Last Updated on January 20, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow
It’s been a while since my last vegan travel post, but here it is, and it’s about how to be vegan in Brussels, Belgium. By now you already know that my favorite place to look up vegan and vegan-friendly places when traveling is HappyCow. And there are quite a few listings to check out if you spend at least a day in Brussels.
The obvious favorites in Brussels are waffles, fries, and chocolate, so I was hoping to find vegan versions of them. As we only spent one night in Brussels, it wasn’t possible to try out a lot of places, however.
Unfortunately, some of the stuff that I had found online wasn’t open by the time we arrived Saturday afternoon. Due to the city’s role as the de facto capital of the European Union, the city is a lot busier during the week than on weekends. I was a bit disappointed, but these are the things that make you go back to a place, right? Anyway, here are the best places to eat vegan in Brussels.
Vegan Chocolate in Brussels
You can’t travel as a vegan in Brussels and not try Belgian chocolate. Laurent Gerbaud is a chocolatier with a sweet little place not far from the Old Town. Upon entering, the owner himself greeted us. He later also cleaned our table. Refreshingly down to earth.
I had my first ever vegan hot chocolate with soy milk. Of course, due to the dark chocolate, it was quite bitter, a bit too much so for my taste. But it was lovely to be able to sit outside in Brussels on the last weekend of winter. With a hot chocolate, not at all missing out on things non-vegans do. After the hot chocolate, we looked around the lovely store where they had many different chocolates on display.
I purchased several vegan ones that I ate when we got back to our apartment. And let me tell you, they were miles ahead of any other chocolate I’ve ever had. Vegan chocolate from a Belgian chocolatier is exactly as good as one would hope. As of 2020, it appears that about 90% of the chocolates by Laurent Gerbaud are vegan. So this is the place to go if you’re a vegan in Brussels.
Rue Ravenstein 2d. Open Monday to Sunday 10:30 am to 8 pm.
Vegan Food on the Go in Brussels
The next day, on the way to the airport we stopped by the train station to get something from a chain called EXKi. They specialize in organic fast food and have a few vegan options. I got some nice sandwiches with green lentil paste for the trip. Definitely a great little snack to have during the day.
There are several EXKi stores all over Brussels. And since they’re a chain I expect the options and service to be pretty similar in all of them. So as a vegan in Brussels this is a quick option when you’re out and about. Sometimes, fully vegan places are not easy to come by. Check out my seven tips for vegan travelers to help you with such situations.
Gare du Midi. Open Monday to Friday 6:30 am to 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday 7:30 am to 8 pm.
If you think that doesn’t sound like a lot to eat on a weekend I have to make a confession. There was an accidental slip-up. I was sure that fries would be vegan so I went along when my partner found a popular place for fries. The line was really long which seemed to confirm the positive reviews. So we patiently waited in line. I ordered fries without any condiment because I wasn’t really in the mood to ask if they had vegan options. What can I say? My first Belgian fries were really good, although the portion was much too big.
Unfortunately, when I got back from Brussels I found out that Belgian fries are usually not vegan. I sent a message to the place we got our fries from, and they confirmed that they use beef fat. This goes to show that you can’t trust your common sense to figure out if something is vegan. If there’s no vegan label be sure to check with somebody before ordering. (This is one of the reasons I created an extensive guide on being vegan in Greece after noticing how many people mistake certain dishes for vegan.)
I know there are some vegan eateries in Brussels that make vegan fries. But as of 2020, there doesn’t seem to be a fully vegan place that specializes in fries. Please let me know if there is one! It would be amazing to try some fries as a vegan in Brussels.
Places I Look Forward To
In order to make this post more valuable to you if you’re a vegan in Brussels, I’m also adding a few places I haven’t yet been to myself but which look really great. As you can see, many of these places opened only recently so the vegan scene in Brussels is definitely growing. It’s really great to see that it’s now even easier to be vegan in Brussels. I would love to go back sometime and try these out:
Veg’hip: This vegan snack bar opened in the summer of 2020 and offers bowls, wraps, and vegan caviar! The reviews online are excellent, and the photos look incredible! Rue du Bailli 30. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday also 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Le Botaniste: This vegan café and wine bar has two locations established in 2018 and 2019 and offers starters, soups, salads, and bowls. The reviews for both locations are great. Rue du Bailli 10. Open Monday to Sunday 11 am to 10 pm. Rue Franklin 2. Open Monday to Saturday 11 am to 10 pm.
Be Nuts: This vegan café opened in 2019 and focuses on hot beverages as well as cakes and cookies. But they do make salads, soups, and sandwiches as well. The reviews are excellent, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of space. Rue de la Victoire 232. Open Friday to Wednesday 10 am to 7 pm.
