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Best Food In Belgium: 3 Things You Need To Try


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Inna Pablo



Belgium, a small but culturally-rich country nestled in the heart of Europe, is renowned for its culinary delights. From hearty comfort foods to delicate sweet treats, Belgian cuisine offers a diverse range of flavors and tastes that will tantalize your taste buds. Exploring the culinary landscape of Belgium is like embarking on a gastronomic adventure, where every bite is a discovery. With a rich history and a unique blend of influences from neighboring countries, Belgian cuisine has developed its own distinct identity. From mouthwatering fries to delectable mussels and fries, and finally, irresistible waffles, Belgium has something to offer for every food lover. So, if you find yourself planning a trip to this gastronomic wonderland or even if you’re just curious about the flavors of Belgium, here are three must-try dishes that will leave you craving for more.

Belgium is often hailed as the birthplace of fries, and rightfully so. However, these aren’t your ordinary fries – they are frites. Thick, golden, and crisp on the outside, while soft and fluffy on the inside, Belgian frites are a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds. Served in a cone-shaped paper wrapper, they are traditionally accompanied by a dollop of homemade mayonnaise or other delicious sauces, such as ketchup or tartar sauce.


Moules-Frites, a quintessential Belgian dish, combines the flavors of mussels and fries in a match made in culinary heaven. The mussels, sourced fresh from the waters of the North Sea, are cooked in a fragrant broth with onions, garlic, and a splash of white wine. The result is a steaming pot of succulent mussels, brimming with flavor. Pair them with a side of crispy frites and you have a harmonious marriage of textures and tastes that will transport you straight to the Belgian coastline.


No visit to Belgium is complete without indulging in the sweet delight that is the Belgian waffle. These light and airy waffles are often enjoyed as a street food, topped with an array of delicious toppings such as fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or even a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Whether you prefer the traditional Brussels waffle or the denser Liege waffle with its caramelized sugar, one bite into these crispy yet fluffy treats will leave you wanting more.

Belgium is truly a food lover’s paradise, offering a delightful mix of flavors, textures, and aromas. From the humble frites to the indulgent moules-frites and the heavenly waffles, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, next time you find yourself in Belgium, make sure to embark on a culinary journey and experience the best that Belgian cuisine has to offer. Don’t forget to bring your appetite!


Frites (Belgian Fries)

When it comes to fries, Belgium has perfected the art of creating the ultimate deep-fried delight. Unlike your typical French fry, Belgian frites are a league of their own. These golden batons of crispy goodness are a staple in Belgian cuisine and are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.


So, what sets Belgian frites apart from the rest? It all starts with the potatoes. Belgians take great pride in selecting the perfect variety of potato for their frites. The most popular choice is the Bintje potato, which has a high starch content and a fluffy texture that is perfect for achieving that ideal combination of crunchy exterior and soft interior.


The preparation process is equally meticulous and time-consuming. The potatoes are first cut into long, thick sticks and soaked in cold water to remove excess starch. They are then blanched in hot oil at a lower temperature to cook the interior without browning the exterior. After a short cooling period, the frites are fried again at a higher temperature to achieve that irresistible golden crunch.


But what truly sets Belgian frites apart is the way they are served. Traditionally, frites are served in a cone-shaped paper wrapper, adding to the unique experience. Accompanying dipping sauces are another essential element of enjoying frites. While ketchup is a popular choice, the Belgians take it up a notch with their own mix of homemade mayonnaise, adding a creamy and tangy flavor that complements the fries perfectly. Other sauces like tartar sauce, aioli, and even peanut sauce can also be found to cater to different preferences.


Belgian frites are not just a side dish – they are a national obsession. Friteries, or frites stands, can be found on almost every street corner in Belgium, each with their own secret recipe and a following of loyal customers. Whether enjoyed on a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Brussels or as a late-night snack after a night out, frites are a culinary delight that will leave you craving for more.


So, the next time you find yourself in Belgium, make sure to indulge in this iconic Belgian dish. Grab a cone of piping hot frites, slather them with your favorite sauce, and savor every crispy bite. Trust me, once you taste Belgian frites, you’ll never look at ordinary French fries the same way again.


Moules-Frites (Mussels and Fries)

When it comes to classic Belgian dishes, it doesn’t get much more iconic than moules-frites. This beloved dish showcases the perfect marriage of plump, juicy mussels and crispy golden frites, resulting in a harmonious combination of flavors and textures.


Mussels, sourced fresh from the North Sea, are the star of this dish. They are cooked in a fragrant broth, typically made with onions, garlic, herbs, and a splash of white wine. The mussels are gently steamed in the broth, allowing them to absorb the flavorful liquid and release their briny juices.


Belgium is known for its meticulous attention to quality, and this extends to the selection and preparation of the mussels. Only the freshest, highest quality mussels are used, ensuring that each bite is succulent and full of flavor. They are carefully cleaned and debearded, ensuring that only the tenderest parts of the mussels make it to the plate.


