Brussels’ culinary specialities

Gaufre de Bruxelles au sucre impalpable chez Gaufres & Waffles, pâtisserie mono-produit, restaurant, comptoir, street food à Bruxelles (Galeries royales Saint-Hubert, Wolf Food Market, Le Chalet-Jeux d'Hiver au Bois de la Cambre ou aéroport de Bruxelles-Brussels Airport à Zaventem)

Like many other regions of the world, Brussels has its culinary specialities, starting with its famous waffle. But how many of them do you know? Chocolate, beer, speculoos... Discover the must-try specialities that you simply have to sample when you visit the capital of Europe.

Sweet treats

Brussels waffles

The Brussels waffle is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s also light, thanks to the egg whites that have been beaten into snow and its dough that sometimes rises. Unlike the Liège waffle, it is rectangular and unsweetened, serving as a blank slate on which to add a topping.

The first Brussels waffle was actually made in Ghent in the 19th century by Brussels pastry chef Florian Dacher. However, it wasn't until the 20th century that it was given the name "Brussels waffle". Its recipe has evolved over time, with the addition of ingredients such as brewer's yeast.

Devour a delicious Brussels waffle at Gaufres & Waffles, where the recipes are  cooked up by double Michelin-starred chef Yves Mattagne: with blueberries, banana split, beef tartare, ham & cheese, with shrimps… They have so many original and innovative toppings to go on top of the timeless waffle, made according to the traditional recipe… Savour them at Gaufres de Bruxelles (a stone’s throw from the Grand-Place), Dandoy or Pardon (in Saint-Gilles). Whether you like it with traditional icing sugar, Belgian chocolate and whipped cream, fruit or with a scoop of ice cream...

Speculoos & Pain à la Grecque

With a motto like “Spectaculoos Speculoos”, there are no prizes for guessing what the speciality is at Maison Dandoy. This crunchy biscuit gets its characteristic flavour from cinnamon, along with cloves, nutmeg, ginger, caraway, coriander seeds and a little brown sugar. They also make varieties with chocolate or vanilla.

Pain à la grecque is another house speciality: covered with pearl sugar, it's a typical Brussels sweet flatbread. Its name is misleading, because there is nothing Greek about it! Since the first shop was opened in the 19th century by Jean-Baptiste Dandoy, generations have followed, and today Maison Dandoy offers you a wide range of sweet treats: crunchy crispbread, gingerbread, marzipan, madeleines…


Brussels is the capital city of chocolate! It was here that the praline was invented, more precisely in a pharmacy in the Galerie de la Reine: Jean Neuhaus first had the idea of coating his medicines with chocolate before switching them, in 1912, for filled chocolates. The praline was born! In 1915, his wife, Louise Agostini, invented the ballotin, a packaging designed to protect the chocolates and make them more appealing. Alongside Neuhaus, countless chocolatiers offer you their delicious creations in Brussels. Discover our favourites and all the unmissable chocolate-themed activities available in our capital.

Savoury treats


Stoemp comes from the Dutch word 'doorgestoempte patatjes', which means 'mashed potatoes'. It's mashed potato, mixed with other vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, leeks, chicory, onions, etc. It's accompanied by pork, such as sausage, black pudding or thick-cut bacon, or a fried egg. Like all recipes, there are numerous variations of this dish.

Stoemp, spécialité culinaire belge à déguster à Bruxelles


Originally from Ghent, waterzooï means “water that boils” in Dutch. It's a fish-based dish cooked in a broth of local vegetables (potatoes, carrots, leeks or celery). An egg yolk is added to the cooking juices to give the dish a creamy texture. Nowadays, fish is often replaced by chicken and you can find both variants on the menu in restaurants.

Waterzooi, spécialité culinaire belge à déguster à Bruxelles

Flemish stew

Flemish stew consists of pieces of beef served with a gingerbread and beer sauce, to which brown sugar is added to give it its brown colour. The French name 'carbonades' comes from 'charbon', the French word for charcoal, which was what the dish was cooked on in the past. The stew is eaten with potatoes or chips.

Carbonades flamandes, spécialité culinaire belge à déguster à Bruxelles

Shrimp croquettes

Brussels has made shrimp croquettes its speciality. So much so, that every year, it organises a competition to find the best shrimp croquette in the capital. The inside of the croquette is made of grey shrimp with a béchamel sauce. The whole thing is breaded and then deep-fried. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, it's served with fried parsley and a lemon wedge.

To sample some delicious shrimp croquettes, head to Fernand Obb Delicatessen, they won the first two editions of the croquette competition. Brasseries Georges, who won the third, is also a must. Rounding off the top 3 of the third edition were Todt’s Café and Chez Léon. Browse this year’s top 10 and discover all the best spots for shrimp croquettes in the capital.

Croquette aux crevettes, spécialité culinaire bruxelloise
Croquette aux crevettes chez Fernand Obb Delicatessen

To quench your thirst


Belgium is the land of beer and Brussels is its epicentre. With centuries of brewing tradition behind it, craft breweries are flourishing. There are almost twenty of them throughout the region, and more and more are opening their doors. Brewers are revisiting classic beers to offer you their own creations.. Cantillon, the oldest active brewery in the capital and the undisputed queen of lambic-style beers. Discover our selection of the best breweries, bars, restaurants and shops in which to drink and buy this famous beverage. If you also like chocolate, combine these two Brussels specialities during an original guided tour by Bravo Discovery, Hungry Mary or other guided tour companies.

But also…

In Brussels, savour other typical dishes and local produce: the famous mussels and chips, grilled endive, vol-au-vent, américain (a Belgian take on beef tartare), tomato and shrimp... Enjoy a pistolet, a small round bread with a golden crust and a soft crumb. At Pistolet Original, it’s their speciality and they offer a range of little sandwiches inspired by local dishes: américain, white pudding, chicory, tomatoes and prawns, with Liège syrup…

If chips are your guilty pleasure, here’s our selection of chip shops and other addresses where you can devour a batch. To learn more about the taste of winter in Brussels, read our winter gastronomy article and browse our selection of our favourite restaurants in which to sample it. If you want to know where to taste all these Belgian and Brussels specialities, make sure you pick restaurants that hold the Brusselicious label, which certifies establishments which celebrate Belgian cuisine and do it justice.

Moules-frites, spécialité culinaire belge à déguster à Bruxelles