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!
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 for dinner for two, including wine: 58 euros
Find out more: Restaurant De Middenstand
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.
Service is professional and efficient. In short, it’s a beautiful traditional restaurant in the heart of Bruges.
Approximative price for lunch for two, including two beers: 56 euros
Find out more:‘t Huidevettershuis Restaurant
Eating on the go: fries huts on the Markt
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:
Food tours are quite fashionable at the moment! And they are indeed quite a nice way to discover local gastronomy.
Captain Ulysses recommends one food tour in Bruges in particular: 3-Hour Beer and Chocolate Tasting Private Tour: the best option to discover the 2 most emblematic Belgian specialties.
Do you have any recommendations on restaurants in Bruges? Feel free to let us know!
If you’re looking for more tips and recommendations in Bruges, don’t miss Captain Ulysses’ article on the Princely Beguinage.
If your looking for a hotel in Bruges, Captain Ulysses highly recommends you to check out Booking.com. From cheap accommodation to luxury hotels, you’ll find a wide selection of options. If your budget is a little tight, the Captain recommends Hotel ‘t Putje: the rooms are a bit simple but the staff is lovely and the localisation is great. However, if you want to stay in a luxurious hotel, be sure to check Heritage Hotel.
If you’re looking to book visits and activities ahead of time, Captain Ulysses recommend you to have a look at Tiqets and GetYourGuide. Guided tours, cruises, skip-the-line tickets, unique activities … there’s plenty to chose from!
A lot of visitors 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 a guided day tour: from Amsterdam or from Brussels.
Bruges is a rather small city that is quite easy to explore on foot. The city centre is actually a pedestrian area. If you don’t like walking or if you’re tired of your long day wandering the city, you can also opt for a guided rickshaw tour!
If you’re planning on flying to Bruges, the Captain recommends that you check Skyscanner, an online comparator which is perfect for finding the best prices If your dates are flexible , you can even compare prices over several weeks to find the best option. Bruges is also easily accessible by train and bus. To book your tickets, we highly recommend Trainline, which integrates the offer of 207 train and bus companies in 44 countries.