Maria Hedian
Maria Hedian
New York City, New York State, USA
Solo Traveler | Event Producer | Marketing Creative

Brussels After Dark

To truly experience all that Brussels has to offer, you must explore it at night. Yes, I agree that there are many breathtaking historical sites, churches and monuments to see during the day. However, once the Grand Place has emptied and the myriad of restaurants and bars fill up, this is when you will create trip memories to last a lifetime. There are many places to see in this beautiful city - most involving delicious food, all the beer choices you can possible imagine and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. I've narrowed down some of my favorite restaurants, bars, clubs and accommodations for you to use on your next trip to the land of chocolate, waffles and beer! Basically, I have created a guide of essentials for the perfect nights in a perfect city. Now go out and enjoy! 

1. FUSE

Rue Blaes 208, 1000 City of Brussels, Belgium

What you would expect when you hear the words 'Techno Rave in Europe". Blinding lights, loud techno music, tons of people dancing and jumping around and lots of alcohol being passed around. This club is fantastic as an after-hours spot. Open until 5am, you can get there well after midnight and still have hours of fun. Drinks are pricier than other bars, but its well worth it for the atmosphere and the music alone!

2. L'Archiduc

Rue Antoine Dansaert 6, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Hidden gem in the center of the city. I actually read about this place in a random blog of lesser known places to see in Brussels and had to check it out for myself. The place itself is spectacular. It has an otherworldly appeal - the structure of the building is from the 1930's which adds to the appeal. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, especially if you're lucky to get a seat on the mezzanine. Drinks are the usual offerings - beer, wine, cocktails - all at reasonable prices. I tried an amazing cherry beer and it quickly became what I drank the rest of my trip! The live performance I saw was great, it felt like being at a concert. When speaking to friends, however, I was told that there isn't always a live performance and that sometimes random people can come in and play the piano if they are good. I'm glad I was lucky to have caught a performance in this beautiful place!

3. Bazaar

Rue des Capucins 63, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Cool place with an interesting aesthetic. Bazaar's appeal is that it caters to large groups, plays awesome music and offers delicious food in addition to their tasty libations. The space is huge, giving club-goers ample space to dance and have a great time. The drinks are pricier than in a pub, as they normally are in clubs, but the ambiance is positive and very upbeat.

4. Cafe Bonnefooi

Steenstraat / Rue des Pierres 8, Brussels, Belgium

If you are in the mood for listening to beautiful music or dancing till the sun comes up, Boonefooi is the place for you! Some nights, live performances are available if you get there early enough. I highly recommend stopping by for their live jazz. On the weekends, they usually have awesome DJs spinning the best house tracks to get everyone into a crazy party mood. I don't recommend the drinks here, however they have an extensive beer list (I mean, it's Belgium...) and some delicious wine. Due to the nature of the club, on the weekends it gets quite packed and the bouncers are known to get tough, especially as it gets later and people get more intoxicated. Word to the wise for entry on a weekend: it helps to go in a group, preferably with more girls than guys. Not fair, I know. But it is how it is and I'm just trying to help you out!

Thierry Lainey Skyscanner

5. A La Mort Subite

Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères 7, 1000 City of Brussels, Belgium

The best place for the best beer. If you are a beer lover, you can't miss this pub on your next trip to Brussels. While a place literally named Sudden Death may sound dark and intimidating, don't let it fool you. Apparently, this name was given based off of a dice game that was played in older times. They have a wonderful variety of local beers, including many fruit-flavored ones (my personal favorite) giving you a chance to try a little of everything. They also have bar food and light bites available for order. Centrally located and open till 1am, this bar should be on everyone's list of places to see while visiting the city!

6. La Fleur en Papier Dore

rue des Alexiens 55, Brussels 1000, Belgium

It is rare to find such a cool bar with such amazing history in a city that is constantly changing and flourishing. La Fleur is one of the few surviving traditional pubs called estaminets. It is slightly off the main tourist area, but a great place to get a feel for the Brussels of bygone days. Light snacks are offered to accompany fine Belgian beers, I recommend trying the unique Brussels beer called Gueuze. The ambiance is laid back and all along the walls you can see historical memorabilia. According to the locals, surrealists like Rene Magritte used to meet here!