But what truly completes this dish is the serving of crispy golden frites alongside the steamed mussels. These perfectly cooked fries add a contrasting element of texture and flavor, providing a satisfying crunch that complements the delicate mussels. They are typically served on the side or scattered on top of the mussels, allowing the flavors to meld together.


Accompaniments may vary, but the most common sauce to elevate the dish is a tangy mayo-based sauce. Belgians take pride in their homemade mayonnaise, which adds a creamy richness to the ensemble. The combination of the juicy mussels, crispy frites, and tangy sauce creates a delightful symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more.


Moules-frites is not just a dish; it’s a cultural experience. In Belgium, family and friends often gather around a large pot of steaming mussels, sharing laughter and stories as they savor each succulent bite. It’s a social event that brings people together, and one that has been in the fabric of Belgian cuisine for generations.


So, whether you’re dining at a traditional Belgian brasserie or enjoying a meal at a seaside restaurant overlooking the picturesque Belgian coast, make sure to savor the iconic combination of moules-frites. Let the flavors transport you to the shores of Belgium, where the sea meets the land and culinary delight knows no bounds.



Belgian waffles are undoubtedly one of the most legendary treats to come out of Belgium. They are a beloved part of Belgian cuisine and have gained global recognition for their crispy exterior, fluffy interior, and mouthwatering toppings.


Belgian waffles come in two main variations – the Brussels waffle and the Liege waffle. The Brussels waffle is lighter and crispier, with deep square pockets that are perfect for holding an array of delicious toppings. On the other hand, the Liege waffle is denser and sweeter, thanks to the inclusion of pearl sugar which caramelizes on the surface, creating a delightful crunch.


One of the joys of enjoying Belgian waffles is the wide range of toppings available. Whether you prefer a classic topping or want to explore more adventurous flavors, there is something to satisfy every palate. From a simple dusting of powdered sugar to a lavish spread of fresh fruits, whipped cream, and decadent sauces like chocolate or caramel, the possibilities are endless.


Belgian waffles are often enjoyed as a street food, with vendors setting up their waffle irons in bustling squares and enticing passersby with the irresistible aroma of freshly made waffles. They are the perfect treat to enjoy while exploring the charming streets of Bruges or as a pick-me-up during a leisurely stroll in Brussels.


However, don’t be deceived by their popularity as a street food – Belgian waffles can also be found in high-end patisseries and restaurants, where they are transformed into elegant creations. These gourmet waffles may be paired with artisanal ice cream, drizzled with handmade sauces, or topped with delicate edible flowers, transforming them into a true culinary masterpiece.


Whether you choose to indulge in a simple street-style Belgian waffle or opt for a more refined version, one thing is certain – each bite is an explosion of flavor and texture. The contrast between the crispy exterior and the soft, fluffy interior, along with the enticing toppings, creates a sensory experience that will leave you craving for more.


So, the next time you find yourself in Belgium, make sure to treat yourself to an authentic Belgian waffle. Indulge in the delicate sweetness and savor the perfection that is a Belgian waffle. It’s a moment of pure bliss that shouldn’t be missed.


Impressions of Belgian Cuisine

Belgian cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors, a culinary journey that will delight your taste buds and leave you with lasting memories. From the delectable frites to the indulgent moules-frites and the heavenly waffles, Belgium offers a gastronomic experience like no other.


What sets Belgian cuisine apart is not just the quality of the ingredients and the intricate preparations, but also the sense of pride and passion that the Belgians put into their food. Each dish tells a story, rooted in tradition and influenced by the country’s rich culinary history.


Belgium’s unique location and cultural influences have shaped its cuisine, creating a harmonious fusion of flavors. Whether it’s the French influence in delicate sauces and patisserie or the Dutch influence in hearty comfort foods, Belgian cuisine showcases a beautiful blend of European culinary traditions.


The three dishes we explored – frites, moules-frites, and waffles – are just a taste of what Belgian cuisine has to offer. There are countless other specialties to discover, from hearty stews to delicate chocolates, from rich beers to creamy cheeses. Belgium truly has something to satisfy every palate.


What makes Belgian cuisine even more special is the way it brings people together. Food is not just sustenance; it is a way of connecting and sharing moments of joy with loved ones. Whether it’s gathering around a pot of steaming mussels, enjoying frites with friends, or savoring a warm waffle on a crisp morning, Belgian cuisine fosters a sense of community and celebration.


So, whether you’re planning a trip to Belgium or simply want to explore the flavors of this vibrant country from the comfort of your own kitchen, don’t hesitate to indulge in the culinary wonders that Belgium has to offer. Immerse yourself in the world of frites, moules-frites, and waffles, and let yourself be swept away by the flavors, smells, and experiences that await.


Belgium truly is a food lover’s paradise, waiting to be explored one delicious bite at a time.