A la Mort Subite
7 Rue des Montagnes aux Herbes Potagères
02 512 8664
77 Rue Elise (Ixelles)
02 649 1953
A serious little bar for serious lovers of beer. Behind the counter, a massive glass-fronted fridge full of chilled bottles, their names scrawled on the door with a pink marker. There are also beers on draught rarely seen anywhere else, such as the deeply wilful Chouffe.
Le Bier Circus
89 Rue de l'Enseignement
02 218 0034
As the name implies, this rough, basic emporium of beer stocks around two hundred varieties. The staff have been trained to know as much as they can about everything on the menu, so service can be slowed down if you get an earnestly inquisitive tourist.
Chez Moeder Lambic
68 Rue de la Savoie (St Gilles)
02 539 1419
Near the St Gilles town hall, this tiny wooden tavern — with its benches and scrubbed tables, its racks of comic strip books and Scrabble with half the letters missing — stocks more than 1,000 beers. Some of the rarer bottles cost as much as a vintage wine.
18-20 Rue de la Bourse
02 512 1395
A minute from the Grand Place and you take a step back into the 19th century in this bar with its original wallpaper, lights and toilets. A thorough selection of mostly bottled beer is supplemented by the famous half-en-half, a
mixed glass of still and sparkling wine.
This is without doubt the most stunning Art Nouveau bar-café in the centre of Brussels. A great meeting place, a good beer-stop or a perfect place to wind up the evening; it's open till 3am each and every day.
La Fleur en Papier Doré
55 Rue des Alexiens
02 511 1659
This old bar, on a steep hill just below the Sablon, was the hangout of the Brussels Surrealists and their scribblings and drawings can still be seen on the walls. Hardly changed from the days of Magritte and Co, it attracts a few determined tourists and a clique of arty locals.
L'Imaige de Nostre Dame
8 Rue du Marché aux Herbes
02 219 4249
A dark little alleyway takes you down to this cosy bar with its two sitting rooms and a set of locals sitting at the tiny counter joking with the landlord. There's a very good beer menu — order at the bar and the host will serve you at table.
3 Place de la Monnaie
02 218 0378
A modern two-floor bar near the opera house and the shopping street Rue Neuve. There are eight beers on draught here, but it's the Lunette that you should turn your attention to. A specially made bucket-size glass should keep you pondering life for an hour or so.
Le Roy d'Espagne
1 Grand Place
We had to mention one on the Grand Place and this is the biggest and most labyrinthine. The waiters, dressed as Trappist monks, deal with large numbers of people, so service can be slow. Try to get one of the coveted tables on the first floor with views over the square.
Readers' best bars
Rick's Cafe Americain
344 Avenue Louise
02 647 7530
Theme-based (somewhat on 'Casablanca'). I've been a guest, 'muncher' and an imbiber at Rick's many times since 1999, although it is not particularly cheap. Their assortment of beverages is adequate and their burgers and steaks and chili-con-carne (and Dover Sole on Fridays) are the stuff of many an American/expat legend. The wines they recommend "to go" with the meals are also legendary. The clientele is always nice, the owner/manager is pleasant, and there are knowledgeable staff … what more can one ask for?
2 Place Bisschoffsheim
1170 Watermael Boitsfort
02 660 4230
Friendly, authentic, turn-of-last-century feel about it; customers of all ages, great for refreshments after Sunday market.
Know of a bar missing from the list? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
20 December 2007
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Best bars in Brussels
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