Life in (and around) Brussels…

Random tips on things to do and places to go in Brussels and beyond

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Brunch at La vita è bella 

Savory menu includes eggs, bacon, vegetables, potatoes, lasagna; sample of homemade cakes

There’s a great new brunch in town – an Italian brunch run by Italians in a wine bar/restaurant just off Place Jourdan on rue Froissart. 

The restaurant seats about 35-40 people and is decorated in a simple and sleek way with large windows that let lots of natural light in (nice even in autumn’s grey and gloom…)

But on to the food… You basically have two different brunch menus: a sweet buffet breakfast (€12) that includes:

  • Buffet bar of bread, croissants and other pastries
  • A selection of homemade cakes 
  • A basket of butter, jam and Nutella
  • An orange juice, hot drink (coffee or tea) and a cold drink

The second option is the savory menu (€22) which includes all of the above, plus:

  • A plate of hot food including eggs of your choice (frittata pictured below), a selection of seasonal vegetables (all cooked. The tomatoes were amazing!), bacon, and salmon (which we did not order)
  • A small portion of homemade lasagna

(I think that was it but can’t be 100% sure as there was no written menu yet to be found and I’m not sure I followed the whole description of the brunch concept…) But anyway, we went for the big menu and were happy we did so because although the sweet items are good (don’t miss the delicious cakes!), what really stands out and sets this place apart from others is the quality and the generous portions of the savory items. It almost feels like your Mamma or Nonna is making breakfast for you at home. And for the price, which unlike many other brunch venues in town already includes drinks, this is a really good deal.

Maybe we were extra lucky because we went during the opening weekend and they were trying to impress, but I will certainly be going back to this Sunday brunch which has instantly become one of my favorites in town! 

La Vita è Bella – rue Froissart 43, 1040 Brussels

Sunday brunch from 10:30 to 15:30, on select Sundays only. See Facebook page for more details and scheduling. 

View of the restaurant from the back

drinks, bread, butter, jams and nutella

sample platter of homemade cakes (chocolate, apple, some other fruit)

my eating buddy couldn’t eat the lasagna after finishing this…

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Hello again

It’s been a long while and it’s not that I abandoned the blogosphere (I have mostly been on Twitter though @lifeinbxl) but it’s just that most of my dining experiences have been somewhat underwhelming, or not inspiring enough to write a full post. (Fine, inspiration was also low due to lots of work and a very busy schedule!) 

There are a few places worth mentioning and I will be featuring them here in the coming weeks… One of them is the little-covered Sofitel Crystal Lounge Sunday brunch, which is likely the most expensive but also the best brunch in town, and there is also a new Italian brunch spot I was impressed by… So stay tuned! 


Kamo: best Japanese in town (according to Michelin)

Update: October 2016. Prices have gone up considerably now that Kamo has been in its new and fancier Chaussee de Waterloo location. The lunch special is €22 and other lunch dishes are priced at €25-30 with a more limited selection. tasting menus have also increased in price by €10-15.


I finally made it to Kamo – and once I tried it, I had to go back…

This is the only Japanese restaurant in Belgium with a Michelin star, but it is very different from all the other Michelin awarded restaurants in Brussels I have tried… so if you are looking for a fancy dining experience, look elsewhere. If you are just looking for good food, definitely put this on your go-to list!

Kamo must have earned its Michelin star solely on the quality of the food. The venue itself is your simple, small and basic Japanese restaurant with the standard sushi bar seating and about a dozen tables. It is small and relatively packed, no fancy decor, and none of the dressed up waitressing staff you would encounter in your average Michelin joint. Which is what I loved about this place: unpretentious, good food, with fast and friendly service… and good food (did I mention that?) Very good food.

Plus, what other Michelin star restaurant could you eat lunch at for EUR 15??

