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Wasbar, Antwerp, Belgium.
Wasbar, Antwerp, Belgium.
Photo: Facebook

The Eater Belgium Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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Wasbar, Antwerp, Belgium.
| Photo: Facebook

Today Eater takes a first-ever look at Belgium to focus on eleven newish restaurants and three bars that have been garnering some serious buzz. Just as with the Eater Switzerland heatmap, this map takes a look at what's hot across the entirety of that small but noble country. For the list, Eater has asked Le Gourmand Belge blogger and Culinary Travel Magazine editor Kristof Verheyden for his picks.

Belgium certainly does not disappoint when it comes to interesting restaurant concepts. Chief among these would be the slick café that comes equipped with washing machines that is so popular it has locations in both Ghent and Antwerp (Wasbar). Bruges is home to a meatball shop that serves a little something called "glory balls" (Balls & Glory). And then, of course, there's the fine dining, which includes a new restaurant from an acolyte of Hof van Cleve chef Peter Goossens (Restaurant Vrijmoed) and an "exceptional" new location for a two-Michelin-starred destination (L'Air du Temps). Here now, the Eater Heatmap to Belgium, a chronicle of the country's restaurants of the moment.


· All Eater Heatmaps [-E-]
· All Belgium Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Restaurant Vrijmoed

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Vlaanderenstraat 22, Gent
Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium
+32 9 279 99 77
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Chef Michaël Vrijmoed opened his own restaurant after eight years as a sous chef at the three-Michelin-starred Hof van Cleve, where he was chef Peter Goossens' right hand. His highly anticipated new place features a product-driven cuisine, as to be expected from a disciple of Goossens. Book well in advance. [Photo]

2. Volta

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Nieuwewandeling 2B, Gent
Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium
+32 9 324 05 00
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Flemish Foodie chef Olly Ceulenaere worked hard to put Volta on the Belgian map. This Summer, he left to open his own restaurant in Ghent. His shoes are filled by Davy De Pourcq who worked together with Olly at Volta for the last year and a half. The young yet experienced chef is expected to push the contemporary bistronomy at Volta to the next level. [Photo]

3. L'Air Du Temps

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Rue de la Croix Monet 2, Liernu
Namur 5310, Belgium
+32 81 81 30 48
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Chef Sang-Hoon Degeimbre moved his two-Michelin-starred restaurant to an exceptional farmhouse in Liernu, near the city of Namur. With a small hotel, a big farmhouse, a huge kitchen garden and facilities for events, L'Air du Temps is now a real destination restaurant for food lovers all over the world. Chef San's unique Korean-influenced terroir cuisine is one to taste. [Photo]

4. AUB.SVP

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Schildknaapsstraat 36 Rue de l'Ecuyer, Brussels
Brussels 1000, Belgium
+32 473 90 24 91
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AUB SVP is breakfast and lunch concept in downtown Brussels. Architect/owner Bart Lens carefully restored the small venue and worked together with experienced people like chef Kenny Bernaerts and well-known baker Yves Guns to put his concept together. The result is great, honest food — such as eggs, salads, pork sandwiches on a lemon thyme roll — at fair prices. [Photo]

5. Lewis

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Vrijheid 136, Hoogstraten
Antwerpen, Belgium
Thomas Snijders, once a painter and now a chef, lived his dream by opening his own bistronomy place, styled by renowned architect Lieven Musschoot. Chef Thomas cooks with attention to healthy eating, using organic produce. The restaurant has a bed and breakfast, too, so folks can enjoy an extra day in the area. [Photo]

6. Tinsel

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Vlaamse Kaai 40, Antwerpen
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
Tinsel is a new Antwerp hotspot, serving breakfast, lunch, coffee, and drinks. In a cozy dining room or on the terrace, Tinsel offers sandwiches, salads, quiches, and cake. Homemade iced teas, lemonades, natural wines and great coffee make perfect partners for a meal. [Photo]

7. Bistrot Du Nord

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Langedijkstraat 36
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
+32 3 233 45 49
Bistrot du Nord is a good example of the current bistronomy trend: great, uncomplicated food for reasonable prices, served in a laid-back environment. This authentic place with 20 seats has a thing for meat and organ dishes. No nonsense Bourgondic, yet refined, food. Order the fries. [Photo]

8. Balls & Glory

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Langestraat 93, Brugge
West-Vlaanderen 8000, Belgium
+32 486 44 41 27
Visit Website
Celebrity chef Wim Ballieu was awarded best restaurant concept last year with the opening of Balls & Glory in Ghent. This year he franchised into Bruges, where his highly popular handcrafted meatballs with all sorts of fillings — such as apple, black olive, or corn-curry — shall be enjoyed by locals and the many tourists who visit one of Belgium's most famous cities. [Photo]

