Due to the health crisis, a large part of Brussels' hospitality sector has ground to a halt. But the good news is that chips - the ultimate crunchy delicacy from Brussels - are still available throughout the city. The chip shops dotted around the capital offer the perfect combination of treating yourself to a tasty snack and discovering the best that Brussels has to offer. So, make sure to visit old favourites, trendy new upstarts and little gems throughout Brussels on your quest for the perfect mouthwatering treat!
- The chips and squares of the European Quarter
- The chips in Ixelles
- The chips in Saint-Gilles
- The chips in the south of Brussels
- The chips in the city centre
- The chips in the north of Brussels
Brussels’ European Quarter immediately evokes its institutions. And yet, it offers so much more than just stuffy offices. It's a place where people flock to for its original shops, exceptional green spaces, world-famous museums... and its lively and trendy squares. Take place Jourdan for instance, which is home to another kind of institution: the Maison Antoine chip shop, which has been championing the reputation of the capital’s chips for over 70 years. On place du Luxembourg (often called Plux by the locals), you'll be able to enjoy Be Burger's famous chips and burgers as soon as the restaurants reopen.
Maison Antoine, Place Jourdan 1040 Etterbeek, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Chips and the royal squares of Saint-Josse
The world is getting smaller and Saint-Joost-ten-Noode is a great example of this. Some 60 languages are spoken in Brussels’ smallest commune. Saint-Josse is also an architectural wonder. Its prestigious squares, lined with Art Nouveau gems, are now very popular with officials from the nearby European Quarter. Another gem in the landscape is Friterie Saint Josse chip shop on place Saint Josse. The shop has been a family business since 1931. Recently, Martin, the captain, passed the reins to Palma to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. It was a huge challenge, but Palma rose to the occasion: Saint Josse's chips never fail to delight.
Friterie Saint-Josse, Chaussée de Louvain 99 1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
A short walk away is the European Quarter’s trendy next-door neighbour, the Flagey district. This cosmopolitan melting pot is a cultural hub where people come to have a good time and kick back. While waiting for the hip terraces on Place Flagey to reopen, you will need to patiently queue (always a good sign!) in front of Frit'Flagey, a chip shop that attracts hungry customers day and night. On Saturdays and Sundays, why not kill three birds with one stone, with a walk along the ponds, fresh farm produce from the market and crispy chips!
Frit'Flagey, Place Eugène Flagey 1050 Ixelles, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Châtelain's chips and trendy spots
On the other side of the elegant Avenue Louise, which borders Flagey, lies the Châtelain district. For architecture lovers, this is one of Brussels' best Art Nouveau spots. It also boasts a concentration of art galleries and trendy gourmet eateries. Among these, a special mention must go to chip bar Bintje, where the organic chips are home-made (and can be enjoyed alongside classic or veggie burgers); and the famous burgers and chips at Rambo!
Bintje, Rue Simonis 62 1050 Ixelles, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
From the Châtelain district and on to its neighbour Saint-Gilles, Art Nouveau is everywhere! Take a stroll through a neighbourhood which is essentially an open-air museum. In addition to its unique facades, from the most discreet to the most exuberant, its hidden parks and flamboyant town hall, a walk through Saint-Gilles offers two must-visit locations for lovers of chips. A few metres from the Barrière de Saint-Gilles roundabout, La Barrière chip shop has welcomed generations of devoted foodies. And a little further down, the parvis de Saint Gilles is home to not only the Sunday market, but Patatak, a foodie favourite that reinvents the "fritkot" with a "100% made with love, local, home-made" vibe.
Patatak, Parvis de Saint-Gilles 31 1060 Saint-Gilles, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Want to slow down a bit on this Brussels tour? If so, it's time to head to the south of the capital. With its village-in-the-city feel, a walk through Uccle is the perfect escape. The commune’s narrow streets with charming houses, avenues lined with impressive residences, gardens and little slice of the countryside are sure to whet your appetite. And good job too, as foodies are in for a treat! At Chez Clémentine on place Saint-Job, tradition meets modernity for an eco-friendly chip shop that’s in tune with the times. And at Le Bourdon, you’ll find "haute couture" chips, hand-cut to a precise 13mm for 30 years now.
Place de Saint-Job 40 1180 Uccle, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Chips and Japanese cherry trees in Watermael-Boitsfort
Next to its neighbour Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort is one of the greenest municipalities in Brussels. With the leafy Sonian Forest, its numerous parks, the flower gardens in its two garden cities, and its Japanese cherry trees that draw crowds when they are in bloom, the area boasts everything you could want and more for those who like to make the most of life. Watermael-Boitsfort also offers great food thanks to its Sunday market and its Tram de Boitsfort, a top-class chip shop that has taken up residence in an old tram permanently stationed on the market square. It's a gourmet adventure!
