Street food in Brussels: a whole world of flavours at your fingertips

Street food in Brussels: a whole world of flavours at your fingertips

Street food has been popular years now. It used to be just a hamburger or hot dog or some chips, but nowadays there's a whole range of balanced, exotic dishes to take away. Food trucks and salad bars have made started to pop up all over the city... but restaurants are also joining the party and offering quick and often worldly bites!  
Thanks to this nomadic cuisine, you can sample culinary specialities from around the world. Mexican, Indian, American, Asian... Organic, vegetarian and even vegan. At a table or on the go? The choice is yours!  

 

  • My Tannour (c) Delphine Lang

     

    Monella

    This street food eatery is the first in Brussels to offer Italian food. Located in Ixelles, it is run by Ugo Federico and Francesco Cury, owners of Racines, just next door. In this chip shop-counter, the owners wanted to pay tribute to Italian and Belgian street food. As such, you can sample the typical Italian street food dish, pizza fritta. It has all the same toppings as a classic pizza (tomato sauce, basil, ricotta...), but it is lighter, thanks to its honeycombed dough and is fried in oil, rather than cooked in a pizza oven, making it crispy, but not greasy. On the menu, you'll find other Italian specialities, such as bombe fritte, panzerotti and schiacciate.


    (c) Yvan Guerdon

    Bobbi Bao

    This brand-new Asian bar-restaurant is located in the heart of Brussels, next to the Grand-Place and the Bourse. It's a project by chefs Yoth Ondara (Crab Club) and Cédric Gérard (Café des Halles, Bobbi Market and Bobbi Brewery). Everything is ecological, organic and home-made. The speciality is the bao, a small steamed white Chinese bread. This East Asian recipe is a thousand years old and is now being enjoyed again all over the world. Try the bao burgers in home-made buns, one of the Bobbi beers and an oriental cocktail. For dessert, indulge with a home-made ice cream or a Japanese 'kakigori' (crushed ice with fruit). Every week, they showcase a new LP, which is available at the neighbouring Caroline Music. Before you leave, don't forget to visit the exhibition area.

    Wolf Food Market

    In a place where primarily financial wolves used to roam, you can now devour street food to your heart's content. Wolf, named after rue Fossé aux Loups (a former favourite watering hole among the financial wolves), is located between the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula and the Monnaie. Brussels' former General Savings and Pensions headquarters has been transformed into a veritable marketplace, where you can choose from all kinds of street food. The site is home to no fewer than nineteen restaurants and two bars. It's a genuine world tour of gastronomy: from hamburgers and sushi to pasta and Syrio-Lebanese sandwiches. Treat yourself to a poke bowl or one of the gourmet waffles of renowned chef Yves Matagne. If you want to stay a while longer, you can hang out in the chill room. Another must is the Food Hub, the site's organic and zero-waste market.


    (c) Wolf

    Liu Lin

    This restaurant in the Sablon district bears the name of the two Belgian-Taiwanese sisters who run it. They invite you to discover their cooking culture, which is entirely plant-based. The dishes on the menu can cause some confusion, given their meaty names and appearance, but when you taste them, you'll see that it's just a trick of the eye! Discover how full of flavour tofu, soya or shiitake can be. Even sworn carnivores will get a taste for vegetables here, and that's exactly what Liu and Lin are going for.


    (c) Dylan Berrier

    Fernand Obb Delicatessen

    The name comes from his cat Fernand and the expression 'Ob Bruxelles', which is a historical reference to the commune of Saint-Gilles. In 2017-2018, Cédric Mosbeux opened this specialty shop that puts Brussels and Belgian cuisine on the map. Fernand Obb Delicatessen is a restaurant, a caterer, a delicatessen and an event venue, all rolled into one. The menu is based on Belgian produce and the dishes are prepared on site or by local artisans. At Fernand Obb, the shrimp is king! Here, you can sample the best shrimp croquette in Brussels. Cédric has won the award twice in a row now, in 2018 and 2019. They also offer, among other dishes, burgers, home-made smoked salmon and 'gaufrites' (deep-fried potatoes in the shape of a waffle). During your visit, note the water bearer fixed to the ceramic tile wall, it's an emblematic symbol of Saint-Gilles.


     

    Old Boy

    This Asian bistro was founded by John and Xavier, both Eurasians, who wanted to share the culinary flavours of their country of origin. Located in Ixelles, it offers small dishes to share for omnivores, vegetarians and vegans: bao with tofu, minced chicken salad or beef noodles with chilli paste. You have a choice of drinks from various countries. At the moment, they are only open in the evening. Don't forget to book on their website before you go.

    Smash

    This street food counter is new in Brussels. This project on place Eugène Flagey is run by Stéphanie and Christophe, who have already had success with food trucks in the capital. You can eat "smashburgers" and "lobster-rolls", prepared with local products (except the lobster, which is imported from Canada). The sandwiches are peppered with innovative and creative combinations, each of them delicacies with lobster and beef. The two chefs pride themselves on the quality of the products on their menu. The beer selection is also local, thanks to Brussels microbreweries.


    (c) Jon Verhoeft

    My Tannour

    This Syrian-style canteen is run by Georges, a chef of Armenian-Lebanese descent who grew up in Syria. When you enter, you immediately see the two large tannour clay bread ovens. So, you immediately know where the name comes from. Next, your eye is drawn to the wrought-iron oven in which kilos of chicken, beef and lamb are baked. Here, you'll eat tannours, Syrian flatbreads baked in an oven and made on the spot by the chef, filled with meat or, for vegans, with falafels or aubergine caviar. You can sample a delicious tannour at their addresses in Ixelles, Saint-Gilles and at Wolf in the city centre (see above).


    (c) Delphine Lang

    Le Cartel

    This taverna in Etterbeek is the place to go for real Mexican tacos, corn tortillas with different fillings, with a focus on the infamous chilli pepper. A total of eight varieties are used to prepare the tacos. Here you'll taste some of the best guacamole, pineapple, sweet potato in Brussels. Louise and Emma, who run the restaurant, wanted to introduce all these ingredients and flavours to Brussels, after several trips to Mexico. Discover the country and its culture through its street food!


    (c) Emma Mostert