Restaurants in Bruges
While not on a par with London or Paris, the restaurants in Bruges offer wonderful variety to suit all tastes and budgets. On one end, you have Michelin-starred establishments like De Karmeliet and Den Gouden Harynck, and at the other you have humble shopfront vendors serving up local specialties like fricadellen, frites (chips or french fries dipped in mayonnaise). Other typical Belgian dishes include moules-frites (mussels and chips), waterzooi (a rich chicken and vegetable stew), and tomate-crevette (a hollowed-out tomato stuffed with prawns and mayonnaise.
Belgian beer is also a specialty, and local varieties are brewed in a range of styles to pair with certain dishes; don't be afraid to ask your waiter to recommend something.
One important thing to remember about dining in Bruges is always to leave room for dessert. Belgium is well-known for its amazing chocolate, often considered the standard by which even Swiss chocolate is measured. Delicate seashell pralines make a great end to any meal. If you have a bit more stamina however, be sure to try a light and crispy Belgian waffle, dusted with powdered sugar and served with whipped cream and strawberries.
't Brugs Beertje
't Brugs Beertje is a popular beerhouse that offers unpretentious pub fare for a cheap meal in Bruges. The real star of the show is the beer though, as there are more than 300 Belgian beers available. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the pub is open for dinner, Thursday to Monday.
Address: Kemelstraat 5
Telephone: +32 5033 9616
Gelataria Da Vinci
Anyone with a sweet tooth will want to stop at Gelateria Da Vinci, a popular ice cream parlour near the centre of town. Offering a wide variety of gelato and dairy-free sorbet, the bustling shop has a relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect place for a treat. Note that the shop tends to be busy and seating is not always available.
Address: Geldmuntstraat 34
Telephone: +32 5 033 3650
Gingerbread Tea Room
Gingerbread Tea Room is a sweet little family-run tea house offering delicious homemade breakfasts and lunches. Specialties include comfort food like bagels, quiche, and soup. However, be sure to sample their selection of teas and sweet baked treats. Note that only cash is accepted as payment.
Address: Amandsstraat 29
Reservations are a must at this small restaurant. Gruuthuse Hof offers excellent Belgian cuisine in an elegant environment. If possible, book one of the few outdoor tables for a leisurely lunch and people-watching. Closed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Address: Mariastraat 36
Telephone: +32 5 033 0614
Park Restaurant is one of the most popular eateries in Bruges, known for its classic, romantic atmosphere. Its location near prominent attractions makes it convenient for sightseers. The food is simple and filling. However, note that on weekends and holidays only four-course set menus are offered.
Address: Minderbroedersstraat 1
Telephone: +32 497 801 872