My secret lunch :: L'Epicerie

My secret chocolate shop: Laurent Gerbaud


Monghton Tangton took over an old Ixelles grocery store in 2001 and transformed it into a lunchtime snack bar. He kept the old shelves and added an assortment of ancient schoolroom furniture to create a warm Belgian atmosphere. The sandwiches are made with gently toasted ciabatta bread which is spread with home-made guacamole, basil leaves and prawns or Parma ham. We would eat here every day if we could. 

Rue Keyenveld 56


02 513 71 84

Balls & Glory

“Try my balls,” says a cheeky sign outside the new Balls & Glory. After a long search in downtown Brussels, Flemish chef Wim Ballieu finally found a home for his cool gourmet meatball concept. His cool new place occupies part of Café Flamingo down by the Flemish theatre.

Ballieu launched his first restaurant in Ghent serving handcrafted meatballs using finest Flemish pork from his grandfather’s pig farm in West Flanders along with minced beef and herbs.

He serves them in a white bun filled with stoemp (mashed potato and carrot). You get free jugs of water on the tables along with a bowl of apples.

Rue de Laeken 171

Central Brussels

Hong Kong Delight

Most people don’t notice this little restaurant in the heart of the Chinatown district. It may look like a simple snack bar, but it serves authentic food. Some of the dishes may be intimidating, like “fried chicken blood,” but you can also order something more familiar like fried noodles with pork. The perfect spot for a cheap bite before a film.

My 3 best

street food


01 Place du Châtelain »

The market on Place du Châtelain every Wednesday afternoon is a place to meet for a glass of wine with friends. As well as stalls selling vegetables and cheese, there are several stands where you can drink a glass of white wine or even Champagne.  

02 Mer du Nord »

The Mer du Nord fish shop has a counter on the street where you can pick up a helping of seafood and a glass of white wine. It can get impossibly crowded at lunchtime, but the people who work here remain cheerful.

No. 51 in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

03 Frit Flagey »

It nearly vanished in early 2011, but a Facebook campaign saved this popular Ixelles frites stall. The owner had to move to a shiny new stall, but he still produces perfectly-fried frites which he serves in paper cones. It takes time. This is slow fast food. Be prepared to wait in a long line of customers, ranging from mothers with small children to hip Flemish journalists from the TV Brussel studio.

No. 76 in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

My 3 secret

food blogs

01 Bite me, Brussels »

Rachel has a voracious appetite for all the good things to eat, drink, taste, sip and savour in Brussels. She hunts out unexpected gems and ends each review with a rating, making this the Standard & Poor of Brussels foodie blogs.

Bite Me rates restaurants on a scale from C to A an mercilessly downgrades any establishment that fail to come up to scratch on a second visit, making the whole eating experience as nervous as the Sovereign debt market. 

02 On Food and Wine »

Andrea and Mark are two Eurocrats who work at the European Commission by day and eat out at night. They have been blogging about 

their experiences since 2006, with gorgeous photographs accompanying each entry.

03 Best of Brussels »

Jane is an American who has created a very stylish blog on Brussels. She covers sights and events as well as food and often spots interesting new places to eat.