After visiting Brussels last month, I was excited to finally curate a little guide on some of my favourite spots I discovered in the city. Although chocolate was the primary focus of the visit (never a bad reason, in my opinion), there seemed to be a huge emphasis on independent designers and concept stores in Brussels, which was really exciting to see- so I was lucky enough to experience some exciting new talent too as well as taste some goodies too!
If you’re looking for somewhere cosy, playful and completely worthy of Pinterest kudos- then Happy Guesthouse should be your first port of call. Although it’s only a small bed and breakfast (there’s only four rooms)- each bedroom is airy, clean and comfortable- with a family style communal breakfast area on the ground floor daily (which is absolutely delicious). The location is perfectly central with easy walking distance to the main squares, so if you can be sure to book it up!
Rue de l’Hopital 27, Brussels, Belgium
Oh Elisabeth, how I love thee. Out of all the chocolatiers and artisans in the city, this sweet haven should be the one you head to. Whether you’re after some delectable traditional treats (from crunchy waffles to gingerbread loaves), handcrafted chocolates, mammoth meringues (as well as pretty much everything in between)- Elisabeth can probably remedy your sweet tooth. There’s several of these scattered around the city, all with something slightly different in each- so it’s well worth scouting them out. My personal favourite was their take on a certain chocolate spread (only this one comes without any nasties or palm oil- deeeelicious)!
Boterstraat 43 Rue au Beurre, 1000 Brussels
If you fancy something different for brunch, lunch or dinner – Les Filles is the perfect balance of home cooked, organic, locally sourced dishes with a modern take on communal dining. With one or two dishes served each meal time (sort of like a buffet style family meal- just check ahead if you’re a little fussy like me)- you can go and help yourself to your picks, and take a seat at one of their rustic benches to tuck in. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon chatting with friends, and super informal if you just want some quiet time too.
Rue du vieux Marché aux Grains 46, 1000 Bruxelles
There’s a reason this modern dining spot has become a bit of a hit with locals- and it’s not just down to their green juices! If you’re after something light, nutritious and healthy- Ici is the place for you. More than just avocado and toast (although their offering is delicious), Ici boasts delicious salads, Thai nods, fresh fish and some of the best looking cakes I’ve seen.
35 Rue Darwin, 1050 Brussels
Tucked away on a street filled with independent design shops, Hunting and Collecting was by far one of the coolest shops we stopped by in Brussels. Offering both a vast selection of mens and womens clothing (think Carven, Maison Kitsune and Acne)- it was difficult to not get over excited (and completely empty my bank account) in this shop. With a selection of lifestyle brands on offer too- as well as an in house florist, you could easily while away an hour or so in here (just make sure you budget accordingly…)!
Rue des Chartreux 17, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
While I didn’t get to explore many of Brussels’ vintage shops, I did get to pay a visit to Gabriele- one of the most renown in the city. With a selection boasting more than just cutesy dresses, Gabriele has rainbow rails of ballgowns, seasonal coats (which I did very well in resisting), seventies blouses and a huge menswear selection too. There’s also an impressive shoe and accessories offering, with racks of shoes and hats lining the floor too- very exciting indeed!
Rue des Chartreux 27, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
A stone’s throw away from Ici lies the treasure trove that is Bonnie et Jane– a womens clothes and accessories store, that boasts as much cosy knitwear as it does Jane Birkin records- making it an absolute must-stop in my books (yup, that does mean Instagram opportunities a plenty). Not only is the interior worthy of many #fromwhereIstand’s, but the bohemian inspired pieces and delicate accessories and jewels are a pretty perfect fit for most wardrobes too (and make for great gifts)…
34 Rue Darwin, Brussels
Concept and Design::
Hello James is a concept store based around complete craftsmanship and handmade design- and showcases a huge range of Belgium born designers and ethical creators, which is pretty awesome indeed. With everything adorning the shelves and walls from bicycles, books, magazines, leather goods and grooming products- there’s something for everyone, and makes the perfect pit stop for any trendy gentlemen too (I know Joe would be a fan)!
Lakensestraat 86, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
Now, if there is one place I’ll need to head back to when it comes to finally decorating a house, it’ll be diito. A furniture and interior gallery meets showroom, this wonderful spot showcases new designers and exciting new design brands as well as vintage pieces too. With many items inspired by Nordic and contemporary design, it’s a Pinterest users dream and somewhere I’ll definitely be taking nods from when it comes to decorating.
Rue de l’Aurore 62, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
It’s probably not the right reason to ever set foot in a biscuit shop, but Maison Dandoy had me at it’s gold tinted logo and polka dot spotted packaging before anything else. Although I’ve since come to realise they do in fact do more than beautiful graphic design (they’re actually known for their delicious handcrafted 100% natural ingredient biscuits) this place was as pretty on the outside as it was the inside, plus they do excellent sweet treats too! ; )
4 Place Stephanie, 1050 Ixelles (but they have eight stores)