CAFES OF BELGIUM

Including Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Ostend and Poperinge.

For the location enter full post code into the link below

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

If the UK has its ales and Germany and the Czech Republic its lagers, then Belgium must have the most interesting choice of beer styles in the world. Walk into any Belgian café and you will always have at least 12 different beers to those from on the beer menu; in the better cafes even more.

Here is a list of beer styles and some good examples of those styles in brackets;

Red beer (Rodenbach)

Pale Ales (De Koninck and De Ryck)

Trappists Beer (Orval, Rochefort and Westvletern)

Abbey Beers (Maredous and Steenbruge)

Lambic, Gueuze and Fruit Beers (Boon and Cantillion)

Strong Golden Ale (Duvel)

White wheat Beer (Celis White and Watou Witbier)

Scotch Ales and Xmas Beers (Silly Scotch and Stille Nacht )

Blonde Beer (Bink, XX Bitter and Quintine)

Export Stout ( Guinness Special Export Stout brewed in Dublin at 8% )

Saison (Dupont and Silly)

And not forgetting your mass product lagers from Interbrew of Stella Artois and Jupiler.

Most of the specialist styles tend to be in bottles, more expensive and stronger in alcohol strength than the standard Belgium lager, for example

Jupiler at 5% will be 2.20 to 2.60 Euros

Duvel at 8.5% will be 3.50 to 5.50 Euros

Prices in November 2016 in Brussels

Most Belgians tend to drink Juplier then round the evening off with a specialist beer, us tourists tend to think we are in beer wonderland and want to drink as many beer styles as possible. While some city centre cafes are large most Belgium cafes are small and intimate and in most cases just as good as the beer they serve. Cafes have waiter service: ask for a beer menu if there is not one on the table.

Recent visits

Antwerp March 2015

Bruges May 2012

Brussels September 2016

Ghent September 2011

Here is a list of outstanding cafes in the following cities

ANTWERP

Antwerp is Belgium's second biggest city after Brussels, in the Flemish part of Belgium close to the border with the Netherlands. Whilst the main railway station in the city centre is impressive, most of the best watering holes are in the old town near the cathedral. The local ale brewery De Koninck beer is available in most Antwerp cafes, ask for Bolleke. Last visited November 2010. Prices Bolleke 1.60 to 2.40 euros, regular beer 1.90 to 2.40 euros, Trappist beers 3.50 to 4.00 euros in November 2010.

Prices for March 2015 are Bolleke 1.90 to 2.70 euros and Trappist beers 3.30 to 5.80 euros. Since my last visit, De Koninck is now owned by Duvel, but the brewery is still operating in Antwerp.

CITY CENTRE

T’ Antwaerps Bierhouse, 14 Hoogsstraat, Antwerpen 2000

 

Along with Bier Central, this is another good beer outlet since my last visit in 2005. Close to the cathedral, but easy to miss. For a new place, this café is very atmospheric it is narrow at the front but does open out a bit as you go to the back. Low lighting, dry hops on the ceiling and beer memorabilia on the walls all add to the place’s atmosphere.  It claims to have 140 beers, including 9 on draught, with a sample tray of 4 beers from 9 euros, the pub also has a good selection of malt whiskies. Great find.

 

John 9/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Still with a nice cosy atmosphere. Have a look at the impressive number of beers in the fridge to the right of the bar. Had a Rochefort at 3.30 Euros.

John 9/10 visit March 2015

 

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Bier Central, 25 De Keyserlei, Antwerpen 2018

 

At long last a decent pub with a good beer list close to Central station; only a few minutes walk away. As well as good beer menu (or encyclopaedic as they call it) of over 300 bottled beers, there are over 20 beers on draught. The beers are mainly mainstream but there are a few surprises. Large pub with Swiss chalet style décor which with seating at the end inside a large beer barrel which has been cut in half. The seating is half seating and   half bar stools, with low lighting and beer memorabilia on the wall. Outside seating which seems popular even on a rainy day. When you go downstairs to the toilets you can see the beer bottles store from the window. If coming in from Central station this pub should be your first and last stop! Becomes a more of a night club in the evening.

 

John 9/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Much the same as my last visit. Good presentation on the beer menu. You can see all the bottled beers on your way down to the toilets. Had a Saison Dupont at 3.30 Euros. Now needs a second good beer place near the station to keep this one company !

John 9/10 visit March 2015

 

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Berenbak, 17 Minderbroedersstraat, Antwerpen 2000

Attractive bar with collection of ties on the walls. Food menu good and beer range too. Bolleke very nice! Lots of plants and pretty fireplace with clock. Modern art paintings!

Sue 8/10 visit Feb 2001

A modern café of lots of wood panelling and plants! A collection of ties is above the bar area. A good food menu, as well as the beer menu. Nice laid-back atmosphere with good bar service. Just outside the main centre' the road is off Minderbroedersrui, which is on most of the tourist maps.

John 9/10 visit Dec 2004

Café was closed on my last visit, which was sad for two reasons; one, it was a good café and two, it was pouring with rain and I needed some shelter! 

 

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Bille Bier Kafetaria, 12 Kiammenstraat, Antwerpen 2000

A modern take on a brown café? Place has a modern airy feel to it, it does nice food and interesting beer including some British craft beer. If busy there are places upstairs for you. Bolleke is 2.20 euros and Trappist beers are 3.50 to 4.30 Euros (No Rochefort). Had a Ranke Saison de Dottigniss at 3.30 Euros.

John 7.5/10 visit March 2015

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Billenkletser, 22 Hoogstraat, Antwepen 2000

Café close to the Antwaerp Bierhouse. Traditional place with an above average list at reasonable prices; my Duvel was 3 Euros and included some crisps ( nice touch)! Like the bottled beers lined up with their glasses as a window display.

John 7/10 visit March 2015

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Deco, 2 Torbrug, Antwepen 2000

Small place close to the cathedral. While done out in a modern style (like the marble tables) it has a traditional feel with a friendly barman and clientele. Small bar list but strong on lambics: I had Boon Kriek on draught at 2.60 Euros. Nice place.

John 8.5/10 visit March 2015

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Den Engel, 1 Grote Markt, Antwerpen 2000

Second bar of the two ' Engels '!Very busy but other pub was packed! Ghastly 'cool' jazz and soul music did not impress me! But good service and prices. VERY un-amusing toilet arrangements;- I don't mind them being together but expect a door on the gents' part!

Sue 7/10 visit Feb 2001

Two bars next to each another, the first bar was crowded so we went into the second one. Interesting paintings on the wall, A tourist walk of Antwerp has managed to find its way in here tonight; will the tour guide get them out? During the weekend full of tourists, but weekdays it becomes a locals' place. Good atmosphere. Interesting Belgian toilets!

John 8.5/10 visit Dec 2004

Like the Oud Arsenaal this pub is crowded on a Saturday afternoon with a lot of atmosphere; unlike the Oud Arsenaal I manage to find a seat! Large traditional pub which is mainly full of locals. Like some Antwerp pubs in this guide maybe not a great beer range (mind you even the worst beer range in Belgium does have some good trappists or Duvel), but another pub with a good atmosphere. 

 

John 7.5/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Nice to see such a traditional place in the touristy Grote markt. This is my  first time on this side of the pub. Lovely old café which looks like it’s been unchanged for years. Like the photos on the wall, old and current. No great beer menu, 4 beers on draught and 17 bottled beers. Had a Bolleke at 2.20 Euros, Duvel was 3.40 Euros.

John 8/10 visit March 2015

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Elfde Gebod, 10 Torfburg ( 11th commandment ), Antwerpen 2000

Web site www.elfde-gebod-antwerpen.be

Very unusual bar with church statues and icons and cherubs dangling from the ceiling. Two storeys high and very crowded, especially with figurines. Unusual beer ( brown ale style )-Giltenbier. Lively bustling atmosphere.

Sue 9/10 visit Feb 2001

This place is sometimes not on the tourist maps, but if you walk around the cathedral you will find it. One of the most original bars I have ever been into; place is full of church statues which makes you feel like you're in a church and not a bar, especially with the uncomfortable wooden seating and no radiators turned on! If crowded there is an upstairs drinking area, with a impressive marble staircase.

John 9/10 visit Dec 2004

First the plus points: there is a nice ivy covered exterior, a marble staircase and an impressive collection of religious statues making it one the best interiors in any Belgian pub. Sadly there are a lot of minus points; half the tables are taken up by knives and forks, it is very expensive 4 euros for a Orval, 13.50 euros for a spaghetti bolognaise and 2.40 for De Koninck when everywhere else is under 2 euros and, finally, a poor beer menu. Place is half empty-wonder why? No summer tourists, this time of year! This has never been a serious beer place-sadly less reasons for drinkers to enjoy this place.

 

John 5/10 visit Nov 2010

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De Groote Witee Arend, 18 Reynderstraat, Antwerpen 2000

 

On previous visits to this place I have not been able to get in here, because it was too crowded with people, mainly eating food. But on a cold November day I have no trouble getting a table this time! No bar area, but it is okay to have a beer at the table. A close look at the food menu shows a beer theme in some of the meals. There is a nice relaxing atmosphere with candles on the table, classical music in the background and beer memorabilia on the wall. My Hopus beer came with nibbles; nice touch! On a trip upstairs to the toilets I found more seats and tables ( must make a note for next visit!). Nice courtyard entrance like the Waagstuk.

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Still the same classy place with classical music in the background. Still okay just to have a beer especially as the place half empty on a Monday afternoon. Friendly waiter service.  I had a Rochefort 6 at 3.50 Euros, Bolleke was 2.70 Euros.

John 8.5/10 visit March 2015

 

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Gollem 28 Suikerrui, Antwerpen 2000 

Web site- http://www.gollem.be/

The first Gollem in Belgium. This cafe which is close to the Cathedral, has a great beer choice with 30 taps on draught and hundreds of bottled beers mainly from Belgium and the Netherlands. Décor is mainly wood, but it has a nice white ceiling and chandeliers. Friendly bar service on a busy Friday evening. Had a Westmalle Dubbel on tap at 3.80 Euros.

John 10/10 visit March 2015

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Highlander, 21 Stadswaag 21, Antwerpen 2000. New address.

Web site- http://users.telenet.be/cafehighlander/

New location for this pub, but with the same format and décor.  Nice pub with a good cosy atmosphere and a good range of malts, as you might expect.  There is a cellar bar and a first floor drinking area as well. Trappist beers were 3.50 to 4.60 Euros, had an Orval.  It is good there is a pub close to the Waagstuk now.

John 9/10 visit March 2015

Highlander, 2 Pieter van Hobokenstraat, Antwepen 2000. Old address.

Nice cosy place with a Scottish theme. It's a little cold outside, so it's nice to come into a warm cosy pub. Run by an Anglo-Belgian couple who change languages effortlessly! The pub does have some Scotch ales McEwans and Gordons strong red, as well as Belgian bottled beers. As you expect it has a good range of Scottish malt whiskies. Guest beer is John Smith's keg, I wonder what clan he belongs to!!

John 8/10 visit Dec 2004

I really like this pub, unlike a lot of Irish pubs in Belgium which are large and showing sports on TV. This Scottish pub is cosy and quiet with an under-stated Scottish theme including tartan curtains! As well as 120 whiskies on the menu, at the back of the menu is a whiskey tasting menu with 4 malts for 16 euros. They have just opened a terrace. Opening hours are

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2010

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Huisbrouwerij Pakhuis, 76 Vlaamsekaai, Antwerpen 2000

 

Antwerp’s only brew pub which is about a 25 minute walk south of the city centre, the number 8 tram terminal is in a parallel road. Very large and spacious for a Belgian pub with a modern décor of glass doors, exposed brick wall, and copper brewing vessels which are impressive. The Antwerp blond was 2.20 euros and  served with nibbles. Sadly, like a lot of other Belgian brew pubs the beer was average.

 

John 7.5/10 visit Nov 2010

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Kulminator, 32 Vieminckveld, Antwerpen 2000

Very impressed with the plants covering the windows , the fresh roses on the tables, and the old tree in the centre of the room. Abbey van t' park-great blonde beer- and selection is huge. Lovely curved bar area, and every part of the bar full of interest-with hanging beer decorations, pamphlets, pictures, glasses everywhere.

Sue 9.5/10 visit Feb 2001

A well-decorated bar, a little way out of the centre, but beer lovers manage to find it-maybe because there are well over 500 beers on the menu! Reading the beer menu takes a fair bit of time; choosing a beer takes even longer! Classical music in the background, the perfect place to chill out. Bet you can't have just one beer. Look at the bottled beers in the windows, on the way to the loos. The pub cat is called Arnold. Watneys Christmas beer from 1981 is on the menu for 4 euros, but no takers! Excellent bar service from the couple behind the bar. Great place. Like Arnie 'I will be back'.

John 10/10 visit Dec 2004

Review based on two visits, the first on a crowded Saturday night and second on a quiet Tuesday night. Both were enjoyable visits in their own right. A great beer menu which has swung towards aged bottled beers which keep the UK and US beer geeks happy! The owners are a little like Basil and Sybil Fawlty; she smiling and keeping the customer happy, him grumpy and with no customer service skills. I know two English people who spoke good Flemish to him, but he  replied back in English! They are great to watch.  Great beer served in a great atmosphere what more can you ask for? One of the great pubs of the world.

 

John 10/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Another great visit. This is a very bewitching place where you can get lost in time. Visited on a Monday evening at 2000 hours and before I knew it was midnight. Still with the classical music and plants. Good mix of beer geeks to talk to, from Greece, Sweden, Vietnam, USA and even Antwerp!  While some of the aged bottled beers are expensive there are some reasonable priced beers on the menu.

John 10/10 visit March 2015

 

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Miniatuurke, 11 Oude Koornmarkt, Antwerpen 2000

 

A pub which lives up to its name, not much bigger than some people’s front room! Luckily for me at 1700 on a Saturday there are only 5 people in the pub so it is not too crowded!! As you might expect some nice individual touches including a goldfish in a massive beer glass on the bar! Not a great beer range but a nice pub none the less.

 

John 7/10 visit Nov 2010 

 

Closed in March 2015, but the sign outside said they are opening soon.

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Oud Arsenaal, 4 Maria Pijpelinckstraat, Antwerpen 2000

Wonderful unspoilt boozer in a busy part of town, with a market outside. Catering for the locals and not the tourist. The décor is basic with the walls full of mainly beer memorabilia , but the atmosphere is good. Reasonably priced beer menu keeps everyone happy. Closes 19.30 on Saturdays and Sundays and all day Thursday. Hard to avoid jokes about boring 1-0 wins and offside traps! ( English joke! )

John 8.5/10 visit Dec 2004

Previous visits to this pub have been during the week when the pub has been half empty. On a Saturday at 1600 the pub is packed, might be because it is raining and no one can drink in the outside seating area. Good atmosphere while the majority of drinkers are senior there is a good mix of people here. The waitress deserves credit for ducking and diving in such a crowded bar area to get everyone’s drink. De Kininck was  1.60 euros. Close 1730 at weekends.

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Closed on the Monday I visited in March 2015.

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Paters' Vaetje, 1 Blauwmoezelstraat, Antwerpen 2000

Crowded, lively bar with balcony seats overlooking chandelier and busy bar area. Pretty bar signs round the walls. Large mirrors, treacherous looking stairs! Leffe Blonde sampled. Rather naff music.

Sue 7.5/10 visit Feb 2001

Small café near cathedral which was very packed when we visited. Managed to get a seat in the upstairs balcony area, with a nice view looking down onto the bar. Stairs not easy to get up. Well over a 100 beers served. Stove to keep us warm in the winter.

