Treat yourself to some classic Belgian dishes in Leuven

Visiting a city is a real experience, a sensory journey of discovery. Tasting the genuine Belgian classics, local and as fresh as can be is, of course, part of that experience. Flemish stew, vol-au-vent, shrimp croquettes, mussels, asparagus Flemish style, steak, all served with fries, naturally - these are the Belgians’ favourite dishes, so you simply have to try them.

Where can you find these stars of Belgian cuisine in Leuven? I have made a selection for you, each one close to Leuven’s top 10 attractions. An ideal combination for your city trip.

If you fancy a snack: neighbourhood bar Leuven Central

Everyone is welcome to enjoy a Stella or a coffee with Gie at the atmospheric neighbourhood bar Leuven Central. Here you can order a simple, but oh so tasty, Belgian snack: a “pistolet” crunchy bread roll filled with cheese, ham, or raw beef spread or a home-made boulette with steak tartare. The bar is also within walking distance of the Town Hall and St Peter's Church.

Leuven Central • Margarethaplein 3, 3000 Leuven
Get to know local pub owner Gie

Among the brew kettles: De Hoorn

Brouwerij De Hoorn, located in Leuven’s most innovative district, the Vaartkom, is always a great idea for a visit. The very first Stella was brewed here. Between the old brew kettles, you can taste Belgian classics such as shrimp croquettes, beef tartare or Flemish stew with a St Bernardus Abt 12 beer. On sunny days, you can dine on the terrace with a view of the modern Sluispark the neighbourhood park, which the kids will absolutely love.

De Hoorn • Sluisstraat 79, 3000 Leuven

Timeless tradition in Belgian gastronomy: De Troubadour

Close to the multifaceted museum M Leuven and the impressive university library you will find De Troubadour. If you’re after something a little more classy. The authentic atmosphere of a Leuven patrician residence has been preserved here. Relax in the soft leather chairs and savour the famous dishes according to the rules of the art, such as Flemish stew, Belgian endive rolled in ham topped with cheese sauce, steak, mussels, asparagus, “paling in ’t groen” (eel in green sauce), rabbit with prunes, etc. Tip: they also serve vegetarian vol-au-vent here.

Troubadour Leuven • Tiensestraat 32, 3000 Leuven

With an interesting twist & it won't break the bank: Dewerf

On the terrace of Dewerf Leuven, conviviality is guaranteed and you can eat very cheaply (for under 15 euros), perfect for those travelling on a budget. What’s special about Dewerf is that you can order the Belgian classics as a chowder. A small bread roll, which is hollowed out and filled with Flemish stew or chicken fricassee. White and black pudding with apple compote and a dessert such as the speculosisu (tiramisu with Belgian speculoos) also feature on the menu here. Afterwards, walk it all off in the nearby municipal park or the beautiful 200-year-old Botanical Garden.

Dewerf Leuven • Hogeschoolplein 5, 3000 Leuven

On the abbey site: De Abdijmolen

Park Abbey is one of the best preserved abbey sites in Europe, located on the edge of Leuven and surrounded by greenery. After your delightful walk and informative guided tour of the abbey dating back to the 12th century, you can enjoy a delicious meal in the restored abbey mill. It’s a lovely setting for savouring Belgian treats such as asparagus Flemish style, steaks, Flemish stew, vol-au-vent and waffles.

De Abdijmolen • Abdij van Park 4, 3001 Heverlee

Didn't find what you were looking for? Of course, there are other tasty addresses too. Set off and explore, there are lots of restaurants around every corner. A great atmosphere in Leuven.

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