Since moving to Berlin, I haven’t exactly been the healthiest eater. Many times I skip dinner altogether replacing my nightly meal with a supplement of wine and cigarettes. When I do actually eat, it’s more often than not a frozen pizza or a bag of salt and vinegar chips. Worst of all, I sometimes grab a burger from the McDonalds at Alexanderplatz and eat it while waiting for the M4 tram. I blame it on the busy life of a freelancer, working a lot and not having free time to cook a healthy dinner.
I also blame my financial situation. As a poor writer, I no longer can spend so freely. My new life sees me sleeping on a futon and dealing with an old washing machine that requires me to sit on it each time it’s in the spin cycle. Fortunately, through the miracle of travel blogging I’m sometimes invited on press trips where I can pretend for a few days to live like a queen.
Belga Queen in Brussels
Situated in a belle époque styled 18th century building that formerly hosted a hotel and a bank, the owner Antoine Pinto respects the original space leaving the stained glass skylight as the restaurant’s center piece. Intended to be a twist on the traditional brasserie, it’s decorated with modern artwork from local artists.
Antoine has an interesting background – as a 17 year old refugee, he arrived in Belgium to begin school at the Académie des Beaux-Arts to study architectural interior design. He then financed his post-secondary education by cooking in different restaurants. Over time he came to be known as a top chef opening restaurants in Lisbon, Ghent and of course Brussels.
In addition to the restaurant, there’s oyster and beer bars and even a cigar lounge in the former bank vault where a DJ plays each night from Wednesday through Saturday.
Eating At Belga Queen
Then of course, there’s the food. At Belga Queen, you’ll be taken on a “gastronomic trip through Brussels“. As Antoine is an ambassador for Made in Belgium, all food and drink products are completely local. As expected, they serve up over 30 types of local beers and rather surprisingly, Belgium wine.
The menu is vast and you’ll need time to pour through it’s pages. I opted for one of their suggested menus – the light one, as I’d already overindulged earlier that day on Belgium’s famous frites. The seafood based first and second courses were not only healthy, but delicious!
Good to Know
- while there, you must must must use the bathroom. Don’t ask why, just trust me that’s it worth the visit.
- There’s also a second Belga Queen location in Ghent.
- This is a restaurant for those who like the finer things in life. So only come here if you’re looking for a high-end decadent dining experience – starters run from 15-28 euros and mains from 22-48 euros.
Rue Fossé aux Loups 32
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*Disclosure – My weekend stay in Brussels was complimentary, courtesy of Belgien Tourismus. Any opinions expressed about my desire to be a queen for the day are entirely my own.