Brussels, the European and Belgian capital is so fun, diverse and full of life! And it has been making a great progress in terms of coffee culture, already rivalling its little sister, Antwerp in the North, which has been always famous of her thriving coffee scene.
In Brussels, coffees are usually sourced from co-ops and long-term partner farms, building a closer contact with them and keep on sharing knowledge and investments in education, infrastructure and other iniatives.
However, Brussels is also quite controversial.
Many people love it, others hate it. There are some tensions in the surroundings, since Wallonia and Flanders do not maintain the best imaginable relation with each other. But this big city still tries to be in charge of things. Brussel now has its own specialty coffee scene, offering really good spots to enjoy quality coffee. We tried to gather the top 10 coffee houses of the Belgian capital that are worth a try:
10. Cafe Capitale
- Address: Rue du Midi 45, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 511 35 45
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7.30 AM-8.00 PM
- Website: https://cafecapitale.com
Café Capitale is a cozy Brussels café located in Rue du Midi near the Bourse (in the centre of Brussels). This is definitely not that “Push a button coffee” type place, they have professional baristas. The surrounding is cool, full with artists-like people and art galleries.
You can sit at the tables inside or outside, the redecorated interior is quite funky with the matching sofas and the nice new bar. You will see many laptop owners working or surfing on the net, because the wifi is free.
Unfortunately some of them are just taking the place without consuming any food or drink, so sometimes it is hard to find a place. But if you get a spot near the large window, you will enjoy a lot the view on the street. Newspapers are available (Caffeine magazine for example).
Coffee is bitter and strong, a cup (they serve it in a large cappuccino style cup, this is unique) of espresso is 2.6 €. They don’t offer the best single origin variety, so this may seem a bit too much. But it depends on point of view. A selection of coffee merchandise is also on sale. A good selection of home made pastries is available. A must try.
9. Maison Dandoy – Tea Room
- Address: Rue Charles Buls 14, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 512 65 88
- Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9.00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sun 10:30 AM – 7:00 PM
- Website: http://www.maisondandoy.com
Dandoy’s Patisserie is a provider of the Belgian Royal House. It is just a few steps from the Grand Palace. They are proud of their inventions and the reprocessing for almost two centuries with the same raw materials and working methods. The bakery can be found on the main floor, while you can sit down on the 2nd in the tea room.
Service is great, waiters are polite. Prices are not reasonable, but you have to pay the image and the story…This place is mainly famous about it’s fabulous Belgium waffles, but their coffee is also very good, especially in the company of a good speculoos (gingerbread cookies)! The espresso is strong and flavorful, the macchiato is nicely layered. Please try the hot chocolate too. They offer both types of waffles: Belgian and Liege.
Brussels is light and fluffy and crispy on the outside, while the Leige ones are much more dense, stodgy and heavy. The most well-known Belgian cookie is certainly speculoos, which they have. This biscuit has an intense bouquet of cinnamon, and is definitely a must try. You should also taste a scoop of fresh ice cream, you will like it. Don’t miss this Brussels café, it is so nice.
- Address: Rue de Namur 28, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 503 03 32
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 7:00 pm, Sat-Sun 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/JatCafeSunday
This chilly, hipster Brussels café is located on a quiet street not too far from Central Station, but far from the inner city crowd. You won’t find many tourists here, mainly locals frequent this place, which is a good sign.
It is so nice to spend a Sunday afternoon here to enjoy the good weather. The atmosphere is very cool and suitable with good vibes, nice decor, a truly hipster crew and a quirky, pleasing furniture. They have free wifi, so you can come here to work, study or read.
The music is really cool but loud, so for some people it may be stressful. They accept credit card, the staff is great, but at peak hours it can be very crowded. Of course this is a good sign, would you drink a coffee in an empty coffee shop?
Their coffee is delicious, they serve you the black drink in big cups and their taste is really strong. You should definitely try the Americanos and the Lattes! They are great! A wide selection of fresh juices, yogards, bagels, muffins, pies is available, but the portions are not big and there is a difference between eating in and take away. We highly recommend this cozy Brussels coffee house.
7. Cafe La Brocante
- Address: Rue Blaes 170 | 1000 BXL, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 512 13 43
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6:00 AM – 9:30 PM, Sat 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sun 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Brocante/
Placed on the corner of the square near the flea market in Jeu de Balle (in the quarter of the Marolles), Cafe La Brocante is a typical Brussels coffee shop to enjoy a cup of espresso. The interior is decorated with a lot of different chairs, tables and signs, the atmosphere is warm and traditional. You can spot wooden coffee tables and old-fashioned coffee grinders too.
