Bruges Journals

Bruges on a plate or Bruges off the (B)eaten Path

A January 2005 trip to Bruges by gourmetbruges

The PAND Hotel Photo, Bruges, Belgium More Photos
Quote: Bruges aka the belly of Flanders.

Bruges on a plate or Bruges off the (B)eaten Path

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Bruges Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Bruges, the Venice of the north, is visited by many each year and they all follow the same path. Although many of us, like me, are convinced we shall visit our destination by the rough guide, we do not always succeed in experiencing the local culture, and in Belgium, local culture means eating. Many visitors want to have a taste of our gourmet. From conversations with tourists, I have learned that this was either a disappointing experience, or they think they incorrectly that had a good experience. Most of the restaurants mentioned in the other journals are rarely visited by locals. Trust me and follow these journal recommendations for a fantastic food experience at m...Read More

The PAND Hotel

Hotel | "Pandhotel"

The PAND Hotel Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
I know the purpose of my journal is to lead people to the best of Bruges at reasonable prices, but this gem had to be listed. It’s probably is one of the most beautifully decorated hotels I know of in the world. Also, this family-run hotel provides the excellent kind of atmosphere that a large chain hotel can never have. If you have the money to spend, do not doubt it for a minute. Between 125 euros-350 euros a night. In the historic center in the neighbourhood of the dyver-canal.www.pandhotel.be.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

The PAND Hotel
Pandreitje 16
Bruges, Belgium 8000
32-50340666

Quote:
Because you can eat out every night in Bruges at a different restaurant, a bed-and-breakfast is an ideal lodging. Villa des Raisins is a boutique bed-and-breakfast, and a 15-minutes walk from the Markt square, which is in the middle of the city, but it is worthwhile.
www.villadesraisins.com

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Villa des Raisins
Torhoutse Steenweg 22
Bruges, Belgium
+3250675899

Number 11

Hotel

Number 11 Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Again this is a jewel of a bed-and-breakfast in the city center not listed with the touroperators. Because you can eat out every night in Bruges at a different restaurant, a bed-and-breakfast is an ideal place for lodging. After that lovely chocolate mousse, you are a safe walk away from home. It costs 115 to 240 euros a night.
http://www.users.pandora.be/number11/index.htm

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Number 11
Peerdenstraat 11
Bruges, Belgium
+32 050330675

Quote:
Have you ever wanted to stay in a small castle and still eat at any restaurant you want to? This is another boutique bed-and-breakfast on the outskirts of the city. Although it is very close, you will need a car to get there. It does not even take 5 minutes by car to get to it, and you can park easily.
www.bloemendale.be

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Kasteel Bloemendale
Bloemendalestraat 8
Bruges, Belgium
+32 50323022

Quote:
This B&B finds itself directly in the city center in an old part of town overlooking the Jerusalem church. The historic sights are really on your doorstep. Nice interior, good prices. Hardly long walks to all important sights. Budget friendly, nicely decorated.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Room with a View
H. Verrieststraat 10-12
Bruges, Belgium
+32 050 33 47 36

Maison Le Dragon Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
This is an exclusive bed-and-breakfast beautifully decorated in a typical Flemish Master's House just next to the Markt and De Dyver. Foreigners do not know of it yet, and you will probably not find it in any tourist guide (yet). If you have the money for it, spend it.
From 150 to 250 euros a night. www.maisonledragon.be

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Maison Le Dragon
Eekhoutstraat 5
Bruges, Belgium
+3250720654

Quote:
Wow, yes, this is another secret address you tourists normally wouldn't find. It's a luxurious B&B in a typical Flemish "Herenhuis" (master's town house) with three royal suites with high-end amenities. You can truly relive the upstairs/downstairs period from foregone centuries. The house is situated on the edge of the historic, egg-shaped city centre in the vicinity of the green parks of the city outer canals. It's a 5-minute walk to all historic sights. The interiors have been decorated by the proprietors, who are antiques dealers.

