As elsewhere on Grand Place, the drinks at the "King of Spain" are heavily overpriced, and the food – classic Belgian favourites such as waterzooi – slightly overvalued, but the address and location speak for themselves. Occupying a late 17th-century building that was once the Baker's guild house, the décor – all wood-paneled walls and an open fire in winter – is as grand as it gets, and was restored to its original state more than a century ago.
You can't fault the name of this elegant café, located in a grand 19th-century building with white walls and polished wooden floors. Come here for breakfast, a light lunch of salads or sandwiches, or to drink afternoon tea.
Founded in the 1920s and still owned by the same family, this elegant café-restaurant serves great Belgian meat and fish classics, and boasts a fine beer menu to boot. Tourists sit on the terrace on summer afternoons to dine under the lime trees in sight of Ste Catherine church. In the evenings the clientele in the cozy interior becomes more local and more arty.
At the back of Frederic Blondeel's minimalist and chic chocolate store is a small café. Come here for afternoon tea or coffee. Biscuits and cakes are available, but the best choice is to dive straight in and select from uniquely flavored chocolates that might contain anything from basil to cardamom or chili. Homemade ice cream is also available in spring and summer (in slightly more conventional varieties).
Modern wood furnishings and walls hung with arty photographs of iconic Brussels sights create a stylish atmosphere right on the Grand Place. Simple but delicious salads, pasta, sandwiches and quiches are served all day from breakfast to dinner. Given the decor and the location you'd expect the prices to be much higher than they are, but be prepared for a pleasant surprise.
One of the city's trendiest cafés, built in Art Deco style. At lunchtimes it's a popular café serving a decent but unsurprising range of soups, rolls and salads. In the evening, particularly on weekends, the music cranks up and the bar gets packed to the rafters with hip locals looking to have a good time.
A little out of town in the southeastern district of Uccle, this brasserie is highly sought-after and very popular with discerning local diners, who flock here for café dining that is a cut above the average. You are more likely to be ordering lobster and oysters here than burger and fries. Eat in the Belle Epoque dining room or out on the leafy terrace in summer.
Located in the Centre de la Bande Dessinée, this lunch-only café-bistro enjoys a fabulous Art Nouveau setting created (as the name suggests) by Victor Horta in 1906. The menu is very reasonably priced and features a daily special for 9.50 alongside salads, pasta dishes, meat and fish mains, and also Belgian café standards such as Filet Américain (steak tartare). Note that for hot meals, the kitchen closes at 3pm (3.30pm at weekends).