They have both an inside and outside dining area, (the kitchen is open and smells amazing). The view overlooking the marketplace is beautiful. Free wifi to boot is available, just ask for the code. The jazz band are fabulous, they have guest singers regularly.
Their latte will blow your mind away! Or drink a fabulous hot chocolate. You can select from a wide variety of sandwiches (the Sandwich Brocante is so yummy) and beers.. The menu contains a long list of Brussels specialties.
The duo de boudins with one white and one black (pudding) sausage, mashed potatoes apple sauce and mustard is so tasty, just as the chicons a gratin. Carbonara is one of the best you will ever taste, that is for sure. This is certainly a Brussels café not to be missed.
6. Le Pain Quotidien
- Address: Galerie de la Reine 11, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 502 02 20
- Opening hours: Mon-Sat 7:30 AM–7:00 PM, Sun 7:30 AM-6:00 PM
- Website: http://www.lepainquotidien.be/
Le Pain Quotidien is a Belgian shop chain that can be found in many european countries and USA. You will be immediately impressed, when you enter. The lighting, the smell of freshly baked bread… Everything is so fresh.
They have a menu in both English and French, which is a nice plus. Prices are high, but the quality is worth it. Staff is professional, English speaking and attentive. There are both communal and separate tables.
They have lovely black coffee, which is not bitter. Combine a café au lait with Manhattan (soft boiled organic egg, smoked salmon, ricotta, organic bread and organic baguette). Or a cappuccino with scrambled eggs and mushrooms. The cappuccinos are served in bowls and are so tasty with the perfect amount of milk! So amazingly tasty!! Hot chocolate is perfect for kids.
The orange juice is freshly squezed, it is so refreshing and tasty! They have plenty of amazingly fresh organic options. Vegetarians will enjoy it a lot! You can opt for the Farmers Breakfast with soft boiled egg, ham, cheese, coffee, fresh juice, fruits, and bread from the bakery. It is so delicious! You definitely should not miss this Brussels coffee shop during your trip to the Belgian capital.
5. The Sister Brussels Cafe
- Address: Rue Chair et Pain 3 | Grand Place 1000, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 513 22 26
- Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Fri-Sat 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
- Website: http://thesistercafe-brussels.com
This cozy place is located not far from Grand Place, in the touristic district of the city. It is not easy to find, you’d better use a GPS to locate the café. The atmosphere and the vibe of the place is really warm and relaxing. The soundtrack is very chilled, the upstairs room is full of character and the downstairs room is a place of lethal cocktails.
They do their best to be alternative with so many organic/gluten free options, driving the hype to the extreme. Service is very professional and polite, the owner, Mr. Roma is so helpful in suggesting what to choose from the menu. Prices are reasonable.
Instant or not, coffees are amazing. Just taste the espresso or the cappuccino, they are extremely characteristic, not too acidic and flavorful. You can have delicious smoothies (Blueberries, almonds, honey and milk) here, many vegan, snack, wrap and beer (locally brewed, artisanal) options are also available. You can even opt for gluten-free beer, the selection is so unbelievably huge! For €10 you can have „beer flights”, a selection of four organic beers.
The Genius sandwich is not called „Genius” by hazard! The breads are served with a mini-bowl of soup, which is a nice plus. And the desserts! Beetroot brownies, chocolate cake… The bruschetta sandwiches (olive tapenade, tomatoes, cucumber, arugula) with soup (carrot ginger). This Brussels café is definitely a must try. Don’t miss it.
- Address: Galerie du Roi 9, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 511 78 70
- Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7:30 AM – 11:30 PM
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Mokafe
Mokafe is a cool Brussels coffee shop with a great location in the middle of one of Brussel’s nicest shopping galleries. The decor of the interior is simple but impressive. They have an English menu and the waiters speak English, which is a nice plus.
You can watch people walking through the covered shopping arcade while you sip your cup of coffee. The pastries and the breads are freshly prepared. Service can be slow on weekends.
Their coffee is very aromatic. The hot chocolate with the alcohol is a very strong concoction. A wide variety of waffles (combined with a choco dip), cakes and pastries is available, everything is crunchy and tasty. The texture of the waffle is spot on and combined with the choco dip, it is amazing.
This is definitely a place for sugar lovers, you can satisfy all your cravings here but if you are on a diet, maybe you should avoid Mokafe. The croque (toasted ham and cheese) and the apple pie are so delicious, you ahve to try it. We truly recommend this Brussels coffee house, you will like it.
