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Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is the political and administrative hub of Europe. It hosts the headquarters of several institutions of the European Union, such as the European Council, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.
The city is a cosmopolitan metropolis where gastronomy plays a critical role in the worlds of diplomacy and deal-making. Its outstanding restaurants are frequented by influential politicians from all over Europe–and the world–who work and reside in the city.
Some of the most famous and exciting restaurants in Brussels are located in the city center. One of them is Kamo, in Chaussee de Waterloo, awarded with a Michelin star and considered one of the best Japanese restaurants in the city. It boasts an excellent sushi bar and is noted for its sophistication and refined cuisine, respectful of traditional Japanese gastronomy. Especially noteworthy are its unique and very well executed sashimis, simple but gorgeous bowls of rice with raw fish, as well as the tuna maki. And to end a superb meal, nothing could be better than a black sesame ice cream.
Bon Bon is located at number 453 of the Avenue de Tervuren. Awarded two Michelin stars, it is considered one of the best restaurants in town. The gorgeous eatery is frequently visited by European politicians, but you must book well in advance, as is almost always full.
Chef Christophe Hardiquest displays his sensitivity through dishes that express the conceptual exchange of different European cuisines, making each of his creations real masterpieces of modern gastronomy. The restaurant is set in a beautiful old villa, and in summer, the terrace offers a friendly, lively atmosphere. The restaurant also has an impressive wine list and impeccable service.
The busy Place Rouppe is one of the most popular restaurants in Brussels–also with two Michelin stars. Comme Chez Soi is managed with a firm and steady hand by Laurence and Lionel Rigolet. Located in an elegant old house, it combines a subtle blend of charm and character thanks to a beautiful art nouveau decor. A magnificent window provides natural light in the dining room while we have access to an observation point that offers views of the bustling activity that takes place in its sophisticated kitchen where chefs are busy creating exotic and creative dishes.
On the other hand, Brussels also features great examples of international cuisines, such as the Greek restaurant Notos, located at the elegant Rue de Livorne number 154. Its owner is Chef Constantin Erinkoglou, who— after studying sociology in Strasbourg—completed his career at the College of Europe in Bruges and worked as a missions expert for the European Commission until he realized that his great passion was cooking. His restaurant serves traditional Greek fare with creative touches and with clear Mediterranean, Eastern, and Balkan references.
And if you want to know what the Belgians eat, just take a lovely walk to the beautiful Grand Place–in the heart of the city–and enjoy some of its old taverns the famous mussels served in large pots, accompanied by fries and a cold domestic beer. ■