Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How To Eat The Perfect Waffle. (Step One: Go To Belgium)


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Louella Silver



Have you ever dreamed of indulging in the perfect waffle that melts in your mouth and leaves you craving for more? Look no further than the picturesque country of Belgium, where waffles are not just a breakfast treat but a cherished culinary masterpiece. Belgian waffles have gained worldwide fame for their light, airy texture and delightful combination of crispy exterior and fluffy interior.


Wandering through the streets of Belgium, you will encounter the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked waffles wafting through the air. Whether you are a food enthusiast or a restless traveler, immersing yourself in the waffle culture of Belgium is an absolute must-do. From the bustling streets of Brussels to the quaint cafes of Bruges, each city offers its own unique twist on this beloved dessert.


In this guide, we will unravel the secrets of enjoying the perfect waffle experience in Belgium. From planning your trip to savoring the diverse waffle varieties and topping options, we will take you on a mouthwatering journey filled with culinary wonders and unforgettable memories.


So, grab your fork and get ready to embark on a waffle-filled adventure as we uncover the essence of Belgian waffles, step by step. We promise, by the end of this guide, you will be a waffle connoisseur and have an insatiable craving to book your next flight to Belgium. Let’s dig in!


Background: The Waffle Culture in Belgium

Belgian waffles have long held a significant place in the hearts and palates of the Belgian people. The origins of waffles in Belgium can be traced back to the Middle Ages when cooks began experimenting with batters and cooking techniques. The first written record of waffles in Belgium dates back to the 13th century, and they have been a beloved part of Belgian cuisine ever since.


What makes Belgian waffles unique is their distinctive texture and appearance. Unlike their American counterparts, Belgian waffles are known for their larger size, deep pockets, and light, fluffy interior. The secret to their texture lies in the use of yeast in the batter, which creates air pockets that result in a delightful crispiness on the outside and a soft, pillowy center.


Belgian waffles are not just a breakfast item; they are enjoyed throughout the day, either as a snack or a dessert. In fact, in Belgium, waffles are commonly consumed plain, without any toppings, to truly savor the flavor and texture of the waffle itself. However, there is also a wide range of toppings and accompaniments available, allowing for endless customization and creative combinations.


The waffle culture in Belgium goes beyond just the waffles themselves. It is a way of life, with dedicated waffle shops and street vendors dotting the streets of every Belgian city. From local markets to food festivals, the irresistible aroma of freshly baked waffles draws in locals and tourists alike, creating a lively atmosphere filled with anticipation and delight. The waffle culture has become ingrained in Belgian society, symbolizing warmth, comfort, and indulgence.


Belgian waffles have gained international recognition and popularity, leading to their presence in cafes and restaurants around the world. However, there is nothing quite like experiencing the authentic waffle culture in its birthplace, where the centuries-old tradition is still alive and thriving.


Now that you understand the rich history and cultural significance of Belgian waffles, it’s time to embark on your journey to Belgium and immerse yourself in the waffle wonderland that awaits. Get ready to discover the myriad of flavors, toppings, and techniques that make Belgian waffles an irresistible delicacy.


Step One: Planning Your Trip to Belgium

If you’re eager to explore the world of Belgian waffles, the first step is to plan your trip to Belgium. Here are some essential considerations to ensure a memorable and mouthwatering adventure:


1. Choose the Right Time to Visit: Belgium is a year-round destination, but certain times of the year offer unique experiences. Spring (April to June) brings blooming flowers and pleasant weather, while summer (July to August) offers outdoor festivals and events. Fall (September to November) showcases beautiful foliage, and winter (December to February) brings the charm of Christmas markets. Consider your preferences and align them with the best time to visit for an unforgettable waffle journey.


2. Research Waffle Hotspots: Belgium is home to countless waffle shops and vendors, each with its own twist on the classic treat. Do your research and identify the must-visit waffle hotspots in the cities you plan to explore. From renowned establishments in Brussels like Maison Dandoy and Le Funambule to hidden gems in Bruges like Chez Albert and Oyya, there is a waffle haven waiting to be discovered at every corner.


3. Accommodation Options: Look for accommodations that are centrally located or close to the areas where you can find the best waffles. This will allow you to conveniently indulge in waffle delights without wasting time commuting. Consider staying in boutique hotels or bed and breakfast establishments to experience the local charm and hospitality.


4. Explore Beyond Waffles: While the focus of your trip may be on indulging in delicious waffles, don’t miss out on the other culinary delights Belgium has to offer. Sample famous Belgian chocolates, try traditional Flemish dishes like moules-frites (mussels and fries), and savor the well-known Belgian beers. This will add depth to your gastronomic adventure and enhance your overall experience.


5. Learn Basic French and Flemish Phrases: While many Belgians speak English, it’s always appreciated to make an effort to communicate in the local languages. Learn a few basic phrases in French and Flemish to enhance your interactions with locals and show your appreciation for their culture.


By carefully planning your trip to Belgium and immersing yourself in the Belgian waffle culture, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a delectable journey. In the next step, we’ll explore the diverse varieties of Belgian waffles and help you navigate the options to find your perfect match.


