la Monnaie, 1000 Brussels
8am-2am Fri, Sat;
Here are some other worth to try Estaminet places:
1. LE CORBEAU (The Raven)
This Estaminet is well known for its special glass called: *Chevalier*! It is a half meter high glass that contents 1 LITRE of beer of your choice (3 X 33cl), and requires a certain dexterity if you want to avoid a faceful when drinking :->.
The music gets louder and the customers rowdier as the evening wears on, and if you've always wanted to stand on a table and sing pop songs with young Belgians on a Saturday night, the opportunity may well present itself here.
18-20 rue St Michel, 1000 Brussels
One evening, while I was sipping my *Pêcheresse* beer (always served in a champagne glass) at "À LA MORT SUBITE" - the house-CAT was walking around seaching for a warm place to take a nap...
...That day the place was fully booked and guess whose lap did he chose?
MINE...AND I'M ALLERGIC TO CATS, lol!!
7, rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères, 1000 Bxls
Brussels one of the oldest and has kept unchanged its interior.
This one is easy to find - from Grand-Place just go through Huberts' Galleries and the Estaminet "À LA MORT SUBITE" (Sudden Death) is almost right opposite.
Waiters are very old and the whole place seem stopped in time...unless it's very crowded :-)!
This is also one of the few places where you can get Pêcheresse on tap!
A popular and joyful estaminet, rustic and rural, centennial and well alive, where the "Lambic doux", la "blanche de Bruxelles", and the "gueuze caveau" are served and which goes well with a savory "tartine de fromage blanc".
It's an excellent bar for the late-sleepers or not sleepers at all.
11 rue de Tabora, 1000 Bxls
10am-2am Fri, Sat;
Favorite thing: Go to the quarter next to the Bourse (Stockmarket). It is called place St Géry, and is the place to meet on Friday and Saturday evening to have a drink before going out. You have 4 bars called Zebra, Halles St Géry, Mappa Mundo and Roi des Belges !