6 Restaurants in Belgium Worth Leaving Brussels For

By - February 5, 2013 (Updated: December 30, 2017)

This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series Best Restaurants in Belgium.

6 Restaurants in Belgium worth leaving Brussels for

Stuck in a Brussels Restaurant rut? We share our 6 Restaurants in Belgium worth leaving Brussels for.

We Brussels-dwelling expats can get a bit lazy about leaving the city. After all, we have everything we need right here.  We could eat at a Brussels restaurant, every night for a year, without ever having to repeat. Heck, some expats hardly leave their communes.

But we know there are lots of great reasons to venture outside our city borders, not the least of which are food related.

To inspire you to venture further into Belgium, today we round up 6 of our favourite restaurants outside of Brussels; 3 restaurants in Flanders and 3 in Wallonia, because we’re fair like that.

3 Great Restaurants in Flanders

‘T Cuyperke – This is a great starting point for your ‘Beyond Brussels’ adventures. You barely have to leave the city, as it is located in nearby Zaventem and the owners speak about 5 languages better than most folks speak their mother-tongue.  This was our ‘local’ hangout when we lived in Flanders. The service is great. The food is whatever is in season. The portions are big and you always get a little amuse bouche to start with. My favourite is the Scampi van de Huis (Scampi of the house – grilled shrimp in a lobster cream sauce with pasta – delish). It’s a family style place so children are welcome and the terrace is a lovely shady hideaway in the summer.

Het Pomphuis – A quick trip by train or car will deliver you to lively Antwerp, (Come on, we know you can do it.) As the Flemish name suggests, Het Pomphuis was originally a huge pumping station for the dry dock. In 2002, it reopened as a modern bar and restaurant. This trendy restaurant maintains its original high ceilings and industrial feel while serving a high standard of delicious food in a warm atmosphere. It can get a bit noisy here, but the food and décor are classy, as are the Antwerpenaars who dine here. Book a table at Het Pomphuis online now.

Het Pomphuis Restaurant, Antwerp, Belgium

Classy, with a side of trendy at Het Pomphuis

The House of Eliott – We fell head-over-heels in love with Ghent, last summer, so it is definitely worth leaving Brussels for, even without the food.  But let’s face it, we never go anywhere without checking out the food and eating here is definitely a unique experience. Let me start by saying, they had me at “lobster six ways.” When I spotted this on the menu, I knew we had to visit. One of the quirkier restaurants we’ve visited in Belgium, and that’s saying a lot in this country, the decor is a bit like dining in your crazy Auntie Harriet’s attic. I particularly loved the homage to Coco Chanel in the restroom. The food, however, is far from frivolous. This is the best lobster I’ve had in Belgium (possibly in Europe) and that’s saying something coming from an Atlantic Canadian gal. If you aren’t a fan of the crustacean, there are still plenty of options on the menu to choose from.

House of Eliott Restaurant in Ghent, Belgium

Lots of lobster and quirky fun at the House of Eliott

3 Great Restaurants in Wallonia

NunsIf you’re travelling by train, this restaurant in Liège is the easiest of our Walloon choices to get to. Tucked away, in a back alley near the Montagne de Bueren, Nuns boasts a beautiful terrace for those long summer evenings. Inside, the bright modern decor avoids feeling cold by contrasting with the period post and beam architecture. The menu combines local specialities with an Asian vibe and the service is warm and helpful.

La Broche – This restaurant is rated in the top 5 on Trip Advisor for Dinant, and no wonder. We had a fantastic 3-course menu of the season here. (It also came with an amuse bouche and treats with our coffees.) The service was excellent, the decor modern and the food was fantastic. There is no discount on Sundays for lunch so our menu, with a bottle of wine, came to 100 euro, for the two of us but through the week, the lunch menu is more affordable.

La Broche Restaurant in Dinant, Belgium

Mmm, duck and foie gras in one dish? Yes, please!

Restaurant Duo – Even after 7 years in Belgium, I’m still surprised at the seemingly out of the way places we find world-class restaurants. Duo is one such place and, trust us, it’s worth the trek. Located on the outskirts of Eupen, it is one of the very last houses before you reach the Hautes Fagnes Nature Reserve. It’s completely unassuming from the outside. Inside, the restaurant is decorated with muted earth tones, but there is nothing muted about the food. Dish after dish of colourful, artfully plated and creatively paired food appeared before us. The ingredients are all locally sourced from nearby farms and waters and we were blown away by the flavours. We would expect a huge price tag for a meal of this calibre but the menu prices are very reasonable. There is even a ‘Wallonie Saveurs’ 3-course menu for €35. Go now before word gets out and take that special someone for a perfectly romantic meal.

Restaurant Duo in Eupen, Belgium

Flavours of Wallonia at Restaurant Duo

So come on Brussels-dwelling expats, venture into the wilds of Belgium… we promise the food is worth it.

(And for those of you outside of Brussels, who never venture into our fine city, check out our 5 Must Eat Restaurants in Brussels.) For more great restaurants in Belgium and beyond, check out our Restaurant Review page.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of 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 has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison Cornford-Matheson
- 3 hours ago


  1. Comment by Paul Kompfner

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    Paul Kompfner February 5, 2013 at 17:19

    Indeed these sound wonderful discoveries. I just want to mention a not-so-well known but outstanding small restaurant just by the Lac de Genval, called L’Amandier, 9 rue de limalsart 1332 Genval. The main menu is €39 plus drinks, and the cuisine is artistic, flavourful & full of invention. You can sit at the bar in the new extension, facing the kitchen – a free lesson in haute cuisine awaits you…

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison February 5, 2013 at 17:22

      Thank you for the recommendation Paul. We are always looking for great new places to discover.

  2. Comment by Claire

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    Claire February 12, 2013 at 15:32

    I know l’Amandier well. Haven’t been in a while, but in the past we were never disappointed. Glad they extended, it was a wee bit small inside.

  3. Comment by smarksthespots

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    smarksthespots February 15, 2013 at 18:34

    I’ve also been to The House of Eliott in Ghent and love it as well! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Comment by Nancy

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    Nancy February 20, 2013 at 20:48

    Het Pomphuis is excellent. They also have a terrace where drinks and meals are served, depending on the weather. The downstairs room is a great place for special events, will be celebrating a 70th birthday there later this year.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison February 21, 2013 at 09:13

      Agreed! We really enjoyed it there too Nancy.

  5. Comment by Annie

    Alison Cornford-Matheson

    Annie March 27, 2013 at 13:49

    Try the Kardinaals Hof in Brugge. You will be amazed

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison Cornford-Matheson

      Alison March 27, 2013 at 14:00

      Thanks for the tip Annie! We need to do a much more thorough exploration of Brugge. It’s on the list for this summer hopefully!

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