UPDATE 2017: The Sofitel brunch only takes place now on special occasions (e.g., Mother’s Day) . Aux pays des merveilles is now a different restaurant.
I have spent the last few months trying brunch spots around Ixelles and here is my list so far:1. Sofitel Crystal Lounge – Expensive at 49 euros, but you will not leave hungry. This is really a brunch in the true sense of the word, as they serve hot dishes, including fish and seafood, which makes it a real meal and best value despite the price.
2. Cafe de la Presse – Good brunch with generous portions and a good variety of hot and cold dishes. The only downside is the somewhat chaotic service and that it is hard to get a table. It is also a bit loud, so not great if you have a big group and want to chat.
3. Chez Franz – Nice terrace and friendly service at a much more reasonable price than other brunch spots in this neighborhood, ranging from EUR 6 for a basic brunch (hot beverage, juice, bread and jam and other spreads) to EUR 18 for a large brunch (basic brunch, plus riz au lit, eggs, cold meats, cheese, pain perdu). My personal favorite is the oriental brunch for EUR 15 which includes a fantastic hummus, tabouleh, spiced chicken with onions, and carrots, in addition to the beverages. Nice atmosphere and very friendly service. Arrive early, as no reservations are accepted. A plus is that they also have brunch on Saturdays, not just Sundays. Available 10h to 16h.4. Au pays des merveilles – This is not as much of a brunch place, but they have great-value bagels and the service is always so nice that it deserves being on the list.
5. Gaudron – I really have mixed feelings about this place. The quality of the food is sometimes great, other times nothing outstanding. The service can be a put off, but this is somewhat of an institution and their fresh juice cocktails are fantastic. Somehow, I am still drawn to it and would go more often if it were a bit more affordable. It is in the top five because the quality of the food is pretty decent.
Also tried but did not make it to the top five: Ici (nice, but on the pricey side), Pain Quotidien, Workshop Cafe.
Agree? Disagree? Have other suggestions? Please share!