Where to Eat in Bruges

As you’d expect from a city known for romance, Bruges has plenty of classically smart restaurants. The city isn’t all about formality and tradition though. Bruges chefs are looking to the future too and using new techniques like molecular gastronomy.

It’s all helped the city to develop a great reputation for its food. It now has 16 Michelin stars, one of the highest concentrations in the world when you consider the size of the place. This includes two three-star restaurants, De Karmeliet on Langestraat and Loppemsestraat’s Hertog Jan, which both serve French-style fine dining.

If you’re feeling romantic, try Park Restaurant on Minderbroedersstraat, which is an unstuffy but elegant converted mansion house with an excellent tasting menu and helpful staff. Pomperlut is on the same street, an atmospheric 17th century cottage that will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale with its décor of wooden mushrooms, antique chandeliers and giant fireplaces. With only 20 diners at a time you need to book in advance for dishes like scallop carpaccio and red mullet with strawberry and basil. Another historic gem is Langestraat’s Pro Deo, which serves traditional Belgian cuisine in a building that dates back to 1562 and is next door to one of Bruges’ old city gates.

You’ll also find a good selection of more relaxed places to eat in Bruges, like De Stove on Kleine Sint-Amandsstraat. This restaurant’s been managed by the same owners for over 20 years and is known for its fish, which comes from Zebrugge just along the coast. You’ll find the local speciality grey shrimp on the menu, as well as brill, cod and monkfish. For a change from Belgian-French cuisine, Wollestraat’s Olive Tree specialises in Greek food with fresh ingredients and authentic recipes.

Make sure you don’t miss the city’s wonderful street food too. You can find some of the best waffles at Chez Albert on Breidelstraat, and Vlamingstraat’s quirky Frietmuseum says it has the world’s best fries in a museum devoted to the history of potatoes.