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Up until recently when people were asking for recommendations of traditional Greek restaurants in Brussels, I had to go on and disappoint them by saying that such a thing didn’t exist, at least not at an affordable price. Luckily for all Greek food lovers (including myself!), Philema has come around. 

Located close to Chatelain, Philema is indeed a great spot to enjoy authentic modern Greek cuisine with a twist. The cozy decor sets immediately the tone: wooden tables, exposed stone walls, colorful floor tiles spices and lots of carefully selected Greek products to choose from on the shelves. One of my favourite things about Philema (apart from the food but I’ll get into that in a minute) is how friendly and helpful the staff is. They welcome you with a smile together with the chef, Manos Makrygiannakis, who always comes by your table to ask if everything is ok and listen to your comments.

I have been to Philema several times as it’s officially one of my favourite Greek restaurants in Brussels. The dishes are based on traditional recipes with a creative twist inspired by the chef’s love cor his homeland, Crete, and the originality of ingredients one can find only in Greece, like special herbs and spices. There is basically nothing I have tried and didn’t like but if I had to recommend a few dishes, I would go for the taramosalata, the eggs with tomato and pastourma (great for brunch too!) as well as the gamopilafo, a type of risotto with meat which is typically served in Cretan weddings. Greek food at its best! On Sunday morning you can also enjoy breakfast the Greek way – coffee and bougatsa, a pastry very popular in Nothern Greece with layers of phylo, cream, dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. 

If you have a sweet tooth and have ordered wisely to leave room for dessert (note that portions are generous, just like in Greece), then you won’t be disappointed either. Both the baklava rolls and the sfakiani i.e. a sweet pie from the region of Sfakia in Crete with petimezi are out of this world; I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic of all the great food I got to try during my summer holidays in Rethymno. The chocolate ganache with tahini and orange is also a must-try. Last but not least, make sure to order some rakomelo at the end of your meal, you’ll love it. 

If you’re looking for a spot where you can gather with friends and enjoy Greek food, Philema is a great choice. Give it a try and let me know how you liked it!

Address: Chaussée de Waterloo 437, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 3445876
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Sandy (@smarksthespots)