Famed for its waffles, fries, chocolate and beer, small-sized Belgium is a popular European tourist destination. This is especially for foodies worldwide. Boasting its magnificent medieval splendor, the country bursts with diverse cultures. Part of this is its relaxing beer spas and enticing cuisines. Together these make it plenty of reasons for travelers and food lovers to visit. It is perhaps an attribute acquired from their more famous southern neighbors. Nonetheless, Belgians love food and don’t fear putting in the time or effort to satiate their taste buds, combining beer and food into ‘Belgian Beer Food’.
Belgium offers a fascinating mouthwatering cuisine influenced by dishes from Germany, Netherlands and France. The exquisite intermixture of contemporary and traditional flavors makes the food tasty and filling.
Here are the top 10 scrumptious Belgian Beer Dishes for you to try when you visit Brussels, and where to eat them.
You can’t think of Belgian cuisine without mentioning Moules frites. People regarded this as Belgium’s national dish. Moules-Frites, also known as Moules et frites, is a legendary mouthwatering main dish from Belgium.
People cook the food with mussels and potato chips with various preparation variants for the mussels. A typical preparation variant includes the international recipe. This recipe involves cooking the mussels with white wine or traditional beer parsley, shallots and butter. Chefs then pair it with wheat beers like the Blanche de Namur. Moules frites is a delicacy worth your time.
The popularity of this dish makes it easier to find in different restaurants across the country. Interestingly, the demand for mussels in Belgium is so high for the wild mussels to meet. As a result, Belgians farm or import the deficit from the neighboring Netherlands and Denmark.
A traditional beer-inspired dish is ‘Lapin à la bière’ – or rabbit in beer. Typically the sauce is made with onions, dark beer, and chocolate. It creates a heavy dark sauce, perfect to pair with a Rochefort 6. The side dishes are Belgian fries and steamed seasonal vegetables.
The best beer to pair with: is an in-between dark beer Abbaye/Trappis style like Rochefort 6, Westmalle Double or Witkap Ambiorix.
3. Lamb shank with Chimay Blue ‘Spring Belgian Beer Food’
Lamb, a classic springtime meat, stars in this comforting dish that’s perfect for the chilly, dreary days between winter and spring. Breaking up the cooking time yields a superior texture and flavor but you can also cook the lamb all at once, simmering until fork-tender for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Traditionally, the lamb shank comes with ‘Stoemp’ – potato puree with carrots or other solid vegetables.
The best beer to pair with this dish: a heavy dark brown beer such as Chimay Bleu or Lefort Brune.
Where to eat lamb shank with beer in Brussels? La Rose Blanche Location: Grande Place Brussels
4. Waterzooi with Gueueze Cantillon
Waterzooi is a contender for the top “to try” comfort food in your Belgium food visit, especially if you intend to visit Ghent.
The creamy textured soup is usually made with slices of vegetables, egg, fish and butter. While the combination might not sound like something you would like to try, the taste bud delights emanating from one of Belgium’s Middle Ages cuisine inventions are worth the risk.
Paired with Belgium’s Gueuze Cantillion, the traditional dish will blow out your senses.
Every foodie visiting Belgium should add the classic Sole Meuniere delicacy to their food bucket list.
The cannon of Belgium’s classic fish cuisines is prepared of delicately pan-fried fish like the Dover Sole or tilapia and sautéed in butter sauce. Served with boiled or mashed potatoes, lemon and a sprinkle of parsley, the soft white meat-rich flavors will change your understanding of a vacation with class.
The best beer to pair this food is Westmalle Tripel
Belgians love croquettes. Unlike the typical potato-filled croquettes, Belgian croquettes are entirely out of the ordinary.
Chefs prepare the simple dish in a myriad of ways across the nation. Traditional croquettes have the right consistency of thick creamy cheese or crevettes grises filling. The filling is grey shrimp from the North Sea.
Adventurous contemporary chefs took the tastiness of the classic Belgian croquettes to new levels. They did this by adding other fillings like beer and asparagus.
Combining the breaded dish with fries and salad and a pairing of Sint-Bernardus Tripel is amazing. It will sure give any food lover exquisite gastronomical delights.
