Must-see nightlife in Belgium

  • 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…

  • Humble Coffee


    David Frere, the friendly and award-winning barista behind this small cafe, serves up some of the best coffee in Wallonia. It's well worth stopping in for…

  • MoMA Coffee


    The best espresso in town is served up at this buzzing cafe south of the Grand Place. MoMA (which stands for Mons Manhattan) takes its inspiration from…

  • 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…

  • Le Panorama


    High in the citadel, this airy pavilion has eagle's-perch views across the Meuse and the woodlands that extend attractively into the distance. Vistas from…

  • De Gouden Vis

    Northeast Belgium

    The bare boards of this youth favourite have a well-loved patina, the vine threatens to break chunks out of the verandah and the rear riverside terrace…

  • 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…

  • Le Merle


    Just off the beaten track, Le Merle has all the elements of a good neighbourhood pub: an easy-going crowd, a superb beer selection and, most importantly,…

  • 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…

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    De Vagant


    More than 200 types of jenever (gin; €3 to €20) are served in this timeless, bare-boards local café decorated with posters and enamel signs.

  • 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,…

  • 500px Photo ID: 90988097 - Close up of Hispanic nightclub dj

    Cargo Club


    A great dance venue with a decent-sized yet still intimate dance floor. It's most famous for its Saturday male-only gay night. There's also Thursday…

  • 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.

  • Brasserie Lamborelle

    The Ardennes

    This small, cosy pub features elements of exposed brick and stonework amid cowhide wallpaper squares and enamel signboards. It serves a remarkable range…

  • Brouwerij Cafe de Seefhoek


    Antwerp's new kid on the beer block is reincarnated Seef. To taste their full range of offerings (beers €3 to €3.50) head directly to their fashionably…

  • Brouwerij Het Anker

    Northeast Belgium

    Operational since 1471, Het Anker is one of Belgium's oldest and most celebrated breweries. Most days there's at least one brewery tour (€8, two beers and…

  • Unwined

    Northeast Belgium

    This congenial, unthreateningly inclusive wine bar makes oenology accessible to novices by listing its ever-changing by-the-glass menu as a short series…

  • À l'Ange Gardien

    The Ardennes

    Around 150m south of the Abbaye Notre Dame d'Orval gates is the monastery's own stylish if architecturally forgettable tavern. As well as ‘normal’ and…

  • Bar Stan


    Coffeeshop, bar, restaurant and hip community meeting place all combine in the lovable little triangle of creativity that is Bar Stan, around 15 minutes'…

  • Bar Zar


    The decor is a mad mix of voodoo, Carribean, Pacific and Japanese elements and nine piranhas cruise in the centrepiece fish tank. The list of premium rums…

  • Café Trappisten

    Northeast Belgium

    If you're on a Belgian beer pilgrimage, it's hard to resist heading to Westmalle. The Westmalle Abbey monastic complex producing the famous Trappist brews…

  • GenGoulf

    The Ardennes

    If you're determined to see inside a brewery while visiting Orval, head 1.5km southwest to the former railway station in Villers-devant-Orval where,…

  • Le Quai Son

    The Ardennes

    Look for the ghost mural when finding this central yet hidden delight just off Pl du Bronze. It serves Lupulus beer on draught and good coffee. In summer,…

  • De Vismijn


    This classic, high-ceilinged bar once provided after-sales refreshment to market fishmongers. Now it's the place to come for Antwerp's best-pulled pintje …

  • Liermolen

    Northeast Belgium

    Half working watermill-museum, half unpretentious brick-and-beam pub, Liermolen is a remarkably inexpensive drinking hole with Maes/Grimbergen beer from …

  • Beer Lovers


    Brewery signs, high ceilings and the odd exposed beam contrast with a contemporary serving station, but the big draw here is the remarkable range of…

  • Wilderen Brouwerij

    Northeast Belgium

    Some 3km west of Sint-Truiden's centre in the suburban village of Wilderen, this reborn 1743 brewery-distillery has a splendid half-timbered barn-cafe and…

  • Kolonel Koffie


    Roasting their own beans for some of Antwerp's finest fresh coffee (from €2), this effortlessly hip cafe is the hub of the 'new Zuid', with a sunny…

  • Bakeliet


    Tucked away on the ungentrified central edge of Borgerhout, on a square facing a lumpsome brick church, this bar is a gem of a neighbourhood local with…

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