Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Patisserie Le Saint-Aulaye – 4 Rue Jean-Chapelie; 011-32-02-345-7785;; bakery.

Alex & Alex – 32 Rue de la Paille; 011-32-02-476-612-345;; champagne and chocolate bar; connoisseurs consider these best chocolates in city; tucked away on antique- and art-stuffed gallery street (off Grand Sablon); dark, cozy interior.
L’Archiduc – 6 Rue Antoine Dansaert; 011-32-02-512-0652;; cozy lounge that feels like Art Deco jewel box; polished wood bar, patterned banquettes, filigreed metal balcony.
Brasserie Cantillon – 56 Rue Gheude (Brussels Museum Van De Gueuze); 011-32-02-521-4928;; working Belgian brewing history museum; opened in 1900.
Chez Moeder Lambic – 68 Rue de Savoie (St.-Gilles); 011-32-02-539-1419;; tiny wooden tavern; 300 different small brews.
Delirium Café – 4A Impasse de la Fidelite; 011-32-02-514-4434;; in dead-end alley behind Grand Place; smoky, subterranean bar; 2K beer selections; college-age crowd.
La Fleur en Papier Dore – 53 Rue des Alexiens; 011-32-02-511-1659; Magritte and other surrealists, and Tin Tin’s creator, used to dine here; beyond cozy and romantic.
Libertine Supersport – 1 Avenue du Port (at K-Nal); 011-32-47-347-3473;; Saturday night spot for visiting DJs.
Mappa Mundo – 2-6 Rue du Point de la Carpe; 011-32-02-135-116; Place St. Gery’s social epicenter; bohemian.

Hooy Kaye Lodge – 22 Arduinkaai (Quai aux Pierres de Taille); 011-32-02-218-4440;; elegantly spare town house in downtown with 3 spacious rooms; breakfast included.
Hotel Amigo – 1-3 Rue de l’Amigo; 011-32-02-547-4747;; just behind Grand Place; feels like luxury pied-a-terre with humorous touches, like Tintin prints in bathrooms.
Concept Hotel – 39 Grand Place; 011-32-47-403-2470;; high-design B&B.
Odette en Ville – 25 Rue du Chatelain; 011-32-02-640-2626;; chic boutique hotel in 1920s house near high-end shopping street, Avenue Louise; 8 monochromatic rooms.
Pantone Hotel – 1 Place Loix; 011-32-02-541-4898;; colorful.
Welcome Hotel – 23 Quai au Bois a Bruler; 011-32-02-219-9546;; each of 17 rooms after country, from Congo to Vietnam.

Belga Queen – 32 Rue Fosse aux Loups; 011-32-02-217-2187;; in 19th Century bank building; see and be seen locale; rich food.
Café Le Fontainas – 91 Rue de Marche au Charbon; 011-32-02-503-3112; mixed gay-straight hangout; highly regarded.
Les Filles-Plaisirs Culinaires – 85 Rue Vanderschrick; 011-32-02-534-0483;; catering studio and restaurant that also runs cooking school.
La Fleur en Papier Dore – 53 Rue des Alexiens; 011-32-02-511-1659; Magritte and other surrealists, and Tin Tin’s creator, used to dine here; beyond cozy and romantic.
Kwint – 1 Mont des Arts; 011-32-02-505-9595;; rich ingredients like truffle-poached eggs, wild Baltic salmon; cathedral-like dining room; power dining.
La Meilleure Jeunesse – 58 Rue de L’Aurore; 011-32-02-640-2394;; art-crowd favorite.
A La Mort Subite – 7 Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potageres; 011-32-02-513-1318;; open since 1928; Old World café that means “sudden death”; named for card game that cut off midday revels, sending bankers back to work; beer and open-faced sandwiches; lunch place.
Rouge Tomate – 190 Louizalaan; 011-32-02-647-7044;; series of striking settings, including light, white space and decked courtyard garden; Mediterranean fare, such as Moroccan vegetable tagine with prunes and tamarind and/or rosemary-encrusted pigeon; try clementine sorbet for dessert.
Selecto – 95-97 Rue de Flandre; 011-32-02-511-4095;
Viva M’Boma – 17 Rue de Flandre; 011-32-02-512-1593; chic restaurant housed in former butcher shop; try carbonnade a la flamand (Flemish stew made with beer).

Les Filles-Plaisirs Culinaires – 85 Rue Vanderschrick; 011-32-02-534-0483;; cooking school; also catering studio and restaurant.