John 8.5/10 visit Dec 2004

The first time I walked by this cafe it was crowded, so I went to do a few more pubs. Back 2 hours later it is still crowded but I manage to get a seat.  This pub is at the front entrance of the cathedral with a good atmosphere at the time of visit, impressive marble tables to drink your beer on. Beer menu is big, but there are no real surprises even if the prices are reasonable. De Koninck is 1.90 euros here, at the Elfde Gebod 50 meters away it is 2.40 euros, might be why this pub is packed with locals and the Elfde Gebod is not!

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2010  

 

Still the same. Despite being close to the cathedral it still keeps its character and a good beer list. Had a St Bernardus Trippel at 4.60 Euros.

John 8.5/10 visit March 2015

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De Pelgrim, 15 Pelgrimstraat, Antwerpen 2000

Interesting and original place, in an old building. You walk in, you see a big fireplace and toilets. Go down the stairs to a brick cellar, it's almost like a cave! The atmosphere is romantic helped by the candle light. In December, with only two other couples around it's okay to have a beer, but I am not so sure when it's busier. Because of the candle light it's hard to read the beer menu and the prices, but maybe that’s the idea!

John 8/10 visit Dec 2004

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Pelikaan, 14 Melkmarkt, Antwerpen 2000

 

A good locals pub in front of the cathedral; good to see a pub like this doing well in such a tourist area. No great range like Paters Vaetje, but it does have Westmalle Dubbel on draught and a reasonably priced beer menu which puts the nearby Elfde Gebod to shame! A small place nothing fancy here, but a good atmosphere none the less. No food served so smoking allowed here, which might scare a few more tourists off!

 

John 7.5/10 Nov 2010

 

Good to see this small cafe is still a good locals place. Bolleke was 1.90 Euros- the cheapest I found in Antwerp.

 

John 7.5/10 visit March 2015

 

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Quinten Matsijs, 17 Moriannstraat, Antwerpen 2000

First visit to this café, on previous visits the place was closed.  Down a back street to the North of the cathedral. This café has been open since 1565 and is the oldest café in Antwerp. If there was a mark for history and tradition, this place would get a 10; sadly it is let down by its beer list with only 3 Trappist beers! ( How hard can it be to put some good beers in a fridge, most Belgium cafes manage it!) Décor reminds me of the Au Bon Vieux Temps in Brussels, with etched-glass windows, wooden floor and leather seats. Had a Bolleke at 2.10 euros. Nice pub, shame about the beer!

John 8/10 visit March 2015

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Roden Coninck, 31 Vlasmarkt, Antwepen 2000

Interesting café with lots of character. Dangling spiders etc spin when door opens! Average beer selection. Sports trophies, fish tank and laid-back atmosphere - complete with hippy! Very friendly feeling.

Sue 8.5/10 visit Feb 2001

Nice old café with older clientele, who give this place a nice friendly atmosphere on a Saturday evening. When the door opens a spider spins around, surprising the visitors and amusing the locals! Not a great beer menu, but makes up for it in atmosphere.

John 8.5/10 visit Dec 2004

Sadly now closed.

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Stamineeke, 23 Vlasmarkt, Antwerpen 2000

A small candlelit street-side café with an excellent friendly atmosphere. Good service and attractive collection of mirrors, signs ( and obscure dice game ) Not impressed by Blues music, but John is! Or the 'experimental' jazz!

Sue 7.5/10 visit Feb 2001

From the outside, this place looks like a restaurant, but inside there are lots of beer posters, bottles, brewery mirrors etc and plenty of beer drinking by the patrons. Candles, checked tablecloths and blues music ( which annoyed the mouse ) adds to the good atmosphere.

John 8.5/10 visit Feb 2001

Sadly now closed.

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De Vagant, 21 Reynderstraat, Antwepen 2000

Web site  http://www.devagant.be/EN/tussenpagina.html

A cosy café which specialise in genever, which creates a special atmosphere. Lively locals' atmosphere on a Monday. Belgian genever is a little different from Dutch, so give it a try. Young cat on the table, who knows already how to play cute for the customers! Classic music in the background. Cool place.

John 9/10 visit Dec 2004

This is Antwerp’s specialist genever café with over 200 Belgian genevers. Lovely traditional décor with a relaxing locals’ atmosphere, with classical music in the background. Sadly there is no pub cat on this visit.  I had a De Gent Oude Genever. Always order the old genever: the young is served cold and is a little bland, the old is served at room temperature and is mature like a whiskey.  The friendly barman knows his locals. No food served here, so smoking is allowed. 

 

John 8.5/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Everything you want to know about Belgian jenever is here in this place. It seems to have every jenever in Belgium on its menu! A short beer list but this isn’t what this place is about. Classical music and a pub cat adds to the atmosphere. Had a Corsendonk Pater at 3.20 Euros and a 5 year Filliers jenever at 3.50 Euros. There is a shop next door connected to the cafe (closes at 1800 hours) if you want to take some jenever home! Nice place. Now no smoking.

 

John 9/10 visit March 2015

Foot Note

According to the café menu, cafes in Belgium were forbidden to sell drinks over 22% vol until 1985. 

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't Waagstuk, 20 Stadswaag, Antwerpen 2000

Web site http://www.waagstuk.be/

Attractive pub, dating to 1548 reached by courtyard. Strange folk music - a cross between Irish and West Country! Good service with extensive beer and food menu. Locals atmosphere but friendly. Large collection of beer mugs.

Sue visit 8/10 Feb 2001

Nice old cobbled square leads to an old courtyard outside the café, must be lovely in the summer. Atmospheric wooden bar with jugs hanging from the ceiling. Belgian folk music playing in the background on my last visit, this time it's jazz.! Good beer menu and bar service. Usually I had a Joppen Hoppenbier, which is a Dutch beer. Opens from 14.00 until late. Great place.

John 9.5/10 visit Dec 2004

Love the courtyard entrance to this pub. Nice cosy pub which is close to my hotel, so it makes a good last stop. The pub opens until 0400 on a Saturday. Note to Daily Mail-editor there were no drunken toss-pots at 0200 so there is no story here for you!!  The pew tankards from the ceiling add to a good atmosphere. They have a house beer called Zeppelin which was nice. Underrated pub.

 

John 9/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Still the same charming place, with good service and good beer. Had a XX Bitter at 3.50 Euros. Trappist beers were 3.30 to 5.80 Euros and Bolleke was 2.30 Euros.

John 9.5/10 visit March 2015

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SOUTH OF CITY CENTRE

Been, 26 Belpairestraat, Antwerpen 2018

The original back-street café, small and cosy. Not a bad beer list, prices are reasonable as we are away from the centre. Trappist beers are 3.50 to 4.80 Euros, I had a Bolleke at 2.10 Euros. Leonard Cohen is playing in the background to cheer us up! Close to De Pelgrim.

John 7/10 visit March 2015

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De Pelgrim, 8 Boomgardstraat, Antwerpen 2018

Café next to the De Koninck brewery; it only sells De Koninck beers on draught. At the time of my visit it had Bolleke, Blonde and Winter on tap. All the beers were excellent as you might expect. Unspoilt bar which looks like it hasn't changed much over the years. The front part of the bar is non-smoking, the back is smoking. See if you can notice the uneven bar top! Good beer, good atmosphere. A must for any serious beer drinker.

John 9.5/10 visit Dec 2004

Since my last visit I was worried about the makeover of this traditional place. The front is still traditional and the back is a modern conservatory;which is not as bad as I feared. Like the old brewery photos on the wall. What has changed is De Koninck is now owned by Duvel, so the draught beer range is from the Duvel stable. De Koninck Bolleke was 2.30 Euros and was good.

John 8/10 visit March 2015

GETTING THERE

This pub is a 25 minute walk out of town or take the Number 7 tram southbound, from Minderbroedersrui in the city centre.

 

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BRUGES plus  Emelgem and Damme

Bruges is called ' the Venice of the North ' in the tourist brochures. Whilst not going that far, it is the prettiest and most picturesque city in the Belgium. Being close to the port of Zeebrugge means it gets a lot of weekend tourists from the UK. Visited in June 2003.I have since revisited in April 2005, June 2006, July 2008, November 2009 and May 2012. Yes I love the place! As well as a lovely town, Bruges also has some great drinking places. A book called ‘Around Bruges in 80 beers’ by Chris Pollard and Siobhan McGinn is well worth seeking out. It has 80 places to drink beer in Bruges including restaurants, beer shops and a boat! Well worth buying here is the link.  http://www.podgebeer.co.uk/2009/02/around-bruge-in-80-beers-second-edition.html

 

CENTRE

 

2be, Wollestraat 53, Bruges 8000.

 

Web site http://www.2-be.biz/en/index.php

 

Walk along the ‘beer wall’ to get to this place. The beer wall has a bottle and a glass from every Belgian brewery in a massive glass cabinet. The small bar has a list of 6 draught beers which you pull down from the ceiling! The bottled beers are listed above the fridges. The small bar leads to a patio overlooking the canal; must be great in the summer!. There tokens to use the toilets, worth a visit for the goldfish bowl basin! Had a Golden Carolous at 3 euros. Unusual place.

 

John 8/10 visit May 2012

 

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@ The pub, Hallenstraat 4, Bruges 8000.

 

Just what Bruges needs another pub in the centre selling over 100 bottled beers! Just joking honest!  This pub opened in the summer of 2008. Pub

is down the right hand road along Belfly as you are facing the Grote Markt. It is set back from the street with an outside drinking area at the front. 

The pub has modern décor with comfortable seats and sofas, but is still building the beer memorabilia on the walls. While there are over a 100 beers

on the menu, there are very few surprises and prices are expensive. Opens from 1700 hours Friday to Monday and 1900 hours the rest of the week.

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2009

 

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Bargeehuis, 2 Bargeweg, Bruges 8000

A beer café just inside central Bruges, which is child friendly. The garden at the front has a sand pit and various other things to kept the children amused. Inside there are more toys including some cuddly teddy bears. For us adults, there is a good beer menu and a range of Glenmorangie malt whiskeys on the bar. Small non-smoking area, definitely a place with a different.

John 8/10 visit June 2003

To get to it walk along the canal by Bruges station heading east. Popular pub for children. As you enter there is a sand pit in the beer garden and inside loads of teddy bears. A good selection of single malts, beer and food. Tiled floor and beamed ceiling. The closest cafe to the station.

Stuart 7.5/10 visit June 2003
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Bauhaus, Langestraat 133/137, Bruges 8000.

 

Web site   http://www.bauhaus.be/

 

 

This bar is part of a hostel, so there are a fair number of young backpackers in here tonight, creating a noisy atmosphere.  Décor includes a interesting clock above the bar, as well as lovely old chandelier and some floodlights over the bar. The beer list has a strong section of trappist beers. 

 

John 7/10 visit May 2012

 

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Brugse Beertje, 5 Kemelstraat, Bruges 8000

Web site www.brugsbeertje.be

Well-known and loved by beer hunters ( Michael Jackson photo on wall! ). Collection of beer trays and unusual paintings of brewing industry also on wall. Excellent beer menu - tried Straff Hendrik and Hellekapelle. Classical background music.

Sue 9/10 visit Feb 2001-

Wonderful place with an awesome list of Belgium beers. Nice laid-back atmosphere with classical music. Lots of beer memorabilia all around the place, including a photo of God - ( Michael Jackson the beer writer ) with the owners above the fireplace. Open from 16-00 every day except Wednesday, when it is closed. Great place.

John 10/10 visit June 2003

A world classic. Vast range of beers and photos of Michael Jackson (the beer writer) on the wall. Small and busy inside. It opens at 4.00 and by 5.00 it was packed. Serves excellent food.

Stuart 9.5/10 visit June 2003

Revisited John

What a pub. I have visited this pub many times, and every visit is memorable. Yes it's overrun by tourists, but it's great to see mainstream beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers taking a chance on great Belgian beers and enjoying it. Great atmosphere chances are, you will comparing beers with the people on the table next to you. Run with TLC by Daisy and staff who offers excellent service. On one visit, the pub open at 16-00 hours, in 20 minutes the front two bars are full. If full go through the toilet door, which is mark Bruges Beertje 2 there's another bar. This was full up in 45 minutes. Don't panic, people do move on after a while, but not us beer hunters who have found beer heaven! A Bruges beer institution, no a Belgium beer institution, no a world beer institution. Get the picture, I love the place!!!

John 11/10 visit April 2005, June 2006, July 2008, Nov 2009 and May 2012    
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Cambrinus, 19 Philipstockstraat, Bruges 8000

Web site www.cambrinus.eu

An old building just off the main square, which in March 2006 opened as a beer café.  Décor is upmarket including brass lights, bar stools and wood panelling walls. The café as an amazing 400 beers on its menu. Which gives you a great choice to find your ideal rare beer!  Service was good, but café needs to have a lived in feel. But off to a good start.

John 9/10 visit June 2006

This pub is now getting more of that lived in feeling. It is as modern as the Brugse Beertje is traditional. According to one friend the décor is shades of Wetherspoons, while I see what he means, the atmosphere is totally different.  The barman was very knowledgeable. 

 

John 9.5/10 July 2008

 

Still the same. Waitress may have served one too many tourists! De Ryck Steenulke was 3.25 euros and Hopus was 3.80 euros.

 

John 9/10 visit May 2012

 

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Curiosa, 22 Vianmingstraat, Bruges 8000

Web site www.curiosa-brugge.com

Candle-lit 16th century cellar bar with various niches containing flowers, bottles and an interesting religious icon. Bar has arches and pillars through it like a church. Good service and complimentary snacks-corned beef and radishes. Corsendonk Agnus in good condition.

Sue 8.5/10 visit Feb 2001

Atmospheric 16th century cellar bar with nice lighting effects as well as candles on the tables, also interesting gothic statues. May be a little food-orientated, but a nice place to have a drink from their beer menu. On my last visit cheese was server with my beer, now mouse-like!

John 8.5/10 visit June 2003

A dangerous bar to get into, with very steep steps. As you enter the dark interior its seems pitch black. In fact it took 5 minutes for my eyes to adjust in the cellar, which is lit by candles. It has brick arches. A good range of bottled beer.

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

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Dickies, 16 Vrijdagmarkt, Bruges 8000

A café on a busy square. Modern red décor with a pleasant atmosphere to the place. Collection of beer bottles up on the sleeves, as well as old photos of Bruges on wall. Good selection of beer memorabilia all around, plus a '15 reasons why a beer is better than a woman!' poster.

John 7.5/10 visit June 2003

Small café by a square with fountains. Front and rear bars serve food. A gas grill at the back for cooking. The orange walls are unusual.

Stuart 7.5/10 visit June 2003

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De Brugse Beerkaai, 9 Nieuwstraat, Bruges 8000

Home brew pub on side of canal. Had Brugse Blond again-lovely beer! Restaurant bar, but food part closed down. Chequered tablecloths and 'cool' music! But liked friendly atmosphere and locals were in. Warm, comfortable feel, candle-lit.

Sue 8.5/10 visit Feb 2001

Home brew pub of the Bruges Blonde brewers. Lots of different rooms and places to drink. Sadly the best view of the canal is taken up by the restaurant area. Brewery is to the right as you walk in. Lots of modern wood panelling and lighting, a little bit yuppie by Belgian standards but a nice pub none the less.

John 8.5/10 visit June 2003

A brew pub come restaurant with a range of 4 beers. Wooden interior with glass display cases. The pub is right by a canal. It also does tapas for those who like to snack.

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

Sadly now closed, on my visit in April 2005
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De Belleman, Jozef suveestraat 22, Bruges 8000.

 

An welcoming cosy pub which is only 5 minutes walk from the busy fish market. There are tankards hanging from the bar with water jugs and smoking pipes around the pub. The draught beer is Primus with a few interesting bottled beers on the menu. This pub has a good back street atmosphere with friendly barmaid and locals.

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2009

 

Remember this place from last time, close to the centre but with reasonable prices. The lasagne was 7.50 euros and the Orval was 3.50 euros. Good bar service, nice café.

