Brussels is for lovers… of food

In our transition from France to Scotland, we arranged a five day layover in Brussels. We arrive in Brussels via the train from Paris. With such a short stay in Brussels, we mainly only had time to hit the highlights; Manneken Pis, Belgian waffles, and chocolate being at the top of the list.

The diminutive yet ever popular Manneken Pis.

Manneken Pis has been a long-term fascination due to my father-in-law’s history visiting the statue and having his own copy at the house since before I knew him. The crowd outside the statue was large but not overwhelming. We were perhaps visiting during a off-peak time. We collected the required photos to share with family and set off to explore further.

Nearby to the statue are the standard variety of tourist accompaniments, selling souvenirs and food items. We were particularly intrigued by the waffles available from several nearby vendors. The Belgian liege waffles are a delight and are served with a range of toppings. Though I might argue that eating them plain is more than worth it. Most of the varieties shown below are sold for 6€ at the nearest stands, though it you travel a little further away from the tourist center, the prices drop a little.

Liege waffles for sale near Manneken Pis sold with a variety of toppings.

We very much enjoyed the pedestrian only streets that surround the downtown tourist areas. This made it quite a bit easier to get around the area and see the available restaurants and shops.

A cone of frites served with dipping sauce.

We quickly realized that frites were a specialty of the area and we made sure to stop at one of the street side shops to get a cone for a snack. They were quite good and widely available. While wandering around we also passed by several shops selling all sorts of sweets and treats. We purchased some truffles for ourselves but held back from the baklava, which was very tempting.

We inadvertently happened across a sign advertising Jeanneke Pis, a much younger and less popular Brussels statue. We made our way down the small alleyway to find the statue, though it was thoroughly locked behind a gate and turned off.

We really enjoyed our visit to Brussels and by staying in an AirBnB in Anderlecht, we were able to find accommodations that were a little cheaper, but yet only a short ride on the subway from all of the tourist sites in central Brussels.

Published by devinberg

Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

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