Restaurants around Grand' Place, Brussels

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  • What you see, might not be what you get.
    What you see, might not be what you get.
    by melosh
  • rue des bouchers
    rue des bouchers
    by Martinewezel
  • Restaurants around Grand' Place
    by annase
  • zadunajska8's Profile Photo

    Restaurants in Rue des Bouchers

    by zadunajska8 Written Aug 16, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Rue des Bouchers looks very tempting in summer with all the tables spilling out of it's restaurants onto the narrow cobbled street but try not to be tempted by the pushy restaurant owners trying to drag you in to their establishment for their special "Tourist set menu". Whilst these 3 course meals for €12 seem a great deal they usually leave most people feeling disappointed as they serve bland and unimaginative fare, often with portions that will leave you still hungry.

    Unique Suggestions: There are some (very few) restaurants which do not have these set tourist menus on tacky boards outside ( such as Aux Armes de Bruxelles at number 13)and these are often a safer bet for a good dining experience. There is a small number of Indian restaurants in the area as well, which although not serving local cuisine are often of good quality with good standards of service.

    Fun Alternatives: The further away you go from the Rue des Bouchers and the Grand Place, the less likely to be a tourist trap is the general rule for restaurants in Brussels. Heading into the St Catherine or Ixelles neighbourhoods is often a good idea.

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  • It's not all that bad eating in Rue des Bouchers.

    by bert00076 Updated Apr 4, 2012

    March 2012: We choose Restaurant 'Le Bourgeois' in the Rue des Bouchers in Brussels. This restaurant is maybe an exception. The starter was nicely made 'croquettes' based on fresh 'crevettes' (shrimps) and the main course was a nice juicy steak (2cm thick) with a fine 'sauce béarnaise'. Interior could use a face-lift, but service and pricing were OK. It was not bad at all for that neighborhood.

    Unique Suggestions: Try to find a place where locals are eating, that could be an indicator for quality.

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  • Just go Chez Léon!

    by M3mPHiS Written Jun 16, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's no secret that rue des Bouchers is a big scam! As a local I feel sorry for all those tourists disappointed by their meals! As a foreigner-looking person also I'm used to waiters trying to get me into having dinner at their place. They propose you a free drink, dessert, anything that seem like a bargain actually... Some even speak basic foreign language, props to them, they're getting better. If they harras you just politely say "no, thank you", walk away, or even "I'll come back later"...

    Once for a dessert I saw a waffle (gaufre de Liège) with some whip cream on it. Total rip-off.

    Fun Alternatives: The only real and also historic restaurant is Chez Léon (green neons). Full of business men, Asian tourists, no one harassing you there, usually it's packed but the place is so big that you will get a seat...
    Only downside it's a bit pricey but it is tasty and local.

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    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel

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  • Lousy food at sky hi price near Grand Place

    by euro2011 Written Apr 24, 2011

    Last week we, two persons, had a dinner in a restaurant on one of those famous gourmet lanes near Grand Place, Bryssels:

    - Drinks 2 beers
    - Starter 4 pcs of small size scampies on a big plate
    - Main course stone hard, tasteless and rubberlike pepper stakes which was hard to work and chew
    - Dessert a thin slice of dry prefabricated pastry

    The total bill was eur 49,- for all that rubbish. On top of bad quality of food also service was a bit arrogant rather than friendly. This was never again experience for us.

    Unique Suggestions: If you do not like to spoil your stay in Bryssels please save your money and only have a visual dinner on Grand Place "gourmet" lanes.

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  • Lousy food at sky hi price near Grand Place

    by euro2011 Written Apr 24, 2011

    Last week we, two persons, had a dinner in a restaurant on one of those famous gourmet lanes near Grand Place, Bryssels:

    - Drinks 2 beers
    - Starter 4 pcs of small size scampies on a big plate
    - Main course stone hard, tasteless and rubberlike pepper stakes which was hard to work and chew
    - Dessert a thin slice of dry prefabricated pastry

    The total bill was eur 49,- for all that rubbish. On top of bad quality of food also service was a bit arrogant rather than friendly. This was never again experience for us.

    Unique Suggestions: If you do not like to spoil your stay in Bryssels please save your money and only have a visual dinner on Grand Place "gourmet" lanes.

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    Just DON'T EAT THERE!!!

    by monicarc Updated Oct 11, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We, thankfully, just ate in the Grand Place once, but the food was almost unpalatable (it was just croquette monsieur!) and the service was rude and it was horribly expensive. We later, on our trip around europe, ate at a 4 star restaurant in Barcelona that was great for less money than the gross sandwiches we got at the grand place.