Step Two: Exploring Belgian Waffle Varieties

When it comes to Belgian waffles, there is a whole world of delicious variations to discover. Each city and region in Belgium has its own unique twist on the classic waffle, making it a culinary adventure to explore the different waffle varieties. Here are some of the popular Belgian waffle variations to indulge in:


1. Brussels Waffles (Gaufres de Bruxelles): Brussels waffles are arguably the most well-known type of Belgian waffle. They are rectangular in shape with deep, large squares and a light, airy texture. These waffles are slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They are typically served with a dusting of powdered sugar or topped with a dollop of whipped cream.


2. Liege Waffles (Gaufres de Liège): Liege waffles are a sweet and indulgent treat that originated in the city of Liège. They have a denser and chewier texture compared to Brussels waffles, thanks to the addition of pearl sugar in the batter. As these waffles cook, the sugar caramelizes, creating pockets of sweet, crispy goodness. Liege waffles are often enjoyed plain or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.


3. Ghent Waffles (Gaufres de Gand): Ghent waffles are a beloved regional specialty in the city of Ghent. These waffles are similar to Brussels waffles in appearance, but they have a slightly thicker and chewier texture. Ghent waffles are often served with a generous topping of rich Belgian chocolate sauce or a choice of fruit compote, adding a burst of flavor to every bite.


4. Flemish Waffles (Gaufres Flamandes): Flemish waffles are a delightful variation originating from the Flemish region of Belgium. These waffles are typically thick, crispy, and rectangular in shape. They are often enjoyed plain, allowing the buttery and slightly caramelized exterior to shine.


5. Brussels-Liege Hybrid Waffles: As the name suggests, these waffles combine the best of both worlds by blending elements of Brussels and Liege waffles. They have the rectangular shape and larger pockets of Brussels waffles, combined with the chewiness and caramelized sugar of Liege waffles. It’s a delightful fusion that offers a unique waffle experience.


Whether you prefer the light and airy texture of Brussels waffles or the sweet and chewy goodness of Liege waffles, exploring the diverse range of Belgian waffle varieties will undoubtedly satisfy your taste buds. In the next step, we’ll delve into the art of selecting the perfect waffle toppings to elevate your waffle experience to new heights.


Step Three: Selecting the Right Waffle Toppings

One of the delightful aspects of enjoying a Belgian waffle is the endless array of toppings and accompaniments that can be paired with it. From classic options to creative combinations, selecting the right waffle toppings can elevate your waffle experience to a whole new level. Here are some popular choices to consider:


1. Fresh Fruits: For a refreshing and healthy twist, top your waffle with a medley of fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas, or raspberries. The combination of the sweet fruits with the warm waffle creates a delightful contrast of flavors.


2. Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream adds a creamy and indulgent touch to your waffle. It complements the fluffy texture of the waffle and adds a luscious element to each bite.


3. Chocolate Sauce: A drizzle of rich Belgian chocolate sauce takes the waffle to another level of decadence. The velvety chocolate melds perfectly with the crispy exterior of the waffle, creating a heavenly treat.


4. Maple Syrup: For a classic and comforting option, drizzle a generous amount of maple syrup over your waffle. The sweet, natural flavor of the syrup pairs beautifully with the golden waffle, creating a delightful combination.


5. Nutella: Spread a generous layer of creamy Nutella on top of your waffle for a delectable and indulgent treat. The combination of the hazelnut-chocolate spread with the warm waffle is a match made in dessert heaven.


6. Ice Cream: Take your waffle to the next level by placing a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream on top. The contrast between the warm waffle and the cool, creamy ice cream creates a heavenly dessert experience.


7. Savory Toppings: If you prefer a savory twist, consider topping your waffle with ingredients like smoked salmon, cheese, or bacon. This unique combination offers a delightful contrast of sweet and savory flavors.


Remember, the choice of toppings is entirely subjective, and you can mix and match to create your own unique waffle masterpiece. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new flavor combinations to find your perfect waffle topping. As you delve into the world of waffle toppings, you’ll discover a wide range of flavor profiles that enhance the already delightful waffle experience.


Now that you have selected the ideal toppings, it’s time to learn the art of eating a waffle like a true Belgian in the next step.


Step Four: Mastering the Art of Eating a Waffle

While it may seem straightforward, there is an art to eating a waffle in Belgium. To fully appreciate the flavors and textures of this delectable treat, follow these tips to master the art of eating a waffle like a true Belgian:


1. Use Your Hands: When it comes to Belgian waffles, using your hands is the traditional way of enjoying them. The crispy exterior and fluffy interior lend themselves perfectly to handheld indulgence. Simply tear off a piece of the waffle and savor each bite.


2. Take It Slow: A waffle is meant to be savored and enjoyed. Take small, deliberate bites to fully appreciate the combination of textures and flavors. Let the waffle melt in your mouth and linger on your taste buds.


3. Mind the Toppings: If you have chosen to add toppings to your waffle, ensure that you get a bit of everything in each bite. The combination of the waffle base and the toppings is what creates the perfect harmony of flavors. Balance is key.


