5 Cheap Eats in Brussels

Budget-Friendly in the Belgian Capital

brussels map
James Martin

Brussels can be tough on the wallet. But even in touristy, central areas, budget eateries flourish. Here are some notable cheap eats in the city:

1. Fritland
49 rue Henri Maus
Let's clear up one thing. The French may have been unfairly credited, but it's really the Belgians who invented the culinary perfection that is frites. And they know how to make fries like no other. In the heart of (touristy) Brussels, you'll find this excellent frietkot, or fries stand, that serves fries in all shapes.
Try the mayo, not ketchup, as it is the choice condiment in Belgium.

2. Noordzee / Mer du Nord
Place St. Catherine
A fishmongers in trendy St. Catherine also serves seafood that is grilled, poached, fried or however the cook's whimsy inspired him. It's super crowded--for a good reason. Grab one of the outside tables where you stand, and dine with a fashionable crowd.

3. Chaochow City
Boulevard Anspach 89-91
If you want to eat very cheaply, go straight to this Chinese restaurant. In the shopfront looking out to the bustling sidewalk, diners choose from a respectable selection of dishes. Daily specials are as low as €3.50 for lunch and €5.20 for dinner. And before you dismiss it as a poor fast food substitute, watch the busloads of Chinese tourists coming in to eat here as well.

4. Mr. Falafel
Lemonnierlaan 53
Really good falafels prepared right before your eyes for €4--but that's not the end of it.
After you get your falafels, you fix your sandwich at the salad bar yourself. Load up on the fixings and sauce as much (and often) as you want. It's a steal.

5. Msemen at a food stall
Gare du Midi market, Avenue Fonsny
Brussels has a sizable North African population, and you have to look no further than the bustling Gare du Midi market to see the proof.
Follow the comforting smell of cooking oil and mint tea, and you'll find a popular stall serving Msemen, or stuffed Moroccan crepe. A huge portion goes for €2.50.
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