Great new bar right next to the Bourse. They had lots of different Belgian beers and also a great choice of spirits. I enjoyed their concerts on 2 nights in a row and was well impressed by their friendly staff. There are actually two floors with a smoking room on each. The place is full of screens (25 I counted) and they show whatever you ask for!!
But the best thing is their Happy Hour: 12 hours of cheap beer and shots every day!!!!!
I'm glad I popped in there and will surely be back on my next trip
Café-Bar XOXO is very cozy, with a great design, rich menu and the most adorable bartender ever!
The place is near the metro station De Brouckere in downtown Brussels. There is also a public parking available. Free WiFi, TV and outdoor area to smoke or enjoy your drink during the summer.
Highly recommended place in Brussels.
The Delirium café holds the world record on the number of beers it sells. This was 2004 different brands of beer at the time of counting in 2004. These range from fairly well known belgian beers (but why would you bother with these if you've come here?) to some very unique and unusual beers such as the very sour tasting Gueuze Tilquin or the delightful Trappist beers produced in 6 different Trappist monasteries in Belgium.
The place has now become so succesful that they have expanded to take over some surrounding properties. The original café is downstairs and has beer barrels as tables and a ceiling covered in beer trays. Upstairs is the Delirium Tap House where you can try a wide range of "on tap" Belgian beers (my favourite here was the cherry flavoured Kasteel Red) including a bacon flavoured beer!
Next door (on the corner of Rue des Bouchers) is the Delirium Monastery, dedicated to the abbey and trappist beers.
Suprisingly I never saw anyone drunk or in any way troublesome here. In fact there were many families with children visiting during the day (they have soft drinks too).
If you want to get some suggestions of what to drink ask the staff. They all seem to speak perfect English and are very knowledgable about the beers and keen to help you pick your ideal beer.
A well-worn Art Nouveau cafe with a loyal following. Seemed a bit more intimate than the Falstaff around the corner and with more of a locals feel. Definitely try the 'Half and Half" cocktail for a pleasant start to the evening. Smokers are now banished to the back near the WC's (January 27, 2008).
**Revisited November 2011: EXACTLY the same feel except the smoking laws appear to have changed. I picked the worst seat in the house, of course!**
Dress Code: From casual to dressy.
This bar is just off the Grand Place and is a fun way to spend a few hours in Brussels and take a break from sight-seeing. The beer selections are varied and the staff was very friendly. The bar was crowded, but there was no shortage of seats at the bar or tables and people were constantly in and out. We met people from England, Moscow, Holland and Poland - overall a very friendly environment for weary travelers!
Try the Westvleteren beer if they have it. It's 12 euro a bottle, but really delicious - savor it! There is a limited production every year (hence the price). Bars and restaurants in the Grand Place sell it at twice the cost.
Dress Code: casual
I didn't see all that many bars/pubs in the city centre but this one near where I was staying near La Bourse was rocking big time with people partying away on the balcony. I know its not a Belgian pub but an Irish one but it was still selling the local brew.
Open: 11am-1am Sun-Thur, 11am-4am Fri & Sat.
Situated opposite the Stock Exchange (La Bourse) and a few minutes walk from the Grand Place and Central Station, you'll find O'Reillys and Nua O'Reillys bars.
I highly recommend O'Reillys for a good meal, and a drink in a quiet friendly atmosphere during the day. You'll also be able to watch live music, and sporting events on the weekends there.
During my time in Brussels, Nua O'Reillys was always the place I'd go for a night out at the weekend. The cozy environment downstairs, is equalled from 10pm upstairs, when the DJ begins his long night of playing R&B and Hiphop, and a long night it is, as it stays open until around 6 or 7am!
Dress Code: Anything goes!
I don't know how many times I saw the show.
It must be over a hunderd times.
The first time a big picture of Tina Turner
catched my attention. Could I be more amazed
when that poster wasn't Tina but
'Alain Du Coucou bar'
She is a real star when she performs...
Tina Turner , Shirley Basey , Cher , Dana
International. These larger then live
characters easely come to life.
In the picture you can see 'Gil Do Brazil'
She is an excellent dancer. Her performances
are often quit original. She doesn't
Another favorite is 'Victoria Holyn's'.
She on her own makes you forget
the moulin rouge. ;-)
Who are they...? They are often gay men ,
(a few 'sirenes' - men with real breast)
who love the spotlight , spend loads of time
searching for dresses , muisic , accesoires...
The Coucou is a little world.
The nice thing is , the show is for ' free ,
you just pay for the drinks.
Le Coucou is open during the week
, but not very attractive then.
It lives up in the weekend...
Friday at 2 - show.