9. Nano

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Lombaardstraat, Hasselt
Limburg 3500, Belgium
Bistro Nano is another example of the bistronomic wave that has hit Belgium. This place, run only by a chef and a sommelier, serves great no-nonsense food and fantastic wines at very decent prices in a cozy, yet trendy, interior. [Photo]

10. WASBAR

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Graaf van Egmontstraat 5, Antwerpen
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
+32 485 42 34 32
Visit Website
Wasbar is a new concept where you can wash your clothes while relaxing with a cold beer or a freshly brewed coffee and a delicious bite to eat. A first branch opened in Ghent in October of last year, while a second opened in Antwerp at the end of August. A popular brunch is served on Sunday and, on Friday, a DJ plays his tunes while Wasbar serves up aperitifs. [Photo]

11. Umami

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Luikstraat 6, Antwerpen
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
+32 3 237 39 78
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Where once the famous Velvet Lounge was located is now Umami. They serve contemporary Asian cuisine, inspired by places like Hakkasan and Zuma, in an eastern chic, minimalistic decor. Next to the restaurant you can enjoy a quality saké or a nice cocktail in the Umami Bar. [Photo]

12. Hortense Spirits & Cocktails

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Rue des Sablons 7, Brussels
1000, Belgium
+32 2 514 43 47
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Hortense is the first speakeasy ever to hit Brussels. Hidden in a tiny cave along Place du Sablon, this classy bar offers a menu of carefully crafted cocktails next to a wide range of traditional favorites. Hortense also organizes privileged dinners, exclusive for 12 attendees at a time. Chefs get invited and cocktails are paired with the food. [Photo]

13. Monk

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Sint-Katelijnestraat 42 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Brussels
Brussels 1000, Belgium
+32 2 511 75 11
Visit Website
Monk is probably one of the best-known bars in Brussels. Last year, the venue had to close due to financial problems, but one of the neighbors rented a new location and started Monk 2.0 with his experienced partners. The new Monk serves a wonderful spaghetti and Belgium's finest beers, such as the particularly hard to find Westvleteren. [Photo]

14. Old Fashioned Cocktail & Absinth Bar

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Koning Albertlaan 115, Gent
Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium
+32 9 279 52 15
Visit Website
Not a lounge or speakeasy, but a retro-styled Belle Epoque bar with dimmed lights, dark wood interiors, and jazz playing in the background. The bartender duo takes the art of making cocktails quite seriously. Ever searching for the right balance for their antique glasses, these guys are determined to serve the perfect drink. Absinthe is one of their specialities. [Photo]

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1. Restaurant Vrijmoed

Vlaanderenstraat 22, Gent, Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium
Chef Michaël Vrijmoed opened his own restaurant after eight years as a sous chef at the three-Michelin-starred Hof van Cleve, where he was chef Peter Goossens' right hand. His highly anticipated new place features a product-driven cuisine, as to be expected from a disciple of Goossens. Book well in advance. [Photo]
Vlaanderenstraat 22, Gent
Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium

2. Volta

Nieuwewandeling 2B, Gent, Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium
Flemish Foodie chef Olly Ceulenaere worked hard to put Volta on the Belgian map. This Summer, he left to open his own restaurant in Ghent. His shoes are filled by Davy De Pourcq who worked together with Olly at Volta for the last year and a half. The young yet experienced chef is expected to push the contemporary bistronomy at Volta to the next level. [Photo]
Nieuwewandeling 2B, Gent
Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium

3. L'Air Du Temps

Rue de la Croix Monet 2, Liernu, Namur 5310, Belgium
Chef Sang-Hoon Degeimbre moved his two-Michelin-starred restaurant to an exceptional farmhouse in Liernu, near the city of Namur. With a small hotel, a big farmhouse, a huge kitchen garden and facilities for events, L'Air du Temps is now a real destination restaurant for food lovers all over the world. Chef San's unique Korean-influenced terroir cuisine is one to taste. [Photo]
Rue de la Croix Monet 2, Liernu
Namur 5310, Belgium

4. AUB.SVP

Schildknaapsstraat 36 Rue de l'Ecuyer, Brussels, Brussels 1000, Belgium
AUB SVP is breakfast and lunch concept in downtown Brussels. Architect/owner Bart Lens carefully restored the small venue and worked together with experienced people like chef Kenny Bernaerts and well-known baker Yves Guns to put his concept together. The result is great, honest food — such as eggs, salads, pork sandwiches on a lemon thyme roll — at fair prices. [Photo]
Schildknaapsstraat 36 Rue de l'Ecuyer, Brussels
Brussels 1000, Belgium

