We visited Ghent, Bruges and Brussels where we sampled some vegetarian food in Belgium. Belgium is famous for chocolates, fries and waffles. This is the reason I wanted to visit Belgium. I love waffles and once I saw pictures; I was drooling over them for a long time. Also, was looking forward to try the Belgium fries along with an endless variety of sauces. While researching, I found out that all Belgium fries are cooked in beef fat. I was really disappointed and somewhere wished that I didn’t read about it. As long as I didn’t know, I would have obviously devoured them.
Many call Ghent Europe’s veggie capital and even have dedicated Thursday as a veggie day when most restaurants do something special for vegetarians. I wasn’t there on Thursday, but nonetheless, had a long list of restaurants suited for vegetarians. We were there only for 2 days and had dinner on only one of the nights.
One thing unique to Ghent is Cuberdons (Ghent Noses). It is a Belgium candy shaped like a cone with a soft centre. It is available in tons of different flavours. Across Ghent, you will find carts selling Ghent Noses. We got a bunch of them and tried different flavours. We quite enjoyed it and you can’t leave Ghent without trying these. The cart also had macarons and we couldn’t leave without getting a bag of colourful macarons.
Dinner at Holy Food Market
It is a food court, with each stall serving a different cuisine. We tried a couple of different dishes. From Bubba, I got a cheese croquette. Croquettes are popular in Belgium, but it is hard to find a vegetarian one. It was fried, crispy, and cheesy. From the Chinese stall, we devoured some spring rolls which are our all-time favourite. Next, we ate pizza, which was tasteless. Who puts potato on a pizza? We also had a couple of dishes from the Lebanese counter, and the best was their potato starter. Finished with nachos, which was just about ordinary.
Most of the dishes were good, but not great. Also, it was not really unique to Ghent. The worst part was their seating, which was super uncomfortable. Anyway, this place has now closed down.
My shortlist of Restaurants for Vegetarian food in Ghent, Belgium (We didn’t have time to try)
- Seli’s Noodllebar – spring roll, rice, noodles, soup noodles – lots of veg options – Limburgstraat 28, 9000
- Indian curry house – Sint-Michielsstraat 11, Ghent 9000
- Greenway – soups and a variety of veg burgers, pure veg – Nederkouter 42, 9000 Gent
- De Frietketel – veg fries – Papegaaistraat 89, Ghent 9000, Belgium
- Soup Lounge – Zuivelbrugstraat 4, Ghent 9000, Belgium
- Sushi Palace Gent – Loads of veg items, curry veg, noodle soup, gyoza, noodles, rice, sushi etc – Oudburg 37, B-9000 Gent-
- La Mestiza – Mexican – Hoogstraat 88, Ghent 9000, Belgium
- Biologisch Eet En Teehuis Lekker Gec – Veg buffet – pay by weight – Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 5-6, Ghent 9000, Belgium
- Le Botaniste – vegetarian – unique items – bowls – looks best – Hoornstraat 13, Ghent 9000, Belgium
We just did a day trip from Ghent.
Chez Vincent for Vegetarian Belgium Fries
Address – Sint-Salvatorskerkhof 1Brugge, Belgium
I researched for 8 hours straight to find a place serving Belgium fries cooked in vegetable oil. Eventually, found out Chez Vincent, which mentioned on their website they cook fries in vegetable oil as it’s healthier. Obviously, one can argue that the USP of Belgium fries is that it’s cooked in beef fat. And the vegetarian fries are not really Belgium fries. Nevertheless, if you are vegetarian and want to have vegetarian fries in Belgium, this is the place.
We went there around 5:30 pm after exploring Bruges for a day. I was so excited to try Belgium fries and ordered 2 portions of medium fries, vegetarian croquettes and small ball croquettes to share between the 4 of us. They have a variety of 23 sauces for you to choose from. Of course, I went overboard and ordered a couple of different sauces:
- Ketchup – Can’t have fries without ketchup.
- Mayonnaise – It is the Belgium thing to eat fries with Mayonnaise.
- Curry Ketchup – It has a slight flavour of curry in it. I didn’t like it at all but it was Kapil’s favourite sauce.
- Andalouse (medium spicy) – a sauce consisting of mayonnaise, tomato paste, and peppers.
- Samurai (very spicy) – is a hot sauce traditionally made with tomatoes, paprika and red peppers. It wasn’t spicy for us.
- Special – comprising mayo, ketchup and fresh onions – I love onions and this was my favourite.
The fries were hot and crispy, and all of us enjoyed it. It was an authentic Belgium experience and thankfully found this place. We were so full that didn’t have dinner in Ghent that night.