 

John 7/10 visit May 2012

 

 

Le Cerveza, Langestraat 54, Bruges 8000

 

While only 5 minutes away from Brug, this is a locals café. An average beer list, but the price of a good bottled beer here is 3.00 euros instead of 3.50 euros in the city centre. Noisy but friendly local was trying to help me select my beer- he wanted me to drink Chimay. 

 

John 6/10 visit May 2012

 

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Erasmus, 15 Wollestraat, Bruges 8000

Web site www.hotelerasmus.com

A unlike place for a good beer café. A small upmarket hotel bar, done out in modern décor. Half the place for eating, half for drinking. A good beer menu and 9 beers on draught makes this a excellent place. Friendly bar service as well.  On each visit the owner has taken a keen interest on the beer I was drinking.  Never judge a book by its cover! How many pubs have automatic doors?

John 8.5/10 visit June 2006

An hotel bar selling a wide range of bottled and draught beer, including Chimay and Augustina. There is a rear courtyard and main bar by the front door. A nice touch is the small bowl of peanuts served with the beer.

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

The entrance has been moved, but apart from this nothing has changed too much. There are 10 beers on draught; none of them are mainstream beers.  I try a Bush Blonde. While owner was in the background, the waiter was very knowledgeable.

 

John 8.5/10 visit July 2008  

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Estaminet, 5 Park, Bruges 8000

Pub across the road from a park which is a little of the tourists track, while still in the centre of town. Outdoor drinking area at the front, ideal for today which is heat wave weather. TV inside showing World Cup football. Average beer range. The low ceiling gives the café a cosy feel.

John 8/10 visit June 2006

Flore,15 Hauwerstraat, Bruges 8000

 

A pub with wonderful naff décor,  which includes the following things; flowered wallpaper, plastic tablecloths, old albums, paintings, pink walls and an old birdcage. As there is no food served here the pub is smoky. Most of the people in the pub are around the bar. Just east of t’Zand, there is a market outside which adds to the atmosphere.

 

John 7/10 visit Nov 2009

 

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Gare, 1 de Garre, between 12 and 14 Breidelstraat, Bruges 8000

Wonderful old café down an alley. Approaching the building you feel like you are going somewhere special, and you are. It's small and cosy downstairs, there is also a upstairs drinking area if crowded. Original beams and brick walls makes is lovely place, worth visiting alone , but the good beer menu is a welcome bonus. Great place.

John 9.5/10 visit June 2006

Stunning café down a tiny alley serving a massive range of beers. Its intimate inside and has old brick walls adorned by jenever bottles. I had an incredible Lindemans peach beer on draught - best eaten with custard !

Stuart 8.5/10 visit June 2003

On this visit I am up on the top floor for the first time. There is no bar on this floor, so the waitress is kept fit going up and down the stairs every five minutes or so! No mainstream beers here, only an impressive list of good Belgian beers. Pricing is a little strange with Bush 12 (the strongest beer in Belgium) only 2.75 Euros, with less strong beers more expensive! Food is only light snacks. This old building creates a lovely atmosphere. Cheese served with your beer.

John 9.5/10 visit July 2008 

Still as civilised as ever! Looks like a restaurant, but just serves classy Belgian bottled beers on trays with cheese. Prices vary: not a one size fits all place. One of Bruges best cafes: if busy come back in a few hours.

 

John 9.5/10 visit May 2012

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Graeneburg, Markt, Bruges 8000

Attractive café on main square- rather expensive but nice interior. Brightly lit, in contrast to previous café, but it improved the friendly atmosphere. Log bench-style tables, but window ones look out onto life in the square; floodlit at night. Chandelier lights and stained glass windows. A warm, friendly bar.

Sue 8/10 visit Feb 2001

A big café on the main square, a good place to look out onto the impressive buildings in the square and people-watch! Any place on the square is going to be tourist orientated and not full of locals, but this place seems more into drink than food, and has a pleasant atmosphere.

John 8/10 visit Feb 2001

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Halve Maan, 26 Walplein, Bruges 8000

Web site www.halvemaan.be

Home of the Straffe Hendrik brewery. There are brewery tours on the hour during its opening hours, between 10-00 and 18-00 hours. An nice courtyard entrance is a great place to drink on a hot summers day. Inside is upmarket, but pleasant with a nice collection of beer bottles all around the place. The blonde and brown Staffe Hendrik beers are nice drinks as well.

John 8/10 visit April 2005

You enter by a cobbled court yard with a half covered seating area. Brewery tours are available. Inside is further seating area for beer and food. Full of inquisitive visitors taking the hourly brewery tour. The two beers, a blonde and brun are very drinkable.

Stuart 8.5/10 visit June 2003

 

 

 

The beers were contracted out, but the Bruges Zot which is seen around the city is brewed here, making this brewery the only one in Bruges.

 

John visit July 2008

 

Previous visits to this place I have been drinking in courtyard. This time I did the brewery trip, which is 6.50 euros and includes a drink in the bar at the end. Which might explain why when I have previously been drinking in the courtyard, the bar is full of people getting their free drink! The tour is round the old part of the brewery; it also takes you up on the roof giving you some great views of Bruges. The tour guide was very good. Bruges Zot is 3 euros if you do not want to do the tour.

 

The beers were contracted out, but the Bruges Zot which is seen around the city is brewed here, making this brewery the only one in Bruges.

 

John visit July 2008

 

Previous visits to this place I have been drinking in courtyard. This time I did the brewery trip, which is 6.50 euros and includes a drink in the bar at the end. Which might explain why when I have previously been drinking in the courtyard, the bar is full of people getting their free drink! The tour is round the old part of the brewery; it also takes you up on the roof giving you some great views of Bruges. The tour guide was very good. Bruges Zot is 3 euros if you do not want to do the tour.

 

John 8.5/10 visit May 2012

 

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Holland Vismijit, 4 Vismarkt, Bruges 8000

A locals pub next to the fish market which today (being Sunday) is being used to sell books etc.  This remains a true locals pub because it doesn’t sell food. All credit to the owner for keeping the pub this way; when he could make easy money selling food in this location.   Tour de France is on the TV with the volume low. Karaoke background music with Glen Miller, Elvis and Little Richard. Average beer list with 30 or so bottled beers, which are reasonably priced with no bottled beer over 3 Euros. Good atmosphere, enjoyable visit.

John 8.5/10 visit July 2008

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Jerry’s Cigar Bar, Simonstevin Square 13, Bruges 8000.

 

Web site- www.jerrycigarbar.com

 

 It is always good to drink in somewhere which is a little different, and this is a case in point. A cigar shop which has most of its space taken up by an upmarket bar. There are glass cabinets along the walls which are taken up by Scotch whiskey bottles, tobacco and, of course, cigars. The beer menu is short and mainstream except for Kwak and Karmelliet, but there is an impressive malt whiskey list. Smoking is allowed, of course! Opening hours are on the web site.

 

John 7.5/10 visit Nov 2009

 

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Kleine Nachtmuziek, 60 Sint Jakobsstraat, Bruges 8000

You know this place is going to be a little different, when you see the empty bottles and cases of malt whiskies displayed in the window. Inside there are two pianos, candles on the table, Guinness posters and an old guitar!  Menu is in a lever arch file and includes a history of Irish coffee, as well as a impressive beer list which has Roman beers are the house beers and a great choice of Scottish malt whiskies. An eccentric sort of pub with a laid-back atmosphere.  Open from 1800 hours, closed Wednesday. A great place. 

John 9/10 visit July 2008

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Kluiver, 12 Hoogstraat, Bruges 8000

From the outside this place looks like a restaurant. While it does do snacks it is okay to have a drink in here! The name of the pub comes from a sail from a sailboat; hence the sail on the ceiling and nautical theme. Exposed brick and candles on the tables add to the laid-back atmosphere of the place. Not a great beer list, but it covers all the bases. Friendly locals at the bar. Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, opens 1600 hours other days, except on Thursday at 1800 hours.   

John 7.5/10 visit July 2008

NOW CLOSED

De Kelk, 69 Langestraat, Bruges 8000

Web site http://www.dekelk.be/

A small pub on the road which is going away from the main square. Outside the pub a bike race is going on, with the road shut down to cars. The locals are outside cheering the riders. The friendly locals told me they organised this to annoy a local yuppie who wants to close down the pub and everything on the road. The décor inside is dark gothic, with a good atmosphere. The beer list was great with some old favourites on it. The barman had a Westvleteren 12 for special occasions.  I visited this pub at the right moment. Opens 1700 hours: closed on Monday.

John 9/10 visit July 2008

Good atmosphere last time I visited here. This visit was later in the evening, good atmosphere in this Belgian brown café, with low lighting and soft music. Good beer list, especially if you like the lambic beers.

 

John 8.5/10 visit May 2012

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Kuppe, Kaiperstraat 19, Bruges 8000

Web site www.dekuppe.be

Menu claims it does 100 kinds of beers. A good section of Bruges breweries on draught, but the beer menu is mainly mainstream beers. Modern décor with black beans, wooden ceiling and lots of bar stool seating. Unlike a lot of pubs in Bruges, this one doesn't do food. Looks like they are still working on the beer memorabilia around the walls. Opens 14-00 hours, Saturday and Sundays.

John 8/10 visit April 2005

Still the same as last time. Still over 100 beers. I had a Waterloo Tripel at 3.80 euros, most of the bottled beers are that price.

 

John 7.5/10 visit May 2012

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Le Garre, Markt, Bruges 8000

Come in by accident whilst looking for a café, but worthwhile as it's possible to have a beer! Warm with open fire, lovely views of the town square, and very friendly service. Bruges Blonde excellent.

Sue 8/10 visit Feb 2001

Nice upmarket café on the main square. Old place with wood panelling, paintings on the wall and a nice fireplace. More into food than drink , but it's okay to have a drink - at least on a week-day in February when it's not very busy!

John 7.5/10 Visit Feb 2001

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Leopold, 26 t’Zand, Bruges 8000

T’Zand is where the coaches drop the tourists off to go into centre of Bruges. So there is a row of cafes and restaurants waiting for those people who can’t wait to eat and drink before they go into the centre of Bruges. The Leopold is near the end of the street and has a better beer list than most of the cafes along this street. Not so crowded after 1900 hours when most of the coaches have gone off. Closed on Wednesday and Thursday.

John 7/10 visit July 2008

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Nieuw Museum, Hooistraat 42, Bruges 8000.

 

You need a little luck to find this back street local; you need even more luck to find it open! My B&B was only a stone’s throw from this café; I visited in the evening for 4 nights running (Monday to Thursday) and only found it open at 2245 hours on Thursday!  The barman claims they are only closed on Wednesday! Most of the diners had gone and there was time for me to have a beer. ( Karmeliet Tripel at 3.50 euros). Nice traditional place with a beer menu of 40 beers and a friendly owner, barman and locals! Worth visiting if open!

 

John 8/10 visit May 2012

 

 

Opkikkertje, Westgistelhof 13, Bruges 8000.

 

Web site www.opkikkertje.be

 

A back street local to the North of Bruges centre off the beaten track, which might explain why Duvel is 2.60 euros! Only two people and me are here

on a Saturday night plus a Labrador dog who is sitting on his cushions in the corner- how cute! The beers are on display on a shelf to the left of the

bar. Nice place which is not going to be full of tourists.

 

John 7/10 visit Nov 2009

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Ovenne, 6 Braamberstraat, Bruges 8000

Friendly café not far of the central square. Good beer menu which was big on Chimay and Corsendork, unfortunately they seem to think having Bud on it, is a big advantage! Bit of a football theme with various football memorabilia involving the local club, FC Bruges.

John 7.5/10 visit June 2003

Cheaper priced beer. A friendly local with a football theme and fuseball machine. A birthday party was underway when we were there.

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

NOW CLOSED
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Poatlersgat, Vlamingstraat 82. Bruges 8000.

 

Since my last visit to Bruges. Bruges has gained two more pubs with over a 100 bottled beers. The first is @The pub and this is the second. This pub is in the basement of a church! Only in Belgium-must be the Trappists connection! The steep steps lead to a lively bricked cellar bar with a marble floor. As with most cellar bars the lighting is low, creating an intimate atmosphere. As well as having some interesting beers on the beer menu, the beers are sensibly priced according to strength. No waiter service here.

 

John 9/10 visit Nov 2009

 

Still the same. Had St Bernardus Tripel which was 3.50 euros. Still no waiter service.

 

John 8/10 visit May 2012

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Rose Red Café, Cordoeaniersstraat 16, Bruges  8000.

 

Web site http://www.cordoeanier.be/en/rosered.php

 

 

This café is a new addition to the Bruges beer scene since my last visit. Whilst a few minutes walk from the busy Grote Markt, this café is down a quiet back-street and in a different world! Looks like a restaurant from the outside, but no food is served here. Good laid-back atmosphere with ‘cool’ jazz music, candles on the table and uniquely red roses (fake) hanging from the beams. Good beer menu which is very strong on trappist beers; as well as this the café has 4 non- mainstream Belgian beers on draught.  The friendly owner is glad to see you, and used to beer geeks from all over the world coming here! There is a nice outside terrace around the back; the café is part of a hotel (see web site). This café is off to a great start, long may it continue.

 

John 9.5/10 visit May 2012

 

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Snuffel, 47/49 Ezelstraat, Bruges 8000

Web site http://www.snuffel.be/

This is a backpackers pub which is open to all. This means the barman is also a hostel receptionist! The beer list of 30 beers includes the contract brew Oxfam dark and blonde. Prices are the cheapest in Bruges, with a bottle of Duvel only 2.40 Euros, compared to 3.20 elsewhere in Bruges. Décor is basic and boring who needs green walls! As you might expect a good international crowd including Aussies and Italians.   Had an enjoyable visit.

John 8/10 visit July 2008

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Cafe Stokekershis, 7 Langestraat, Bruges 8000

A pub which is easy to pass and hopefully a lot of tourists do just that! The name of this pub means distillery house which means it specialises in Belgian genver. While décor is nicely olde worlde, including wood panelled walls and low lighting, the pub does no food.  Nice cosy laid-back atmosphere. Opens 1830 hours; closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

John 8/10 visit July 2008

Still a very charming place. A atmospheric bar makes up for an average beer list. A little out of the centre so the prices are more reasonable with Orval and Bruges Tripel at 3.30 euros and Jupiler at 1.80 euros.

 

John 8/10 visit May 2012

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T' dreupelhuisje, 9 Kemelstraat, Bruges 8000

Wonderful geneve bar of great character, lots of different types of geneve on the menu including lots of fruit ones! most starting at 2 euros. Nice cosy candle-lit atmosphere, mural on the wall involving geneve is colourful! Featuring geneve from the Cockney distillery, as I am London born, the least I can do is drink it!

John 8.5/10 visit April 2005

Very close to the Brugs Beertje. Specialising in geneve. Most are 2 euros. Friendly bar service and peanuts gratis. Painting of drunken scenes on the walls with a steep staircase. Worth a try as a warm up for the Brugs Beertje!

Stuart 7.5/10 Visit June 2003

NOW CLOSED

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Terrasttje, 45 Genthof, Bruges 8000

Café which is close to the canal and has a outdoor drinking area to watch the boats go by. Nice hideaway café in is small inside but this doesn’t stop the owners doing good bar snacks. Not to crowded on my visit. The café had a relaxed atmosphere. Close to the Vlissinge which is next on the list.

John 7/10 visit June 2006

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T’ Ezeltje, 118 Ezelstraat, Bruges 8000

A small narrow pub with a low ceiling, giving it a cosy feel. There is an outside patio drinking area at the back of the pub, which will be handy if Belgium ever gets a smoking ban in pubs! The pub has a donkey theme, but no photos of Tony Adams along with the other donkeys on the wall- clue any other Tony Adams jokes!! No great beer list, but a good atmosphere. Pub is about 10 minutes walking from the main square, on the edge of the city limits wall. Closed Tuesday, opens 1900 hours Saturday and Sunday, 1200 hours the rest of the week.

