Belgian Specialities

A few of the highlights and national specialities...

  • Smoutebollen: A fried pastry served hot on street stalls especially at fairs and festivals
  • Boudin Blanc & Boudin Noir: Blood sausages (French influenced) made by artisans
  • Waterzooi: This is a soup with added chicken or fish to make it into a meal. A delicacy from Ghent
  • Belgian fries: Famous worldwide as French Fries although they originate in Belgium. Sold from mobile stands known as fry shacks (frietkot)
  • Vlaamse Stovery or La Carbonade Flamande: Beef stew cooked in beer. A traditional dish, with every family having their own unique variation and recipe handed down through the generations. Usually cooked with a rich dark beer. Served with fries or boiled potatoes and more beer
  • Endives: These delicious white vegetables were discovered in Belgium in 1830, and the Belgians call them White Gold. The country produces tons every year and they are used in many dishes
  • Gauffres (Waffles): A true Belgian waffle is baked using special waffle irons. There are two types: the Brussels and the Liège waffle. The Brussels waffle is rectangular in shape, golden brown on the outside and eaten with a knife and fork. It is often served with sugar, whipped cream, ice-cream, strawberries and chocolate. The Liège waffle is denser in texture, has a burnt sugar coating on the outside and is served by street vendors throughout the country
  • Paling in't groen: (eels with vegetables and herbs). This is a traditional Flemish dish
  • Choesels: Another traditional Flemish dish of offal cooked in Lambic beer
  • Moules frites: Mussels and chips, as popular in Belgium as it is in France
  • Potatoes: These are eaten in many forms, including stuffed baked potatoes and potato croquettes, as well as fries. Mashed potatoes flavoured with caramelised onions or spinach are popular
  • Cheese: This relatively small country boasts 165 different types of cheese

Markets are a good place to find regional produce and traditional foods. From early December the Christmas markets (particularly in Bruges, Brussels, Liège and Antwerp) sell lots of local foods.

A number of companies offer culinary tours, taking in breweries, chocolate factories and top restaurants.

Belgian Chocolate

Belgium is known internationally for its chocolates, especially for pralines (filled with cream, nuts or rich dark chocolate, and covered with milk or white chocolate). The Belgians produce a massive 172,000 tons of chocolate per year. There are over 2,000 chocolate shops, and many factories and shops allow guided tours or tastings.

  • A chocolate festival is held annually in Bruges/Brugge in April and May, for details: Click here