Almine Rech – 20 Rue de L’Abbaye; 011-32-02-648-5684;; Parisian gallery’s Brussel’s branch.
Stef Antiek – 63 Rue Blaes & 6 Place de la Chapelle; 011-32-02-540-8142;; antiques.
Le Belgique Gourmande – 19 Galerie de la Reine; 011-32-02-512-5745;; confectionary.
Casa Midy – 158 Franz Merjay; 011-32-02-345-2553;; European outpost of San Miguel de Allende furniture maufacturer.
Christopher Coppens – 2 Rue Leon Lepage; 011-32-02-512-7797;; statement accessories and hats.
Corne – 24-26 Galeries du Roi; 011-32-02-512-4984;; confectionary.
D&A Lab – 27 Quai du Commerce; 011-32-47-594-9069;; artist-designed furniture with Surrealist sensibility.
Delvaux Maroquinerie – 7 Boulevard Louis Schmidtlaan; 011-32-02-738-0040;; leather goods.
Diito – 62 Rue de L’Aurore; 011-32-02-646-1610;; contemporary and mid-century modern furniture.
Frederic Blondeel Chocolatier – 24 Quai aux Brix; 011-32-02-502-2131;; some consider his chocolates to be city’s best.
Galerie VidalCuglietta – 5 Boulevard Barthelemy; 011-32-02-502-5320;; downtown incubator for emerging artists.
Laurent Gerbaud – 2D Rue Ravenstein; 011-32-02-511-1602;; chocolatier.
Godiva – 47-48 Grand Sablon-Grote Savel; 011-32-02-502-9906;
Haleluja – 6 Place du Nouveau Marche aux Grains; 011-32-02-513-4250;; sustainable fashion mecca from Stijl’s owner.
Hunting & Collecting – 17 Rue des Chartreux; 011-32-02-512-7477;; home accessories and furniture.
Leonidas – 41 Place du Grand Sablon; 011-32-02-513-1466;; chocolates.
Le Maison des Maitres Chocolatiers – 4 Grand Place; 011-32-02-888-6620;; chocolate boutique.
Mapp – 5 Rue Leon Lepage; 011-32-02-551-1767;; books and music up front; Vibskov and Wang in back.
Pierre Marcolini – 1 Rue des Minimes; 011-32-02-514-1206;; modern establishment; famous for single-origin Grand Cru bars.
Mary – 36 Galerie de la Reine; 011-32-02-511-3959;; 92 year-old establishment; popular with royal family.
Moss & Bros – 58 Rue de l'Aqueduc (St.-Gilles); 011-32-02-534-0620;; men’s and women’s clothing.
Neuhaus – 79 Rue Lebeau; 011-32-02-502-3813;; try dark chocolate truffle filled with buttercream and speculoos.
Neuhaus – 25 Galerie de la Reine; 011-32-02-512-6359;; original store.
Passion – Grand Sablon; 011-32-02-514-7714;; try minty ganaches.
Pure – 48 Rue de Rollebeek; 011-32-02-502-1634; chocolates; organic nougat is standout.
Stijl – 74 Rue Antoine Dansaert; 011-32-02-512-0313; designer-wear.
Olivier Strelli – 44 Rue Antoine Dansaert; 011-32-02-512-7853;; men’s and women’s clothing.
Wittamer – 6 Place du Grand Sablon; 011-32-02-546-1110;; century-old chocolatier in city center; renowned for “heritage recipes.”
Nicholas Woit – 80 Rue Antoine Dansaert; 011-32-02-503-4832;; 1940s -inspired women’s wear.