John 7.5/10 visit July 2008

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De Verloren Hoek, 178 Carmerstraat, Bruges 8000

Traditional cafe on the edge of the city limits with a green and a windmill across the road. Not too many tourists get out this way. Traditional décor including wood panelled walls, wooden chairs and tables. Despite it being July it is cold and wet, so the heating being on is welcome! Local beer Bruge Zot is on draught in dark and blonde, most cafes in Bruges only have the blonde. Locally brewed Zot is 3 Euros where nationally brewed Cristal Alken is 1.70 euros! Nice café. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

John 7.5/10 July 2008

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Vlissinghe, 22A Blekerstraat, Bruges 8000

Web site www.cafevlissinghe.be

A wonderful café established in 1515, inside you can feel the history. Nice décor including old prints, old fireplace and old bric-a-brac. Beer garden around the back is great for the summer. A little of the tourist track , but well worth making the effort to find. Not a great beer menu, but a place soaked in atmosphere. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

John 9/10 visit April 2005

A café has been here since 1515. beautifully panelled wooded interior with a large fire place. Freezes on the walls with scenes of time gone by. Flaking paint, studded leather chairs and a simple beer menu. Food served till late. WC is outside and a bit too close to the beer garden.

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

Bar was crowded this time, so I visited the beer garden for the first time. This garden is spacious and has glass, unlike a lot of Bruges beer gardens. It is almost a Bavarian beer garden!

 

John 8.5/10 visit May 2012

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Zolder, 53 Vlamingstraat, Bruges 8000

Cellar bar café, which seems to have similar décor to the Curiosa just down the road. Dimly-lit cosy atmosphere, with an old map of Belgian regions, as well as various beer memorabilia on the walls. St Brenardus Tripel on draught makes for a nice bonus.

John 8/10 visit June 2003

Another cellar bar with an impressive fireplace. The stairs are again very steep and you risk hitting your head if you are over 5'10". Good beer selection

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003.

Another Vlamingstraat café which is a cellar bar. A low lighting, candles on the table, wooden floor, dry hops on the ceiling sort of place, creating a good atmosphere. Claims to be a Blues place, which is proved true by the music being played in the background.  A ‘short but sweet’ beer menu including Westmalle Dubbel on draught and 25 or so bottled beers, including Hopus which seems to be the It beer in Bruges at the moment.

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2009

 

 

Zwarte Kat, Balstraat 43, Bruges 8000.

 

A museum with a bar must be in Belgium! The black cat museum is a museum of Bruges life throughout the ages, with a black cat in residence. It costs 2 euros to get in. The bar is small and atmospheric, with some reasonable prices even after your entrance fee; a standard pils is 1.25 euros and a bottle of Steenbrugge is 2.25 euros from the small beer list. The museum is shut Mondays and opens daily between 0930 to 1645 hours. The bar was closed between 1145 and 1400 hours during my visit, but I came back at 1400 hours.  I did not see the black cat!

 

John 7/10 visit May 2012

 

 

 

 

EMELGEM

Thanks to Google map it is easy find this pub from Izegem station, it’s only a 5 minute walk. The train ride is 30 minutes from Bruges

 

Kroegske, Vijfwegenstraat 63, Emelgem, 8870  (Izegem)

 

Web site http://www.kroegske.be/

 

The Belgian pub scene has everything unique called a hobby bar, briefly the owners have jobs during the week and open weekend evenings (see web site for times). The décor for this pub is wonderfully thought out with low lighting, slated floor, wood panelled walls, dry hops, empty beer bottles and beer memorabilia on the wall-need I go on! Also there is a fire in the winter. The beer menu is different with labels and photos of each beer and brewery, as well as a great choice of bottled beers, there is no draught beer. Friendly owner Danny is hoping to start brewing soon.  A great place, great pub with great beer. Worth the effort if you a serious beer hunter, because this is one of the best pubs in Belgium!

 

John 10/10 visit Nov 2009

 

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DAMME

Damme is a half hour boat ride from Bruges. The start point is on the Northern outskirts of Bruges or take the 43 bus from the central main square in Bruges.  Damme is a small village with everything centred around the Central Square.

Oude Speye, 7 Kerkstraat, Damme 8340

This place seems to be into its food. There are some drinking tables and stools next to the bar.  This is a lovely old building with genuine old beams going through the ceiling and some interesting paintings on the wall. The beer list with the menu was small, althoughr beer guides claim it has a large list. Crisps are served with the beer. Closed Monday and Tuesday from September to June.

John 7.5/10 visit July 2008

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Goldies, 18A  Kerkstraat, Damme 8340

An upmarket café which has marble table tops and wicker chairs. Oldie records are the theme here. Vinyl records are on the walls and oldies playing in the background. Service was slow, but it was raining outside and I wasn’t in a hurry. Whilst crisps and peanuts were served with the beer, my beer, Orval, was 4.20 euros making this more expensive than Bruges! Good barman, who did the waiters job. Closed  Thursday.

John 6/10 July 2008

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Cafe t’Wapen Van Damme, 23 Kerkstraat, Damme 8340

Friendly café overlooking the main square; unlike a lot of cafes in Damme this one is not into its food. While the beer choice was average they did have a section for local beers. I had the Kapel viven. Wood panelled walls with photos of old Damme. Seems very much to me to be a locals café. Beer served with nuts again! Pub did seem to have in bit of a fly problem at the time of visit!

John 8/10 visit July 2008

BRUSSELS CITY CENTRE

While Brussels is the capital of Belgium and Europe, if you don't drink and enjoy the cafes below it's probably one of the most boring cities in the world ! Brussels' road signs are in Flemish and French; the guide is using the French road names.  

Around Brussels in 80 beers by Joe Strange and Yvan De Baets is a useful guide to have in Brussels. You can get from this link. http://www.booksaboutbeer.com/beer-books/around-brussels-in-80-beers/

The alleyway pub crawl

All the pubs are down an alley and are close to each other. Start at a Le Becasse, on to the L’Imaige de Nostre Dame, then on two doors to the Au Bon Vieux Temps. Then on to the back entrance of the Toone which is 66 Rue Marche Aux Herbe, passing the excellent beer shop Bier Tempel at number 56.

The city guide is now reasonably up to date at the moment, with most cafes in the City Centre, St Catherine’s, St Gilles and Ixelles having been visited in September 2016! A regular draught pilsner was between 2.20 and 2.60 Euros and a bottled Trappist beer was between 3.50 and 5.50 Euros.

 

 CITY CENTRE

Where most of the tourists go ! The Grand Place is very impressive; away from the Grand Place every other shop seems to be a chocolate shop! Lots of classic Belgian cafes to choose from!

A La Becasse, 9 Rue Tabora, Brussel 1000

Web site  http://www.alabecasse.com/

Another old favourite with -wood-panelling . I think the name is French for a dunlin - a wading bird. Very lively, with singing patrons, and crowded. Extremely atmospheric.

Sue 8.5/10 visit Feb 1999

Kreik served in stoneware jugs. Rows of wooden tables remind me a little bit of Bamberg's rauchbier hostlery.

Stuart 8/10 visit Nov 1999

Nice old café down an alleyway with the prices and list of beers outside. Seating in rows of wooden chairs and tables, rather like a German beer hall which makes it atmospheric. Specialist Kreik place, which serves it in stoneware jugs.

John 8/10 visit June 2006

A nice atmospheric pub which has not changed since my first visit here in 1990. There is sometimes a lady in the downstairs toilets who expects some money for keeping the toilets clean!

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Still the same. Love the neon sign directing you down the alley to this place. Had a draught Timmermans Zoete lambic at 5 Euros. 3 guys behind the bar, only 2 customers; like my chances of getting served!

John 8/10 visit March 2015 

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Au Brasseur, 9 Rue des Chapelier Brussel 1000

 

A café in a cobbled street just off Grand Palace, prices are not too bad considering, with all the trappist beers between 3.60 and 4.00 Euros. There are 11 beers on draught and 50 bottled beers on the menu. A lot of the bottled beers are international mainstream (does a Dane really want to drink Carlsberg in Belgium!) but the draught are good.  The usual beer memorabilia is around the café plus some American car plates. Had a Waterloo Doulbed at 3.60 Euros served in a proclaim jug, another original beer drinking vessel for Belgium. Good find.

 

John 9/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Au Soleil, 86 Rue du Marche au Charbon, Brussel 1000

A students' bar near the Halloween; very lively and friendly, if a little basic. Pretty view onto the cobbled street, to the church opposite.

Sue 7.5/10 visit Feb 1999

A café in the centre of the city with reasonable prices for beer and food, which attracts a lot of students who in turn give this place a lot of atmosphere. Beer menu is on a blackboard below the bar; good waiter service.

John 8/10 visit Feb 2001

Still the same as my last visit with the good students and local’s atmosphere. Crowded with people sheltering from the rain.

 

John 7/10 visit Sept 2011

 

Still with the same Hippy/student vid. Prices are good for the city centre, my Senne  Zinnebier on draught was 3 Euros. There are 2 Senne and 2 Chimay beers on draught. Friendly pub cat.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

 

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Au Bon Vieux Temps, Impasse St Nicolas off 12 Rue Marche aux Herbes, Brussel 1000

A beautiful old pub in an alleyway off the centre. Stained-glass windows and panels were stunning. Wood-panelling with beer names on - very atmospheric. Huge fireplace with jugs and jars over it. Lots of cosy corners. Had a locals' feel to it.

Sue 9.5/10 visit Feb 1999

The interior had bright red upholstery - bit like a British pub. Wood panels and if you want to go to the toilets the bar maid presses a button to let you go in!

Stuart 8/10 visit Nov 1999

Another café down a alleyway, with wood panelling, red plastic seating around the sides, and a fireplace makes this a little like a English pub. Friendly locals around the bar and friendly bar service. Nice place.

John 8.5/10 visit June 2006

The secret is out, if you want to try Westvleteren 12 and are willing to pay 10 euros, then this is where you can drink. A nice hideaway pub, where you can forget about the troubles of the outside world.

 

John 8.5/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Still the same. Love the etched-glass windows. Still selling Westvletern, but had a Orval at 5 Euros. 

John 9/10 visit March 2015

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Bebo, 2 Avenue de Stalingrad, Brussels 1000.

Classy café to the South of the city centre, about 5 minutes walk from the Moeder Lambic. The café is located at the start of a tree-lined Boulevard. Good choice of draught beers including Silly, Malher and Westmalle plus over 80 bottled beers. Had a Westmalle Dubbel at 3.50 Euros. Orval was 4.50 Euros here, while the much stronger Rochfort 10 is 3.80 Euros!

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Bier Circus, 57 Rue de l’Enseignement, Brussel 1000

Web site  http://www.bier-circus.be/

Opening Hours

12-00 to 14-30  18-00 to 24-00 –Tuesday to Friday

18-00 to 24 Sat

Closed Sun and Mon

A small and unpretentious frontage, but, inside, a café with a huge collection of beer posters and glasses. A very friendly barman helped us choose Hellekapelle, Witkap ,Quintine, L'Abbeye de la Bonne-Esperance , so an interesting mixture! Very good atmosphere.

Sue 8.5/10 visit Feb 1999

Unlike most of cafes in the centre, which are close together, this café is about 10 minutes walk from the centre and has restricted opening hours ( see above ) but is well worth finding, for some of the best choices of beers in Brussels. As well as a great beer menu, there are some really nice old beer memorabilia all around this impressive cafe, and friendly bar staff who are more than willing to help you find your perfect beer. The reasonably priced food menu has some beer flavoured dishes. Draught beers are 2.50 euros on last visit. Great place.

John 9.5/10 visit Dec 2003

The café has moved literally down the road to a bigger building since my last visit.  I was worried this place was becoming more of a restaurant, but there is a fair sized bar to the right hand side for drinkers to enjoy the excellent beer menu, with some good beers on draught. So the diners and the drinkers are happy.  Good atmosphere on a busy Saturday night. Worth the walk from the city centre. Hours 1200 to 1430 hours and 1800 to 2300 hours Tuesday to Friday, 1800 to 2300. Hours Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.

 

John 9/10 visit Sept 2011

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Le Cambridge, 37 Rue De Malines, Brussel 1000

Café to the North of the centre with a outside drinking area. Inside is clean, but basic with very bright lights - (unusual for a Belgian café,) which might be for the chess players! Improving beer choice with Malheur 6 and 10. Two pinball machines by the bar.

John 7.5/10 visit April 2003

 

Le Cercueil, 12 Rue des Harengs, Brussel 1000

 

Web site http://www.lecercueil.be/

 

On a small side street to the north of the Grand Palace, this is a nice gothic bar. Walking into the place is like walking into a cinema- it is that dark! There are coffin tables, gothic like paintings and coffin lids on the ceiling. The beer menu is not easy to read in the dark, and low lighting, the waiters creeps up on you when you are reading the menu (all part of the charm) Nothing special on the beer menu, except 4 beers from the Bush Brewery. Heavy metal soundtrack fits in well including Hell Bells and Highway to Hell! Not as good as the much missed Halloween. Orval was 4 Euros.

 

John 7.5/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas, 8 Place Fontainas, Brussels 1000

 

Web site http://moederlambic.eu/

 

This is the best new outlet since my last visit to Brussels by a royal mile! As the waiter tells me he has over 46 micro beers on draught and no industrial beer here! There is a range of guest beers from micros from Italy, Spain and Schlenkerla Rauchbeir from Bamberg. The bottled beer section is mainly large lambic bottles.  A long narrow pub with a modern décor of exposed brick and black and white photos on the wall. Friendly staff that are not only proud of the beers they are serving, but took time to show their cellar to an American couple and me. They hope to have Stones from the USA and cask beer from the UK in the future. Motto of the pub is ‘beer is the answer’ (hear, hear). Only opened a year ago but already a classic pub. Next to Anneessens metro station.

 

John 10/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Good to see this place this still keeping up its high standards from my first visit. Most of beers on draught you would be by glad to get in bottles, so tasting them in draught form is an extra bonus.  Not sure about the background rap music; serious drinking people are not exactly your gangster rap crowd!  A beer drinker’s paradise.

 

John 10/10 visit Sept 2011

 

While a little South of the city centre,  a lot of overseas beer geeks ( me included) seem to get here. Standards are still high and the waiters were friendly and knowledgeable. Music on my last visit here was hip hop, tonight it is classic rock. My hotel was next door , so one or two last drinks here! Dupont Saison Dry Hopping was  3.90 Euros.

John 10/10 visit Sept 2016 

 

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Coming Soon, 34 Place de la Vieille Haux aux Bles, Brussels 1000.

Web site- http://www.lecomingsoon.be/home.php

Up the hill from the Manneken Pils. The owner was a photographer and there are photos of various current Hollywood stars at film premiers on the wall, as well as Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Wasn’t open on a Sunday when I went past, but  today is Thursday. Had a Omer at 3.90 euros.

John 7.5/10 visit Sept 2016

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Delirium, 4A Impasse de la Fidelite. Brussel 1000

Web site www.deliriumcafe.be

Down an alleyway, which is not sometimes on the tourists maps. Go to 8 Rue De Brouches you will find the café. Only opened recently but this cafe is already the beer Mecca of the Belgian beer world. Most cafes all doing well if they stock 200 beers, this café has 2,000 beers, yes 2,000. All breweries in Belgium are cover, except Westvleteren!! Lots of beers from countries all around the world, strong on Dutch and German beers. Beer trays all over the café including the ceiling! Makes the beer memorabilia different. Non smoking section on the raised platform area. No waiter service,  just ask for the impressive size beer menu. The place to drink great beer.

John 10/10 visit June 2006

This time I am in the ground floor bar, which is less noisy and less crowded than the basement bar. Good beer memorabilia on the walls in this bar as well. A shortage of beer menus means you might have to wait for one. Bar staff are a little indifferent to the beer they are selling, or maybe I have been spoilt by the staff at the Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas!