Tram de Boisfort, Place Andrée Payfa-Fosseprez 1170 Watermael-Boitsfort, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Back to the centre of Brussels, where, at first sight, the Sablon and the Marolles have little in common, and yet... at the Sablon, you'll find the church square, the antique shops, the square with the chic boutiques and the internationally renowned chocolatiers. In the Marolles just below, you’ll find the flea market on place du Jeu de Balle, the second-hand dealers, the vintage shops, the skate park... and Friture Pitta de la Chapelle. Despite its somewhat rustic appearance, it’s well worth a visit. The frequent presence of a queue outside offers proof of this: it is universally loved by foodies from the Sablon, the Marolles and beyond!
Friture Pitta de la Chapelle, Rue Haute 25 1000 Bruxelles, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Chips and the Grand-Place in Brussels
People might think they know it all when it comes to the riches of Brussels’ city centre. From the museum district to the cobblestones of Grand-Place and its flamboyant Town Hall and from the Royal Saint Hubert galleries to Place de la Monnaie, not forgetting the little boy taking a wee! However, Brussels, that generous city, also has another treasure: its crispy chips! So for a gourmet break between visits, head to Bourse, where you’ll find two unmissable venues. The Tabora chip shop in the street of the same name, has discovered the secret of chips that are both fluffy inside and crispy outside. The length of the queue outside confirms its reputation. Fritland, just across the street from the Bourse, is the story of an Albanian family who braved the odds to open a Brussels fritkot, which they have been running now, with pride, for two generations.
Fritland, Rue Henri Maus 49 1000 Bruxelles, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Chips and a walk through Sainte-Catherine
Next to the dazzling gold of Brussels' Grand-Place, the Sainte-Catherine district invites you to stroll and slow down. Discover Brussels’ heritage and its cultural and historical sites. Its quays and the Vismarkt square are the perfect spots to feast on fish and seafood of course, but not only that! Are you a fan of 'less is more' and would you like to try some outstanding chips? Then go to Choucke, a new little gem in Brussels that has locals swarming to it... as well as everyone else! Lovers of chic chips will find everything they are looking for at Frites Atelier, the Brussels iteration of Michelin-starred chef Sergio Herman's chip franchise.
Frites Atelier, Rue Sainte-Catherine 32 1000 Bruxelles, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Increasingly popular with Brussels locals because of its country atmosphere and green spaces, Jette more than holds its own compared with its cousins in the south of the capital. And this breath of fresh air in the north-west of Brussels has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. From the Magritte studio house, which immerses you in the painter’s surrealist daily life, to an authentic reconstruction of the Lourdes grotto, Jette takes you off the beaten track. On Sundays, people flock to the huge place du Miroir to stock up on goodies at the market, and queue up in front of the iconic Le Miroir chip shop, which has been delighting the most devoted foodies for many a year. And for those who like their chips chunky and their locals welcoming and authentic, head to place Cardinal Mercier for the generous chips of Big Moestasje.
Friterie du Miroir, Place Reine Astrid 1090 Jette, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Chips, nature and culture in the Heysel
Want to combine culture, entertainment and nature? Then make your way to the Heysel! Just a stone's throw from the Royal Estate, you have a choice: take a tour of the continent at Mini-Europe, fly through the stars at the Planetarium... or climb into the giant spheres of the Atomium. Between sights, the lawns of the many parks in the district offer an irresistible invitation to kick back and relax, or even to have a picnic... which will be all the more delicious with some golden chips from Vandervaeren chip shop, conveniently located at the foot of one of Brussels’ iconic monuments: the Atomium!
Friterie Vandervaeren, Boulevard du Centenaire 1020 Bruxelles, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
Jef's legendary chips in Neder-Over-Heembeek
A tour of the chip shops in Brussels would not be complete without a visit to Neder-Over-Heembeek. This tiny commune, or rather village, is part of Brussels yet already feels the countryside. To get there, head north, where your little ones can (re)discover life at Nos Pilifs’ educational farm.
And at Peter Benoit Square, you can satisfy your craving for chips. Jef and his daughter Manu, who run the chip shop together, welcome you with their generous smiles and their legendary chips... Close your eyes and enjoy!
Chez Jef, Place Peter Benoit, 1120 Neder-over-Hembeek, ©visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Rémy
If happiness is hidden in a portion of chips, you'll find it in Brussels!