Every train ride starts with a cup of coffee and an almond croissant. I used to swing by Starbucks before getting on board but Le Pain Quotidien has officially conquered my heart.
My dream is to visit every single capital in the world. I know, it's crazy and almost impossible but you have to start somewhere right? So what better way to start fulfilling that dream than jumping on the train with your friend and visit your own capital city first? Sure I'd been to Brussels quite a few times but more for the sake of a concert than for the beauty of the city. Never had I seen Brussels through the eyes of a tourist.
The evening before we left for our "big trip", I got together with my Moleskine-Brussels-travel-notebook and wrote down as many addresses as possible. You don't want to visit a city without anywhere to go to.
"The Pistolet is not dangerous, you don’t need a licence to try one ! The Pistolet is a small, crispy “dented” roll from Belgium, with a deliciously soft crumb. Its name comes from the old coin, the “pistole”. It can be found throughout Belgium — it’s only how we eat it that varies."
I had been to Le Pistolet Original a few times before and knew that it was worth writing about. I dragged my friend out there and luckily she agreed. This is definitely a must-visit in Brussels if you're up for breakfast/lunch or a snack based around the "pistolet". Almost everything on the menu consists of a pistolet (as it should be) with any topping. What can I say? The interior is beautiful, the food is delicious, the staff is super friendly and the tea is lovely. They also sell Belgian delicacies such as tea, beer, cookies and much more. (We both got "Le Pistolet Perdu" and a "Tea BXL")
Next, we went vintage shopping at Melting Pot Kilo. A shop that has recently changed locations and looks even better than before (yes, I had been there before too). One thing you won't come across in this shop are price tags. Not because everything is so expensive that the prices are on request but because the price depends on the weight of your item. You simply take the piece of clothing you're interested in and place it on the scales. You pay €15 per kilo, which is very reasonable. I got a coat and a jacket for only €25!
Whenever I'm in Brussels I seem to run into this cute little shop where you'll find all sorts of gadgets, postcards and a couple books. Although it's a tiny space, it'll keep you busy for hours. You just can't stop looking at all those beautiful postcards. These are not your average touristic ugly edited postcards. It was hard to get my selection down to only two postcards. Since it's quiet near to the Central Station I don't see why you wouldn't visit Plaizier.
Since Episode has left Antwerp quite a while ago, we have to go all the way to Brussels for vintage shopping. Last time visiting Episode, I found the boots of my life (which have become unwearable) and an orange cashmere sweater (that becomes smaller and smaller every time it comes out of the laundry). I was quite disappointed when I ended up buying only a backpack, but oh well, I guess my bank account is proud.
I can't describe the feeling I got when I saw Manhattn's sign hanging out after walking half an hour through rain and wind on Avenue Louise. I can't describe the feeling I got when I admired the interior design. I can't describe the feeling I got when I read the menu. I can't describe the feeling I got when the knop coaster lit up and I most certainly can't describe the feeling I got when I had my first bite of the Empire Cheeseburger. This is hands down my favorite restaurant in Brussels. The burgers are so damn good and the way they are served is on point. Anyone who's been to New York before knows that they got it right. The staff is also super nice and knows what they're talking about. We actually ended up chit-chatting with one of the owners for quite some time! Going back there as soon as possible!
Yes, more food. I mean what did you expect? I'm so happy that I wrote down God Save the Cream's address because it's very well hidden in a small street you'd probably ever take. From now on you should walk through "Rue de Stassart", and make a quick stop at number 131 for the best tea ever and gluten free pastries. I couldn't imagine a better shelter for the rain. I had my first carrot cake ever (yes I am sold) and a cup of tea. I actually ended up buying a bag of tea to take a little bit of Brussels with me to my hometown.
My next citytrip will be to Amsterdam. If you got any recommendations, shoot!