Brussels City Guide

 In Indie Oxford Explore, Inspiration

As well as supporting and promoting independent businesses in Oxford, we are always seeking out unique and intriguing indies wherever we travel too. Today I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite spots in Brussels, so when you’ve done the tourist hotspots of Mini Europe, Manneken Pis, and the Grand Place, you can explore alternative Brussels too. So, here is my independent Brussels City Guide…………..

Brussels Beer Project

This is an awesome tap room and brewery, with a mission to revolutionise Belgium Beer through collaboration, community and innovation. Founded in 2013, they experiment with different flavour combinations to breathe fresh air into the Belgium craft beer scene. Choose from one of their ‘All Star’ beers, which they brew every month, or try out one of their pop up limited edition beers.

188, Antoine Dansaert street
1000 Brussels

Opening hours:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 2 PM – 10 PM

Brussels Beer Project
Brussels Beer Project


This cute little cafe is named after the famous Brussels bread roll the Pistolet. They offer a huge array of fillings as well as salads, soups and cakes, and even stock a Cantillon beer unique to the cafe. It’s a bright, fresh and friendly spot, perfect for a lunch time pit stop.

Joseph Stevensstraat 24
1000 Brussel & Beenhouwersstraat 44
1000 Brussel

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday 10 am – 4 pm Saturday & Sunday 11 am – 6 pm (4 pm at Galeries)


Cantillon Brewery

Founded in 1900, this brewery still uses old techniques and equipment to create their famous Lambic (sour) beers. They use spontaneous fermentation in their attic open vat as part of the brewing process, then age the beer in barrels before bottle conditioning for a year or two. This place really is like stepping back into the past, and is a fascinating insight into original brewing methods.

rue Gheude 56 1070 Brussels (Anderlecht)

Opening hours:

Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m., except on Wednesday
Closed on Wednesdays, Sundays and Public Holidays

Cantillon Brewery

Mer Du Nord

This awesome fishmonger on a corner in central Brussels, is a mecca for locals and tourists a like. The menu changes everyday depending on what they have in fresh that morning. Order small plates of snails, grilled fish, shellfish or calamari; or pop to their oyster bar and indulge in some fresh oysters washed down with a crisp French white wine.

Sint-Katelijnestraat 45, 1000 Brussels

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sunday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Mer Du Nord

Coco Donuts

This super cute little cafe specialises in small batch brioche donuts, using sustainable ingredients and a wide variety of delicious flavours from rose to boston cream and wild berry to maple syrup and bacon. It’s a great place to recharge before exploring the antiques market on the square outside.

36, Rue Sainte-Anne 1000 Brussels (Sablon)

Opening hours:

7 days a week from 10:30 AM till 6 PM*
*Except if they are Sold Out before 6 pm.

Coco Donuts

Le Chattouille

This little cafe just off Avenue Brugmann is the perfect retreat for cat lovers. All the cats are rescues, and can be adopted if you fall in love with any of them. They fund the well being and health of the cats by charging a little bit more than the average cafe. The cats are carefully chosen to make sure they are happy in the cafe environment and there are strict rules about how to interact with the animals.

rue tasson-snel 11 1060 saint-gilles

Opening hours:

Wednesday 2 pm – 9 pm Thursday & Friday 5 pm – 9 pm Saturday 1 pm – 9 pm Sunday 1 pm – 8 pm

Brussels Cat Cafe

Frit Flagey

For some delicious Belgium frites you can’t go wrong with Frit Flagey. This street food stall in the south of the city reputedly serves some of the best frites in Brussels, and we definitely enjoyed our chips and Belgium beer whilst people watching in Place Eugene Flagey. Go for classic frites & mayo or try one of their house sauces like the Samurai.

Place Eugène Flagey, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

Opening hours:

Friday & Saturday 11.30 am – 2 am Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11.30 am – 12 am

Atelier Belvedere

This vintage treasure trove is just around the corner from Place Eugene Flagey and stocks a cornucopia of retro furniture and home accessories. It’s definitely worth getting the Eurostar to Brussels so you can take a few bits home, although sadly I couldn’t fit the mid century dining table in my suitcase!

Rue du Belvédère 14, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

Opening hours:

Tuesday & Thursday 12 pm – 5 pm Wednesday & Saturday 12 pm – 6.30 pm

Atelier Belvedere

L’Amere A Boire

This bar, just along from Atelier Belvedere, specialises in craft beer from small batch breweries. Combining an arty interior with bespoke chandeliers and mural walls, this is a great place to while away a few hours in over some lesser known Belgium beers.

8, Rue du Belvédère, 1050 Ixelles,

Opening hours:

Monday to Sunday 5 pm – 2 am

Cafe Du Sablon

This modern cafe in the Sablon area of the city serves their in house roasted coffee, and provides barista training and coffee events to share their passion for a great cup of joe. You can buy single origin coffee to take home, and stock up on the latest equipment to make the perfect brew.

1000, Rue de la Régence 26, 1000 Bruxelles,

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday 7.30 am – 8 pm Saturday & Sunday 8.30 am – 8 pm

So if you’re looking for some alternative spots to the main tourist destinations, check out some of these gems for a slice of real Brussels life. If you’ve been, is there anywhere else you would recommend? Comment below, as I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Love, Rosie xxx

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  • Sam Gooch

    Some great spots mentioned here, I’m impressed! You have to try the beer ‘Troubadour’ in L’Amere a Boire’! Also another good place for fries is Maison Antoine, and my favourite burger place Les Super Filled Du Tram! Plus an amazing food market on Wednesday nights in Chatelain 🙂

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