 

John 9.5/10 visit Nov 2010

 

The last stop of the night. This time I am in the basement bar; it seems to have more lighting than my previous visits or this is a lack of smoke, from Belgium’s new smoking ban! Great beer choice as always, while crowded not as busy as my previous visits. There are 4 barman behind the bar coping with the customers easily on a Sunday at 2100 hours.

 

John 9.5/10 visit Sept 2011      

 

The alley you go down to get to this café now has a sign saying Delirum Village, as there are so many Delirum bars here now! I am in the original Delirum cafe. The beer menu is as huge  as ever; some of the beers on the menu are marked Delirum choice, limited stock and vintage. I had Saison Silly at 2.80 euros, which did not take too long to find.  Service was good for a busy night.

John 9/10 visit Sept 2016

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Falstaff, 17 Rue Henri Maus, Brussel 1000

Web site http://www.lefalstaff.be/

Very posh place, but friendly. Many people having a meal and we noticed several old ladies dining by themselves. Something you don’t see in 'Blighty'.

Stuart 9/10 visit Nov 1999

This is a very high-class café/restaurant with a nice feeling of grandeur about it, but it's perfectly okay to have a beer or a coffee here. The beer menu is not as good as it once was. Impressive mirrors and stained glass windows add to the atmosphere; lots of seating outside for the summer.

John 8/10 visit Dec 2003

Only in here for a minute left when I saw the Duvel was 4.80 Euros. Still a classy place.

 

John no mark visit Sept 2011

 

CAFÉ CLOSED IN SEPTEMBER 2016. MAYBE IT’S THE PRICES!

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Fleur en Papier d'Or, 55 Rue des Alexiens, Brussel 1000

An interesting sectioned-off café on a hill! Café cat very cute. Nice small bar area. Hundreds of paintings and photos on the walls.-Collection of totally random objects! Locals' atmosphere of chatting and groups of people.

Sue 9/10 visit Feb 1999

Two small rooms with one woman service. Lots of prints on the walls.

Stuart 8.5/10 visit Nov 1999

Nice old traditional café, with lots of different areas to drink. Various bits of old bric-a-brac all around the place adds to the traditional feel; as do the locals and the efficient bar service.

John 8.5/10 visit Nov 1999

The beer menu is okay here, but what this place lacks through a big beer menu it makes up for in charm and character, both with a capital C! Just looking at the walls and ceiling and what you can see is a genuine old brown café. I have to say this is the perfect place to relax in. Not easy to find, up a hill on a non-descript road but plenty of tourists find this gem, as well as the loyal locals.  On the way to the toilets you will notice a modern extension at the back, interestingly everyone is sitting at the old part at the front. (Wonder why!) Had Horse Ale at 2.50 Euros and Orval at 3.70 Euros. Great Café.  Café is closed on a Monday.

 

John 9.5/10 visit Sept 2011

 

Read the history of this place in previous reviews. More tourists here than on my previous visits. Shut on Monday and closes at 1900 hours  on Sunday. Had a Hopbus at 3.90 Euros.

John 9/10 visit Sept 2016

 

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Halloween, 10 rue des Grand Carmes, Brussel 1000

The ultimate pub for lovers of fantasy and horror. Huge demonic statues with lights thrown onto them have impact as soon as you enter. Winged demons above and around bar, lit by blood-red oil lamps set into modelled skulls. Huge paintings of fantasy characters. Enormous plants and stone plinths contribute to the effects. The waiter is dressed as a monk! Absolutely excellent!

Sue 10/10 visit Feb 1999

Unusual café with a large collection of grotesque statues created by the owner. Candle-lit interior makes for an interesting ambience.

Stuart 8.5/10 visit Nov 1999

Whilst this place is not really ' my cup of tea ' I do find it very original and different. Dimly-lit with lights shining on the statues and waiters dressed as 'mad' monks add to the character. Opens at 16-00 which meant Sue the mouse was unable to get in here last time we visited.

John 8/10 visit Nov 1999

Now sadly closed

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L'Imaige de Nostre Dame, Impasse des Cadeaux, 8 Rue Marche aux Herbes, Brussel 1000

Another very pretty pub with cosy corners and stained glass windows. Tiled fireplace with large mirror and candle style lamps. Prints of old-time Brussels on walls. Friendly service.

Sue 9/10 visit Feb 1999

Very fancy fireplace in a modest building. We had some croquettes but they did not fill us up! No surprise! Old beams and stained glass windows. We almost left without paying!

Stuart 8/10 visit Nov 1999

Old café down an alley which seems to have a lot of its original fittings, including a nice tiled fireplace and stained glass windows. Bar staff were in very good humour with the tourists! Matheur is beer of the month here. Non-smoking area by fireplace.

John 8.5/10 visit June 2006

One of the alleyway pub crawl pubs. Nice old pub with traditional decor, but with some cold outside toilets! Beer list is average, but 2 of the 4 draught beers were interesting.

 

John 8/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Whilst still traditional this place has had  a lick of paint and a clean-up and it looks all the better for it! Even the infamous outside loos have had a makeover! Draught Kwak was 4 Euros.

 

John 8.5/10 visit March 2015

 

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Le Cirio, 18-20 Rue la Bourse, Brussel 1000

A very grand hotel,(divided into smoking and non-smoking areas), but not expensive! Drinks were poured in a very professional way! Huge mirrors and red-patterned furniture with cases of glasses and silverware. Pretty plants, lamps and photos of old Brussels. Amazing self-cleaning toilet seats!

Sue 9/10 visit Feb 1999

You must go to the toilet. They revolve, but not while you're on them!

Stuart 9/10 visit Nov 1999

This café is a little like the Falstaff, on the opposite side of the Stock Exchange, but a little smaller in size. A very grand place, but like the Falstaff it's okay to drink in here - in fact the majority of people at the time we visited were drinking. The perfect place to read your newspaper if you are Belgian or look at your guide map if you are a tourist. After my last visit, I am sadder to report there are now, no more revolving toilet seats!

John 8/10 visit Dec 2003

The décor is nicely upmarket, but at the same time it is okay to drink in here. An above average beer list, but you come here for the atmosphere. The waiters with their white apron uniforms almost make this café seem like it is lost in time-then you see the 2011 prices. They are not too bad for central Brussels, with an Orval for 3.90 Euros, a lot cheaper than the Falstaff across the road. ! A place which is well worth visiting.  No more revolving toilets!!

 

John 8.5/10 visit Sept 2011

 

One of the things I  like most about Belgium is that you can go into some grand places and it’s okay just to  have a beer; this  café is one of these places. The décor is plush restaurant, but the menu is just snacks and most people are just drinking, be it a beer or a coffee. They had some Watneys Scotch on draught, but I wasn’t feeling adventurous! So I had a Westmalle Double on draught at 4.10 Euros instead. Friendly cat adds to the place.

John 8.5/10 visit Sept 2016

 

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Les Brasseurs, 23 Rue de la Colline, Brussel 1000.

Web site http://www.les-brasseurs.com/en/info.html

Brew pub just off the Grand Place. You can see the brewery as you walk in, on the left hand side. Lots of different drinking areas in this new café, including a dining area at the back. For a brew pub the beers were very average. The service was also poor. The café has something different, but doesn't seem interested in selling itself.

John 7/10 visit April 2003

NO LONGER A BREW PUB

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La Lunette,  3 Place de la Monnaie, Brussel 1000

 

I have been to this café before, but for some reason I have not reviewed it yet. A traditional café which is close to the Opera House and is on 2 floors. Very busy in the afternoon with shoppers, it trails off a little in the evening. The place has an average beer list, but makes up for this with a lot of atmosphere. Orval is 3.80 Euros.

 

John 7.5/10 visit Sept 2011 

 

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Little Delirium, 9 Rue de marche Aux Fromages, Brussels 1000

Web site http://littledeliriumcafe.com/

Just around the round from Au Brasseur. The name says it all, a smaller version of its bigger brother! What it does have is 30 interesting beers on draught ( only 30 bottled beers) at some reasonable prices for the centre of Brussels; with Duvel at 3.55 Euros and Orval at 3.20 Euros. Had a Buffalo Stout at 3.70 Euros. TV and loud music I am sure will attract the younger crowd later on tonight.

John 8/10 visit March 2015

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Lombard, 1 Rue de Lombard, Brussels 1000

Like the Falstaff, this place looks more like a restaurant  than a pub, but once you look at the impressive beer menu with 20 beers on draught and 150 bottled beers, and see more people drinking than eating, you know you are in the right place! Pink elephants around the room means this place might have something to do with Delirum! Had a Westmalle Dubbel on draught at 4 Euros.

John 8/10 visit March 2015.

A good café with a big choice of beers, with good waitress service. Had a draught Silly Pils at 3 Euros. The urinals are Victorian and come from Hanley in England. (not sure if you ladies want to know that!)

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Lop Lop, 29 Rue de L'Ecuyer, Brussel 1000

The closest Brussels gets to a international bar. Whilst most of the beers are global brands, there are some interesting beers if you look for them. Noisy, hip and trendy, but beer drinkers are not unwelcome, if you want to buy a alpop or breezer this is the place for you. Upstairs drinking area if busy, sky sports on the TV. Happy hour 21-00 to 22-00, but prices are not reasonable. Opening hours are 09-00 to 04-00! Different from most places it is guide!

John 7.5/10 visit Dec 2003

CURRENTLY A ENGLISH PUB CALLED CHURCHILL’S

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Mokafe, 9 Galerie du Roi, Brussels 1000.

Café in a historic shopping arcade. Most times I have walked past this place; during the day it is busy with diners. When I walk past at 2030 hours today it is half empty, so I decide to give it a try! Décor is similar to the Mort Subite and Circo, plush old school. Beer list is just above average, that’s the thing about Belgium; get yourself 10 specialised bottled beers ( Duvel and some Trappists) and chances are you have got something drinkable! Desserts which were on display in the centre were very tempting! I had a Bruges Zot Blonde at 4.20 Euros.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Mort Subite, 7 Rue Montagnes aux Herbes, Brussel 1000

Web site http://www.alamortsubite.com

An old favourite café. Had Speciale Palm and Duvel. Impressive bar with ' gin palace ' feel to it. Huge mirrors, garlands, and paintings with flowers, with Corinthian columns along the room,and stained glass windows.

Sue 9/10 visit Feb 1999

Exceptional café which serves superb fruit beers. You must try the peach! Although the front is narrow, the café extends a long way back. The bar is half way down the right side of the café, and is surrounded by wooden tables. It gets busy in the evening.

Stuart 9.5/10 visit Nov 1999

Wonderful Brussels institution. It feels like nothing has changed here since the 1920's including the waiters! Wooden tables and chairs, plus mirrors which makes this narrow café look bigger than it is. Mort Subite fruit beers are no longer home brewed, but worth a try. Great cafe, great character, great atmosphere! New Marble front on last visit, but inside is still the same. Good value snack menu.

John 10/10 visit June 2006

It is nice to know this time warp café has not changed one bit! Apart from having normal or grand choice of beer on the menu! Classic place.

 

John 9.5/10 visit Nov 2010

 

Good to see nothing much has changed at this old favourite. I had a Palm at 3.20 euros. Trappist beers were from 4.50 to 6.20 euros.

John 9.5/10 visit March 2015

Back to the old favourite. A short beer list, which is expensive; my Duvel was 5.20 Euros, but still a grand place.

John 9/10 visit Sept 2016

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Nuetnigenough, 25 Rue du Lombard , Brussels 1000.

Web site- http://www.nuetnigenough.be/

Must admit from reading the reviews of this place I thought I might find it a little too foody for me, and I was right. Luckily there was  space for me to drink at the time that I visited. Décor is not fancy and the café does have a cosy feel about it. The good beer list has Alvince on draught and 9 bottled beers from the  local Senne brewery. Opens 1700 hours during the week and 1200 hours weekends. Had a bottle of Senne Sineke at 5 Euros.

John 7/10 visit Sept 2016

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Poechenellekelder, 5 rue du Chene, Brussel 1000

This café is situated near the Manneken-Pis, a much photographed weeing child. All the photos and postcards relate to the statue. Toilets quite worrying, down a narrow flight of stairs. Puppets from the Toone theatre hang up on the walls. Plants, photos and drawings cover the walls.

Sue 8/10 visit Feb 1999

Right by the 'pissing boy' you have to go upstairs. When we were there it was exceptionally busy, but we managed to find a seat. Puppets adorn the walls.

Stuart 9/10 visit Nov 1999

This café is very close to the Manneken Pis statue and by rights should be a bit of a tourist trap, like the cafes on the Grand Place, but it's not. Walking through the modern glass doors, it's hard to imagine there's a traditional café upstairs, but there is ! The café does have memorabilia about the Manneken Pis, but it also has puppets from the Toone theatre.

John 8/10 visit June 2006

It’s raining outside, so the café’s large outside drinking area is empty, which means everyone is drinking inside. There is a small drinking area downstairs which is half empty; which means I can get a seat. Nothing like a bit of local knowledge! While the beer menu is good this is much more touristy than the Tarverne Mannekin Pils across the road, with higher prices; the Orval is 4.70 Euros. They still have the puppets on the wall. There is

 a range of cheeses on the menu.

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

 

Known by Stuart and me as the puppet café or the café by the pissing boy, let’s face it the name is hard to pronounce! While overrun by tourists, this café has a good beer commitment, with over 100 bottles. Had a Orval at 4.30 Euros.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

Foot note

I notice the price of Orval is higher than most other Trappists beers, which is strange as it is one of the weaker Trappists at 6.2%.

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Porte Noire, 67 Rue des Alexiens, Brussel 1000

Web site http://www.laportenoire.be/

Very atmospheric underground bar. All brick-work, with dark tables surrounding a central bar, with rows of bottles and glasses. Stands out in dim candle lighting. Music odd - David Bowie and Led Zeppelin!

Sue 9/10 visit Feb 1999

Interesting dimly-lit cellar café, with a lot of character. A big beer menu is on offer, but they don't always have the beers on the menu behind the bar. Nice laid-back atmosphere like candles on the tables etc, adds to the ambience. Last time visited in November 1999 -not open on a Saturday night!

John 9/10 visit Feb 1999

Long time, no visit to one of my favourite cafes. Mainly because of the café’s opening hours  at the weekend. Basement bar with a circular ceiling, and the low lighting which makes it atmospheric. Friendly staff and good atmosphere at the time of my visit. You will need to order at the bar. A Rochfort 6 was 3.50 Euros. Opens 1700 hours, but it is closed on Sundays.

John 9/10 visit Sept 2016

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Postiers, 14 Rue du Fosse aux Loups,Brussel 1000

 

Web site www.lespostiers.com

 

A traditional café in the heart of the city centre. Love the white marble tables, white tiled floor, wooden seating and mirrors. Most people are in the outside drinking area at the front. An above average beer list on the bottle side, including Hopbus at 3.30. Friendly waiter service.

 

John 7/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Scott’s Bar, 2 Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potageres , Brussels 1000.

Web site- www.scottsbar.be

Opposite the Mort Subite this place is as modern as the Mort Subite is traditional. While basically a cocktail bar, this place is comfortable and has  7 draught beers on from local breweries Senne and the Brussels Beer Project, plus the usual Belgian suspects! Music is retro blues. Brussels Beer Project Delta IPA was 4 Euros.

John 7/10 visit Sept 2016 

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Taverne Manneken Pils, 33 Rue des Grandes Carmes, Brussel 1000.

 

Web site http://www.mannekenpiscafe.com/

 

A cafe opposite one of Brussels most famous landmarks the Manneken Pils or the peeing boy! By rights this should be a tourist trap, but at the time of my visit (Sunday 1300 hours) there were a fair number of locals and the café has a locals feel. The beer list is above average, the café is full of character, with lots of wood and a good lived-in feel. There is a collection of bank notes above the bar and around the beams.