    Unique Suggestions: Order the cheapest thing on the menu and enjoy looking at the beautiful grand place!

    Fun Alternatives: Instead, eat something at the Mannequin Pis bar, right across from Mannequin Pis. Their bar food was suprisingly good and not expensive.

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    Drink prices at restaurants near Le Grand Place

    by melosh Written Jun 12, 2009
    What you see, might not be what you get.

    Perhaps, it is so obvious that no one else has mentioned it. Perhaps it is so expected for a tourist oriented place that may depend on offering low street prices for a complete meal to attract customers and where the promise of quality may prove an exaggeration, that inflated prices for drinks are not even noticed. Just beware that you are likely to pay an extra euro or two or three for a beer or even more of a markup on wine when you go for the inexpensive complete meal
    (or for the more expensive "gourmet alternative" or when going a la carte in any restaurant that gets a large portion of its business from the street).

    Unique Suggestions: Knowing ahead of time can make this experience bearable. Especially if the venue is attractive and friendly. Personally I will have a single glass or beer or wine with dinner and tend to save the rest of my drinking money for a more interesting place on the street. To me paying extra for a beer outdoors on a great plaza is to be expected and often worth the expense. And places that are up front with high charges are not tourist traps; they are just places charging what the market will bear.

    Fun Alternatives: Honestly, I enjoyed my meal in the Rue de Bouchers area. I found the service reasonable and the food good, but I can not be considered a good judge of Belgium food quality. I was not surprised by the beverage costs or by my bill. The a la carte prices did seem inflated, but this may just be the result of smaller portions being given in the "complete meal". Comparing the total of the a la carte prices to the total price of the complete meal, did make the complete meal seem like a good deal. On my first night I chose the spontaneity of just going into a place that seemed good rather than searching for a specific VT recommended restaurant.

    Oddly or perhaps not so oddly, despite all the beautiful displays of fresh looking food, I never did see anyone taking any of this food back to the kitchen. Your best alternative might be to follow a VT recommendation.

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    Rue des Bouchers and others

    by Martinewezel Written Feb 7, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    rue des bouchers

    The tourist trap begins when walking in the street left from the Maison du Roi (Breadhouse).
    Looking for a cheap restaurant? Then do it!
    Very narrow, very cosy, very inviting, but also very similar. Almost all the restaurants offer the same food. Most of them have an inconvenient stand outside showing fish, meat, plastic and real fruit, wine and filled plates, showing the dishes you can choose. All these stands are similar, and they turn the street in a colorful spectacle.
    Around noon waiters will come outside to draw your attention and to lead you inside.
    The food is cheap and tastes cheap. Quick service. Your seat needs to be cleared for other customers.

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    Ilot Sacré restaurants

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 25, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Ilot Sacré - the restaurant quarters near Grand Place are the worst tourist trap there is. Yes, it looks wonderfully charming with their Mediterranean atmosphere and gorgeous tables of oysters and lobsters, and the waiters stand in the doorways and tempt you with set meals that look a bargain. But beware! There is just as good food anywhere else in Brussels and this is a rip off. On top of that, almost all restaurants are mafia owned and in some people have been stuck with food they didn't want yet had to pay for before being let out of the restaurant and so on.

    Unique Suggestions: Visit touristy but safe "Chez Leon" with its mussels dishes (but snotty service and terrible crowds) or the other exception, "Aux Arms de Bruxelles" opposite, with good and very Belgian food.

    Fun Alternatives: Eat in the nice Belgian restaurants in nearby Place St Catherine.

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    • Business Travel
    • Food and Dining

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  • Good for window shopping only!

    by britinbrux Written Aug 13, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The small streets around the Grand Place (rue du Bouchers and around) look very inviting with the tables outside the restaurants and the fabulous seafood displays - definitely have a wander along them but do not be tempted by the pushy waiters trying to get you inside. You will end up paying 3 or 4 times what you expect and being very disappointed. The only decent restaurants are 'Aux Armes de Bruxelles 'Chez Vincent' (both pricey but good) and 'Chez Leon', (cheap) the best for moules frites (mussels and chips).

    Unique Suggestions: Wander and watch, but don't be tempted - and make sure your purse/wallet is secure - this area is rife with pickpockets!

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    Around Grand Plaza

    by annase Updated May 16, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most restaurants, cafes and bars around the main city centre tend to charge relatively a lot of money for their drinks and food. They are frequently packed with tourists and the prices also reflect that. I have never eaten in the area myself, but I should imagine it's not the highest quality. To be brutally honest, if you are in town for more than one day and have time to go elsewhere, try to venture outside the city centre.

