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Belgium may be a small country, but when it comes to its culinary scene, the country certainly delivers great gastronomy. Belgian cuisine is all about iconic treats like waffles and fries, but what about Belgian eating habits? We explored this topic for you and will tell you all the details about the Belgian food culture.
Because the Belgian population is so diverse and influenced by so many different cultures, it’s not surprising that they adore food and cooking. There is a popular saying stating that Belgian food is cooked with the finesse of the French, but is served in generous German portions.
Belgians are bon vivants who enjoy eating and drinking. Belgian cuisine, however, goes beyond mussels and fries. The variety of Belgian flavors is wide and varied, with both sweet and hearty dishes.
In the morning, a typical Belgian breakfast consists of a slice of cramique (raisin bread) or craquelin (sweet bread). Lunch is usually eaten between 12:00 and 14:00. A sandwich might be made of buttered bread with cheese or meat (similar to the Dutch ‘boterham’) or a more substantial sandwich filled with charcuterie, cheese, and vegetables. Dinner starts between 19:00 and 20:00 and is generally the moment when Belgians relax and socialize, while enjoying a selection of hearty dishes, together with a Belgian beer of course.
Belgium's extraordinary range of eating options gives you plenty of gastronomic experiences to chose from. You can usually just walk into a cafe, but bistros require pre-booking and some of the finest Belgian restaurants require reservations several months in advance. You can find restaurants ranging from multiple Michelin-star extravaganzas to street-side Asian diners. Almost every type of cuisine can be found in Belgium's bigger cities.
On almost every menu in Belgium is the typical Belgian dish tomate aux crevettes: tomatoes stuffed with delicately sweet North Sea shrimps, served with creamy homemade mayonnaise. During May and June, visitors can sample Belgian asparagus, and from October to March they can find many dishes featuring endive, also known as ‘witloof’ in Belgian.
Whenever you eat out in Belgium, you should keep in mind that the service will be professional, but not necessarily fast. Belgians don't just casually dine, they savor each course and take their sweet time. The best place to go if you're in a hurry is to find a street vendor or a fast-food establishment for some quick fries.
Discover Belgian food for yourself
Find an overview of the very best restaurants in Belgium here. You can easily book your table through our website and experience fine Belgian haute cuisine for yourself.