The best beer to pair with croquettes de crevettes: Old Flemish Red. The added milk sour to the beer adds a fresh note and fights the corquettes grease. Examples: Rodenbach / Rodenbach Alexander / Duchesse de Bourgogne
Where to eat croquettes de crevettes in Brussels: we recommend Au Laboureur. Actually it is a guy preparing the croquettes ‘streetfood-style’ at the entrance of the bar, so he might not always be there.
7. Boulets with Grimbergen Dubbel
Originating from Liege, boulets liegeois are very popular in Belgium. The delicious meatballs are mixed with chopped eggs, breadcrumbs and parsley. They are then covered in an apple, onion, vinegar and sugar sauce. However, there are plenty of variations of the ingredients, with some people substituting apple syrup with pear juice or beer.
Chefs make Belgian boulets from beef or pork.
While boulets are common across Belgium, the best place to have the dish is Liege, where many food establishments prepare the dish as their only speciality. Expect your plate of generously sized delicacies to come with frites or roasted potatoes and green salad to balance the flavors.
The perfect matching beer for this dish is a Grimbergen Dark.
A visit to Belgium cannot be complete without trying the Belgian fries, which have become akin to a national dish in the country. Chefs perfectly prepare the dish in a two-step frying technique that makes the potato fries soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
It is safe to say that Belgians, having invented potato fries, make the best fries worldwide. You can consume the fries as a snack or side dish with a complement of IPA from anywhere in the country.
The classic topping of tomato pastes and peppers with mayo on the fries will leave you craving more. The Belgian invention is indeed a solid choice for everyone, including vegans.
The best beer to match this food is Zinnebir by Brasserie de la Senne. This is the first IPA in Brussels and goes back to 2022. There is also a tasty variant ‘Taras Boulba’ (session IPA) with only 4° alc.
The Belgian sandwich made of a large baguette, fried meat like steak or sausage, potato fries and a sauce of choice is a delicious favorite dish for most Belgians and food lovers.
The Brussels native mitraillette is popular in the capital of Belgium and regions like Flanders and Wallonia, where you can also enjoy the delicacy. Remember to pair it with a dry Saison beer like ‘Saison Dupont’.
Belgian beer cuisine is one of those things that will keep every food tourist talking. The scrumptious traditional dish is made with beer-braised beef and can be cooked in various ways.
Essential ingredients to prepare the carbonnade flamade include onions, bread, a wide range of herbs, pepper, spices of choice, salt, and obviously beef and dark beer. Adventurous chefs may add ingredients like mushrooms, chocolate, bacon, and red wine.
The addition of the extra ingredients, however, remains a heated debate in Belgium. Nonetheless, it is undisputed that a bowl of carbonnade flamade served with Belgian frites will be a legendary experience when you visit Belgium.
Best beer to pair with this dish: Rodenbach Grand Cru.
For the young at heart, a little treat with chocolates and later a refreshing beer spa experience can culminate in a wonderful visit to the pint-sized land of gastronomical delights. For more than four hundred years, Belgian chocolates have become deeply ingrained in the history and economy of Belgium.
Most importantly, chocolates are also a vital Belgian cuisine with time evolving to create a myriad of popular chocolate desserts like truffles and pralines. Available in numerous places, you can’t afford to miss the chocolaty pleasures of Belgium.
The pairing between Belgian Beer and Belgian Chocolates is a science on its own.
The Belgian waffle is perhaps the most popular luscious culinary invention associated with Belgium. Belgium waffles are often considered similar to Belgium’s local food.
The cuisine has two varieties: rectangular and less sweet and its round counterpart. The less sweet variety is usually drier and topped with chocolate and fruits. The more common of the two is the circular Liege waffle that is moist inside and filled with sugar crystal and caramelized, giving it a sweeter side.
A glass of Belgian Stout caramel component is sure to complement the sweet flavors of the crispy delights topped with strawberries, chocolate sauce and a fuse of cream. Be sure to get yourself a Belgium waffle while visiting, as numerous places serve the delicacy.
Best beer to pair with this Belgian Beer Food: Gulden Draak Imperial Stout
In the end, most tourists treat Brussels and Belgium as a crossover for destinations in its famous neighboring countries. Obviously, from the scrumptious Belgium beer dishes mentioned above, that is a grave mistake. So instead, why not explore Brussels? You can see its mouthwatering cuisine culminating with an excellent relaxing Good Beer Spa session experience?
This article enters the series of ‘What to do in Brussels’. Other articles are:
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