Must-see nightlife in Brussels

  • Brasserie de la Renaissance

    Brasserie de la Renaissance


    This grand café has a single, high-ceilinged room whose walls sport a ludicrously ornate load of gilt stucco tracery. Despite the grandeur, drinks are…

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    Le Cirio


    This sumptuous 1886 grand café dazzles with polished brasswork and aproned waiters, yet prices aren’t exorbitant and coiffured mesdames with small dogs…

  • Moeder Lambic interior

    Chez Moeder Lambic


    An institution. Behind windows plastered with beer stickers, this tattered, quirky old café is the ultimate beer spot in Brussels. Sample some of its…

  • Goupil Le Fol

    Goupil le Fol


    Overwhelming weirdness hits you as you acid-trip your way through this sensory overload of rambling passageways, ragged old sofas and inexplicable…

  • A l'Image de Nostre-Dame cafe.

    A l'Imaige de Nostre-Dame


    Down a tiny hidden alley from Rue du Marché aux Herbes 5, Nostre-Dame has an almost medieval feel but retains a genuine local vibe. A magical old café…

  • Puppets aren't just for children in the downstairs pub of Brussels' Theatre de Toone where puppeteers put on works by Aristophanes and Shakespeare, the theatre was established in 1830



    At the home to Brussels’ classic puppet theatre, this irresistibly quaint and cosy timber-framed bar serves beers and basic snacks.

  • Maison du Peuple


    This venerable 19th-century building faces out onto the market square of Parvis de St-Gilles. A combined café, bar and exhibition space, its scruffy-cool…

  • Comptoir Florian


    Two tiny, super-cosy tasting rooms behind a tea-trading store offer six bean types for its coffees, and 200 teas, served in an eclectic range of pots. The…

  • Chez Franz door

    Chez Franz


    An emporium of nocturnal activities such as gigs, and of apéritifs featuring deli cuts and cheese platters, Chez Franz is a locals' bar. The beers are…

  • Via Via entrance

    Via Via Café


    Rub shoulders with a Flemish crowd at this industrial café, with brick and concrete floors, away from the nearby touristy hot spots. Try local beers such…

  • Monk back room



    Dark wood, a piano and opal lights set the mood of this classic Belgian pub. Mostly attended by Flemish locals, Monk serves a wide array of reasonably…

  • Brussels Beer Project


    With sumptuous beers and a constant flow of new brews taste-tested by the public, this democratic microbrewery and bar is one of the most innovative…

  • Bar du matin

    Bar du Matin


    The impeccably trendy Bar du Matin sits on a corner site, the noisy road screened by beech trees. There’s a serious beer menu and pared-back '60s decor…

  • Au Bon Vieux Temps cafe.

    Au Bon Vieux Temps


    Duck beneath the statue of the bishop, then tunnel through the centuries to this lushly panelled 1695 gem. You’ll find lavish fireplaces, fascinating…

  • Walvis terrace



    Sounds from soul to punk to progressive rock (live, DJs or just through the speakers) play at this ubercool bar, where entry’s free, the atmosphere buzzes…

  • A la Mort Subite cafe facade

    À la Mort Subite


    An absolute classic unchanged since 1928, with lined-up wooden tables, arched mirror panels and entertainingly brusque service.

  • Jester


    Jester is a self-proclaimed brown café, with a minimalist stained glass window looking out onto the medieval Porte de Hal. The interior stylishly combines…

  • BarBeton


    Typical of the new array of hip but relaxed Brussels bars, BarBeton has a tiled floor and unpolished wood furnishings. It's good for an early breakfast,…

  • La Fleur en Papier Doré


    The nicotine-stained walls of this tiny café, adored by artists and locals, are covered with writings, art and scribbles by Magritte and his surrealist…

  • Floréo


    Big windows and a 1920s and '30s charm make this intimate café a particularly relaxing place to read the newspapers (provided in several languages) by day…

  • Brasserie Verschueren


    A characterful and enjoyably down-at-heel art nouveau café, with geometric floor tiling, a handsome wooden bar, stained glass and vintage light fittings…

  • Moeder Lambic Fontainas


    At last count, Moeder was serving 46 artisanal beers. The setting is contemporary rather than old world: walls are bare brick and hung with photos, and…

  • Poechenellekelder


    Despite facing Brussels’ kitsch central, this is a surprisingly appealing café full of genuine old puppets. It offers a great selection of fairly priced…

  • Café Belga


    This hip brasserie in a corner of the art deco Flagey ‘liner’ building is mellow by day, but the beats grow ever louder towards closing time. There's live…

  • Tarzan


    Welcome to the natural wine emporium, where legendary nights begin. Have a punk rosé, a glass of bubbly or a more rock-and-roll wine featured on the wall…

  • À la bécasse

    À la Bécasse


    Almost hidden down a body-wide alley-tunnel, the Bécasse has long rows of tables that give it a certain Bruegelesque quality, even though it’s ‘only’ been…

  • Green Lab


    Lovers of the green fairy will revel in absinthe shots (up to 89.9% alcohol!) and other botanical potions in this darkly dressed bar dedicated to Van Gogh…

  • Chez Bobonne facade

    Chez Bobonne


    Chez Bobonne is all about Belgian beer. As well as brewing some decent stuff themselves, the team behind the project also brings in bottles from big names…

  • Or Coffee facade

    OR Coffee


    Coffee geeks rejoice: this speciality espresso bar, which roasts its own beans, serves some of the best caffeine in the city. Among battered sofas,…

  • Alice Cocktail Bar


    Cocktail mixologists bewitch with their concoctions at this converted 19th-century town house above the Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate restaurant…

  • Bar des amis wide interior

    Bar des Amis


    A great bar to kick-start a night out, right in the centre of the vibrant Ste-Catherine area. The cosy atmosphere is enhanced by vintage items hanging on…

  • Damejeanne interior wide



    With sleek bare bricks, exposed concrete and a beautiful tiled floor, this light-filled aperitivo bar also serves moreish snacks to soak up the booze. Try…

  • Guinguette Maurice view from park

    Guinguette Maurice


    Each summer, a series of guinguettes (temporary kiosks) pop up around the parks of Brussels. Shaded Guinguette Maurice is a lovely spot for cold beer,…

  • Au Laboureur facade

    Au Laboureur


    Amid surrounding trendiness, this refreshingly unpretentious corner bar still attracts crusty beer-nursing locals with unfeasibly long moustaches. Hurry…

  • Madame Moustache facade

    Madame Moustache


    A cute Ste-Catherine club with a retro, burlesque feel, it hosts funk all-nighters and swing nights, plus garage and DJ sets.

  • Le Roy d'Espagne upper facade

    Le Roy d'Espagne


    One of our favourite bars. Yes, those are inflated dried pigs’ bladders above your head.

  • La Terrasse


    Handy for the Cinquantenaire, this wood-panelled classic café has a tree-shaded terrace and makes an ideal refreshment stop after a hard day’s museuming…

  • Délirium Café


    This café's barrel tables, beer-tray ceilings and over 2000 world beers were already impressive. Now they’ve added a rum garden, a tap house and the…

  • Spirito Brussels


    The name refers to the former function of the building: an Anglican church. The decor is still very much intact, but it's now lit gorgeously in shades of…

  • Chaloupe d'Or


    The ‘secret’ upstairs room is a particularly superb vantage point, though it's not always open. Not surprisingly, prices are steep, so if you’re not here…