The Most Belgian Foods You Have to Try

Belgium is known for being the European Union’s capital, Jean-Claude van Dame, and… Food! And you know what I love about Belgians and their foods? They’re not afraid to double down on their famous foods. Mussels on frites? Sure! Cookies on waffles? Yes! Take a look, and bring your appetite! 

Frites

I have some news for you… You won’t be getting any ketchup with your fries. But I hope you like mayonnaise! That is the preferred dipping sauce for Belgian frites. What else makes them different? They’re thick cut, then fried twice. You read that right! The first fry is to cook them through, and the second fry several hours later to crisp them up. They’re less greasy than American-style French fries, ironically enough!

Why are they Belgian and not French? One story goes that American soldiers in World War I ate frites while in the French-speaking area of Belgium. Because everyone was speaking French, the soldiers thought they were in France, which led to them calling these fried potatoes “French fries!”

Fries with… mayo?

Mussels

Jean-Claude van Dame isn’t the only “Muscles from Brussels!” Mussels are a popular dish all over Belgium, not just Brussels, and you can find them prepared in plenty of different ways. Most of the time, you’ll find them served with–you guessed it–frites! They have been a Belgian staple, since at least the 1780s, especially in the wintertime when fish were scarce but mussels were plentiful.

Mussels can be found in a variety of ways!
Must read: What to Know Before You Visit Belgium

Waffles

Are Belgian waffles the most famous Belgian food? Maybe! They certainly are one of the most popular. Belgian waffles are different from Eggos due to their thickness, deep pockets, and fluffiness. The dough is round when it goes into the waffle iron, but the way it spreads gives it an irregular shape when it comes out. Traditional toppings are whipped cream, fruit, ice cream, or chocolate sauce (or a combination of all those things), and they’re typically served for breakfast or dessert! I’ll sign up for both, please.

Waffles, anyone?

Chocolate

Belgian chocolate is a treat that’s hard to beat! It’s creamy, it’s delicious, and when it’s filled with a surprise, it’s delightful. We tried a lot of varieties from a lot of coffee shops (I’m an unashamed sampler when offered!), but my favorites came from the Old Chocolate House in Bruges. Wherever you get your chocolate in Belgium, be sure to get a box to take home with you as well!

I loved trying all the chocolates!
More here: Your Guide to the Old Chocolate House, Bruges

Speculoos Cookies

Have you heard of Cookie Butter? It’s made from Belgium’s famous Speculoos cookies! You may have seen the Biscoff brand as well, especially if you’ve flown United lately. It’s a spiced cookie that’s similar to gingerbread, but a little different. They’re delicious. You’ll find them any number of ways on a trip to Belgium, but when I found out I could get them sprinkled on a chocolate-covered waffle on a stick, I knew that was the winner for me! How much more Belgian can you get?

White chocolate-covered waffle with crumbled Speculoos Cookies

Want more like this? Check out my Belgium Page for everything you need to know to plan your trip, and my dedicated World Foods Page for international foodie adventures!

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Published by quickwhittravel

Hey there! I am an avid traveller and adventurer, and you're always welcome to join me! The things I love most are God, my husband Steve, and seeing new places! My favorite places include Sydney, Australia; Ise City, Japan; and Bergen, Norway--but there's always room for more favorite places!

2 thoughts on “The Most Belgian Foods You Have to Try

  1. Great post! We love our trip to Bruges in December 2019 and wish it was easy to visit again, but happy wait while the world catches its bearings – perhaps this year we will visit again. It’s good that during Christmas you can find some Christmas markets here in England with some of this food. As for the Mayo I agree it is an odd choice and certainly made me chuckle as an Australian but now here in England we have Mayo and ketchup with any fries or “frites” (frites are just so much crunchier don’t you think).

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed your own pre-pandemic trip to Bruges and hope you get to visit again soon!

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