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.
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.
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.
Café Leffe overlooks the busy Grand Sablon Square in downtown Brussels. The cafe is a popular spot to load up on delicious Italian and/or Belgian preparations along with a flavorsome and refreshing pint. The beer-dominated bar program, a nice, sunny patio which seems like it was made for people- watching, delicious food, a friendly service and moderate prices add to Café Leffe's popularity. They also host a number of live music programs throughout the year.
No one knows when it was opened but everyone agrees it is among the oldest bars in the neighborhood. Chez Richard is located near the Place du Grand Sablon and has been a local favorite for several decades. Its walls are decked with black and white movie classics while its wooden accents give it a vintage feel. Hear the stories from their regulars while taking a sip or two of your preferred drinks. Nosh on tasty small plates and share it with friends as well.