- Address: Place Rouppe 1, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 498 42 66 84
- Opening hours: Tue-Fri 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sat 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Website: http://kaffabar.be
Do you want to visit a cozy, little Brussels café with cool vibes? Kaffabar is definitely one of them. It is located near Stalingrad Avenue and Place Rouppe. The perfect place for a sunny outside breakfast with a cup of coffee, they also have a cute little bulldog. The staff is so friendly and professional. Their motto is “a hug in a mug” (which is also their Wi-Fi password).
The welcoming, elusive atmosphere and character with the chilly music will enchant you. You will immediately feel at ease and relaxed, when you enter. The decoration is modern and unobtrusive, the light gets so beautifully into its space and plays with black walls and golden metallic beneath-the-ceiling surfaces. The foods are tasty, healthy and at decent prices.
The pictograms with short descriptions in the menu make it clear how various types of coffees differ.
They offer a wide range of drinks (coffees, teas, cocktails, soft drinks). If you are curious enough about the bean varieties they have, the owner himself will bring you the aeropress or drip coffees, which makes the experience so personal! V60 is a sweet, full-bodied cup with fruitiness, french press is heavy bodied, Chemex has a nice body and floral notes.
The cappuccino is so creamy and flavorful, the hot chocolate is amazing! Pastries are freshly made from quality ingredients, everything is home-made. The quiches and the sandwixhes are so tasty (especially the salmon sandwich). If you are a sugar lover, strawberry shortcake is for you. Recommended.
2. Peck 47
- Address: Rue du Marche aux Poulets 47, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 2 513 02 87
- Opening hours: Mon-Thu 7:30 AM – 9:00 PM, Fri 7:30 AM – 10:00 PM, Sat 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Sun 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/peckbxl
Peck 47 is a true hep place with a relaxed ambiance and a quirky and eccentric interior. ‘ Follow you dreams ‘ is written on the wall, which is a memorable line. And they are right, you have to follow your dreams, no matter what others say! Be yourself. The waitress is so helpful, she will even recommend you dishes. But if you are on a diet, you should probably avoid the place, since the food is luxurious. Peck 47 can be crowded, so try to arrive in the earlier hours to avoid it. veggie burger
Coffee is great. Espresso, lungo, cappuccino, macchiato, latte etc. The Chai Latte is so sweet and spicy. The all day brunch option is a really good choice (in the form of eggs, waffles, muffins, sandwiches, soups). There are no sweet breakfast items on the menu, just savory.
Try the homemade juices, the ice teas and the breakfast smoothies, they are so fresh and tasty! And the granola bowls! Delicious… Peck Special is truly special: a chorizo and goats cheese savoury waffle topped with perfectly poached eggs, bacon and a spiced Hollandaise sauce. Are you veggie? Don’t worry, you can opt for veggie burger. Try to visit this place if you are hanging out in Brussels.
1. Aksum Coffee House
- Address: Rue des Chapeliers 17, Brussels 1000, Belgium
- Telephone: +32 484 07 76 95
- Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 AM- 7:00 PM
- Website: http://aksumcoffeehouse.com/brussels
Aksum Coffee House is a recently moved and refurnished Ethiopian café in the Belgian capital (close to Brussels’ Grand Place), which should not be missed by coffee lovers. This is truly a little gem of the Belgian capital, the atmosphere is so lovely with a nice interior, the staff is welcoming and friendly. The decor is spare, they play African music (Ethiopian blues). Sitting outside in warmer seasons is a perfect option.
Melange coffee is nice, they offer lighter roasts from carefully selected beans of Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee (single origin, highly aromatic) that are more bitter than well-made mixes of Arabica and Robusta. If you are a traditionalist when it comes to coffees, this place may not be ideal for you.
The macchiato is delicious! You get the latte in a large cup and the milk is so wonderfully frothy and silky. You can buy the beans to take it home and use it to make your own coffee. The grand cappuccino is so pure, chai with milk is also worth a try. And the desserts! Cheesecake, chocolate cake, crumble with pistachio! Amazing. Definitely a must visit! This is truly one of the best Brussels cafés (if not the best).
Brussels is a city of beer, chocolate and fries, but it is also becoming increasingly popular with coffee, recently they have developed a lot in this field. There are many specialty Third Wave coffee shops that offer quality brews (Aksum, Le Pain Quotidien, Café Capitale, The Sister Brussels Cafe), although less than in other European pioneer cities.
Belgian people are famous of their hospitality, Brussels is in fact a melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions. This city is really fun and extremely lifelike, it is worth exploring. Have you already bought your airplane ticket?