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Best Local Cuisine in Brussels

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This Michelin-rated brasserie combines traditional Belgian cuisine with international aesthetics and modern techniques. True gourmands should partake of the tasting menu, for which the chef surprises and delights diners with a series of inspired dishes. This eatery is very much in demand so be sure to reserve a table very far in advance.

If you're asking around Brussels for where to have the best breakfast, you will at some point inevitably be directed to La Clef d'Or. They open very early in the morning, so if your jet-lag has you up with the sun, you can definitely head to this restaurant in Les Marolles. Right in the Place du Jeu de Balle, visitors to La Clef d'Or can take advantage of the busy market that takes place in the mornings, then head over for a brunch filled with dishes like croque madames, steak tartare and omelette, of course accompanied by coffee or Belgian beer.

This hidden gem of an eatery is more than it appears. A warm cozy interior with walls painted in soft soothing shades of brown, wooden floorboards, candlelight and white table linen are the formula for this snug restaurant. While Le Petit Boxeur may be on the quainter side, the cuisine here is absolutely spectacular. The food is classic and traditional Belgian cuisine, but with a touch of modern technique and presentation.

This casual eatery gives diners an authentic Belgian experience. Choose from their impressive beer and wine selection and a mouthwatering menu of Belgian dishes. Try the grilled swordfish or mussels and you can't go wrong. The atmosphere is casual, perfect for a dinner with friends or business lunch.

For a few years now, this has been the hang-out of the local hip crowd. In this exquisite brasserie where the décor leans toward distinct accents from the seventies, Belgian culinary specialties are prepared according to traditional recipes. While you're enjoying the wonderful dishes you can also enjoy the great modern art on the walls like the original works by Alechinsky. The is is not only a hip place, but also a great restaurant.

Run by film producer Daniel van Avermaet, Au Stekerlapatte is popular thanks to its young clientele, unpretentious cuisine and reasonable prices. Just off Boulevard de Waterloo and close to the Palace of Justice, it caters to business people and tourists. The steak and spare ribs come highly recommended. The beer list is impressive, and you can order wine by the centimeter. Whenever there is a film festival in Brussels, this is the place to see stars. The menu is in French and Dutch and includes the city's traditional dishes.

A traditional Belgian favorite, this fry stand is the oldest in Belgium. Large potatoes are cut into thick strips and fried to golden perfection, then served in a paper cone or even on a baguette with a hot dog. A dozen or so different sauces are the perfect accompaniment. The line is usually quite long for this popular frite stand, but the delicious and simple comfort food is more than worth it. Grab your order from Maison Antoine and head to one of the nearest bistros to enjoy with a nice cold brew and watch as the world passes you by.

Many of the poor folk living here the Marolles, Brussels' popular working-class neighborhood of old, couldn't heat water in their houses so this shop sold warm water, hence the name. Nowadays it is a charming eetcafé (eat-café), a great place for a cup of coffee, solid breakfast and weekend brunch. Nosh on freshly baked croissants, muesli, yogurt, and eggs, all served in heaping portions before setting out to discover the neighborhood flea markets.

While this restaurant appears to be a tourist trap with its location in Grand Place, the food greatly exceeds expectations. Serving local Belgian food from an underground cellar, this restaurant provides authenticity alongside a lively atmosphere. The quality of their mussels parallels their quantity with the wide selection of mussels offered. 'T Kelderke has the best of both worlds; you get an amazing view without sacrificing the quality of the meal to typical tourist trap standards.

The Belga Queen in Brussels is a perfect example of a typical Belgian brasserie. The restaurant is divided into four parts: the restaurant, the oyster bar, a beer bar and a cigar club in what was once the vault of a former bank. The entire building itself is truly a stunning edifice designed in the Belle Époque style. The menus are dreamed up by acclaimed executive chef Antoine Pinto and go far beyond ingredients used in typical brasserie dishes. The beer bar provides guests with real "trappist" beers: seven beers on draft and more than 30 regional bottled beers. The oyster bar offers scrumptious seafood, prepared on the spot. Post dinner, the Belga Club offers Cuban cigars as well as an extensive cocktail list. The Club decor pays homage to the colonial Belgian Congo with its cushy, leather chairs and an atmosphere that transports you.

La Roue d'Or (or Golden Wheel) is a lovely, spacious brasserie just off Grand Place, serving exquisite traditional Belgian-French cuisine. Tourists do not really abound here and the real regulars all have small brass name tags attached to their regular chair or bench. The restaurant boasts an elegant art-deco interior, a great atmosphere and reasonable prices for this neighborhood. As a local restaurant critic suggested: to feel accepted here, just greet everyone upon entering the brasserie. Some regulars are bound to reciprocate your greeting and the staff will treat you respectfully.

In operation since 1921, Aux Armes de Bruxelles, located on the bustling rue des Bouchers, manages to still be one of the most popular in the neighborhood. It boasts among its past patrons Placido Domingo, as well as King Léopold III. Its three salons (the Rotonde, the Brasserie and the Bodega), can accommodate from 15 to 160 guests. The kitchen serves traditional cuisine, including oysters, an array of seafood, cheese fondue, meat and poultry. Try the cod in mussels sauce. This place is not inexpensive, but it's definitely worth the money.

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