The present Rue des Bouchers is called "Vicus Carificum" in a document from the archives of Saint-Gudule Cathedral, dating from 1294. In 1364, it is mentioned in Flemish as "Vleeshouwersstrate". In the Middle Ages it was inhabited by pork butchers, sausage merchants, tripe butchers and maybe a few authorised "bouchers" (originally, the "bouchers" were allowed to sell only "bouc" (goat) and mutton, whilst only the "Grand Boucherie", located behind the "Maison du Roi", until its collapse in 1917, was allowed to sell beef).
The Rue des Bouchers still has lots of beautiful stepped gables and curls, and ancient doors mostly dating from the 17th century. At the end of the street, near number 58, a narrow passage leads to the "Résidence Centrale", an oasis of unexpected silence. The elegant bronze fountain named "La Cracheuse" is from Idel Ianchelevici.
At number 70 was settled the splendid little "Musée de la Serrurerie" (locksmith museum), where the late Guillaume Dehaen, the former treasurer of the Ilot Sacré, had gathered the most splendid objects of his collections. Number 53 still houses the shop that was established by Xavier Lauffer, a refugee from the Alsace, in 1871. The most famous restaurant of the Rue des Bouchers can be found on number 13, "Aux Armes de Bruxelles", an old tavern that was bought by Calixte Veulemans in 1921. From that date, the restaurant is managed by the same family.
The Flemish singer Jean de Baets made the Rue des Bouchers famous with his fifteen-stanza song "In de rue des Bouchers" in the 20's. This street also sheltered the "Stuart", an eclectic cinema that was inaugurated by Anna Neagle, the star of the film Queen Victoria, in 1930. Unfortunately, this building was demolished after the Second World War, to give way to the enlargement of a bank of the Rue d'Arenberg.
Between numbers 10 and 12, at the end of the "Impasse de la Fidélité", visitors can take a look at the statue of Jeanneke Pis, the female and more realistic equivalent of the famous Manneken Pis. The statue was made in 1985 on the initiative of a merchant of the Ilot Sacré to support charity work.
This street lies just off one side of the Galeries St Hubert. It is one of the few remaining medieval streets left in the city and was once home to the city's butchers (hence the name). Aware of its historic importance, the city council declared, in 1960, that the houses on the street could not be altered or destroyed and also that those surviving should be restored. Hence Rue des Bouchers abounds with 17th century stepped gables and beautifully decorated doorways. Today the street houses many cafes and restaurants including Chinese, Greek, Italian and Indian.
I was really hesitating to put this in the must-see activities as it could also fit in the tourist trap but the atmosphere in this little street is so unique that it helped tip the balance. Just of the Galleries St-Hubert, the "Butchers street" is narrow and FILLED with restaurant, one more tempting than the last. You will be lured (some would say coaxed) by waiters standing in front of their respective eateries. It's a little over-priced but it's up to you, if you can't resist. There is one institution though: Aux Armes de Bruxelles, one of Brussels' top restaurant. Specialty: seafood and Belgian fare. Don't resist, you won't regret it.
'Rue des Bouchers' is a very popular street
and among Brussels nicest tourist attraction.
Belgians like to sit outsite. Even when it's freezing
and there is a warm pit above you
that just warms your hair...they still do it.
The name means ' street of the butchers'.
Often said is that the quality of food isn't good
here. I must be honest , I've eaten here a couple
of times and quality isn't the strongest
argument to come here.
Most of the restaurants serve tourist junk
for way to high prices. In my case I don't like
people coming to close near my dish and
watch what I'm eating.
And I don't like microwave paëlla.
So , you wont find a lot of people that know
Brussels better here.
'Chez Léon' is located in this street
since 1893 and he serves fish and moules...
I like to watch the street...get in touch with the
ambiance for just a moment.
For eating I prefer other area's.
If you want to eat here...just do it.
Use your intuition. Be very clear in what you want
and make sure you know what you are going to pay in advance.
A few of these restaurants have had a warning
from the police for ripping off tourists and
in an agresive way dragging in tourists.
It was already getting dark when I took these pictures, you can see the lights of the many illuminated advertisements of the many restaurants you can find in this street.
Lot's of terraces with heat lights, so you can eat outside even during winter time. I find this street the most enjoyable of Brussels.
This street leads you to the grand square, in the distance the tower of the town-hall.
Why this street is so popular? Here, you will notice all restaurant in a row in both sides! very commercial, sometimes very crowded! I have heared some stories of dining here but no self experience, some people says that the food quality is not 100% but I think the ambience with Brussels at night is quite convincing..nice to walk in here though!
Rue des Bouchers is a famous street full of restaurants, mostly with seafood. It's a must to walk through the street and enjoy the lovely seafood displays.