If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Brussels guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Brussels for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like 400 Bieres Artisanales / Beer Mania to busy places like Le Cerceuil that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Lower Town area? No fear - we share all the facts!


Lower Town

Not your run-of-the-mill Brussels bar, the reasoning behind this place's name, "the coffin," becomes immediately apparent once your eyes have adjusted to the near total darkness. Sit around glass-topped coffins, drinking from skull-shaped mugs, while soft funeral music wafts gently from the speakers. The bar is just a few steps from the Grand Place, which makes it worth stopping by if only to see the panic-stricken looks on the faces of tourists who unsuspectingly wander in off the street.

Read more about Le Cerceuil →

The building is barely large enough to fit the bar's mouthful of a name over the door, but if you do manage to squeeze inside, you'll find cozy café tables and a general puppetry theme running throughout. The beer list is pretty impressive, and it's within swooning distance of the Mannekin Pis if the sight of the undersized little boy starts to overwhelm you.

Read more about Poechenellekelder →


In a quiet residential suburb to the south of the center, this basic street corner café is a metro ride or a cab fare away, but beer enthusiasts consider the effort well worth it. Chez Moeder Lambic once claimed to have over 800 different beers in stock. Judging from the beer menu the real number is probably nearer 200, but that's still darned impressive.

Read more about Chez Moeder Lambic →

Upper Town

The Bier Circus is another of those places where the beer menu will make you're head spin if you're not familiar with the country's various brews; the list of around 200 is one of the best choices in the city. Decor is simple – plain wooden furniture, leaving nothing to distract you from the task in hand. The food (mostly steaks) is pretty good too.

Read more about Le Bier Circus →

Lower Town

Close to Grand Place and just off the Petite Rue des Bouchers "restaurant alley", this basic but popular bar is below a puppet theater of the same name. If you want to attend a performance, be comforted by the fact that they are usually in the local Brussels dialect, meaning almost no one can understand what's happening. Several puppets are displayed inside the bar, which also has a good selction of beers.

Read more about Toone →

Elegant, intimate and popular bar on the equally stylish Place du Grand Sablon. This is where locals come to sip an aperitif, and to see and be seen. Space is at a premium however, so a table may not always be available.

Read more about Le Grain de Sable →

Lower Town

Down a narrow alley set back from Rue Tabora, the Bécasse is a no-frills drinking hole with plain wooden chairs and tables and tiled floors. Yet customers flock here to drink the house speciality: sweetened draft lambic beer brewed specially for the bar.

Read more about La Bécasse →

One of central Brussels' oldest bars, this cozy little pub just feels "old" as soon as you walk in. The building dates back to the 17th century and there has been a pub here for more than a century. Popular with visitors and locals alike.

Read more about Au Bon Vieux Temps →

While primarily a beer shop, the small modern bar at the back of this store is also a Mecca for discerning beer lovers. There's no menu as such, just pick one from the shelves (most are available chilled on request), or ask owner Nasser for advice – with a few short questions about likes and dislikes he can be relied upon to recommend something to your taste.

Read more about 400 Bieres Artisanales / Beer Mania →

Lower Town

A relative newcomer on the Brussels bar scene, but gaining popularity with locals and visitors alike. Sit at barrels in the basement of an 18th-century house and soak up the buzzing atmosphere while selecting from the biggest beer menu in Brussels – if not the world. The choice currently runs to 2009 different brews, and a new one is added each year.

Read more about Delirium →