Beykoz: Another place that only opened in 2020, this fully vegan Turkish street food stall makes çiğ köfte, vegan köfte, and falafel. If you know me you know that I love çiğ köfte, a street food that is always vegan nowadays. The reviews are great, but I probably wouldn’t order falafel here since that’s not a Turkish dish. Chaussée de Haecht 137. Open Monday to Thursday and Saturday 12:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Friday 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Sunday 1:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Buddy Buddy: This vegan café opened in 2019 and makes breakfast, croissants, cookies, toasts, and curry. They also sell their own nut butters which get rave reviews. But I was already sold when I saw the croissants. Rue de Drapiers 10. Open Monday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm.
Copper Branch: This appears to be a vegan Canadian chain with two locations in Brussels. Most of the food is fast food from burgers to sandwiches and… poutine! I’d go solely to try the vegan poutine! Square Frères Orban 9. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm. Nieuwstraat 123. Open Monday to Saturday 9 am to 7 pm.
Green House: This raw vegan restaurant was established in 2019 and is on the pricey side. The reviews are a bit mixed though none of them are actually bad. Rue Lesbroussart 120. Open Sunday to Thursday 11:30 am to 2 pm, 6 pm to 9 pm.
Le Poisson sans Bicyclette: This feminist vegan restaurant only opens twice a month and on special events, but I’m always looking for feminist vegan spots. Rue Josaphat 253. Check their website to find out when they are open.
Les 4 Jeudis: This was one of the restaurants I wanted to try that wasn’t open on weekends so I hope I will be able to visit next time. The food is vegan, gluten-free, and organic, the reviews are excellent, plus the photos are mouthwatering. Rue du Marteau 36a. Open Monday to Friday 12 pm to 3 pm.
Liu Lin: This vegan Asian restaurant opened in 2019 and offers an array of East and South East Asian dishes like noodle soups, curries, and dumplings. The reviews are outstanding, the food looks delicious, and the location looks really pretty, too. Rue Haute 20. Open Wednesday to Sunday 12 pm to 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm to 9 pm.
Lucifer Lives: Another vegan café which only opened in the summer of 2020, this place focuses on sandwiches and cakes and offers brunch on weekends. Everything looks super tasty, and the reviews are great, too. Rue Haute 120. Open Wednesday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 5 pm.
Mo Mo: This Tibetan restaurant serves dumplings and soups and apparently went vegan a few months ago. Please let me know if you can confirm this! The food looks really good and judging by the reviews it really is. Avenue des Villas 7. Open Tuesday to Friday 11 am to 3:30 pm, 7 pm to 10 pm, Saturday 10:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Recyclart: This spot only turned vegan in 2020 and is located outside of the city center. It’s actually part of an arts and events center meaning you can combine it with some local activity away off the tourist track. Manchesterstraat 13-15. Open Wednesday to Friday 12 pm to 3 pm, Thursday also 6 to 9 pm.
Oscar Vegan: This vegan shop sells eco-friendly products as well as vegan meat and cheese. But they also make pizza and cakes which look absolutely incredible. Rue Bouré 6. Open Wednesday to Saturday 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday 10 am to 2 pm.
Succulente: This is a fully vegan bakery that offers breads and pastries and has outstanding reviews. The photos make me want to book a flight to Brussels immediately. Rue Docteur Huet 108. Open Wednesday to Friday 7 am to 6:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7 am to 1 pm.
Symbiose Marché Bio: If you prefer to self-cater then this vegan, organic, zero waste shop is probably going to be the right place for you. They sell legumes, pasta, and grains, fresh produce, nut butters, oils and herbs and spices, but also soaps. Avenue des Saisons 82. Open Monday to Friday 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday 11 am to 6 pm.
V.gan: Another shop for vegan products (packages foods, personal care products, even a few clothing items) for self caterers. Avenue du Roi Chevalier 47. Open Friday to Wednesday 8 am to 8 pm.
VeganWaf: I wish this place had been open when I was in Brussels, but at least if you’re reading this now you can include a stop at this vegan and gluten-free waffle shop. Most reviews are really good though there are a few people who are not too happy with the waffles. Best to try and make up your own mind. Galerie Agora 48. Open Wednesday to Monday 11 am to 7:30 pm.
Vegasme: Another vegan and organic shop selling vegan meat, cheese, produce, cereals, and personal care products. You can also get food for takeaway during the week. Chaussée de Waterloo 367. Open Tuesday to Friday 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm.
To Sum Things Up
This trip wasn’t as vegan-friendly as I expected it to be. I had thought being vegan in Brussels would be similar to other Western European cities. But I think due to the fact that we were only there for a weekend which is a quiet time for Brussels we missed out on a lot of options. I’d love to check out the city and all the spots that are vegan in Brussels during the week.
But with that said, I have to say that the chocolates really made up for everything. They were so good, and my only regret is not having bought even more!
What about you? Have you ever accidentally eaten something non-vegan expecting it to be vegan?