Belgian gastronomy: the taste of winter

28 March 2022
Vol-au-vent, belgian gastronomy

Stoemp, waterzooi, carbonnade flamande, chicons au gratin... So many specialties to fortify you against the cold. Even though these traditional dishes can be enjoyed all year round, they become even more tasty during winter. That particular 'winter effect' can be attributed to the use of seasonal products. You simply cannot leave Brussels without having tasted at least one of these recipes. Whether you want to spend a pleasant moment with family or friends, the city is full of restaurants that will satisfy your taste buds.

Here is a list of Belgian specialities you can discover in Brussels, together with the go-to addresses.

Mussels from Brussels

Mussel season is in full swing during the winter. They are particularly tasty and delicious at this time of year. Accompanied by a portion of homemade chips, it is a delicious meal to enjoy 'nature', with a white wine marinade or even 'provençale'… This dish is on the menu of most restaurants. Among them, Zinneke is famous for the 69 different ways mussels are prepared on its menu!

Belgian gastronomy - moules frites


“Stoemp” comes from the Dutch “doorgestoempte pataties”, which means “smashed potatoes”. Indeed, it is smashed potatoes, rather than a smooth mash, mixed with one or more other vegetables: carrots, leeks, Brussels sprouts, chicory, onions,… It is served with pork, such as sausage, black pudding or bacon, or topped with an egg.

Stamppot mashed potatoes, cabbage and carrots, with a close-up of sausages. horizontal top view

Chicons au gratin

The crispy, bubbly crust of chicons au gratin coming straight out of the oven, it makes any Belgian food lover's mouth water. Prefer small ground Belgian endives and enjoy them with a butter mash, which guarantees a rich sauce. Happiness on a plate!

Belgian gastronomy - chicon gratin

Shrimp croquettes

Belgians consider this delicious treat to be as essential to their cuisine as Eddy Merckx is to cycling. Served as an entree or a main course, they can be considered as a national monument.

Two-time winner of the prawn croquette competition, Fernand Obb Delicatessen is one of the firm favourites of Brussels residents.

shrimp croquettes

Vegetarian and vegan alternatives

Veggies and vegetarians are not forgotten! Some of the restaurants mentioned above offer dishes that are meat-free and fish-free dishes as well as vegan. Here too are some ways to turn Belgian recipes into vegetarian or vegan dishes without losing any of its flavour. Replace the shrimp croquette by a cheese fondue, ask for a chicon au gratin without ham slices, or enjoy your stoemp with tofu.

Here is our selection of 10 restaurants where you can savour these Belgian culinary specialities:

*Some of the restaurants mentioned above have earned the Belgian quality label Brusselicious.