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Theatre Royal De Toone, 6 Impasse Schuddevelde off 21 Petit Rue des Bouchers, Brussel 1000

Web site http://www.toone.be/

Small bar in a alley underneath a puppet theatre with animated puppets duelling in a glass case. Pretty paintings of puppets and street-life. Drank Orval. Nice beermats to collect. Good service.

Sue 8/10 visit Feb 1999

Amazing place with its own puppet theatre in a rear room. During performances rows of seats are extracted for the audience. Mechanical puppets keep you occupied during a drink!

Stuart 9.5/10 visit Nov 1999

A café which is not easy to find, which is down an alleyway. Three different drinking areas which are all very nice. It's well worth checking out the children's puppets in the middle bar. A café in a children's puppet theatre - how nice for mums and dads! A small beer garden/courtyard leading into Marche aux Herbes.

John 9/10 visit April 2003

Still the same. I had a Hopbus at 4.50 Euros; the Trappist beers were between 5 and 6 Euros.

John 8/10 visit March 2015

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Zaggeman, 116 Rue de Laeken, Brussel 1000

HOURS MON to FRI 1100 to 2000. CLOSED WEEKENDS

A large street-corner bar with friendly atmosphere. Interesting service of Kriek from a basket. Wood panelling and mirrors very impressive. Strange decorations, including a pair of football boots and figurine, and old beer bottles.

Sue 8.5/10 Feb 1999

Café about 5 minute walk from the city centre, which specialises in fruit beers and Kriek, which they serve with the bottle in a basket. I am not a big fan of Kriek, but the Boon Kreik was very nice. Good traditional feel from mainly older clientele gives this place a lot of character, as well as the old bric-a-brac around the walls with Gueuze and Kreik memorabilia . It's a shame about the opening hours, but this café grows on you on each visit. Underrated café, which is well worth a visit.

John 9/10 visit Dec 2003

NOW CLOSED

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS CITY CENTRE

This is done by area, for the more adventurous beer hunters. You will need a good map as most tourist maps only cover the centre.

EUROLAND

Where the EU constitutions are, cafes tend to close at the weekends..

La Galia, 22 Rue Jaques de Lalaing, Brussel 1000

OPENS MON TO FRI 1000 to 1900. CLOSED WEEKENDS

Exterior is a modern class front. The interior is traditional and cosy, with nice red leather seats. Chairs and tables in rows, low lighting and brewery mirrors all ad to the café. Reasonably prices as it is away from the tourist centre.

John 8/10 visit Dec 2003

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Old Hack Pub, 176 Rue Joseph II, Brussel 1000

MON TO FRI 1200 to 1500, 1730 to 2400 CLOSED WEEKENDS

More of a restaurant than pub, so why call it a pub? Small place with a high white ceiling and various black and white photos of famous people. Disappointing despite the nice De Koninck on draught.

John 3/10 visit Dec 2003

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HEEMBEEK

 

Achtsten Hemel, 1 Peter Boenoit,Neder-over-Heembeek, Brussel 1020

 

Get the 47 bus from De Brouckere at Hallenstraat (Tim and Joe if you said this in your guides it might have been easier  to find!) to Peter Benoit stop. The café is opposite the stop. So this is what the Brussel’s suburbs look like! Most of the places in this guide are in the city centre or areas nearby;

this café is a long way in a modern square. An upmarket place, with upmarket prices!  With Maredsous Blond and Westmalle Dubbel at 4 Euros, and

a bottle of Orval at 4.70 Euros, these prices wouldn’t go amiss in the city centre! The beer list is strong on lambics. Pleasant place but I am not sure

if it is worth the 25 minute bus trip. I was the only one here on a Saturday at 1330 hours. Closed on a Sunday.

 

John 7/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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IXELLES

To the South East of Brussels Inner Ring Road. There are 2 drinking areas; for first group get the 2 and 6 metro to Port de Namur station. From there get the 71 bus to Flagey (a big square which you cannot miss) for the second batch of cafes.

CAFES NEAR PORT DE NAMUR METRO STATION

L’Athenee, 2 Rue Jules Bouillon, Brussels 1050.

Old school back street local with lots of character; only minus points are the ripped seats and the graffiti covered toilets. A good beer list which is on the blackboard as you walk in. Had a Dupont Saison at 3.30 Euros.

John 7/10 visit Sept 2016

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Beer Mania, 174/176 Chausee de Wavre , Brussels 1050.

Web site- www.beermania.be

A beer shop with a great choice of bottled beers from all over Belgium, with a small bar at the back. The beer menu had a few Trappists; I had a Orval at 5 Euros, but I am not sure if you can select a beer from the shop. Not too busy at the time of my visit, but the jazz music was relaxing.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Stemelings, 7 Place De Londres, Brussel 1050

A nice cosy place, maybe a little too cosy, because the tables are so close together it's hard to walk through! A little student-like in feel, but a nice atmosphere. Various theatre posters around the walls, a big teddy bear by the window and a nice dog add to the ambience.

John 8.5/10 visit Oct 2001

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Ultime Atome, 14 Rue St Boniface, Brussel 1050

Web site http://www.ultime-atome.com/

A large lively popular place, where drinkers and diners seem to be happy to mix together in a good atmosphere. Very busy when visited on a Saturday night, with at least 4 waiters trying to deal with everyone.

John 8/10 visit Oct 2001

Large classy café off the main street, but is down a side street with plenty of other cafes and shops. Impressive menu which is well presented. Nice relaxing place with friendly staff. I had a Hopbus at 3.80 Euros.

John 9/10 visit Sept 2016

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CAFES NEAR FLAGEY

Amere a Boire, 8 Rue du Belvedere, Brussels 1050.

Modern place with a good vibe and a good beer commitment. The beer menu which is all around the café on various blackboard has a good range of beers. One part of the pub has beer crates as seats and beer barrels with a flat wood top as tables. I had a Musketeers Jacks IPA on draught at 3.30 Euros. Opens daily from 1700 hours.

John 8/10  Sept 2016

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Black Sheep, 8 Chausee de Boondael,  Brussels 1050.

The sign outside says ‘ craft beer and fish and chips’; I am not so sure!  Modern pub with lots of comfortable seats and a good atmosphere. The beer menu is mainly Belgian, with an international section, the draught section is the most interesting with Gosse Island from the USA  on. Rare for Brussels the toilets are on the ground floor ( worth a mention!). Closed Monday and Tuesday, open 1700 hours the rest of the week. I had a Senne Tores Boulba at 4 Euros.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Murmure, 18 Rue du Belvedere, Brussels 1050.

Old school café which has a student atmosphere/décor. There is a Smoking booth at the back of the café. Beers are on a blackboard above the bar. Belgian bottled beers are reasonably priced, the Brew Dog ones are not! Had a Senne Zinnebier at 3.50 Euros. Opens daily from 1600 hours.

John 7.5/10  Sept 2016

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Pantin, 355 Chausse d’Ixelles , Brussels 1050.

Web site- http://www.lepantin.be/

This café is on a busy main road, but once you get inside it is nice and relaxing. Décor is wood and low lighting. You can tell you are away from the tourist centre, as no bottled beer is over 4 Euros! Had a Rochfort 6 at 3.50 Euros. Nice place.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

 

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MAROLLES

To the South of the city, but inside the inner ring road

Brocante, 170 Rue Blaes, Brussel 1000

 

A traditional café close to a flea market, in Place de Jeu de Balle in the Marolles area. Like the cafes in St Giles this café has a jazz band outside, creating a good atmosphere in the market. Beer list is strong on guezes and lambics. Café was very busy for an early Sunday afternoon. Problems with the service; my food came but not my beer and my get-by French is not working here! Orval was 3.50 Euros. Hours are 0500 to 1900 hours daily.

 

John 7/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Chez Marcel, 20 Place de Jeu de Balle, Brussel 1000

 

A small café on the market square with bags of atmosphere and character, from the old locals standing at the bar to the tobacco stained walls. Seems to be a meeting place for guys with long moustaches judging by the photos on the walls. They also have a Whitbeard brewery mirror- but we can forgive them for that. While there’s food on the menu, most people are drinking, Hopbus was 3.20 Euros. Waiter who served me looked a little like Fabio Cappello; so this is what he does between England matches-surely not! (Don’t call me Shirley!!) 

 

John 8.5/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Warm Water, 25 Rue des Renards, Brussel 1000

 

Web Site www.hetwarmwater.be

 

A small place, with a small beer list. The café mainly does snacks on the menu. Nothing special here beer-wise.

 

John 4/10 visit Sept 2011

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MIDI STATION

L'Orient Express, 11B Ave Fonsny Fonsnylaan, Brussel 1060

Café close to Midi Station. For beer choice look at the bottles behind the bar. The Duvel was the cheapest I found in Brussels that day. As the name suggest it's done out in a grand style with marble tables, black leather seats, palm trees, and red curtains. At the back are some pinball machines, which seen a little out of character for the place. Nice wood carvings behind bar. Nice café. Mixed clientele on last visit.

John 7.5/10 visit Dec 2003

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Labourer, 3 Place de la Constitution, Brussel 1060

Good traditional café, 5 minutes walk form Midi Station or across the road from Lemonner Metro Station. Long narrow café with rows of tables, and a covered pool table and table football at the end. Wood panelling along the side of the walls, as well as large paintings of rural scenes. Every thing is reasonably priced on the food and beer menu- not many tourist around here! Worth dropping in, if you are early for your Eurostar train. Was closed on a Saturday on my last visit.

John 8.5/10 visit Dec 2003

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ST CATHERINE

Boulevard Anspach is the main road going through Brussels. To the east is the touristy city centre; to the West is the not so touristy St Catherine’s.

Au Labourer, 108 Rue De Flandre ,Brussels 1000

Au Labourer means the worker and this is a good workers’ café. While not a dive bar, the décor is old school Belgian café, very brown with old photos on the wall. It is a sunny day and most people are drinking outside.  As with a lot of Belgian cafes, the draught range is global and the bottled list has a few interesting beers. I had a Senne  Stouterik at 3.80 Euros.

John 7/10 visit Sept 2016

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Bizon,  7 Rue Pont de la Carpe7, Brussels 1000.

Web site- www.cafebizon.com

A modern version of a brown café, there are no wood panelled walls here! The walls are bare-brick ,with low lighting and beams with bank notes on them. Nice cosy relaxing place for a city centre café. The beer menu is strong on trappist and lambic bottled beers,  while there are only 4 draught beers, 2 are Trappists and 1 is Guinness. Had a Achel Blond at 4.20 Euros. Opens 1600 during the week and 1800 at the weekend.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Booze ‘n’ Blues, 20 Rue des Riches Claires , Brussels 1000.

Opens at 1900 hours and in many ways this is the perfect late night drinking spot with low lighting, neon lights, R ‘n’ B being played and a laid back owner and crowd. A good range of beer from local brewer  Senne makes for an interesting beer list. Had a Le Fort Tripple at 4 Euros.

John 7/10 visit Sept 2016

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Brussels Beer Project, 188 Rue Antoine Dansaert , Brussels 1000.

Web site- http://www.beerproject.be/en

Brussels brew pub in St Catherine’s about 15 minutes walk  from De Brouckere. The bar is at the front; walk down the narrow corridor and you will see the brewery and more seats. While the décor is hipster, the atmosphere is friendly, with mainly American and British ex-pats here. There are 11beers on draught from the brewery, plus 3 guest draughts. I had a Delta IPA at 3.10 Euros ( 25cl). Hours are 1400 to 2200 hours Thursday to Saturday.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Le Coq, 14 Rue Auguste Ort , Brussels 1000.

A lovely café only 50 yards from Bourse Metro station, but as most people  don’t cross the road into St Catherine’s, this makes this place  a non-tourists café with reasonable prices. Nice traditional décor with a blackboard at the end with the beer list. No Belgian micros here, but there are Trappists, lambics  and specialist bottled beers to keep you going! Friendly staff and customers. Had a Duvel at 3.50 Euros. Opens 1600 hours Sunday.

John 7.5/10 visit Sept 2016

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Monk Cafe, 42 Rue Sainte-Catherine , Brussels 1000.

Web Site- http://www.monk.be/

Large brown café that goes  back a fair way; there is a buffet room at the back. Café was busy at the time of my visit and it took a while to realise there was no waiter service. Good atmosphere , but  an average beer menu. Had a Dupont Monk Stout at 3.20 Euros.   

John 7.5/10 visit Sept 2016

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Le Paon Royal, 6 Rue du Vieux Marche aux Grains, Brussel 1000

Web site http://www.paonroyal.com/

Upmarket café with a pleasant atmosphere. Barebrick walls, fake beams and dim lighting. Café seems a little foodie, but there are plenty of people drinking. Bel pils from Moortgat ( Duvel brewers ) is the regular pils here, which makes a change from Jupiler.

John 7.5/10 visit April 2003

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Vieux Chateau D'or, 26 Rue Ste Catherine, Brussel 1000

A modern bar with rap music playing! Yet young and old customers! Décor rather bland, but nice details such as flowers on bar, and plants.

Sue 7/10 visit Feb 1999

A not very memorable café, which for some reason reminds me of a transport café in England.

John 6/10 visit Feb 1999

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ST GILLES

To the South of the Brussels Inner Ring Road. The Parvis de Saint-Gilles has a nice market. Get the 3 or 4 Tram to Port de Hal Metro or Parvis de Saint Gilles stations.

 

 Belladone, 17A Rue Moris, Brussel 1060

 

Web site www.labelladone.com

 

At the time of my visit on a Saturday night at 1900 hours, I was the only person in here! Décor is the standard wood of most Belgian cafes. The café is owned by a Romanian who specialise in vodka, but the beer menu has some interesting beers, including Scilly Pils at 2 Euros. Opens from 1800 hours daily, closes on a Sunday.

 

John 6/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Brasserie De l’Union, 55 Parvis de Saint-Gilles, Brussel 1060

 

Like the Porteuse d’Eau the atmosphere from the local market helps make this place. Saxophone player makes for a mellow feel—nice!  While the Porteuse d’Eau is upmarket, this cafe this traditional with  basic décor, like the old Jupiler beer poster on the wall. No beer menu, so no prices, but I did see a bottle of Scilly Organic pils in the fridge at 1.80 Euros, which I had.

 

John 7/10 visit Sept 2011

 

I remember the fridge by the bar from my last visit. A nice brown café full of locals enjoying  over 60 bottled beers at locals’ prices. Only 5 bottled beers were over 3.50 Euros and the coffee  at 1.90 Euros was the same price as the Maes Pils! I had a Senne Zinne bier at 3.30 euros. Friendly staff.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

 

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Le Beulemans, 10 Ave P De Jaer Laan, Brussel 1060

A modern, long, narrow bar, with a few interesting beers on draught. Wooden floor, bare brick wall and various beer memorabilia on the walls all add to the atmosphere

John 8/10 visit Oct 2001

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Chez Moeder Lambic, 66 Rue De Savoie, Brussel 1060

Web site http://moederlambic.eu/

A nice cosy, out of the way, local found by beer hunters. Intimate wooden seating, black and white checkered floor, lots of empty beer, lambic, and wine bottles, as well as beer memorabilia. No beer menu on table, - ( just ask ) - lots of beers on the menu but they are not all available. Small bar means beers are brought from round the back of the cafe.  Opens from 1600 hours daily.

John 8.5/10 visit Oct 2001

Whilst this place has a great beer menu, the last time I was here it was maybe lacking a little in atmosphere- this time it does not!  While the décor is traditional, all the wooden chairs, seats and floor are nice and shiny, waiting for that lived-in feel. Maybe to many large bottles of lambics on the menu, but hey, it’s the name of the place. There are plenty of other beer styles on the menu to enjoy. The Lambic Bio on handpump is 3.10 Euros and St Dottignies is 3.20 Euros. Only minus point was the bearded waiter who takes the beer menu away from me after the first drink, when he has plenty behind the bar and disappears when people want serving! The female waitress was as good as he was bad! Opens from 1600 hours daily.

