The historic centre’s beautiful squares and terraces

03 March 2022
People cool off under the red-green umbrellas of the cafés on the Grand-Place

Brussels' city centre is full of establishments whose terraces are ready to welcome you with open arms! Each neighbourhood provides a different atmosphere. From the tradition of the Grand-Place to the chic Sablon, to the more relaxed atmosphere of the Place du Jeu de Balle and the Saint-Jacques district, there is something for everyone. You will be spoilt for choice.

Let’s take a tour of the terrasses!

Grand-Place

The Grand-Place is the capital’s historic centre, having been admired by many for centuries. Where better to enjoy its magnificent and varied architecture than from one of its many terraces? The views of the Gothic town hall, the neo-Gothic King's House and the old guild houses are simply breathtaking.

The Roy d’Espagne is an authentic Brussels brasserie. They serve authentic, homemade Belgian cuisine prepared with fresh produce.

Looking for some traditional Belgian dishes, particularly those made with beer? Then the Rose Blanche is right up your alley! ‘T Kelderke is a brasserie with a typical Brussels atmosphere and classic cuisine. For its part, La Chaloupe d’Or will take you on a journey through Belgian cuisine, with its exceptional meat dishes and extensive speciality beer menu.

Looking for something traditional yet accessible? The Paon offers mussels, burgers, pasta and other staples, all served within this enchanting setting!

People enjoying a refreshing drink under parasols on the sun-drenched Grote Markt

Place Fontainas

If the Grand-Place no longer holds any secrets for you, but you want to stay close to the centre, head for the Saint-Jacques neighbourhood and the adjacent Place Fontainas. It is, without doubt, one of the city centre’s most lively and trendy areas, at any time of day or night! It has its fair share of bars and cafes, each one as enticing as the next!

Café Charbon, for example, is itself a café, wine bar and retro-vintage-decorated bistro all in one!

Au Soleil, located in a charming pedestrianised area, is an ideal bar for having a drink with friends. If you're looking for an extensive beer list, however, head over to Moeder Lambic, where you are sure to receive only the very best beer recommendations.

Sur la place Fontainas, des personnes âgées sont assises à la terrasse du Relish, à côté d'un coin de verdure

Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés

Situated between Manneken-Pis and the Sablon, this little-known square is well worth a visit! The site was originally centred around a grain market during the Middle Ages. Since the 18th century, however, it has been home to a stagecoach and mail service, which explains the large number of inns and guesthouses in the vicinity.

The Café Novo, whose traditional and tasty cuisine should be enough to quickly win you over, has a street terrace and a garden at the back.

Core is a restaurant that prepares its dishes with passion and attention to detail, creating an air of utter refinement! All this with a fine selection of wines and meats matured on site. Quick tip: you will receive a discount if you take a selfie with Manneken-Pis!

At Big Mama, simple Belgian dishes, such as mussels or meat balls with tomato sauce, accompanied by a tasty beer, await you!

At La Table de Mus, its seasonal menu, enhanced by luxury ingredients such as caviar or truffle, dictates that you will never eat the same thing twice as you experience its cosy and refined atmosphere.

On the Place de la Vieille Halle aux Bléspeople are drinking under black parasols. The Jacques Brel Foundation is visible in the background.

Sablon and Marolles

The Place du Grand Sablon, halfway between the upper and lower parts of the city, has been the capital's trendy and chic meeting spot for several years now. This pleasant, narrow square is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the views of the old houses and the Gothic church.

A 'very Sablon' establishment is the Pop-Up Sablon. With its décor comprising ephemera from all over the world, its kitchen never stops! From 7.30 am, it serves up healthy and varied breakfast options, followed by all kinds of dishes as of 11 am, including some truly Belgian specialities.

Fancy a little treat? Then look no further than the Grand-Sablon’s Maison Wittamer, an exceptional patisserie established in 1910. From chocolates, to macarons, through all sorts of cakes (“Black Forest”, "Samba", "Lingot d'or", etc.), you will have no trouble finding what you are looking for!

Chez Richard, open from morning until evening every day of the week, is both a bistro and a place where you can enjoy a gourmet breakfast, aperitif or lunchtime meal.  Their aim is to only use high-quality suppliers, from Brussels, Belgium or France, whether for their meat, fish, sweets or wine.

At the Au Vieux Saint Martin, you will discover tasty food served non-stop from noon until midnight. On its terrace, which is open all year round, you can sample THE speciality of this establishment, ‘américain-frites’ (Belgian steak tartare with chips), which is, of course, entirely homemade!

People on the sunny terrace of Pop-Up Sablon, the Church of Our Lady of Victories at the Sablon looming over the parasols

Place du Jeu de Balle

Everyone agrees that the Place du Jeu de Balle is the centre of the most Brussels-like area of Brussels: the Marolles, with its inimitable atmosphere of yesteryear, combining traditional Brussels with trendy shops and establishments. You will undoubtedly have a lot of fun strolling around this particular Brussels neighbourhood!

Discover the warm and welcoming atmosphere at La Clef d'Or, a typical Brussels establishment where you can both have a drink or enjoy a meal after visiting a nearby flea market. Our king has already eaten here, and the iconic Brussels singer ‘Grand Jojo’ also used to be a regular  In short, this is a real institution! At the café La brocante, in addition to an array of over 200 beers, you will experience a commitment to serving high-quality coffee by their ‘baristas’, often described as specialists in the art of serving espresso, along with a kitchen where everything is freshly made.

The atmosphere at Le Marseillais is much more provincial because, apart from a good choice of classic drinks, you can enjoy around twenty different types of pastis, along with dishes that gastronomically bridge the south of France and the low country.

The L' Eau Chaude cooperative is a vegetarian restaurant. It is a kind of canteen whose food is prepared using fresh, seasonal and mostly organic ingredients. The prices are very competitive, while the business serves to subsidise around ten workers, who are without hierarchy and manage collectively. If you are yearning for the peace and quiet of a small side street, this is the place for you!

At the Broebbeleir, you will find fresh, hand-cut chips, burgers, brunches and a great selection of beers on draught! This establishment occupies part of a former fire station, which has now been renovated and converted into housing, shops and restaurants. A fantastic conversion project!

People eat and drink in the shade on the terrace of La Brocante