Other Pubs & Bars, Brussels
I love Le Soleil... Located in an old men and children' clothes store, with its wooden old-fashion décor (wood tables, wood chair, wood pannels), Le Soleil is really quiet in the morning and early afternoon. It’s a good place to drink coffee and read your newspaper. In the late afternoon, it gets busy and if the weather is good, the terrace (probably one of the best in Brussels if youy exclude the Grand'Place) will fill up and FAST. Lively place to have a beer or a genievre (the “other alcohol” of Belgium).
If you need a bite to eat (tartines, soup, spaghetti), its available as well.
Dress Code: None
Address: 86 Kolenmarkt / rue du Marché au Charbon 86
Be really careful because you might miss it but Le Corbeau is a neat little place. When I went back to Brussels, I had some trouble finding it again ;o). There, you can have “chevalier” style beer (beer served in an hourglass-shaped glass) which makes drinking fun. There is a whole technique here if you want to avoid spilling your beer (and your dignity).
Live bands are dropping by from time-to-time and I remember a late night there dancing on Abba’s Dancing Queen on the tables with some English girl. It was fun.
A sympathetic address which doesn't take itself seriously.
Address: 18-20 rue St-Michel
It’s late, on my table, in this dark bar, several glasses of genievre are empty and I am having an existential conservation with one of my friend. Where else could I be than the Kafka? It’s a cliché scene in this bar that hosts the young Flemish intelligentsia. Drink of the house? Vodka and they have lots of it! It is quiet and look old and dusty but if you want to finish the night with genever and good conservation, this is the place.
Warning : I have heard rumors that the Kafka was going to be closed soon. To be verified.
Address: 6 rue de la Vierge Noire
The Lop-Lop has evolved with the years. First thing you notice about it? The number of country flags . In the early nineties, it used to be my flatmates and I’s hang-out. The beer was cheap, the mood truly bohemian, you had musicians dropping by, playong on one of the two pianos if they felt like it… You could tell just by looking at the owner, a Brit with long beard and John Lennon glasses. It was cool and it was our headquarter. Then, it was decided to do a big clean-up and now, the Lop-Lop has become a hang-out for young English-speakers and is quite popular. For some reasons, the list of beers is quite big (and the bar even provides information on its menu about them) and reasonably priced. A good place for expats, young tourists and locals alike.
WARNING : After years of services, the LopLop is not anymore. It's been refurbished and is now called "The Churchill", still catering to the young tourist or foreigner living in Brussels with TV screen and everything. A piece of my heart got broken.
Address: 29 rue de l'Ecuyer
This little Flemish bar with its Gaudi-style bar is a gem. It’s stylish, colourfull but not pretentious. The cocktails are great and the teas are good too. Since it's so small, it's better to be be there in the afternoon, and avoid the crowd.
Address: rue de la Grande Île 22Related to:
Allright… I am a little ashamed to admit that I go to Flanagan’s bar because the crowd is usually quite young.The Flanagan’s is better known for being a music venue but it is the only bar that has two lethal cocktail: the Barbecue and the aptly named Killer. I won’t say much about them, it’s a surprise but you have to be able to hold your alcohol… and not be driving, of course. The bar in itself is quite cozy because the Flannagan’s is located in an old 19th century house and the bar looks more like a couple of beautiful rooms in someone’s home.
Address: 59 rue de l'EcuyerRelated to:
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.
Address: Olivetenhof 8 , 1000 Brussels
Directions: Easy by foot from the 'Grand Place'
not far from the Fontainas-plein
Phone: 02 511 33 36
I put the Café Métropole in "nightlife" but it's a cafe that is better suited in the daytime. The "casual" cafe of the famed Hôtel Métropole reflects the design of the hotel with the high-ceilings, marble and turn-of-century feel. It really feels luxurious and if you sit at the terrace, you can glance at the hotel patrons going in and out. My first cafe ever in Brussels... the first I encounter when I finally dared going out of my "Kot" (students' room) when I moved in Brussels so... this spot has a special place in my heart.
Address: Place de Brouckere
Trendy bar located on the groundfloor of the boat-shaped building of the old National Institute for Radio Broadcasting. This 50's building was recently restored and became a cultural center (concert hall, audiovisual center, shows etc.). The café is also new but the very large bar is still from the 50's. I like the atmosphere, the background music is quite ecclectic (mostly trip hop and electronic) and it's always crowded by all kinds of people (artists, students, older people too).
You order drinks at the bar and the food (which is pretty good) from a counter at the kitchen entrance.
Address: Place Flagey / Flagey Plein
Hmmm... Very dubitative towards this Brussels institute. I heard so much about it...