 

John 9.5/10 visit Sept 2011

 

The original Moeder Lambic. This café has a similar format beer-wise to the city centre outlet, but  the cafe here is small and traditional with  a good relaxing neighbourhood atmosphere.  Impressive list of mainly Belgian beers on draught.  Had a Cantillon Kriek at 5 Euros. Worth the trip out if you are feeling  adventurous. Opens daily at 1600 hours.

John 9.5/10 visit Sept 2016

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Dynamo- Bar de Soif,  130 Chaussee d’Alsembere , Brussels 1060.

Web site- http://www.dynamobar.be/

Modern beer with a good range of mainly overseas micro beer on draught, there are brewery takeovers some days from mainly English micro-breweries.  Some of their beers on today are from Siren ( 4 beers), Thornbridge and Beavertown, but I have not come to Belgium to drink English beer, so I have a Dupont Saison on draught for 3 euros ( 25cl). Long way out of St Gilles, but the Moeder Lambic is nearby. Opens 1600 hours daily.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

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Egalite, 47  Parvis de Saint-Gilles , Brussels 1060.

Don’t worry about this café closing, it is open 24/7 ( but don’t tell the editor of the Daily Mail!). A nice comfortable place with bare-brick walls and leather seating around the wall. The beer menu is up on the wall as you walk in. I had a Van der Bossche Buffalo Bittter at 3.70 euros.

John 8/10 Sept 2016

 

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Porteuse d’Eau, 48a avenue Jean Volders, Brussel 1060

 

Web site www.laporteusedeau.be

 

First a word about Avenue Jean Volders, the road outside is shut off for a market, creating a good atmosphere. There is a Latin band outside the café adding to the amblence on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Nice art deco building with wicker chairs, plants and etched glass windows, also with a friendly barman and waiter. The toilets are up a spiral staircase. Dupont Saison was 3.05 Euros.

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

 

Still as I remember from my last visit, with the art nouveau décor and the spiral staircase to the toilets.  A nice relaxing place for a Sunday afternoon. Colourful beer menu, I had a Scotch Silly with nibbles at 4.05 Euros.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2016

 

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Terra Incognita, 56 Rue de Roumanie, Brussel 1060

 

What you might call a neighbourhood bar or a back street local, but done out in a modern style. The café has a nice laid back feel to it. Above average beer menu had Hommelbier at 3.20 Euros. Owner not happy the barmaid has not turned the lights on inside. Closed on a Sunday.

 

John 6/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Verschueren, 11/13 Parvis St Gilles, Brussel 1060

A basic place which has a good lively student-type atmosphere; the place reminds me of the Au Soleil in the city centre. There is also a house-beer brewed for the café. Chimay and snacks seem to be popular with the clientele. Football teams' names in divisions on the wall

John 7.5/10 Visit Oct 2001

Not much has changed since my last visit here. The club house for the St Giles football club. There are still the football tables on the wall, reflecting on St Giles glory days before World War 2, when they won the Belgian league. Hapkin was 3.50 Euros.

 

John 7/10 visit Sept 2011

 

Another place which has not changed much since my last visit, still with the football tables on the wall. It is nice to see Belgian bar owners keeping their cafes the same. Unlike English ones who seem to change décor and names at the drop of a hat. Had a draught Dupont Saison at 3.50 Euros.

John 7.5/10 Sept 2016

 

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SCHAERBEEK

Narrenschip, 185 Rogierstraat, Brussel 1030

Café to the East of Gare Du Nord Station; the area is a little run down, but with character ( are the yuppies coming? ). Cafe with different sections, with musicians jamming in the back-bar. Lively student-type atmosphere, with reasonably-priced food and beer (Duval 80BF). No waiter service - just go up to the bar!

John 8/10 visit Oct 2001

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GHENT

While not so well known as Antwerp, Bruges and Brussels. Ghent is a large city, with some nice old buildings and some good cafes. Didn't managed to visited as many cafes as we had liked to!. This was for three reasons, one it was a Sunday and some were shut, two there was a bit distance between some of the cafes and three we had a few clouds busts. Hope you have better luck! Visited June 2003. In June 2006 managed to do a few more cafes and thanks to an over night stay, a few more in September 2011!

Aba Jour, 20 Ouberg, Gent 9000

Web site http://www.abajour-gent.com/

Walk through a shop floor entrance, you will find this unlikely café. The front part is dimly-lit, the back has views out on to river, albeit not that great. Nice atmosphere to the café. Good drinks menu as well as a good choice of beer, there is a good selection of kriek, Scotch whisky and cocktails. Get the river views and wave to the tourist on the boats.

John 8/10 visit June 2003

Strange pub as you get to it through a dingy a hallway. Canal side location with a nice view from the windows. Excellent range of beer, geneve and whiskey. The downstairs toilet revolves - for automatic cleaning after each use and paper is automatically dispensed. Wow !

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

Just to the North of the city centre in a good canal side location. As the café is empty I have a great view from the window watching the tourist boats

go by. Not a big beer menu but the owners have gone for quality instead of quantity, which is why I had a De Ranke XX bitter at 3.50 euros.  Like

the fact Belgian beers get served with nuts!

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

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A Cpella, 33 Godshuizenlaan, Gent 9000

Web site http://www.acapella-gent.be/  

A very upmarket hotel bar a fair way from the centre . It does have a good beer menu, but seems to be to food-orientation. It's nice to have nuts with your beer, but I found it hard to relax here. Friendly bar service.

John 7/10 visit June 2003

A slightly posh café specialising in food as much as beer. You can drink in the restaurant and do not have to eat. A reasonable range of beers served with nuts as is the custom. The food menu look good but expensive!

Stuart 7.5/10 visit June 2003

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Back Door Cafe, 26 St Armandstraat, Ghent 9000

 

If you are doing a day trip to Ghent, chances are you will miss out on this café which opens from 2000 hours Monday to Thursday, 2100 hours,

Friday and Saturday and is closed on a Sunday. If you are staying the night in Ghent, this café is well worth the trip, even if it is in a hard to find

back street to the South of the city centre in the university area. As befits the name the café has lots of rock memorabilia as well as beer and

a rock music soundtrack. The beer menu is impressive with a special section for rare beers; they also have some cider, German and kriek beer

plus a good choice of draught beers. I had St Bernards Triple at 3.80 euros on draught.A steep staircase, leads up to the toilet and an upstairs

drinking area. No waiter service.

 

John 9/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Bierhuis Castel, 9 Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein, Ghent 9000

 

Web site http://www.hotelcastel.be/

 

Ghent St Peters station is a fair way from the city centre, so it is good this area has a good beer outlet at last. Trouble is it opens from 1730 hours

daily. Not great if you getting a mid day train to Brussels or even a late train from Brussels before your city centre hotel! This is a shame as the beer menu is good here. Modern décor with beer memorabilia all around the place, especially on the way to the toilets. Fake flowers will not impress the

mouse! See web site as this place is also a hotel.

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

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Brouwzaele, 17 Ter Plaeten, Gent 9000

Interesting café across from the canal, at a road junction. Original copper kettle bar ( you need to see it ), wooden barrels and beer memorable around the walls. Modern décor, but they have dry hops on the ceiling and sawdust on the floor to show its traditional! A long walk from the centre.

John 7.5/10 visit June 2003

Near the canal near a fork in the road. Unusual bar made from a copper for its roof. Fine sawdust on the floor and a good range of beers. Hops hang from the ceiling as well as copper lampshades. A Ferrari F40 was parked nearby.

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

Nice laid back café with a wonderful kettle copper bar. A little out of the city centre, but worth the walk. Wooden floorboards, with sawdust on the floor, dry hops on the bar and copper lighting all add to the atmosphere. Good beer menu with Orval at 3.70 Euros.

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

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Deus, 128 Vlaanderenstraat, Gent 9000

Web site  www.brasseriedeus.be

Upmarket café close to Ghent bus station and small red light area ( if you brink you will miss! ). When you walk in it looks like food rules here, but if you look at the menu you will see a impressive list of beers over 150. Not to busy on my Saturday afternoon visit making for  a relaxed atmosphere. Good bar service.

John 8/10 visit June 2006

The beer list has been cut down to 7 beers since of last visit. More of a restaurant than a bar. Food was not unreasonably priced, and as I was hungry

I had something to eat here.

 

John 5/10 visit Sept 2011

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Dreupelkot, Groentenmarkt 12, Ghent 9000

 

Web site http://www.dreupelkot.be/

 

A jenever bar close to the Waterhuis. The drink menu is in Flemish and they only serve jenever, no beer. Ask the friendly barman to point you in the right direction. Crowded with a good atmosphere, good to see a lot of young people enjoying jenever. Like the tradition, like the place.

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Dulle Greit, 50 Vrijagmarkt, Gent 9000

Web site http://www.dullegriet.be/01_Herberg_eng.htm

Nice eccentric sort of place on a busy city centre square. Original décor including a tented ceiling with flags, slate floor, various bric-a-brac around the ceiling and walls, neon-lighted beer signs. Beer menu with photos of the labels of the beer, which is different or this it for us dumb tourists! Nice place.

John 9/10 visit June 2006

Café facing a square with a large tented ceiling. As we walked in one table had yards of ale standing in a special wooden frame. Loads of ornaments hang from the ceiling. Stone floor. The bar was mainly brick and there were sausages hanging at the back.

Stuart 8/10 visit June 2003

Just as I remember it, with the flags on the ceiling, puppets hanging from the beams and beer memorabilia all around the walls. Small drinking area

out the front overlooking the square. Beer menu is in alphabical order instead of beer styles; the menu has over 200 beers. Great place, great beer choice in one of Ghent’s first specialist beer cafés. Had a Buffalo bitter at 2.90 euros and a Scilly saison at 2.40 euros. Opens at 1630 hours

on a Monday and 1200 hours other days.

 

John 9/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Galenhuisje, 5 Groentenmarkt, Gent 9000

Genuine old café on a busy city centre square. A small ground floor area leads up to a upstairs drinking area. Wooden beams all round the café, slate floor and white tiles all add to the charm of this place. The name of the café means Little Gallows House so named because this is where the condemned man had his last drink before being hanged elsewhere. Which explains, why there are puppets hung by their necks from the ceiling!

John 8.5/10 visit June 2006

Tiny slightly touristy pub near the cathedral where a sentenced man had his last drink ! A mixture of wood and brick. Small interior with another room upstairs. Downstairs restaurant.

Stuart 7/10 visit June 2003

I think I have told the history of this place in a previous review. It is a small place, with the outside drinking area bigger than the café. Beer menu

is small with the draught beer coming from Primus. The prices are reasonable with Petrus 2.50 Euros and Orval and trappists beers at 3.00 euros.

The rap soundtrack seems out of place in such a traditional building!

 

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011   

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Goulden Mandeke, 9 Pensmarkt, Gent 9000

Café close to the Galenhuisje. Like the Galenhuisje a old building in a clobbed square. Low ceiling and slated floor all adds to the tradition of this place. Beer list just above average. Café was crowded at the time of visit, but the bar and waiter service was quick.

John 7/10 visit June 2006

Two cafes next to each other both with Van Hachet beer signs. The Goulden Mandeke is on the right hand side. Van Hachet means the draught

beers are not Inbev , but the bottled beer section is not that interesting which is a shame as this is a nice old building. Opens 1100 hours Monday

to Friday and 1500 hours Saturday and Sunday.

 

John 6/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Glengarry, 32 St Baafsplein, Ghent 9000

 

Web site http://www.glengarry.be/

 

Welcome to Scottish malt whisky heaven! This place is not easy to find, at 30 St Baafsplein look for a staircase. It is befitting that this place is in a

cellar bar as this is an Aladdin’s cave of malt whiskies, with hundreds of bottles all around the place. What makes this place is the owner Bob’s enthusiasm which started as a hobby, then a whisky tasting club, then this great place. Bob recommends a blonde beer with a Islay malt. The beer list

is not too bad either. I can not think of anywhere in England and Scotland with such a great choice. Great find. Opens 1400 hours, closed on a

Monday.

 

John 9.5/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Grunt, 10 Grote Huidevettershoek, Gent 9000

 

Web site Web site http://www.gruut.be/

 

Ghent’s first brew pub in a nice canal side location, even if the canal is across the road. Décor is modern, with the brewing vessels to one side. Like the beer menu which is done out like a newspaper! The beers that are on draught were a wheat, amber, blond, brown and strong golden ale, which were priced at 2.50 to 3.00 euros for 25cl. Had the amber which was good.  In some Belgian brew pubs the standard of the beers is a little bland, not in this brew pub. Fish tank on the bar and cool jazz background music all add to the atmosphere.

 

John 9/10 visit Sept 2011

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Hopduvel,10 Rokerelsstraat, Gent 9000

Wonderful back street café with a good beer menu. Big than it looks on the outside, with different areas to drink in including a restaurant, upside drinking area and a beer garden. Nice collection of beer memorabilia and old tables and chairs, plus most important the place has bags of character. Interesting mural on the wall involving the devil, the name of the cafe means hop devil in Flemish. Off the beaten track, but well worth finding. Opens 11-30 daily.

John 9.5/10 visit June 2003

Off one of the outer city roads you will not find it by chance. Small front bar with brick and dark wood paintings of the devil tempting people away from religion to beer! Hence the name. A small restaurant is attached as well as a rear beer garden. Jimmy Smith was the background music, working on the Hammond Organ.

Stuart 8.5/10 visit June 2003

Closed on my visit in June 2006. Opened again at 1800hours

CLOSED FOR A WHILE IN 2007/8. Reopened under new owners,  but was closed on my two visits in September 2011 .

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Plank, Ter Plaeten, Ghent 9000

 

A cafe on a barge just down the road form the De Brouwzaele, which makes it easy to find. The upper deck must be a great place to drink in the summer and the lower deck is warm and cosy for the colder weather. The bar is downstairs when you can drink your beer at water level. The décor is full of bric-a-brac like old radio sets, typewriters, rusty French horns plus beer memorabilia and candles. The low lighting makes the place atmospheric. Different hours for winter and summer, see web site. A bottle of Hopus was 3.50 Euros.

 

John 9/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Prelude, 13 Bij St Jacob, Gent 9000

The numbers on this square are confusing. The next pub Trollekelder is #17 is on the another side of the square.  Upmarket café with leather seats. Friendly locals who seem interest in England world cup game.  Impressive beer list which was strong on trappists beers.

John 7/10 visit June 2006

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Trappistenhuis, 164 Brabantdam, Gent 9000

 

Web site www.trappistenhuis.be

 

The outside of this building looks like it is very old, pub signs says from 1600. Inside is just as nice and traditional, with low lighting, beams with dry hops on and empty beer bottles on shelves around the wall. There is also a conservatory area at the back of the café.  Great beer menu with trappist beers at the front, the abbey beers next plus a good section of other styles of beers too. There are 2 trappists beers on draught.  Good R and B and rock background music. Ename Blondle was 3.50 Euros. My favourite café in Ghent.  Opens 1100 hours Monday to Friday, 1400 hours on Saturday and

1800 hours on a Sunday.

 

John 10/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Trollekelder 17 Bij St Jacob, Gent 9000

Web site http://www.trollekelder.be/

The pub on the another side of the square. The décor is cellar like. Almost like the bar should be underground. Not to busy at the time of my visit. The café had an impressive beer list over 130 beers. Good relaxing atmosphere to drink your beer in . Café opens at 1600 hours every day except Monday.

