11 Great Coffee Spots in Brussels

I was a bit sceptic when I re-moved to Brussels. I lived here four years ago, for two months and to be honest, I wasn’t a big fan. It was grey, rainy and not very exciting. To be fair, though, I wasn’t in town for a single weekend, escaping to Berlin, Paris or Maastricht whenever I could.

This has now changed. I’m “stuck” here for a bit longer and I don’t mind this at all. I have started looking for cafés, restaurants, bars and other nice places and I was quite surprised what Brussels has to offer.

I arrived to Brussels two months ago, so there is still a lot to tick off from my to-do list, but here comes a little pre taste of all the nice places that you can find in town.

Those places are sometimes coffee-only, but most of the time they offer great cakes or breakfast, too.

1. Livingroom:
For once, this is not a place I have discovered by myself, even though it’s right on my way to work, which makes it VERY hard to resist from getting a coffee here every morning (but well, it’s an investment in human capital; coffee = less grumpy, not tired and more productive…at least that’s what I tell myself). But it’s not all about coffee and food here, it’s also about furniture, dishes and design..because almost everything that you can see here is also for sale!

Great coffee and man, I don’t know who or what is baking their cookies and cakes but he or she does an amazing job! My all-time-favourite is the white-chocolate-matcha cookie…heaven in your mouth!! All the other cakes and treats that I have tried so far were delicious, too, so better order yourself a piece or you will regret it your entire life!

The café is spread onto two floors, downstairs being more cozy with sofas and armchairs while upstairs is better suited for those of you looking for some alone-time between you and your laptops. People working here are always very nice, attentive and happy to talk to you while preparing the perfect cappuccino to give you a good start into the day.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

2. Café Capitale:
Café Capitale has several locations around Brussels, roasts their own coffee and also sells very good cakes. I went to the one in Marolles, close to the antique market on Place du Jeu de Balle and to the one close to the Grand Sablon, both rather small and cozy, but as far as I know the third one is quite big.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

3. Café du Sablon:
Café du Sablon is the first café I went to when I arrived in Brussels. It immediately won my heart – cozy, nice seating with comfy armchairs, chandeliers and just the right size. It’s a perfect mix, between hipsterish and classic place, meaning that you can take your parents, your lover or your friend here for a relaxed coffee break. This place belongs to the Café Capitale “chain”, so that’s where coffee is from.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

4. Or Espresso Bar:
Or Espresso has cafés in two different locations in Brussels; one is in the city center close to the Saint Catherine church and the shopping and more touristy areas, whereas the other one is on Place Jourdaan, close to the European Quarter. Great coffee, roasted by ‘OR’ themselves.

They also offer daily changing filter coffees and the menu for these read like a wine menu (“taste of cherries and dark chocolate, or flowery apricot flavor..and and and..”). The coffee beans are usually bought directly from farmers and they also offer barista classes (yep, on my wish list!). Haven’t tried any of their pastries yet, but their coffee is always worth a detour on my way to work.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

Good to know: Place Jourdan 13a, 1040 Etterbeek, Website: orcoffee.be

5. Fika Coffee:
Fika in Swedish means to have coffee, most of the time accompanied by pastries, like cinnamon rolls or others. This little café, which gets quite crowded during weekends, sells great coffee, Swedish cinnamon rolls, different cakes and little pastries. They get their coffee from Café Capitale and April Coffee Roasters in Copenhagen. I didn’t have cake, but my friend tried the marbled one, which apparently was a bit dry but besides that tasteful.

Seating options are rather limited and not super cozy I would say, but still the place is nice for meeting with a friend. It’s located in the area Ixelles, close to Place Saint-Boniface, worth a look. And don’t forget to look at the floor at Fika, the tiles are beautiful!

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

6. La Petite Production:
This one, in fact, is a brunch place, but I had to include it, because it’s also worth to come here just for a coffee. The owner, Laurent, isn’t only as well the owner of ‘My Little Cup’, a coffee place that you can find further down on my to-do list, but also a good friend of the owners of ‘Holybelly’ in the 10th arrondissement in Paris, one of my absolute favourite brunch spots.

Anyways, come here for a nice cup of coffee, sit at the big wooden table in the middle of the room and if you happen to have some space left in your belly, order some pancakes. I can recommend the ones with two fried eggs and bacon on top, drizzled with maple syrup. All ingredients are local and fresh, but more on that in another post…

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, breakfast around 8-14€

I came here initially, to try their donuts and cream puffs. Then I got positively surprised by their delicious, strong, tasteful coffee that you can enjoy either downstairs or upstairs in a very, very cosy atmosphere, almost forgetting you’re in a city and imagining yourself in a weekend house, far away. I had their mont blanc chou and a cappuccino, which was just what I needed after a Sunday lunch. The café is in Saint Gilles, a nice area for a Sunday walk.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

Good to know: Avenue Jean Volders 46, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Website: chouconut.com

Hinterland is a place to visit when you’re craving a good sandwich, coffee AND (I finally found a place in Brussels for that) matcha latte. As you can tell from its name, its interior looks like a cabin in the woods, dark wood everywhere, minimalistic details (if any) and that fireplace feeling, although there is no fireplace. Order at the bar, grab one of the magazines lying around for you to read while enjoying your coffee.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

Maison Renardy:
Maison Renardy is the place to bring your in-laws. Classic, not too loud, great tea, coffee AND hot chocolate. You can choose between dark and lighter chocolate and don’t forget to order a piece of homemake lemon or cheesecake with it, or as I did, a cannele bordelais.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

Boulangerie Charli:
This place is rather a bakery, specialised in fine patisserie and delicious bread, but they serve good coffee, too. I had a cappuccino and with it a Tarte Tatin, a very traditional French cake. Loved it! They sell different kinds of breads, sourdough, with grains, with dried fruits and, and, and…perfect for bread-lovers like me.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

Caffè Italiano:
A very authentic Italian place, serving lunch, pastries and coffee. Simple interior, very nice staff and good coffee – that’s all I need in the morning.

Price Range: Coffee around 2,5-4€, cookies and cakes around 3-5€

My to-do list:

My Little Cup 
Cup 28
MOK Specialty Coffee Roastery & Bar
Café Velvet
Parlor Coffee Roasters
Belga & Co

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