Saturday , two shows - 1h30 and 3h30
for the real nightcrawlers.
The shows are always brought by
different artist. In general the quality is high
and the shows are descent...
But be warned , sometime it really s*cks ,
and 'Madame sans G?ne' is a real pest.
It is rather small here. The crowd ,
they all seem to know each other. Gay ,
lesbian , he , she , grandma , it doesn't
matter. Everybody is welcome. One table with
ladies in the back with very large hands ,
it's their day out.
So gents , if you feel like wearing a dress ,
that is ok too. Whatever.
O'Reilly's your typical Irish pub but because of its location (just in front of the Bourse), it became an instant success. With dark wood, little nooks and big tables, this big hangout also has a menu if youýre hungry. For you British and Irish sport fans, they have broadcasts of sports game from back home. Don't worry about using English, almost all the staff is from English-speaking countries. For an alternative, try the Celtica, not far from there. The party is always on there once it's late enough.
Dress Code: What dress code?
After years of renovations, the famous former radio building of Flagey reopened its doors. It houses a few concert and movie theatres of which one is world famous for its acoustics. On street level, Café Belga is a great bar that's perfect to read the international press on a saturday morning under the delight of an espresso or just to hang out after a concert. The location, next to the beautiful Etangs d'Ixelles (Ixelles lakes), is hard to beat!
Dress Code: None, but beware that a good deal of the crowd considers itself to be part of the cultural elite of Brussels, if not of the world!
Goupil le Fol is a very intimate café in Brussels, at a stone throw from the Grand’Place. Lots of locals hang out here. This is not the place to come with a bunch of friends ready to party, however it's a great place to have a chat with friends, whilst enjoying some French oldies. Very comfy sofas upstairs ( be careful, steep stairs!) Upstairs is cosier than downstairs, where you mainly sit at tables. Their specialty is aromatized wines, for example raspberry-cassis taste, ... They are not cheap (5,50 euro for a big class) and a bit too sweet for me. You can have some beer as well if you prefer (2,50 euro) You mainly come here for the intimacy and the interior and to enjoy some quality time with friends.
Dress Code: informal, anything will do
While I am sure others may call this a tourist trap, I enjoyed sitting at the Mannequin Pis bar (on the outside seats) and watching people look at Mannequin Pis! I also had a glass of the Mannequin Pis reserve wine and pomme frittes.
Dress Code: none.
In a country which brews more than 400 varieties of beer it should come as no surprise that there are some cracking pubs around and that their regulars enjoy partaking of a glass or two.
Le Stephany, just off the main drag of Ave Louise, reaches almost iconic standards as being one of the places to seek out if what you want from your nightlife is a few beers, occasional live music and above all convivial company. Unfortunately I was only here for a Monday mid-afternoon visit this time round, when it pretty quiet, but still pleasantly welcoming. However, on my previous visit I spent a couple of evenings in this little bar and found it perfectly inclusive despite my language limitations. This is the sort of bar where conversations drift between Flemish and French and occasionally digress into German and even English.
This is a proper drinkers pub (tho' I should note that it's not exclusively male) and not only that, it is exempt from the smoking ban! Forget "Sex Tourism", Smoking Tourism will be my next thing!
Dress Code: Proper pub and so no particular code, except my personal one;)
I recommend Churchill's pub when in Brussels. The pub has plenty of belgian beers and english ales to choose from at very reasonable prices. It has free live music on the weekends, sports on plasma t.v.'s and an American pool table upstairs. It's very close the metro stop, de Brouckere, which makes it easy to get to.
Dress Code: Casual
This is one of my latest discoveries in Brussels. it took me a few times here to finally decide to come here. The reason for this is that from the outside this looks like a real tourist trap. We finally went in May 2008 and loved it. It's touristy alright but locals seem to come here as well. The main attraction in this beer cellar is the menu. You have the choice of more than 2000 kinds of beer here, including exotic stuff from the Faroe Islands or Kenya.
It took us half an hour to get one of their big beer menus (there are only a few and when it's crowded you really get to know everybody in here just asking for a menu. I bet there would be more menus available if people wouldn't take them home as a souvenir). Afterwards it took us another half an hour before we decided which drink we would order at the bar. A long time but the atmosphere and the delight to look through the Guinness World Record Beer Menu made up for it.
Problem was, of all the 2000 beers on the menu, I ordered the most boring and tasteless one there was. [DON'T READ THIS PART; RICHIE] My friend, however, chose the strange sounding coconut beer "Mongozo", which is served in half a coconut and tastes surprisingly great! Next time I will take one of those bottles and "glasses" home!!!
Dress Code: Studenty