Brussels is an incredible food city. Sure you can enjoy Moules Frites, Belgian Waffles, and Belgian Chocolates, but the city is quite diverse in its cuisines. There are Basque, Chinese, Moroccan, even Ethiopian restaurants all over town. It seems that every cuisine of the world is represented in this food centric city. As a tourist, you can easily get stuck going to sub par “tourist traps”. You can also get stuck without a meal (if you head out at the wrong time). These are a few tips I picked up on my trip to Brussels to make your visit easier. If you have been to Brussels and have other tips to share, please include them in the comments.
1. Head out early: Good restaurants tend to get crowded early, so the earlier you head out, the better the chances of you getting a table. We recommend 7pm.
2. Tipping: Tipping is not customary in Brussels. Unlike the US, servers make a living wage from their salaries. However, if you have particularly good service, there’s no harm in throwing in a little extra.
3. Language: Most places in Brussels will have someone on staff who speaks English. However, it can’t hurt for you to learn a few key phrases, trust me – making a fool of yourself goes a long way.
4. Closings: Most restaurants, wine shops, and supermarkets are closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly (a.k.a. hit up the wine shop Saturday and stock up). Mondays are a little better, but you will still have a harder time finding a restaurant. So your research and plan ahead, so you don’t walk around aimlessly and hungry.