My tips and highlights:

  • Book in advance (Tel: +32 2 648 78 48) This place is always PACKED. It is closed on weekends.
  • The lunch special is just EUR 15, but arrive early or it might be sold out. Other lunch dishes range from EUR 18 to EUR 25.
  • There are two menus for EUR 45 and EUR 60 if you have time for a leisurely meal and want the full Kamo experience (see a full review from another blog here).
  • For me, the cooked dishes are what really make Kamo stand out and what the chef is best at. Everything I have had there was cooked to perfection, even an “unglamorous” dish, such as fried chicken.
  • If you go for lunch, go with an appetite and get a lunch set (which comes with soup and a few other side dishes) plus another dish a la carte… The food is healthy and light, so it goes down easily!
  • Wanna know more? I will let the pictures talk for themselves… (and check out also some great photos here from Brussels Kitchen)
  • Looking for other things Japanese? Take a look at the Top Japanese restaurants post and other posts.


Delicious cooked sardines




Sashimi lunch set


Side dish: green beans


Seafood side dish close up


Side dish: your simple, basic green salad with traditional Japanese mayo dressing


Sashimi in sesame sauce and broth (two-step meal: eat half with rice, then put the other half in the broth and add rice). Delicious.




Best fried chicken ever

IMGP0823 IMGP0834

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West End creperie

This is another of the top 10 new restaurants identified by LeVif Weekend. I went to West End creperie after having lunch at Piccola Store, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and reasonable prices of this fairly genuine creperie (I found it to be the best I have tried in Brussels so far.)

The ingredients are fresh, the service is friendly and fast (we had our crepes in about 10 minutes), and the prices will allow you to have a whole meal (savory and sweet crepe and a drink) for about EUR 15 per person, which is not bad for the area.

West End (rue Americaine, 91; Tel: +32 2 538 21 30) is open for lunch on weekdays (special lunch menu available) from 12:00h to 15:00h and dinner 18:30h to 22:00h, all day on Saturday from 12:00h to 22:00h, and 12:00h to 16:00h on Sunday. Closed on Monday.




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TakeEatEasy: Food delivery in Brussels

Update July 2016: TakeEatEasy shut down its operations despite the fact that they were great and expanding. But you can still order delivery via Deliveroo. 

Even though the sun has come out in Brussels and the weather seems nicer this year than ever before, there are still those cold, rainy days (regardless of the time of year…) when one does not feel like going out for dinner or even doing a quick run to the supermarket or local restaurant for food.

Image by TakeEatEasy

Image by TakeEatEasy

That’s when food delivery options come in really handy. I had tried Resto-in back when it was called RestoPresto, but it failed to be that “presto” a few times and I found the delivery charges to be fairly high, so I stopped using it.

Then TakeEatEasy came along, and I have used it already several times in only a few weeks, and am happy enough with the service to want to write about it. The highlights:

  • You enter your address and the system lists the restaurants that deliver to your area, along with photos of each dish per restaurant
  • You pick the time of delivery (usually at least 1-1.5 hours from the time you place the order)
  • Delivery is a very reasonable EUR 3.50 with a minimum EUR 20.00 order
  • Pay by credit card online and get an sms confirmation
  • Wait for your order to be delivered – and yes, every time I ordered, they were on time!
  • If you get new members, they get EUR 10 off and you get EUR 10 credit for your next order
  • I tried 3-4 places (Super Filles du Tram, Momo, and a couple of Italian restaurants) and they were all good.

You can get EUR 10 off on your first order using this link (coupon code 5CSEGR). Enjoy!



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Piccola Store

Le Vif recently published its top 10 new restaurants list, so I decided to check out a few…

Piccola Store, housed in the old Neptune (which I unfortunately never made it to) on rue Lesbroussart 48, close to Place Flagey, was my first stop.


Piccola Store’s corner location on rue Lesbroussart

In a nutshell: Nice food, but on the pricey side (EUR 15 for a simple pasta dish), and not for those with a big appetite… Casual, relaxed atmosphere.

What happened next: Granted it wasn’t a huge meal… but I was still really hungry, so I went on to tick off another of Le Vif’s top 10 new spots. I took a look to see what was nearby and ended up going to West End for some authentic crepes… More about that soon…


Friendly, simple interior


Complimentary starter


Spaghetti alle vongole, al dente


Rigatoni, bolognese sauce