4. Enjoy the Crispy Edges: The outer edges of the waffle are often the crispiest. These delicate and slightly caramelized edges provide a satisfying crunch that adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your waffle experience. Don’t neglect this delightful aspect!


5. Don’t Rush: Allow yourself to fully immerse in the moment and savor each bite. Eating a waffle in Belgium is not just about satisfying your hunger; it’s a sensory experience. Take your time, enjoy the atmosphere around you, and relish in the pleasure of the waffle.


6. Pair It with a Hot Beverage: To complete your waffle experience, pair it with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The warmth of the beverage complements the comforting nature of the waffle, creating a cozy and indulgent combination.


Remember, there is no right or wrong way to eat a waffle, and personal preferences may vary. The most important aspect is to enjoy the experience and fully immerse yourself in the flavors and culture surrounding Belgian waffles.


Now that you have mastered the art of eating a waffle, let’s move on to the final step: discovering the must-visit waffle shops in Belgium.


Step Five: Must-Try Waffle Shops in Belgium

When exploring the waffle culture in Belgium, visiting the right waffle shops is crucial to experiencing the best flavors and authenticity. Here are some must-try waffle shops that should be on every waffle enthusiast’s list:


1. Maison Dandoy, Brussels: This iconic waffle shop in Brussels has been serving delectable waffles since 1829. Using traditional family recipes passed down through generations, Maison Dandoy offers a variety of waffle options, including the classic Brussels waffle and specialty creations like their Speculoos waffle.


2. Chez Albert, Bruges: Located in the heart of the historic city of Bruges, Chez Albert is renowned for their mouthwatering Liege waffles. These rich and chewy waffles are freshly made in front of customers, ensuring a warm and delightful treat with every visit.


3. Oyya, Bruges: Oyya is a hidden gem in Bruges, offering unique waffle combinations designed to satisfy any craving. From savory options like the Ham and Cheese Waffle to sweet indulgences like the White Chocolate and Raspberry Waffle, Oyya pushes the boundaries of waffle creativity.


4. Le Funambule, Brussels: Nestled in the charming Sablon neighborhood of Brussels, Le Funambule is a beloved waffle institution. They offer a diverse range of waffle flavors, including their signature Gaufre Vertigo with matcha-infused batter, topped with fresh fruits and cream.


5. Max, Brussels: Max is a must-visit waffle shop for those seeking a traditional Brussels waffle experience. With multiple locations in Brussels, Max serves up light and crispy waffles crafted from a secret family recipe. Pair your waffle with their homemade whipped cream for an unforgettable treat.


6. Van Hecke, Ghent: For an authentic Ghent waffle experience, head to Van Hecke. This family-owned establishment has been delighting visitors with their Ghent waffles since 1905. Try their signature Ghent waffle topped with a generous portion of chocolate sauce for a truly indulgent experience.


While these are just a handful of the must-visit waffle shops in Belgium, each city has its own hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Be sure to explore local markets, food festivals, and street vendors for a taste of the genuine Belgian waffle experience.


As you embark on your waffle journey through Belgium, keep your taste buds open to new flavors, textures, and combinations. Every waffle shop has its own unique twist, and the exploration of flavors is part of the joy of indulging in Belgian waffles.


Are you ready to embark on a mouthwatering adventure through Belgium’s waffle wonderland? With the knowledge you’ve gained from this guide, you are well-equipped to immerse yourself in the rich waffle culture of Belgium. So, grab your fork, head to Belgium, and let the journey begin!



Congratulations! You have now delved into the delightful world of Belgian waffles and discovered the secrets to enjoying the perfect waffle experience. From understanding the rich history and cultural significance of Belgian waffles to exploring the diverse varieties and selecting the right toppings, you have gained the knowledge to embark on a mouthwatering adventure through the waffle wonderland of Belgium.


Belgium, with its charming cities and vibrant waffle culture, offers a truly immersive experience for waffle enthusiasts and food travelers alike. By planning your trip, exploring the different waffle varieties, mastering the art of eating a waffle, and visiting the must-try waffle shops, you will create lasting memories and indulge in the most delicious waffle delights.


But remember, Belgian waffles are more than just a scrumptious treat. They represent a way of life – a symbol of warmth, comfort, and indulgence. So, as you savor each bite of your waffle, take the time to appreciate the atmosphere, the aroma, and the joy that comes with immersing yourself in the waffle culture.


Whether you find yourself in a bustling waffle shop in Brussels or a quaint café in Bruges, let the flavors of the waffle transport you to a place of pure bliss. Enjoy the crispy edges, relish the fluffy interior, and experiment with a variety of toppings to find your perfect combination.


Your journey doesn’t end here. As you continue to explore the world of Belgian waffles, be open to new flavors, hidden gems, and unique waffle experiences. From street vendors to local markets, each encounter with a waffle will be a new adventure waiting to be discovered.


So, as you bid farewell to this guide, armed with knowledge and a craving for waffles, we invite you to embark on the waffle journey of a lifetime. Indulge in the heavenly flavors, delight in the vibrant waffle culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Remember, when it comes to Belgian waffles, the journey is just as important as the destination. So, go forth and let the waffle magic unfold!