John 8/10 visit June 2006

Nice laid back sort of place, with a good beer menu. Low lighting, lots of wood, exposed brick walls, wooden tables and chairs, but with a newish feel

to it. British indie music is the musical background here. The St Idesbond Blond at 3.40 euros is served in an original vessel! Opens 1600 hours

Friday and Saturday, 1200 hours Sunday and 1630 hours the rest of the week.

John 8/10 visit Sept 2011

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T’Vosken, 19 St Baafsplein, Ghent 9000

 

Web site http://www.tvosken.be/

 

Worth visiting as this Rodenbach café has draught Foederbeir. Modern café in the centre of one of Ghent’s main squares. Drinking is okay during

the day here, but it seems more of a restaurant than a bar in the evening. Rodenbach Grand Cru is 3.50 euros.

 

John 7/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Velootje, 2 Kalversteeg, Gent 9000

Web site http://tvelootje.mine.nu/

This pub is just across the river from the city centre. Close to the Aba Jour. It is well worth the walk to visit one of the most original pubs I have visited. Inside is just like a junk shop. Too many things to mention but oil lamps, teapots and bikes hanging from the ceiling spring to mind. Beer choice not to great, had a Glosch. On a hot day only stay inside for one. Great place. Opens at 1800 hours.

John 9.5/10 visit June 2006

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Verdronken Land,  57 Steendam, Ghent 9000

 

A little walk form the centre; the main reason to visit this café is the tapas. The beer list is about 25 beers with a few trappists. Modern décor

with exposed brick, low lighting and a tiled floor. Surprising at the time of my visit on a Tuesday at 1300 hours it is full of older locals. Orval was

3.40 euros. Opens 1100 hours week days and 1700 hours at the weekend.

 

John 6/10 visit Sept 2011

 

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Waterhius aan de Bierkant, 9 Groentenmarkt, Gent 9000

Web site http://www.waterhuisaandebierkant.be/

A good café can do no wrong on this wonderful riverside location. Old red brick building with wooden floorboards. Dry hops on the ceiling as well as plants all around the café. Busy at the time of visit, but still had a nice cosy feel to it. Service was on the slow side. Outside drinking area as well as seats by the windows.

John 9/10 visit June 2006

Still the same my last visit. Great canal side location, as well as a great choice of draught beers and bottled beer list is impressive. Good atmosphere

at the time of my visit with noisy locals playing cards. Service was a little slow, but staff were covering an outside and an upstairs drinking area. 

Great place.

 

John 9/10 visit Sept 2011

Café beside the canal with its own web site. Very busy with tourists and the service was slow. Inside its mainly wood and brick. Outside seating. Selection of beer and food served as well.

Stuart 7.5/10 visit June 2003

 

Worth a try!

Delirium Café, Klein Turkije 2, Gent 9000.  A café with 118 beers in the centre, with not as many beers as its big brother in Brussels! Closed Wednesdays, open 1600 hours weekdays and 1300 hours at weekend. Visited this café twice both late in the day in September 2011, each time the café was closed.


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 OSTEND

Whether you arrive at the ferry port, or come from Brussels Midi station (it's a 70 minute train ride), Ostend is a good coastal town to be based in. The town has one classic pubs and a few more worthwhile places. Two things you will notice about Ostend is first, the number of English and Irish pubs, and second, most pubs play a lot of 1970's and 1980's music in the background. Visited April 2005 and June 2006.

Titanic, Vindictivelaan 20, Oostende 8400

From the outside the place looks more like a restaurant than a pub but if you look on the menu you will see more drink than food on it. Nice décor with slate floor, fake beams and white ceiling. The harbour is across the road so there are windows all over the pub. Average beer menu but a few usually brews.

John 7.5/10 visit April 2005

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Theatrecafe de illusie, Graad de smet Naeyerlaan 19, Oostende 8400

Good modern café with a laid-back atmosphere, as well as a good choice of beers including most trappist beers and De Koninck on draught. There is a theatre upstairs, as you have guessed by it's name. Nice décor, low lightening and candles add to the charm of this pub. Only 5 minutes away from the rail/tram station but away from the tourist front. Opens 18.00 hours, closed on Sundays.

John 8.5/10 visit April 2005

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Rodenbach, Alfons Pieterslaan 37, Oostende 8400

Well with a name like this named after Belgium famous red beer brewery you have got to give the pub a try. It has Rodenbach on draught, as well as Grand Cru in bottles. Pub with beams, white ceilings, red walls and green seating. The pool table does take up a lot of room for a small pub.

John 7/10 visit April 2005

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De Komedie, Louisastraat 5, Oostende 8400

Friendly pub with reasonable prices for the centre. Not a great beer choice but they do have Orval. They also have Bacardi Breezes and Smirnoff Ice, just has they are going out of fashion in the UK! Décor is black and white checkered floor, black beams and white ceilings. There is a pool table at the back. Toilets are up a spiral staircase. Nice honest pub.

John 7.5/10 visit April 2005

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T' Ostens Bierhaus, Louisastraat 14, Oostende 8400

The Ostend Beer House lives up to it’s name. With over 140 beers on the menu. Long narrow pub with comfortable seats going  all round the café and the usual beer memorabilia on the walls. What makes this place special is Tim Smith who’s equality at home talking and playing dominions with the locals or talking to us beer tourists who have not found his café by mistake!  Tim’s favourite subject is Bristol Rovers. Notice there is a wall on the team. I ordered a Oeibeir beer, Tim gave a second one. When he thought the first one he pour was flat. Nice touch. Great place. Visited 3 times on my stay in Ostend.

John 10/10 visited April 2005.

 Visited June 2006, sadly now an Irish pub. Glad I visited it when I did.

OSTEND CLASSIC PUB

Botteltje, Louisastraat 19, Oostende 8400

Web site www.hotelmarion.be

The décor to this pub is like a mini Wetherspoons. As well as looking like an English pub the lively atmosphere on a Saturday night is like an English pub. Excellent beer menu, with over 300 beers on the list. There is waiter service, but they like you pay one beer at a time. It was busy. Pub closes at 0200 hours Friday and Saturday, 0100hours the rest of the week. Nice to have a beer at 1230 and not feel guilty about it! Pub is part of the Hotel Marion next door (see website). Reasonable rates of 40 Euros for a single room. I good place to stay, I know I done it twice. Classic pub

John 10/10 visited April 2005 and June 2006

This is Ostends only good beer pub with a great choice of beers. The pub has expanded since my last visit and there is now an upstairs drinking area.

Décor is still the same, so it still looks like a mini-Wetherspoons! Prices are not one standard price like most places, but vary between 2.90 euro and 4.10 euro. There are a fair number of 75cl bottles on the menu for sharing. Great atmosphere, great place.

 

John May 2012 

 

Molly Malones, Visserskaai 13, Oostende 8400

Irish pub on the seafront. The pub is bigger than it looks and go’s back to fairway. Not too many people in at the time of my visit. Apart from the Irish beers, nothing interesting on the beer menu. Friendly service. Good food menu.

John 6/10 visit June 2006

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Crown and Anchor, Loddenstraat, Oostende 8400

Small English pub with décor which reminds me of a Dutch brown café. Was the only in, then a group of Belgian lads come in and lively the pub up. The barmaid put some music on for them. Then they all sang along, they had one beer and move on. I suppose they was doing a pub crawl.

John 6/10 visit June 2006

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Admiral Nelson, Langestraat 72, Oostende 8400

What a good name for a English Pub. As you except the pub has a sailing theme with model ships and sailing paintings on the wall. Décor reminds of a North of England social club. Beers was from a small Belgium brewery who’s tied house it was. Average beer.

John 6/10 visit June 2006

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Celtic Ireland, Langestraat 65, Oostende 8400

For some reason the Belgians like Irish pubs. The Celtic Ireland has a chain of pubs in Belgium. The décor is okay and is a lot bigger than your average Belgian café. Big sport screens for the World Cup. Back patio where everyone is drinking, because it is so hot.

John 7/10 visit June 2006

 

POPERINGE and surrounding area including Ieper, Westvleteren and Woesten

Poperinge is a Belgian town close to the French border in the Belgian hop growing region. It is the last stop in the line from Brussels Midi station. The trains leave Midi at 41 minutes past, hourly. The journey lasts one hour 40 minutes. Poperinge is a charming town of 20,000 people which is still awaiting its first Macdonald’s and Starbucks!!! (Just joking!). All the cafes served beers from nearby local breweries; as well as this they have their own hop museum!   

 

Palace Hotel, Ieperstraat 34, Poperinge 8970

 

Web site  http://www.hotelpalace.be/

 

A wonderful art deco frontage is matched by a classic interior with a marble floor and tables and wicker chairs. There are various brewery mirrors from around the world on the wall plus dry hops above the bar, which seems standard for some Poperinge cafes as they have a hop museum in town!

A beer list of over a 100 beers makes for good drinking! The café does a single room at 60 euros a night. The rooms are of the same high standard

as the rest of the café- I know I have stayed there! A classic café. Closed Wednesday.

 

John 10/10 visit July 2009

 

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D’n Hommelzak, Paardenmarkt 10, Poperinge 8970

 

Walk down Bruggestraat off Grote Markt you come to a small square on your right hand side. D’n Hommelzak is in the corner up a flight of stairs.

Don’t worry about the tearoom sign above the door; this place has a good beer list! The décor is upmarket with exposed brick, white tiled floor, sofa

seating and flowers on the bar! A little like a tearoom I suppose. Like most cafes in Poperinge there is strong support for the local beers. Closed

Thursdays, open 1100 to 14000 hours Wednesday. Open from 1100 hours the rest of the week.

 

John 8/10 visit July 2009

 

 

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The Old Fiddler, Venrnestraat 9, Poperinge 8970

 

Web site www.theoldfiddler.be

 

It seems Popringe is a big enough town to have its own Irish pub! As well as Jupiler and Guinness the beer list has local beers of Hommelbier and St Bernardus plus 35 bottled beers which is not too bad for an Irish pub!  There is standard Irish pub décor with green seating and old Guinness ads on

the wall.  The pub still has their St Patrick promotions up in July! Friendly bar service and a pleasant atmosphere for a large place. There is a beer garden around the back for a sunny day. Closes Tuesday, opens from 1100 hours on other days.

 

John 8/10 visit July 2009

 

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Belfort, Grote Markt 29, Poperinge 8970

 

Web site http://www.hotelbelfort.be/

 

One of the many cafes on Grote Markt with a beer list of 30 mainly mainstream beers with some local beers on draught. Small drinking area at the front, inside is upmarket with wood panelled walls and hops on the ceiling. Friendly owners, the cafes does rooms and you can also hire a bike (see website) like I did, to go to Westvleteren. But don’t lose the keys to the padlock like I did!!!  

 

John 7/10 visit July 2009

 

 

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Hotel De La Paix, Grote Markt 20, Poperinge 8970

 

Web site http://www.hoteldelapaix.be/

 

The best cafe on Grote Markt for beer, with over a 100 beers. A well thought out beer menu lists the beers within styles with 14 local beers listed on

the first page. The café has a modern stylish décor with 3 different drinking areas; inside and outside and a restaurant, plus a beer garden at the

back. Good bar service and a relaxing atmosphere. Closed Wednesday.

 

John  9/10 visit July 2009

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Oud Vlaenderen, Grote Markt 14, Poperinge 8970

 

Another Grote Markt pub! This has a small outside drinking area and large indoor drinking area. Impressive traditional décor has red tiled floor, white walls, black beams and dry hops above the bar. The beer list has the usual Belgian suspects! except for De Koninck which is not usually found in this part of Belgium. The food menu is mainly snacks.

 

John 7.5/10 visit July 2009

 

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Cafe Britannia, Ieperstraat 151, Poperinge 8970

 

This is a good local’s cafe near to the station, which is a 5 minute walk away from the tourists’ cafes of Grote Markt- but a different world. Also a big difference in prices with St Bernardus 12 at 1.90 euros here and 2.40 euros at Grote Markt.  The beer list is only 20 beers. Pool and table football here played here. The TV set is not switched on, so it must be for special sporting events. Cristal is the standard Pils beer here. Two non-smoking tables by the door-strange!

 

John 8/10 visit July 2009.

 

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Falstaff, Ieperstraat 169, Poperinge 8970

 

A café right next door to the railway station; like all the cafes around the station a local’s café. The café beers are from Bavik-an independent brewery with a standard draught range-plus Petrus bottled beer range. The beer list is short, but it does have Duvel for 2 euros, half of what you can find it for

in Brussels.  This is a small café with marble floor, wicker chairs and a pinball machine.  There was a lack of commuters at the time of my visit!

 

John 7/10 visit July 2009

 

WESTVLETEREN

 

If you don’t know the story here goes. Westvleteren is a trappist brewery; in the last 5 years the Westvleteren 12 beer has

been voted best beer in the world by 2 beer lovers’ web sites Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.com. Most breweries would start

an advertising campaign and increase production. The brothers have gone the other way, keeping production at the same small levels,  withdrawing it from Belgian cafes and selling it in only two outlets; the café below and take out service at the abbey

(see web site www.sintsixtus.be ) which means a long wait on the phone and with your car! While the brothers intents were good, with the law of supply and demand means the beer has become rare and expensive. All 3 Westvleteren beers are excellent.

 

 

In de Vrede, Donkerstraat 13,  Vleteren 8640 (Westvleteren)

 

Web site   http://www.indevrede.be/

 

A 25 minute cycle ride in the rain from Poperinge, which was a little uncomfortable! Once you are drinking 3 of the finest beers in the world, the discomfort is soon forgotten! If you didn’t know already, this is the only café where you can drink Westvleteren-the abbey is across the road.

This might explain why there is hardly a seat to be had at 1300 hours, in this big modern barn of place!  Décor is like a Swiss ski chalet, which

is strange for flat Belgium!  The car park is not easy to find. The prices for the Westvleteren beers are 3.20 euros for Blonde 6, 3.70 euros for Westvleteren 8 and 4.30 euros for Westvleteren 12. For some reason the waiters want payment for each round of beers!  Just miss out on some take away beer. This is a must for all beer hunters. On the bike ride back the sun was shining-in more than one way! See web site for strange opening

hours!

 

John 9.5/10 visit July 2009

 

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WOESTEN

 

ZON, Elverdingestraat 2, Woesten-Vieteren 8640.

 

The brewery tap of Deca beers; the brewery is next door. The back of the pub is for food, but the front of the pub is traditional, with a dartboard with is rare for Belgium.  A small dog is there to greet people at the door. Good friendly local vibe. Due to my lack of Flemish-this is the Belgian countryside after all. I wound up with an Antiek 10% beer from Deca!! The urinals are outside at the back against the wall! Seriously!!

 

John 8/10 visit July 2009

 

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IEPER

 

A town which is here to reminder us of the horrors of World War One. The Main Gate is an impressive war memorial. Cafes have an average choice

of beer. 

 

Klein Rijsel, Rijselstraat 208, Ieper 8900

 

This pub is the entrance to Rampart Museum (a museum with World War One memorabilia). The pub is also full of WW1 memorabilia including the famous Lord Kitchener recruiting poster. Not a bad beer list (for Ieper) with 46 bottled beers, they are displayed above the bar. For 6 euros you

can have a remembrance beer the profit of which goes to the maintainer of the museum. A 10 minute walk from Grote Markt. Opens 1030 to 2100 hours, closes Wednesday and Thursday.

 

John 8/10 visit July 2009

 

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Old Tom Café,  Grote Markt 8, Ieper 8900

 

Web site   http://www.oldtom.be/

 

Grote Markt has a lot of cafes-most of them with a limited beer choice. This café doesn’t have a great choice, but it does have beers from the Pater range on draught and Yperman Ale and SAS Pils from Van Eerke- all independent Belgian beers. Café has an outside drinking area overlooking the main square. Inside is non-smoking with photos of World War One on the wall. The bar service was friendly. The Café does rooms (see website).

 

John 7.5/10 visit July 2009  

 

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