The Burger in Brussels

Drink & Eat
Written by Frédéric Solvel - 04 Feb 2010, 00:00 (Updated: 08 Mar 2022, 17:52)
The Burger in Brussels
The hamburger is an emblem of the United States. And nevertheless, it originated in Germany and, more precisely, in Hamburg. Since its Mongolian roots, this ground beef has taken on a slew of flavors and ingredients all over the world.

But in the 19th century, it started being served between two slices of bread on ships transporting immigrants to the US. In the 21st century, the burger is a major sensation in Brussels where restaurants don’t hesitate to add it to their menu. Some have even devoted their entire establishment to this special patty.

First to dispel some negative thoughts about hamburgers. Their reputation may not be so great, given they’re often associated with unhealthy, fast food. Yet very few people can say they haven’t indulged in one at least once. But today hamburgers have left the world of restaurant chains and made their way into the trendiest of restaurants. From the basic recipe: ground beef, a bun, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, ketchup, salt, and pepper, the burger has transformed in a number of diverse and unexpected ways.

Right here in Brussels, you can find a multitude of restaurants serving truly unique and delicious burgers, some healthier than others. has found all the best options for you in the capital.

The trailblazers

The burger tsunami had yet to reach Brussels when these first trailblazers came on the scene. In this trendsetting group is Cool Bun, Houtsiplou, and Café Gudule. Side note: Cool Bun and the chef Pierre Manshande has since opened a second location. At both locations you will find creativity at its best: foie gras, forest mushrooms, guacamole, red berry confit… We also loved the oh so Belgian décor at Houtsiplou.

The unusual

Time has proven that burgers can come in a variety of forms. Let’s take a detour at King Kong for a culinary adventure in Peru. Even if the chicharron sandwich didn’t get the hamburger label per say, it really follows the same form. Originality of décor is also something to note- locals at the Tram de Boitsfort won’t tell you any different. This is a fry shop in a tram car that is magically sitting on the Place Payfa with a great gourmet burger menu.

From the other side of the North Sea

Ireland’s reputation for meat is no secret. The savoir-faire of the shamrock people has also made its mark in the burger realm. Visit the kingdom of Jack O’Shea, Michael Collins, Black Sheep and you should be convinced. Unless you choose to follow the Irish diaspora to the United States at Fat Boys.

Small, but packing a punch

Even if burgers are rarely small, restaurants that serve them can be. But bigger is not always better! So go discover the food at Lou Boire et Manger and Chez Rachel.

Urban cantinas

Just like at school, these are the places we run go to wolf down a meal before heading off to our next endeavor. Except, not just like at school, because here the food is good. These are five urban cantinas dedicated (fully or partially) to the burger: Schievelavabo, Chicago, Amour Fou, Hemgie's, and Les Super Filles du Tram. A cantina for every day of the week! And on Fridays you don’t have to eat a fish burger.  

Improved fast-food

Far from the first burgers gobbled up in McDonald’s, Manhattn’s offers a 100% New York style approach to fast-food: décor, menu, service, the whole shebang… After louise area , a second restaurant was opened in September 2015 next to the Stock Exchange. Present in all the biggest cities in Flanders, Ellis Gourmet Burger naturally set up shop not far from Rue de Flandre.

No limit

The burger can be simple or elaborate depending on your preferences, personalized just for you. Head to le Train to assemble your burger just how you like it or go to Burger Republic to reign over the future of your meal.

Feast for the eyes

What’s in your plate is definitely important, but sitting to eat in a pleasant environment also plays a big role in the success of your meal. We will leave you the choice between more mainstream décor with a view of the Grand Place at the Hard Rock Café, the 100% sixties décor at Balmoral, or the shabby chic look at Cowfish Burgers.

Food trucks

Better than what you’ll find out of the corner fry shop, hamburgers served by food trucks are every bit as good as those served in stationary restaurants. Track down Urban Cook and Co-Kot to taste one of their creations.

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