190 to 220 euros/suite/night
www.brugschesuites.be

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 5, 2005

Brugsche Suites
Koningin Elisabethlaan 20
Bruges, Belgium
(003) 247 380-3153

Eethuis De jonkman

Restaurant

Eethuis De jonkman Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
This is a gem. It is a 16/20 in the Gault Millau, but they only charge pub food prices. You can have a three-course meal for 31 euros! Try that in a city bistro. And furthermore, in my opinion, it is twice the level of any 16/20 Gault Millau restaurant I have been to in France, but that, of course, is true for all the Belgian restaurants classified by French guides. The restaurant is outside the historical centre and hard to find. Take a cab; it is cheap, especially when you are in company. The staff is very, very casual, the chef a real ambassador to our cuisine.

www.ronniejonkman.be

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Eethuis De jonkman
Maalsesteenweg 438
Bruges, Belgium
32 (0)50 36 07 67

Tom's Diner

Restaurant

Quote:
Although it has an easy entry-level and is very casual, this no american-diner style restaurant. The food is a good debut to the Belgian cuisine. Especially in colder months, it is very cosy.

Again, good cuisine goes together with a hard-to-find address.

For a step above this level, try the sister restaurant, Fre's Diner, on the outskirts of the city.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Tom's Diner
West Gistelhof 23
Bruges, Belgium

Fre's Diner

Restaurant

Quote:
Sister restaurant to Tom's Diner.Although the name of the restaurant can fool you it has nothing to do with a diner style restaurant. A step higher than Tom's Diner and a bit more formal, but still casual in a very trendy loft atmosphere.

It's another good restaurant just outside the historical center that you would never find.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Fre's Diner
aan de Dampoort
Bruges, Belgium

Bistro Kok au Vin

Restaurant

Quote:
A new generation of boutique restaurants in Brugge has been popping up like mushrooms in the last months under a bistro label. Indeed, these trendy bistro interiors lower the entrance level for the locals, but they are just fine restaurants trying to attract a new public. Do not let the paper napkins fool you because the level of cuisine is high and they bill accordingly.

The Kok au Vin, with its central position, is easy to reach by foot from any hotel in town. The food is very good, and the hosts are very casual and warm-hearted. Well done.

www.kok-au-vin.be

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Bistro Kok au Vin
Ezelstraat 19
Bruges, Belgium
+3250339521

De Karmeliet

Restaurant

De Karmeliet Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
De Karmeliet is one of Belgium’s three-star Michelin restaurants and is the Mecca for Belgian food lovers, who dream of eating there once in their lifetime. It is top of the top, Belgian cuisine at its finest, and probably the best Belgian restaurant, so that means the best kitchen in the world. It lays not even 5 minutes away by foot from the large medieval market square. Only for real gourmets (150,00 euros/person) and for those who want to sweep their partners off their feet. They offer an introductory menu for 50,000 euro, but this is without the (expensive) wine. This short menu is not served on Friday and Saturday night or on Sunday. Note: Belgians go and eat the short menu for lunch, rarely...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

De Karmeliet
Langestraat 19
Bruges, Belgium
+32 50.33.82.59

Christophe

Restaurant

Quote:
A very small bistro in the historical center, but again, not on the tourist path. It is an evening and NIGHT restaurant, so you can eat amazing food very late. In summeron a hot night, if you can get place on the mini-terrace, you can see the colourful figures enter the gay bar two doors further. Very friendly staff and good food at late hours, when you are strolling around the city, trying to find an address after 9pm.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Christophe
Garenmarkt 34
Bruges, Belgium
+32 (050) 34 48 92

Bistro Pastis

Restaurant

Quote:
A new generation of boutique restaurants in Brugge has been popping up like mushrooms in the last months under a bistro label. Here the prices are moderate.

I myself had a bad fish experience there, although the rest was okay. Nevertheless, their guestbook is filled with congratulatory remarks about the cuisine, and I shall certainly visit them again. This is another good restaurant off the tourist path.

www.pastis.be

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Bistro Pastis
Speelmansrei 8
Bruges, Belgium
+32 (0) 50 341.809

De Florentijnen

Restaurant

De Florentijnen Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
De Florentijnen in the city center, with its magnificent recently restored medieval attic, is run by a young couple who have already succeeded in presenting high standards of quality. They won the Silver Bowlspoon this year, which is a certified gourmet prize. Although I can understand that it can give doubts to some of you when standing at the window and looking at the trendy lounge interior, expecting impossibly high prices, do not fear. Take the three-course Dante menu for €29.50, and you shall have a very good introduction to Belgian cuisine. It is not served on Fridays and Saturdays, but otherwise, you will see that when you think of going to more economically interesting places, you will p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