We had only 3 days in Brussels and tried as much vegetarian food as our stomachs could take.
Balls and Glory
After check-in into our hotel, we ordered lunch from Deliveroo (food delivery app). When researching vegetarian food in Belgium, I came across this place a couple of times and it is even there in multiple cities in Belgium. It is known for meatballs but has a vegetarian version of it. We got a huge hot and crispy ball on a bed of mashed potato along with 2 sauces. It is worth trying when in Belgium. We also ordered a salad, but it was bland.
We like to try different cuisine and find vegetarian dishes in local cuisine. But every now and then we crave Indian food. Also, when we order in our room from a delivery app, Indian food is the easiest to order. Many times apps have the menu in the local language and it is tough to figure out what is veg. Whereas in Indian food, you are 100% sure about vegetarian items. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant we ordered from. We were half full and just ordered some naans, paneer mutter and dal.
Lunch at Atomium
One of our days, we had lunch here and surprisingly had a lot of options in vegetarian food. We ate crispy samosas, fries and pasta. Everything was delicious and I would recommend having a quick lunch here after visiting the Atomium and Mini-Europe.
Chinese in Brussels
We came across a lot of Chinese places in Belgium and they had some veg offerings. From a street market at Sablon, we tried a Chinese platter. It was cold but taste-wise awesome.
On our last day, we were strolling around Grand Place looking for a place for dinner. Just off the Grand Place, we saw Gatsu Gatsu where you can get a customized wok. You choose your base from various types of noodles/rice, then add toppings and choose a sauce. It’s a small place with some indoor and outdoor seating. We went with the spicy sauce and relished it. The service was quick and friendly. This place is fit for a quick no fuss healthy vegetarian meal.
Waffles in Brussels
Obviously, waffles and chocolates are at every nook and corner. Most of the days we landed having chocolates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love chocolates and waffles, but in Belgium, we ate too much of them. In Belgium, forget about calories!
In waffles, they have 2 varieties:
- Liege Waffle – It is richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier. It is the most prevalent type of waffle available and can be topped with anything you fancy like cream, chocolate, fruits, ice cream, etc.
- Brussels Waffles – bigger, lighter, crispier and it’s a rectangle. I didn’t see anyone eating this and the shop owner was actually shocked when I ordered this one.
I enjoyed both the variety and don’t leave Brussels without trying them. Off the Grand Place, you will find an alley filled with waffle shops having facing displays to tempt you. Grab one waffle, sit on the main square and watch the world go by. For this experience, I want to go back to Brussels :). Obviously, you’ll find waffles in Ghent and Bruges too. It is everywhere.
Chocolates in Brussels
Everyone knows about the world-famous Belgium chocolates. We went to Sablon, where we tasted and shopped from different chocolatiers. You must also see a chocolate-making demonstration in Belgium. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is the place for window shopping of chocolates. Here, we bumped into Haagen Dazs and ate their fancy looking but pricey ice creams.
Though macarons are French, you see them everywhere in Belgium too.
My shortlist of Restaurants for Vegetarian food in Brussels, Belgium (We didn’t have time to try)
- L’express – Falafel – just off the Grand Place on Rue des Chapeliers
- Knees to chin – Rice paper rolls – rue de Flandre 28 1000 Brussels – near place Saint Catherine
- Pholaumi – Vietnamese – Rue Dejoncker 26, Brussels 1060, Belgium
- Kafino – Greek – Rue Stevin 134 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
- Indus pride – Indian – has everything – dosa, papad, paneer etc. Book table in advance – Avenue Marcel Thiry 59, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
- Sher – E – Punjab – Indian – Rue de l’Artichaut 2, Brussels 1210, Belgium
- Tonton Garby – Sandwiches – Rated no 2 among all restaurants – near Grand Place
As said earlier, they are cooked in beef fat. These are some popular places in Brussels if you are fine with fries being cooked in beef fat.
- Frit land
- Maison Antoine
That’s it on vegetarian food in Belgium. We didn’t have any trouble finding vegetarian food or communicating with people. Everyone spoke English and understood what is vegetarian food. Obviously, we gained a couple of kgs, eating sweets all day long. If you have a sweet tooth, this is heaven for you. Do not leave Brussels without polishing off a few waffles, fries and trying a dozen of chocolates.
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Check out all the other posts in this series:
Benelux, Paris & Iceland Trip Planning and Booking
10 days in Benelux: An Epic Itinerary and Trip Report
Vegetarian Food in Amsterdam: What we ate in 3 days
2 Days in Paris: Trip Report & Our Misadventures
10 days in Iceland: An Ultimate Itinerary & Trip Report
Accommodation and Vegetarian Food in Iceland
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