For sure, it is a place that is worth the trip for its interior (and exterior!) setting: Art nouveau pieces everywhere. The ceiling is really gorgeous, luscent with those iron- stained glasses. Really beautiful. The yellow-orange-ochre walls just give it a pinch of warmth. Nice contrasts with the dark woodlumbers.
Le Falstaff is one of some typical Brussels pubs that have been there for decades and have kept original Art Nouveau setting.
As far as food is concerned, I can't say since I've never eaten there. It means to serve Belgian cuisine. But really, I can't say about things I've never experienced.
My experience there was some drinks (twice). The first time, I noticed some dust and sticky but dried liquid on the table. Seems like waiters haven't cleaned it from previous clients... The second time, it was more OK.
However, service was really "icy" as usual (I've been there twice). Waiters don't really listen to you and instead of bringing the second round, one even gave us the bill (!). LOL The waiter "in-chief" brought us the second round drinks, but then no smile at all... just the formal "S'il vous plaît!"... Anyway, I noticed all of that but I didn't mind since I was in good company. :))
Just spent hours having some great conversation. Chocolate was served perfectly hot, the surround- sound was nice: Sade songs among others. What else do you need? Plus, the bill was not as heavy as you can imagine from all the hype around it.
I would say, give it a try, at least for the setting.. typically Brussels Art nouveau. Have some drinks... Or, even better, experience the food and tell me about your experience. In fact, I would like to try their cuisine à la bière one day, typically Brussels' cuisine.
Dress Code: No special requirement though clientèle is diverse but a bit posh... No rotten jeans neither dirty sneakers there. :))
Address: 19, rue Henri Mausstraat - 1000 Bxl
Directions: Across the Bourse (Stock Exchange)
Art Nouveau again...
Setting is nice, service is OK, clean.
I am not fussy but have to say, we were served some mint tea without any plate where to lay our teaspoons... Just had to lay them on the packings of our speculoos (kind of local tea fingers). :)) Otherwise, it would have been on the table itself...
We were there on a saturday, waiters were students, that probably insured this laid back attitude compared to other stuffy looking Art nouveau institutes (Le Falstaff, for instance).
Well, I would recommend to go there for the drinks, the ambience (young clientele), probably some snack food (pittas, moussaka...), some pies and cakes.
Again, I was in great company... Again, they played Sade (a whole album, it seems... Well, the one I use to listen to before going to bed :). I just noticed that Sade just followed me those days, while having some good time in a pub... Sure, one needs some easy listening sometimes... And easy listening is not a pejorative term for me, either the summum of art :) just some cool music.
Dress Code: No special requirements, young clientèle
Address: Le Perroquet - rue Watteaustraat 31 - 1000 bxl
Directions: This time, in the Sablon area, near Rue des Minimes, on your way to the Marolles area.
when you are sheltered in the heat of Falstaff terrasse.
This is something you could do in winter. Sit on a terrasse and watch passers-by, ranging from hords of tourists to youngsters' clusters, businessmen wandering in city center... A bus station stands right in front of the terrasse. Perfect for people watching, isn't it?
You can have some warm drinks or some Belgian dishes... Yet, I think I prefer having lunch inside...
For what Falstaff is worth, check my previous tip.
Dress Code: No special requirement.
Enlarge the pic to have a look onto the charming setting.
Address: 19, rue Henri Mausstraat - 1000 Bxl
Directions: Across the Bourse (Stock Exchange)
Belgium is not just known for its central and key position in Europe or for its chocolates. Belgium is also very famous for its beer, it produces more than 400 different types of beer. They all are different in type and taste. It is so astonishing that such a small country but such a big name in brewery industry.
It's amazing considering the location (just between La Bourse and Grand'Place, that Le Cirio has kept its character. Perhaps one of the most beautiful turn-of-the-century "old Brussels" bar in town. And everything's there: the brass, the marble, the little old "madameke" and her dog (poodle or yorkshire, mandatory) enjoying a drink...
Entering Le Ciro is like entering a time warp and as soon as you push the door, the husstle and busstle of Brussels' traffic fades away. The dark woods and quiet will invite you to relax and please, order the half-en-half (mix of white wine and bubbly) .
With the "mushrooming" of trendy (and ephemeral) bars all around town, Le Cirio is a classic and a fixture and it's great to go back when fed up with all the glitz of those new cafes.
Another advice: bring your sweetie with you, it will make you look so grown up and responsible. ;0)
Address: 18 Beursstraat / rue de la Bourse 18
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?
Address: 1, Place de la Bourse