Jazz-pianist Stan Brenners first opened this gorgeous bar in the 1940s and in the 1980s, a group of trendy young folks renovated and reopened the place, turning it into the quintessential Brussels nightspot. Hang out at L'Archiduc or take your place behind the piano if you dare. There is usually live jazz on Sundays at 5p and on Saturdays there's Le Jazz après shopping (Jazz after shopping), which you can enjoy for free. The owners offer excellent wines and fabulous cocktails.
À la Mort Subite, which translates to 'Sudden Death', is a strange name for a delightful 19th Century café. But Mort Subite is a famous Brussels beer (now owned by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries) and also the name of a 19th-century dice game played by local employees during their lunch break, adding some context to the establishment's name. The interior has remained unchanged and, so it seems, have the staff. Long wooden benches, high ceilings and an array of mirrors are part of the café's charm. The clientele is mixed, basic snacks are served, and the prices are reasonable.
Dwelling in one of Brussels' many defunct fabric factories, Bazaar offers ethnic grooves to Brussels' hip and ever-restless clubbers. Try the Crocodile and then let yourself be pulled onto the dance-floor by the hypnotizing music or sit back and drink in the unique atmosphere consisting of indoor hot air balloons, monochrome portraits of men in turbans and ambient golden lighting. A fusion of many ethnic cultures, Bazaar offers a nice change of pace from your run of the mill nightclubs.
Greenwich is a historic cafe and has been a Brussels staple since 1916. The tavern is a gorgeous example of the popular Art Nouveau style with grand ceilings, gilded accents, black and white subway tiles and more. The famous Belgian beer pairs nicely with their popular mussels and fries dish, a surprisingly delicious combination.
Hidden in a narrow street between Place de la Monnaie and Bourse, La Bécasse is one of the nicer tourist bars. Business started in 1877, and the interior hasn't changed since. With its wooden chairs, tables and benches, it is actually quite cozy and always crowded. Tourists come here for “traditional Brussels beer” (lambic and gueuze) but it is also populated by loyal crowds of locals. For a business like this, prices are not unfriendly and the sandwiches are extremely tasty.
The Ars Vinorum is an epicurean delight, geared towards true-blue gourmets. Their selection of Italian wines, cheese, conserves, flavored olive oil and specialty foods are great for a special occasion or authentic Italian dinner. Discover a range of hard-to-find items like white truffles, olive oil from Naples and more. The restaurant features a charmingly rustic, cozy ambiance, ideal for a quiet meal with a date. The menu changes weekly, depending on what's in season. You'll find dishes like swordfish carpaccio with zuchini and capers; ravioli with braised meat sauce; swordfish steak with beans and fennel drizzled in olive oil. Their wine list features a fine selection from Italy, from fruity whites to robust reds.
A happening club with live music as its highlight, The Music Village is an elegant way to spend an evening in Brussels. Music of all kinds is played here. A yearly membership to the club is also available. Check the website for information on upcoming events.
Le Rideau Rouge S.A. is a troika of a restaurant, bar and concert hall under one roof. Its cozy ambiance is accentuated by the crackling fireplace whose warmth spreads to all three spaces. Enjoy the local delights and fine drinks while listening to jam sessions and live performances.