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Top 10 Slow Food Restaurants in Brussels, Belgium

By alison - February 27, 2015 (Updated: September 16, 2016)

Our Top 10 Slow Food Restaurants in Brussels, Belgium

Our Top 10 Slow Food Restaurants in Brussels, Belgium

Our top 10 Slow Food Restaurants in Brussels, Belgium, embrace the movement’s guiding principles of Good, Clean, and Fair in delicious ways.

What is Slow Food?

We mention Slow Food often. If fact, we even have a whole section on CheeseWeb dedicated to it. But what exactly is Slow Food and why do we strive to eat this way?

The Slow Food movement started in 1986, in Italy, as a reaction to McDonald’s proposal to open near the Spanish Steps in Rome. (Thank you Italians!) In 1989, the International Slow Food Movement was founded, in Paris, to protect local food cultures and traditions, and to counteract the industrialisation of food. Today, the movement is active in over 150 different countries and is based on three principles:

  • GOOD: quality, flavorsome and healthy food
  • CLEAN: production that does not harm the environment
  • FAIR: accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for producers

From the Slow Food International Website. (See also their Slow Food Manifesto for Quality)

Eating Slow Food is also about biodiversity. Factory farms focus on producing vast quantities of only one or two species of produce. The myriad other species risk being lost altogether. To combat this, the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiveristy has created The Ark of Taste.

The Ark of Taste travels the world collecting small-scale quality productions that belong to the cultures, history and traditions of the entire planet: an extraordinary heritage of fruits, vegetables, animal breeds, cheeses, breads, sweets and cured meats…

Currently, there are 2303 items on the list and 12 products are from Belgium. These include: Boudin, Herve cheese, traditionally grown witloof (endive), Lambic Beer, and Horseback-fished Brown Shrimp.

Saving Belgian Shrimp for future generations of foodies

Saving Belgian Shrimp for future generations of foodies

Slow Food is important to us, personally, because we love good food. As travellers, we believe one of the best ways to understand a new culture, is through its culinary traditions. Meeting people who are passionate about producing and eating good food is one of the things that drives us.

Slow Food Restaurants in Brussels

Tasty Slow Food dishes at Les Brigittines, Brussels

Tasty Slow Food dishes at Les Brigittines, Brussels

But you don’t have to travel the world to find Slow Food, just visit your local farmer or farmer’s market and start talking to people. As interest in Slow Food grows, more and more restaurants are catching on to the demand.

Here in Brussels, we’re fortunate to have an active branch of the Slow Food movement. Every year, they rate restaurants around the city who agree to offer local, clean, and sustainable food.

We’ve tried a number of these restaurants for ourselves and here are our 10 favourites:

  1. Bon Bon – When we saw the chef head into the terrace herb garden and gather a handful of fresh greens, we saw how ‘local’ some of our ingredients were going to be at this Michelin two-star restaurant. (Read our Restaurant Bon Bon Review)

    Haute cuisine Slow Food at Restaurant Bon Bon in Brussels

    Haute cuisine Slow Food at Restaurant Bon Bon in Brussels
  2. Comme Chez Soi – This restaurant is a Brussels Michelin Starred legend. What we didn’t realise is they focus on Slow Food too; with organic produce, a seasonal menu, Belgian wine, and artisanal products like Herve cheese and syrup from Aubel.
  3. La Buvette – Of all the restaurants on the list, this was quite possibly my favourite dining experience. Not only was the menu creative and elegant, it features many traditional Belgian products I had never seen anywhere else. (Read our La Buvette Restaurant Review)

    Unique Slow Food dishes at La Buvette

    Unique Slow Food dishes at La Buvette
  4. Le Café des Spores – Run by the same team as La Buvette, it’s no surprise to see Belgium’s only mushroom restaurant on the Slow Food list. This is a unique and tasty night out and you’ll never look at ‘srooms the same way again. (Read our Café des Spores Review)

    The Cafe des Spores mushroom restaurant in Brussels

    The Cafe des Spores mushroom restaurant in Brussels
  5. Le Max – This Sardinian restaurant in Schaerbeek holds a special place in my heart as it’s where I first met our Social Media Diva in person. It’s also a great place to experience the Brussels Slow Food scene, as the chef is a long time supporter and honorary president of the Slow Food Convivium in Brussels.
  6. Le Mess – In addition to being a fun, quirky place to dine, inside a former prison, Le Mess focuses on traditional Belgian dishes. There is a strong emphasis on sustainable seafood and the organic lamb comes from the Gaume region of Wallonia. They even offer a ‘Veggie Thursday’ featuring a vegetarian lunch.
  7. Les Brigittines – This cosy restaurant wins points for old-school Art Nouveau character, as well as great traditional Belgian food. The chef also highlights local beers from Cantillon and the Brasserie de la Senne both alongside and even in some of his dishes.

    The Art Nouveau interior of Les Brigittines

    The Art Nouveau interior of Les Brigittines
  8. Les Filles – This bustling restaurant near Place Sainte-Catherine offers a traditional family-style dining experience. Not only do you eat from communal dishes, whatever happens to be the meal of the day, you sit with strangers (who may even become friends).  The organic food is a bit like Grandma’s comforting meals – but Grandma never served such good wines! Book your tables at Les Filles online.
  9. Mo Mo – This Tibetan restaurant has quickly become one of our new favourite ‘Cheap Eats’ in Brussels. The delicious dumplings are all made by hand. Served with warming bowls of soup and delicate steamed veggies, you can eat as much as you want without feeling guilty. Book your table at Mo Mo online.

    Affordable Tibetan Slow Food at Mo Mo

    Affordable Tibetan Slow Food at Mo Mo
  10. Wine Bar Sablon – Last (but only alphabetically) is one of our long-running favourites. With a name like ‘Le Wine Bar’ it goes without saying the wines are phenomenal, but the food is also excellent. Many of the products hail from the owner’s region of  Pays des Collines in Wallonia and the charcuterie is out of this world! (Read our review of Le Wine Bar). Book your table at Le Wine Bar online

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Slow Food Movement in general and what your favourite Slow Food restaurants are, in Brussels and beyond.

Top 10 Slow Food Restaurants in Brussels, Belgium

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Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She is currently slow travelling through Europe in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
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4 comments

  1. Comment by Michelle - Very Hungry Explorer

    Michelle - Very Hungry Explorer February 27, 2015 at 15:16

    I love the idea of Slow Food – unless I’m in a rush of course 😉 I’m really want to check out Mo Mo and Cafe des Spores.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison February 27, 2015 at 16:15

      Lol, I know what you mean. MoMo is quite quick normally, especially at lunch time. Although she still makes them all by hand, which I find amazing. Cafe de Spores is a must visit if you love mushrooms. It’s unique and I love the atmosphere there.

  2. Comment by Fred

    Fred March 3, 2015 at 08:53

    I’m ashamed: I’ve been working in Brussels for 8 years and never tasted one of those! Bo Bo and Café des Spores are also at the top of my list!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison March 3, 2015 at 09:01

      That’s the good and bad thing about Brussels Fred… we are so spoiled for choice here it’s impossible to try everywhere!

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