Isn’t food the best part about traveling? I guess for the few who dislike trying new things maybe not but I love new experiences and eating all the food! Bruges is full of tourists traps but getting off the beaten path a few steps opens up some great places to experience Belgian beer, cheese, waffles, and some mainland European favorites.
I found an adorable waffles café a block off the main square. Lizzie’s Wafels is known for their extra large homemade waffles. I ordered mine with a side of caramel sauce and sparkling water. You can get a lot of different toppings (all homemade) but I chose my favorite- caramel! The waffles here are very light and crispy and made for an excellent light lunch.
There are a few to-go waffle places around the main squares in Bruges. Load them up with toppings or eat them plain, there are so many options.
Tripel De Garre is a famous Belgian tripple beer that is only found on tap at De Garre, a beer hall/café. Down a narrow alley with one tiny sign you have to be able to find it if you want the taste the deliciousness that is Tripel De Garre.
There are rules that come with this beer: 3 Tripels per customer is the limit. I had one and was buzzed so I have no idea how anyone could order 3 of the 11% alcohol by volume even if you eat the accompanying cheese (best beer snack ever!) and one of the charcuterie platters offered on the small food menu.
Google Maps has replaced Yelp has my go-to app to find places to eat. I find it to be slightly more reliable and the pictures easier to access. Using Google Maps, I found an Italian place for my dinner which hit the spot.
Salad (vegetables on vacation in Belgium can be so few and far between!) and gnocchi with mushrooms.
Besides tasting amazing, the other good thing about pasta is that it reheats really well. My AirBnB in Bruges has a refrigerator, microwave, and a coffee maker (with coffee included) so it was easy to not have to eat out every single meal.
My favorite random food find was a cheese festival! I was doing some window shopping and wandering when I stumbled upon a cheese festival. They were giving out free samples, selling blocks of cheese, charcuterie, foie gras, baguettes and had food trucks selling glasses of champagne.
From the 50 or so vendors, I had a few samples and purchased a cheese and baguette for my dinner that night. Spent 5 Euros on cheese and 1 Euro on a baguette = a cheap dinner in Bruges (things are a little more expensive here!).
Finally I took a brewery tour of De Halve Mann which was recommended as the tour to take in Bruges. It was 10 Euro and informative if you are into beer.
The views from the top of the brewery were fantastic. This brewery built their own underground pipeline from the brewery to the distribution center a few kilometers away. The big joke in Bruges is that if you are lucky enough to live above the pipeline, you can stick your own tap into it. That would be pretty cool if it was true!
Also included in the tour was one Bruges Zot Blonde beer, their most popular. It was not very good. Skip this beer if you see it on a menu. Belgium has way better options out there. I’d call this the Miller Lite of Belgium.
The courtyard had a lot of other beer options and food. But this place is popular so getting an outdoor seat was difficult.
Eating and drinking in Bruges was a lot of fun. Cheese and beer galore! When I get home, I’m eating salad for a week!
Reader Question: What would be your favorite kind of food festival to accidentally wander into? Cheese, wine, and pizza festivals for me!