Ancienne Belgique – 110 Boulevard Anspach; 011-32-02-548-2400;; contemporary music concert hall for international and local acts; consists of 3 concert halls, Main Hall, ABBox & ABClub; notable performances include band Suicide, which performed in 1978 as Elvis Costello warm-up; crowd hostile, wanting to hear main act & band members antagonized audience; in 1982, Cure played concert that ended in fight between band-members on stage; band split up right after this.
Atomium – 1 Square de l’Atomium; 011-32-02-475-4775;; monument in Brussels, originally built for 1958 Brussels World’s Fair (Expo); designed by André Waterkeyn; 335' tall; 9 steel spheres connected so that whole forms iron crystal unit cell magnified 165 billion times; encloses escalators connecting spheres containing exhibit halls and other public spaces; top sphere provides panoramic Brussels view.
Bourse – Palais de la Bourse; 011-32-02-509-1211; founded in Brussels by Napoleonic decree in 1801; in 2000, merged with Paris Bourse and Amsterdam and Lisbon stock exchanges to form Euronext N.V., 1st pan-European derivatives and equities exchange, with common product clearing and trading, renamed as Euronext Brussels; now belongs to NYSE Euronext group, 1st global stock exchange.
Le Chemiserie Niguet (Daniel Ost Florist) – 13 Rue Royale (Centre-Ville); 011-32-02-217-2917; or; art nouveau building designed by Paul Hankar, now florist.
Church of Our Lady of Sablon (Eglise Nôtre-Dame au Sablon) – Rue du Sablon; 011-32-02-511-5741;; flamboyant, late-Gothic church, dating around 1400-1594; paid for by city’s Crossbowmen guild; notable for 4-fold gallery with brightly colored stained-glass windows, illuminated from inside at night; worth seeing are 2 baroque chapels decorated with funeral symbols in white marble.
Espace Senghor – 366 Chaussée de Wavre (Etterbeek); 011-32-02-230-3140;; cultural center.
Farmers’ Market – Place du Chatelain;; on Wednesday afternoons.
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert – Beenhouwersstraat; 011-32-02- 545-0990;; also called Koninklijke Sint-Hubertusgalerijen; glazed shopping arcade; arcaded shopfronts separated by pilasters and 2 upper floors, all in Italianate Cinquecento style, under arched glass-paned roof with delicate cast-iron framework; 2 major sections, Galerie du Roi (Koningsgalerij), meaning King’s Gallery, and Galerie de la Reine (Koninginnegalerij), meaning Queen’s Gallery); smaller side gallery (Galerie des Princes, Prinsengalerij, meaning Princes’ Gallery); inaugurated in 1847 by King Leopold.
Grand Place – city center; Grote Markt is city’s central square; surrounded by guildhalls, Town Hall, and Breadhouse; most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels, along with Atomium and Manneken Pis; UNESCO World Heritage Site.
High Needs Low – Gare du Congres;; quarterly, cult dance party.
Horta Museum – 25 Rue Americaine; 011-32-02-543-0490;; Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta's former home.
Kaaitheater – 20 Square Sainctelette; 011-32-02-201-5858;
Manneken Pis – 46 Rue de l’Etuve; 011-32-02-513-8940;; small statue of boy peeing; for some reason; intensely popular sight.
Museum of Cocoa & Chocolate – 9-11 Rue de la Tete d’Or; 011-32-02-514-2048;
Musee Magritte Museum – 3 Rue de la Regence; 011-32-02-508-3211;; dedicated to absurdist art; start in basement where 45-minute film details his life.
Musee Herge – 26 Rue du Labrador (Louvain-la-Neuve); 011-32-01-048-8421;; dedicated to Tintin.
Palais Stoclet – Avenue de Tervueren (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre); closed to public (still occupied by Stoclet family); UNESCO World Heritage site; private mansion built by architect Josef Hoffmann 1905-1911 for art lover-banker Adolphe Stoclet; considered Hoffman’s masterpiece, Stoclet’s house is among 20th Century’s most refined and luxurious private houses; asymmetrical compilation rectangular blocks, underlined by exaggerated lines and corners; no-nonsense starkness softened by artistic windows, which break through eave line, rooftop conservatory, and 4 nude male bronze statues by Franz Metzner (mounted on tower that rises above stairwell); Hoffman and colleagues designed every aspect, down to door handles and light fittings; interior decorated with marble artworks and paneling, including mosaic friezes by Gustav Klimt and murals by Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel.
Parc du Cinquantenaire – off Jubelpark (in European Quarter’s easternmost corner); most buildings commissioned by King Leopold II and built for 1880 National Exhibition commemorating Belgian independence’s 50th anniversary; triumphal arch erected in 1905; structures built in glass, iron, and stone; over 70 acres gardens, ponds, and waterfalls; Royal Military Museum sole tenant of complex’ northern half since 1880; southern half currently occupied by AutoWorld Museum and Cinquantenaire Art Museum; Temple of Human Passions, remainder from 1886, and Great Mosque of Brussels from 1978, located in park’s northwest corner.
Place du Grand Sablon Antiques Market – Rue de Rollebeek; 011-32-02-513-8940;; antiques market on Saturdays, 9a.m. to 6 p.m.
Place du Jeu de Balle – Marolles District; daily flea market that swells on Sundays.
Porte de Hal – 150 Boulevard du Midi; 011-32-02-534-1518; more than 600 years old; city’s 2nd wall’s last vestige; now home to wonderful artwork collection and fortification history museum; at tower top, from crenellated parapet, enjoy spectacular city view.
Royal Greenhouses of Laeken – Avenue de la Dynastie (opposite Castle); 011-32-02-513-8940; or; heated, vast, monumental greenhouse complex in Royal Castle of Laeken park; commissioned by King Leopold II and designed by Alphonse Balat; built between 1874-1895; only can be visited in April–May during 2-week period when most flowers in full bloom; make sure to see iron dome of Grand Jardin d’Hiver.
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium – 3 Rue de la Régénce, 62 Rue Vautier & 59 Rue de l’Abbaye; 011-32-02-508-3211;; 4 museums (2 on Rue de la Regence, ancient and modern art, Antoine Wiertz Museum on Rue Vautier, and Constantin Meunier Museum on Rue de l’Abbaye).
Rue des Bouchers – city’s most characteristic pedestrian street.
St. Gery – former canal area, now filled in and known for seafood restaurants.
St.-Gilles – neighborhood that is veritable Art Nouveau architecture bonanza.
Ste. Catherine – area popular with artists and fashionistas.
Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (La Monnaie) – 23 Place de la Monnaie; 011-32-02-229-1200;; called Koninklijke Muntschouwburg (or de Munt) in Dutch; Belgium’s leading opera house & among few cultural institutions that receive federal government financial support.

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