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One of the things I love about Brussels is the fact that there are so many hidden gems around town, waiting to be discovered by those determined to uncover layers of the EU capital that don’t necessarily involve mussels, beer or chocolate. L’ Arriere Pays is such a place. Tucked away between Place Poelaert, the chic Sablon and the Marolles, an area famous for its antique shops, this restaurant has somehow stayed off the tourist radar and is frequented mostly by locals. Here you will likely hear the so-called “Bruxellois”, namely the Brussels dialect, which is one of Belgium’s fading languages.

L’ Arriere Pays has undoubtedly one of the most beautiful terraces in Brussels. The setting is really lovely and will remind you of Paris or a French village in the countryside. This is the place to lay back and enjoy those perfect sunny days that don’t come along very often in Brussels! The front room of the restaurant is an epicerie, open 7 days a week, where you can buy artisanal and locally sourced products, including homemade sourdough bread, jams, honey, wine and bio juices. The menu features Belgian and French classics next to burgers, pasta and daily specials but also lighter dishes for a quick lunch, like open sandwiches, quiches and salads. Much to my delight, during weekends L’Arriere Pays serves a brunch set menu at 20€. Note that portions are generous, so be wise when ordering.

If you’re looking for a cozy restaurant that’s even open on Sunday or a beautiful terrace to soak up the sun with your friends, this spot is a safe bet. Interestingly enough, L’Arriere Pays has a branch in Lille which I am looking forward to try on my next visit, right after I indulge in Meert‘s vanilla gauffres, bien sûr!

Address: Rue des Minimes 60, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 5147707
*UPDATE: Unfortunately, L’Arriere Pays is now closed.*
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Sandy (@smarksthespots)