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Le Bier Circus stays true to its name by offering a multitude of beers to try in a fun, circus-themed atmosphere. Its menu offers everything ranging from Lambics to Trappists. The servers are highly knowledgeable about beer and are very helpful in sharing their expertise. If you're hungry, Le Bier Circus also sells food with dishes ranging from pastas to Belgian cheese plates.
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.
This bar has attracted artists for centuries, remaining a popular hang out for local artists since 1846. Surrealist artists Rene Magritte and Louis Scutenaire were frequent patrons. The ambiance is homey and a bit quirky. Cheap prices and a wide selection of beers have also contributed to this bar's consistent popularity.
Holding the Guinness World Record for offering the most beers on a menu, Delirium Cafe provides a selection of over 3000 different kinds of beer, both Belgian and foreign. The flavors found here are far from typical, with creative concoctions such as the chocolate and strawberry beer. Delirium Cafe is completely covered with old beer advertisements and posters. The mixed crowd of locals and tourists usually makes for a packed bar, so it's great for a lively night out.
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.
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.
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.