Cafe culture: Our pick of the best museum food in Brussels

Museums around the city are proving to be a foodie destination in their own right with delicious menus and healthy snacks.

From coffee and cake to a healthy lunch or classic fare, why not enjoy fine food and a great exhibition? Many cultural venues in Belgium are now pulling in punters based on the quality of their catering services. Discover some of the top museum restaurant-cafes serving food that’s an attraction in itself.

Comic Strip Museum
Hidden down a quiet side street, the Comic Strip Museum is one of the city’s secret places. It occupies a spectacular Art Nouveau department store designed by Victor Horta. The Horta Brasserie on the ground floor is a typical Belgian cafe-restaurant with mirrors, columns and high ceilings. It’s a good place to stop for a Belgian stoemp (mashed potato and veg) and a cold Brussels beer

While many tourists flock to Brussels’ Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) to peruse its 7,000 instruments stacked over five floors of a neoclassical complex, a significant majority of sightseers instead take the elevator straight to the top of ‘Old England’ to experience the museum’s renowned sixth floor: its restaurant and cafe. Tourists can take in the breathtaking views of the capital as well as the elegance of the Art Nouveau building from the terrace around the dome. There’s no need to pay an entrance fee to access the top floor, but you might be coaxed into ordering some carbonnade flamande to take in the view a little longer.

Occupying the interior courtyard of this elegant 18th-century townhouse, the Green Kitchen restaurant is a garden sanctuary in the busy museum quarter of Place des Palais. While the museum is devoted to Belgium’s national history, the restaurant menu features a self-service salad bar (priced according to weight), soups, sandwiches and hot dishes. Favouring fresh seasonal produce, it’s perfect for vegetarians and healthy eaters. At weekends and holidays, there’s a brunch menu and if you’re visiting the museum, show your entrance ticket and benefit from a meal package for breakfast, lunch or tea.

This article first appeared in The Bulletin Best of Belgium 2016

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