Cafe Belga is a Brussels institution. There’s really no better way to describe a place where anyone who’s visited or lived in Brussels has been at least once. Belga, as the locals call it, is indeed one of the most visited bars in Brussels and an architectural landmark in Place Flagey as it’s housed in a 1930s Art Deco building which used to serve as the headquarters of Belgium’s first national radio station. The impressive building, which has also got the nickname “Paquebot” (boat) because of its shape, was abandoned for years before Cafe Belga and the neighbouring art venue were born.
One of the most attractive things about Cafe Belga is its location. Situated just opposite the Ixelles Ponds (Étangs d’Ixelles), it has one of the biggest and probably sunniest terraces in Brussels which makes it a great spot for people watching. During the warmer months the terrace is always full of people having brunch or lunch, drinking beer or just soaking up the sun.
Another aspect I got to like over the years about Belga is the fact that’s really relaxed and unpretentious. In true Belgian style, the interior is simple and makes you feel welcome: a long zinc bar, leather couches, large windows and wooden old-style tables which seem to be always full. In the morning you’ll find people sipping coffee and working on their laptops and then later in the day, large groups of colleagues or friends enjoying after-work drinks and nibbles. Every now and then Cafe Belga organises indoor concerts, so if you fancy drinks and live music keep an eye on their facebook page for updates.
Cafe Belga is self-service, so make your way to the bar and order after you find a nice table to settle in. If you’re a tea drinker, try the fresh mint tea that comes with a complementary speculoos cookie – it’s my favourite!
|Address: Place Flagey 18, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium|
|Telephone: +32 2 6403508|