I’ve grouped these four bars together because I only stayed long enough for one beer at each. They were all chosen based on recommendations I received in one place or another. All are also a short walk from the Grand Place.
This gem maintains it’s gorgeous interior with the original 1928 decor. It is now in it’s fourth generation of ownership by the Vossen family. The name Mort Subite, means ‘Sudden Death’ and is the name of the brewery that supplies most of their beer. It is a popular bar among locals and tourists alike, and I was told that had I visited on a weekend, I would have found a much different scene to the quiet one I had when I was there. The beer selection is good, and I didn’t have any problems with the service, although I’d read lots of reviews online (take that for what it is worth) that complained about the service given to non-French speakers. Here is a link to their website.
The first few descriptions I read of this place included the words ‘hidden’ and ‘nestled’, and it did turn out to be a frustrating place to find, but when I finally did locate it, I was glad I hadn’t given up. The name means ‘The Good Old Days’ and that seems especially appropriate for a bar that has been around for over 300 years. With it’s dark, wooden interior, this place has a one of a kind atmosphere that could only be captured by such a historic venue. The beer list isn’t huge, but has all of the best- I chose my favorite Trappist beer, Westmalle Tripel. As I was leaving, I stopped and took a picture of the beautiful stained glass window. The only other two patrons in the bar at the time explained to me that it was of Brussels two patron saints, St. Michael and St. Gudula. A visit here is a must for anyone visiting Brussels for it’s beer culture.
This is another of Brussels bars that is a must visit for it’s interior as much as it’s beer selection. The Art Nouveau interior hearkens back to the 1920s, when most bars and restaurants must have looked like this. I hadn’t gone their intending to have dinner, but after I got a look at the food menu, I quickly changed my mind. It was a close call between two of Belgium’s signature dishes, mussels and Flemish Stew, and I went with the stew, which was excellent.
I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at Cafe Floreo on my visit, but I certainly could tell this was a cool place. A well-round, if not huge beer menu and an agreeable interior are just two of the things Floreo has going for it. It was such a beautiful evening, and this was the first place I visited which had any outside seating that wasn’t already occupied. I had a brief conversation with the bartender on the way out, and he told me the cafe really packs people in on nights where there is live music.
Since I had only a day and a half in Brussels on this visit, I acknowledge there are tons of great bars I missed in the king of beer cities. Someday, a longer trip to Belgium is in order, with more time spent in Brussels exploring these bars for sure.
Beers & Bars of the Europe 2013 Trip Series: