bruges :: where to eat

My Bruges posts come to an end with this one, but I think I've saved the best for last... all about the food, of course! 

One thing to get out of the way right now: sorry to disappoint you, but neither E nor I are beer drinkers. I know, we missed out on one of the biggest highlights of visiting Belgium, but I'm sure plenty of others enjoy it enough on our behalf.

For us, it's all about the waffles, fries and chocolate... and we're okay with that.

Without further ado, here are some delightful spots in Bruges that we loved and would recommend...

Chez Albert {waffles}
Breidelstraat 16, 
Bruges
8000

After a little internet research, it seemed that this unassuming little stall is a favourite amongst waffle enthusiasts. To cut a long story short (actually, not that long, as we simply made a beeline for it and it's right in the centre of town), we ended up getting 3 waffles in 2 days (each). They were that good. Although the caramel sauce topping was delicious, eating it plain was the best - they are cooked on the spot, slightly underdone so the doughiness is perfect, and they are, quite simply, the best waffles we've ever had. This is the one absolute must-try if you go to Bruges, in my opinion.

Gruuthuse Hof {local Belgian & Flemish food}
Mariastraat 36, 
Bruges
8000

Being a very tourist-y city, there are plenty of those overpriced traps disguised as restaurants around the town. We were determined to avoid them as much as we could, so when we stumbled upon this place and we saw that they had a "Tourist Menu" for 17 euros, we nearly turned back around (although 17 euros for a lunch menu was one of the cheaper options that we'd seen). But the restaurant seemed to have a lovely vibe inside, and the menu looked good enough (and we were pretty hungry) so we decided to take our chances. I am so glad we did, because this was a charming place to eat, and the food was wonderful. If I remember correctly, I think we ditched the menu idea and went a la carte, which was reasonably priced anyway. I chose the Flemish stew cooked with local beer, which was fantastic - the beef melted away and the stew was rich but not overpowering. E loved his classic mussels as well, and of course, we had some fries on the side. A great little place.

Vino Vino {bar & restaurant}
Grauwwerkersstraat 15, 
Bruges
8000

Now, this is truly a locals-only type of place. Not a single English word in sight on their menus (although the lovely waitress spoke excellent English, which was great), everyone around us was talking in Flemish, and we felt like we'd snuck into a gem that none of the other tourists knew about! I think we discovered this place amongst the recommendations given by our AirBnb guy. It's a fantastic bar/restaurant with plenty of food to choose from (that all looked delicious from what we saw on surrounding tables), a huge variety of drinks, great music and wonderful atmosphere. We decided on a cheese and meat platter with our wine, which was just the kind of thing we wanted for dinner, and it felt like a real "date night on holiday", if you know what I mean! I would definitely not hesitate to go back there again, and urge you to as well if you find yourself in Bruges! Afterwards, we went on a short stroll to see the city at night - it was pretty cold, but beautiful nonetheless.

Chez Vincent {Belgian fries, gourmet fast food}
Sint-Salvatorskerkhof 5, 
Bruges
8000

Again, we took to google to find "the best fries in Bruges" - and Chez Vincent kept coming up, so we thought it was worth a try. It's really a glorified fast food joint, but of course, far nicer than your local McDonalds! We just ordered some fries so I can't speak for the other items on the menu, but we were very happy with these - the Belgians just know how to make fries properly, you know? They do taste different! It's a small, casual and inexpensive place to eat, so I think it's a good option for families and for a quick snack during the day without paying too much at overpriced restaurants.

Patisserie Servaas van Mullem {patisserie, café}
Vlamingstraat 56, 
Bruges, 
Belgium

Let's end the trip on a (sugar) high, with this gorgeous café serving the most beautiful cakes. After attempting to go there the previous day and seeing that it was closed, we went there around 10:30am the next day, ready to sample what many were stating as the best cakes in Bruges. And they are not wrong. There was a huge selection, as well as the classic pastries, bread and biscuits, and we finally managed to settle on two. One was an incredibly light and fluffy chocolate and meringue cake that tasted like a cloud, and the other was a coffee mouse/chocolate/something else cake that was simply divine. E also tried their croissant and was thoroughly impressed. It was clearly a popular spot for the locals, as it was full by late morning, with many popping in and out to take away their various baked goods. We loved it here and would highly recommend it.

And that's a wrap! Bruges, you've been wonderful. For those wondering whether to go, you should - it is a real gem. If you're travelling from London, it's such a breeze on the Eurostar which makes it even more appealing. I feel so lucky to be able to travel and experience trips like these - I hope you've enjoyed reading about it, and I'll be doing more travel posts soon!