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CHELLOLIVE Nov 5th, 2006 08:43 AM

Christmas Lunch/Dinner in Brussels or Bruge
Hey, fellow travelers, we will be flying out an Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day in Brussels any ideas for Christmas dinner in Brussels or Bruge? Thanks in advance!

CHELLOLIVE Nov 6th, 2006 03:02 PM

anyone? help, please?

nessundorma Nov 6th, 2006 03:07 PM

My understanding is that the Grand Place in Brussels is decorated in an extraordinary way at nighttime at Christmas. So you might want to try to reserve at a restuarant facing the square. I'm sorry I can't give you a recommendation, but I suspect any good guide book or internet review site will include at least one recommendation for a restaurant on the Grand Place and their e-mail address.

Girlspytravel Nov 6th, 2006 05:39 PM

Uh, well,...that depends on what you call "extraordinary" I have pictures of what I'm about to tell you...3 years ago, the good city of BRU set up their annual Christmas display in the Grand Place-and I KID YOU NOT-they had plastic bags of animals, on an artificial turf-except the plastic bags blew up and around the buildings-so there were these drycleaning bag shaped animals hanging in the few trees around the Grand Place. We, my best friends who live in BRU, and I, stared in disbelief. The Belgians actually complained (unusual) about this tawdry I said, I have pictures of this, so it would be funny if weren't so incomprehensible.

I have no idea WHAT kind of display they'll have for this year-but it has to be better than the one of 3 years ago!

As to good Christmas dinner restaurants: I think the top restaurants-both Belgian French and Flemish cuisine, are to be found largely in the "Ixelles" area of Brussels.

That said, and given that my friends do all the gourmet restauarants in BRU (and you won't find a bad meal here) "COMME CHEZ SOI" -(just like home) is an excellent bet in Ixelles-a Michelin starred restaurant, Belgian/French cuisine-my friends liked it a lot

However I would prefer a more elegant location for a Christmas dinner, and as such, it would have to be the Grand Place (no place like the Grand Place for New Year's Eve, let me tell you!)

So I'm going to recommend the tres elegante, one Michelin star MAISON DU CYGNE-in the Grand Place- on the second floor of an ancient butchers guild house, so if you get a table by the window, you can look out-and that's an excellent view -elegant, beautiful interior, green velvet, walnut, a bit stuffy (but you'd expect that in so grand a place) Belgian/French cuisine-excellent seafood-here's the website:

CHELLOLIVE Nov 7th, 2006 10:00 AM

Bummer, they are closed!

BTilke Nov 7th, 2006 03:57 PM

Unfortunately, none of the restaurants we like in Brussels or Bruges are open on Christmas day itself. You may have to content yourself with a hotel restaurant. You may have better luck finding open restaurants in Bruges, but I wouldn't expect a great meal.
IF you do find a really good restaurant in either town open that day, reserve a table ASAP.
We've spent several Christmas holidays in Brussels (we still live there part time) and it's a pretty quiet day in Europe's capital.
Outside of Brussels, in the town of Genval, it's possible that the restaurant Genval les Bains at the Hotel du Lac is open. If so, that would be an excellent place to have dinner. It is in a hotel (which increases the odds it will be open on Christmas), but the restaurant holds its own and is quite stylish. A pretty lakeside location and easy to reach from Brussels by train (10 to 30 minutes depending on which train station you start at...I usually take that train from the Luxembourg station in the EU area of Brussels...from there it's only 5 stops, taking about 15 minutes or so). The hotel is about a 5 minute walk from the train station.

BTilke Nov 7th, 2006 03:59 PM

The hotel is actually Chateau du Lac, not Hotel du Lac. My bad. Anyway, a link to the restaurant:

CHELLOLIVE Nov 19th, 2006 11:59 AM

anyone else?

W9London Nov 20th, 2006 08:24 AM

Not too posh of a place, more of a brasserie, but you might want to check if Leon is open.

bellini Nov 20th, 2006 08:41 AM

Den Djiver in Brugge gets consistently good reports but I;ve no idea whether they'd be open on Christmas Day

beanweb24 Nov 26th, 2006 05:33 AM

Den Dijver (or Den Dyver) is closed on Christmas...but they have a phenomenal 7 course (and nearly 7 hour) dinner on New Year's Eve -- still remember it as my best meal ever!

In Brugge last year, our Christmas meal was at Tom's Diner. We reserved online at their website. It is a more casual interior (not like a US diner though), but the food was surprisingly good. I would have Christmas dinner there again if I was in Brugge, but I would not travel to Brugge from Brussels just to have it. (Although I would travel from Brussels to Brugge if Den Dyver was open!)

BTilke Nov 26th, 2006 10:43 AM

Apparently, the ever-popular Lola restaurant on the Sablon in Brussels *will* be open on Christmas day, so that one is worth considering. But you absolutely MUST have a reservation. I've had some nice lunches there; it attracts a pretty good crowd.

BTilke Nov 26th, 2006 10:46 AM

Recent reviews on are also positive.

So...I think Lola would be your best bet.

CHELLOLIVE Nov 27th, 2006 11:45 AM

Wow! Those place look awesome....I hope I can get reservations. Thanks so much!

CHELLOLIVE Dec 8th, 2006 09:48 AM

Looks like most places are already full...I guess we will just have to find a cozy pub and hang out there...

BTilke Dec 8th, 2006 01:03 PM

The restaurant En Face de Parachute just re-opened's possible it may be open for Christmas and has been a longstanding neighborhood favorite.
I will be back in Brussels this week-end, staying until just before Christmas and will check around early next week to see who's open and might have tables.

BTilke Dec 8th, 2006 03:52 PM

Another place you might want to consider is Jaco's in Uccle. It's not formal, instead it's a great local hangout. Not expensive. Because it's such a popular neighborhood spot, it does get quite busy on week-ends and you should try to make a reservation for Christmas. Friendly staff and they do have a nonsmoking section (the smoking section does get pretty smokey, so if you want ns, be sure to ask for it). Because they are open such long hours, you should be able to get a reservation for some time on Christmas day, although I'd suggest you call them ASAP.
Easy to reach from central Brussels...just catch the 92 tram (Fort Jaco) and take it to the very end. Walk out to Chaussee Waterloo, turn right onto Ch. Waterloo and it's about a 2 minute walk away (you will be able to see it as soon as you get onto the Chaussee).

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