    Fun Alternatives: Try the area around the church "Saint Boniface" in Ixelles/Elsene where you will find interesting small restaurants. My favourite is 'Le Deuxième (II) Element' (7, rue Saint Boniface, 1050 Bruxelles, tel: 02 502 0028, closed on Sat and Sun lunch time). It's a Thai place, but not a traditional Thai at all, but more like a fusion with a modern deco and non-oriental staff. A booking is highly recommended - even for a lunch, since it gets absolutely packed with people who work in the offices nearby. English is spoken. The prices are very cheap - around €10 / maincourse during lunch hours.

    Other places include a very cosy non-smoking restaurant called 'Le Tartisan' (Rue de la Paix 27, 1050 Brussels, tel: 02 503 3600, Closed on Sundays) (just around the corner from the "II Element"). They've got very delicious warm quiches, salads and lovely looking sweet pastry.
    http://users.skynet.be/fb357448/or http://www.resto.be/ware/details.jsp?businessid=4678
    According to their website, this place is also gay-friendly.

    You can get to the area by metro. The nearest station is "Porte de Naumer/Naamseport". It is useful to have a map with you, as the blocks and roads in Brussels are not as straightforward to find as for instance in New York.

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  • Bouchers' Street Restaurants

    by faguilar Updated Mar 26, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This street is crowded with restaurants trying to lure you to eat there. Most will post a waiter outside who will do all he can to convince you that theirs is the best restaurant. Thing is, once you get inside, the service can turn into a bad manners nightmare.

    I made the mistake of eating once in one of these tourists traps, and this is what happened: While taking the order, one of the gusts at our table decided not to order, and the rest of us ordered the night's special, since a la carte dishes were outrageously expensive. Then, after soup was served, the guest that decided not to order wanted a soup. The waiter at that moment started to complain that the "kitchen was closed"...how could this be if main courses were not served yet? After arguing with the waiter in french, spanish and english, I got him to order our soup, but only to find myself steaming with rage at this attitude...I could not enjoy dinner and was utterly dissapointed.

    In all of our travel through Europe, we never were treated as bad as in here. Hence, I would not wish to go back to this place again...GREATEST TOURIST TRAP I FOUND IN EUROPE.

    Unique Suggestions: Walk by ignoring luring waiters, and laugh at the poor and miserable people that eats there.

    Fun Alternatives: Eat e gyro in the nearby middle east fast food restaurants, where at least you would not get ripped off.

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    Restaurants near the Grand Place

    by codrutz Updated May 27, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    I see it is the general opinion that the restaurants located on the narrow streets near the Grand Place are tourist traps, because the waiters are pretty much hustling you to have a sit, then the prices are higher than in other restaurants, and the space is crowded I don't think you can have an enjoyable lunch there.

    Unique Suggestions: Just orded a beer, and you will see the face of the waiter change - upseting. You will probably be invited to split :)

    Fun Alternatives: Any other restaurant not on these streets

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    Ilôt Sacré

    by qaminari Written Mar 31, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In my opinion the only recommendable restaurants in the Ilôt Sacré (rue des Bouchers and petite rue des Bouchers) are Aux Armes de Bruxelles and, out of season at least, Chez Léon, plus the bar Delirium. Steer clear of all those restaurants with tempting displays outside - they are fun to look at but locals would never eat there.

    Unique Suggestions: If you have to, make sure you study the menu carefully, and ASK whether there is a cover charge ("couvert") - I have never paid one in 25 years in this city, but apparently they sometimes appear on bills in this area. Note that merely having a menu in languages other than French and Dutch does not denote a tourist restaurant, it's quite widespread practice in Brussels.

    Fun Alternatives: Nearby restaurants in the Galeries St. Hubert are fine, e.g. La Taverne du Passage, and L'Ogenblik in the Galerie des Princes.

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    Casa Manuel

    by morgenhund Written Dec 4, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Casa Manuel, Grand Place

    The Casa Manuel is a Portuguese/Spanish restaurant on the Grand'Place - or rather its address is given as the Grand'Place but the actual restaurant is accessed off a side street from the Grand'Place. They try to push Portuguese and Spanish wines off at high prices, with very little information about what type of wine they are.

    Unique Suggestions: Take a house wine - it is cheaper than the wines that they try to push excessively and is probably a safer and cheaper bet.

    Fun Alternatives: Try going out to the Place St Catherine - the prices are cheaper and the food better value.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Wine Tasting
    • Food and Dining

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