Like in any major tourist destination, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to finding a place where to eat in Bruges. There are so many restaurants that it can get quite confusing. Especially since the gastronomic offer is quite diverse: the city counts some very nice restaurants, but also countless tourist traps! Here are all Captain Ulysses’ tips and recommendations treat yourself to a lovely meal in Bruges!
💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Want to know more about the history of Bruges? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you want to tip the guide!
Finding a restaurant in Bruges: advice & recommendations
When traveling, finding a decent restaurant is often a challenge and the same goes in Bruges! You’ll find tons of restaurants in the “Venice of the North”, but many are quite disappointing. It is all the more irritating as the prices are generally quite high, including in the most inexpensive restaurants.
Here are some recommendations to avoid unpleasant surprises:
- Try and avoid the cheapest restaurants. Sure, this advice may seem a little trivial, but if you’re ready to pay an extra 3-4 euro per dish, the Captain promises it will be worth your while. And everything is very expensive in Bruges anyways, so better to pay 20-22 euros per dish and truly enjoy your meal, rather than pay 16-18 euros and end up with terrible food. Don’t you think so?
- follow the locals: it’s a great indicator of the quality of a restaurant. Listen to the people in the restaurant: if they speak Flemish, it’s a good sign!
- If you have the internet, you can also look at the recommendations on TripAdvisor. Sure, that’s not very spontaneous, but you’ll be sure to find a nice place to eat, and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
The restaurant where locals go: de Middenstand
Located on t’Zand square, in Bruges city centre, restaurant De Middenstand is a very nice brasserie. Here, most of customers are locals. The menu showcases Belgian gastronomy, fish and seafood. The shrimps and the scallops are truly delicious!
Approximative price of a dinner for two, including wine: 58 euros
The restaurant where to discover local gastronomy: ‘t Huidevettershuis
In the heart of Bruges historic centre, Restaurant’t Huidevettershuis might be quite touristic but the food is absolutely delicious. The restaurant room exudes charm and tradition: white and Red checkered tablecloths, antique furniture, fresh flowers…
Here, you’ll find traditional Belgian cuisine, with a nice choice of menus and dishes à la carte.
Captain Ulysses loved the Flemish ham, the Waterzooi and the sole, as well as the chocolate fondant to finish the meal on a gourmet note.
The service is professional and efficient. In short, it’s a beautiful traditional restaurant in the heart of Bruges.
Approximative price of a lunch for two, including two beers: 56 euros
Eating on the go: fried huts on the Grand place
If the weather is nice and you want to have lunch on the go, you’ll find all you need on the Markt (the market place): fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. It’s not the healthiest meal, but it’s the ideal option for a nice picnic by the Canal, which is just a few streets away.
And for dessert, why not treat yourself to a waffle or some Belgian chocolate?
Typical dishes from Bruges
Visiting a city also means tasting the local gastronomy! In other words: eat!
Belgium is not particularly known for its gastronomy, but you will find here some nice dishes that it would be a shame not to taste:
- French fries: impossible to speak of Belgian gastronomy without mentioning them. Contrary to what their name indicates, French fries are indeed from Belgium! You will find them absolutely everywhere, from fast food restaurants to refined tables.
- Flemish carbonade: beef stew, flavoured with gingerbread and dark beer
- Waterzooi: a chicken or fish creamy sort of stew
- Flemish asparagus: asparagus served with boiled eggs and seasoned with lemon
- Vol-au-vent: a dish which is quite close to the French “bouchées à la reine”
- Mussels & french fries: this is probably the most emblematic dish of our Belgian friends
Discovering local gastronomy on a food tour
The city of Bruges is very proud of its gastronomical heritage and you’ll find quite a few museums entirely dedicated to local specialties:
- The Bruges Beer Museum
- the Bourgogne des Flandre Brewery
- the Choco-Story Museum
- the Frietmuseum (Fries Museum)
Food tours are all the rage at the moment! And they are indeed quite a nice way to discover local gastronomy. And they are indeed quite a nice way to discover local gastronomy.
Captain Ulysses recommends one food tour in Bruges in particular:
If you’d like to learn how to cook local specialties rather than just taste them, you should definitly join a workshop/cooking class. Captain Ulysses recommends:
👉 Book your tours & activities in advance!
👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!
🛏️ Accommodation: If your looking for a hotel in Bruges, Captain Ulysses highly recommends checking out Booking.com. From cheap accommodation to luxury hotels, you’ll find a wide range of options.
If your budget is a bit tight, the Captain recommends Hotel ‘t Putje: the rooms are a bit spartan but the staff are lovely and the hotel’s location is ideal.
But if you want to treat yourself, you should definitely consider Heritage Hotel: it is both somptuous, intimate and welcoming, perfect for a luxurious stay in Bruges.
🎟️ Activities: aIf you’re looking to book your visits and activities in advance – which you definitely should if you’re visiting Bruges during the high season – Captain Ulysses recommends three websites: Civitatis, Tiqets and GetYourGuide. Guided tours, sport activities … there’s plenty to choose from!
🚐 Transfers: many visitors decide to travel to Bruges from Amsterdam or Brussels. If that’s your case, you can easily book your transfer from Amsterdam here. You can also opt for an all-included day-trip: from Amsterdam (in English) or from Brussels (available in 7 languages).
🚌 Local transports: Bruges is rather small and fairly easy to explore on foot. The city center is also pedestrian. But if you’d rather not walk, you can always opt for an electric scooter or a rickshaw!
✈️ Flights: Captain Ulysses warmly recommends Skyscanner to book your flights to Bruges. You’ll be able to compare countless offers to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible. Bruges is also easily accessible by train and bus. To book your tickets, the Captain highly recommends Omio.