5. Lewis

Vrijheid 136, Hoogstraten, Antwerpen, Belgium
Thomas Snijders, once a painter and now a chef, lived his dream by opening his own bistronomy place, styled by renowned architect Lieven Musschoot. Chef Thomas cooks with attention to healthy eating, using organic produce. The restaurant has a bed and breakfast, too, so folks can enjoy an extra day in the area. [Photo]
Vrijheid 136, Hoogstraten
Antwerpen, Belgium

6. Tinsel

Vlaamse Kaai 40, Antwerpen, Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
Tinsel is a new Antwerp hotspot, serving breakfast, lunch, coffee, and drinks. In a cozy dining room or on the terrace, Tinsel offers sandwiches, salads, quiches, and cake. Homemade iced teas, lemonades, natural wines and great coffee make perfect partners for a meal. [Photo]
Vlaamse Kaai 40, Antwerpen
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium

7. Bistrot Du Nord

Langedijkstraat 36, Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
Bistrot du Nord is a good example of the current bistronomy trend: great, uncomplicated food for reasonable prices, served in a laid-back environment. This authentic place with 20 seats has a thing for meat and organ dishes. No nonsense Bourgondic, yet refined, food. Order the fries. [Photo]
Langedijkstraat 36
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium

8. Balls & Glory

Langestraat 93, Brugge, West-Vlaanderen 8000, Belgium
Celebrity chef Wim Ballieu was awarded best restaurant concept last year with the opening of Balls & Glory in Ghent. This year he franchised into Bruges, where his highly popular handcrafted meatballs with all sorts of fillings — such as apple, black olive, or corn-curry — shall be enjoyed by locals and the many tourists who visit one of Belgium's most famous cities. [Photo]
Langestraat 93, Brugge
West-Vlaanderen 8000, Belgium

9. Nano

Lombaardstraat, Hasselt, Limburg 3500, Belgium
Bistro Nano is another example of the bistronomic wave that has hit Belgium. This place, run only by a chef and a sommelier, serves great no-nonsense food and fantastic wines at very decent prices in a cozy, yet trendy, interior. [Photo]
Lombaardstraat, Hasselt
Limburg 3500, Belgium

10. WASBAR

Graaf van Egmontstraat 5, Antwerpen, Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
Wasbar is a new concept where you can wash your clothes while relaxing with a cold beer or a freshly brewed coffee and a delicious bite to eat. A first branch opened in Ghent in October of last year, while a second opened in Antwerp at the end of August. A popular brunch is served on Sunday and, on Friday, a DJ plays his tunes while Wasbar serves up aperitifs. [Photo]
Graaf van Egmontstraat 5, Antwerpen
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium

11. Umami

Luikstraat 6, Antwerpen, Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
Where once the famous Velvet Lounge was located is now Umami. They serve contemporary Asian cuisine, inspired by places like Hakkasan and Zuma, in an eastern chic, minimalistic decor. Next to the restaurant you can enjoy a quality saké or a nice cocktail in the Umami Bar. [Photo]
Luikstraat 6, Antwerpen
Antwerpen 2000, Belgium

12. Hortense Spirits & Cocktails

Rue des Sablons 7, Brussels, 1000, Belgium
Hortense is the first speakeasy ever to hit Brussels. Hidden in a tiny cave along Place du Sablon, this classy bar offers a menu of carefully crafted cocktails next to a wide range of traditional favorites. Hortense also organizes privileged dinners, exclusive for 12 attendees at a time. Chefs get invited and cocktails are paired with the food. [Photo]
Rue des Sablons 7, Brussels
1000, Belgium

13. Monk

Sint-Katelijnestraat 42 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Brussels, Brussels 1000, Belgium
Monk is probably one of the best-known bars in Brussels. Last year, the venue had to close due to financial problems, but one of the neighbors rented a new location and started Monk 2.0 with his experienced partners. The new Monk serves a wonderful spaghetti and Belgium's finest beers, such as the particularly hard to find Westvleteren. [Photo]
Sint-Katelijnestraat 42 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Brussels
Brussels 1000, Belgium

14. Old Fashioned Cocktail & Absinth Bar

Koning Albertlaan 115, Gent, Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium
Not a lounge or speakeasy, but a retro-styled Belle Epoque bar with dimmed lights, dark wood interiors, and jazz playing in the background. The bartender duo takes the art of making cocktails quite seriously. Ever searching for the right balance for their antique glasses, these guys are determined to serve the perfect drink. Absinthe is one of their specialities. [Photo]
Koning Albertlaan 115, Gent
Oost-Vlaanderen 9000, Belgium

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