De Florentijnen
Academiestraat 1
Bruges, Belgium
+32 50/677.533

Bistro De Pompe

Restaurant

Quote:
Okay, this is the best entry restaurant I think there is in Bruges for people who want to try real Belgian cuisine in a very, very casual atmosphere. It is the sister restaurant of the high-end restaurant 't Bezemtje, which I really recommend too. Because of its very high price-to-quality ratio, it has become a big success with tourists since it is on their path. Yet, it is visited by many locals as well. Start with this one and then go up the ladder.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Bistro De Pompe
Kleine St. - Amandstraat 2
Bruges, Belgium
+32 050 616618

Eating Belgian Pralines

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Belgian Praline: best of the best"

Quote:
Okay, we Belgians are among the biggest chocolate-eaters in the world, together with the Swiss, with whom we dispute about who has the best quality chocolate. And yes, I know it is the same story with the French about our cuisine. Now, the chocolate we Belgians die for is Galler, Wittamer (which you cannot get in Bruges), and Neuhaus, who all just happen to have the right to carry the royal warrant as furnishers to the royal court. Always a guarantee for exquisite quality, even for the most republican among us. They are above all competitors, especially when it comes to freshness of the pralines. Just because Neuhaus, like Cartier or Rolex, has stores around the globe, it doesn’t mean that they ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Eating Belgian Pralines
Throughout Brugge
Bruges, Belgium

Eating Authentic Belgian Waffles Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Mother Siska in the seaside resort of Knokke, 20 minutes from Bruges, was world-famous for her waffles, and now her children set her work further, each in their own waffle restaurant-all located next to one another in the coastal city of Knokke.

If you have to make a choice between one of her children, go to Marie Siska-getting there is the perfect and original trip for young children and a unique opportunity to visit our coast. It’s preferable to go in summer, so the children can play in the kid’s garden or in the sand, whilst you can see and be seen in the English-style garden. Go to the beach, too.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 18, 2004

Eating Authentic Belgian Waffles
Marie Siska
Bruges, Belgium

B.IN

Attraction | "Lounging"

Quote:
The hippest places to be in Bruges change from year to year, even from season to season, so it's often hard to keep track of the hip crowd. The newest place in town now is the B-IN club in the centre of town, in the Mariastraat near 38. Not easily found, it lays next to the medieval St. Janshospitaal, in the shadow of the Church of Our Lady. This lounge bar is soooo hot at the moment (so hot that rumors have started that it is already almost past its peak). It is a lounge/club concept with a restaurant, coffee room, and lounge area where they play the coolest music. The chef and his wife both graduated from Belgium's top cooking schools, Ter Duinen and Spermalie. Furthermore, the chef has earned his s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2004

B.IN
Mariastraat 38
Bruges, Belgium

The Chocolate Line

Attraction

Quote:
Look at my Belgian Praline entry in my journal "Bruges of the (B)Eaten Path." The Chocolate Line make authentic pralines in an artisanal way with a specialty for perfumed Chocolates like Wittamer in Brussels.

As a reminder about artisanal chocolates: avoid pralines (like Guylian) that are not sold in a Ballotin, like in supermarkets--only buy at chocolatiers. It is not that the prepacked flat plastic-box ones are a hazard for public health, of course. You can probably get them in your home country as well. But have you never wondered how an Italian thinks of our dried carton-boxed pasta, even if they are of Italian origin?

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2005

The Chocolate Line
Simon Stevinplein 19
Bruges, Belgium

The Choice

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Especially when it comes to the world-famous Belgian food culture, I often have pity on visitors to Bruges who make the same mistakes, time after time, when I see them trying to experience our good cuisine. Belgians love their food, and we talk about it like the English talk about the weather. Bruges has been called the belly of Flanders because of its very high quantity of high-rated restaurants and bistros in guides like Michelin and Gault Millau. This does not mean you can only eat expensively. On the contrary, it is superior on every expense level, but we rarely eat or drink at the places where you can see all the visitors in large masses, thinking they have found that special Belgian cuisine plac...Read More