7. ZODIAK

Rue du Marché aux Fromages 10, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

My friends and I stopped in thinking it would be just one more stop along the way that night, but instead we closed the place down! (The bouncer literally had to escort us out because we were one of the last ones there.) I can't begin to explain how much fun this place is! The DJs really know how to get the crowd completely entranced in the music, the drinks are reasonably priced and delicious and the ambiance is crazy. There are various rooms where you can select the kind of music you want to listen/dance to, however we stayed in the techno/electronic area most of the night because it was just that good. The bouncers at the door were not as strict as other places, could be because we were an all girl group, but staff was very nice and service was excellent.

elisa416 flickr

8. BLOODY LOUIS

Avenue Louise 32, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium

Came here one night when Major Lazor was dj-ing and was blown away by the club itself. Not only is it a HUGE space, the staff is friendly and very accommodating and drinks are strong! Be warned, they are much pricier than in other clubs/bars in the area, but this place is on another level. World renowned artists perform here and it shows. Security is strict but that is understandable. I recommend pre-gaming before coming to this club and then prepare yourself to dance the night away!

9. BIRDY Brussels

Boulevard de Waterloo 36, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Small but very trendy and sophisticated place. The night we stopped in, my girlfriends and I were greeted warmly at the door and were amazed at how beautiful the interior is. Music was great, drinks were delicious and reasonably priced for a club, staff was very friendly. We had a blast dancing all night and walked out of the club when the sun was rising!

10. Museum Nocturnes

Brussels, Belgium

The Brussels Museum Nocturnes is an event that sees over 100 museums in the city participate in each year. Museums are open later on Thursdays with reduced admission and many at no admission cost at all. It's a fantastic event because it allows tourists and locals alike the opportunity to stop by even late into the night when most attractions are closed. Another plus is that you miss the morning and afternoon rush of people. Museum Nocturnes only occurs during the fall each year, so mark your calendars! While I was there for this awesome event, we went to the MiMa Museum for free.

Harold Skyscanner

11. Le Roy d'Espagne

Grand-Place 1, Brussels 1000, Belgium

After taking pictures of the magnificent Grand Place, stop by Le Roy for a beer with a view. Situated right in the middle of everything, it's perfect for people watching and just enjoying the city square. The interior is interesting as it has mannequins in costumes and it is also one of the oldest buildings in the area. Light and reasonably-priced meals are also available and are delicious! Open late which makes it a perfect place to stop by and settle into after a long day of sightseeing.

12. Cherry Bar

Rue de la Fourche 21, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

After a night of heavy drinking at Delirium, we stopped by Cherry Bar because we heard they were open until 5am. The bar itself is small, but has just about any drink you want. The bartender was so friendly and happy to have our group (there were 10 of us) in his bar. There is a music player where you can search for any song you want and it will play throughout the bar. We did just that and had a dance party. Great after-hours place!

13. Le Saint Georges

Av.E.Max 81, Brussels 1030, Belgium

Warm, inviting French brasserie-style restaurant with a beautiful terrace area. Waiters were very attentive, we were a group of 13 and never had to request refills for our drinks! Food was fresh and delicious. I had a grilled shrimp platter and was in heaven. Overall, a wonderful experience - I will definitely be back next time I visit Brussels.

Maria Hedian Skyscanner

14. Il Pasticcio

Rue Marie de Bourgogne 3, Brussels 1050, Belgium

I never would have thought that I would have one of the best Italian meals of my life...in Brussels! It's a small restaurant with a huge personality. Right off the bat, you are greeted warmly and made to feel right at home. After placing our orders, we were treated to a glass of champagne while we waited for our meals. The food is phenomenal - I highly recommend trying the pasta trio, especially if you are undecided. You get to try three absolutely amazing small pasta dishes for the price of one. Also, don't skip out on dessert. Leave some space, you won't regret it! With our bill came a shot a limoncello for each of us, which was just the cherry on top of a magnificent evening!

15. sea grill

Rue Fossee au loup 47 | Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Brussels 1000, Belgium

Very elegant and classy French seafood restaurant in the center of the city. Tables for 2 are a bit small, but not uncomfortable. Food was so good we almost cried. The presentation of the plates was extremely creative and quite interesting. I can't say enough about the service! Our waiter was friendly, knowledgable and extremely efficient. Everything he suggested was absolutely delicious. Fun fact: this restaurant has 2 Michelin stars! And in my opinion, deserves a third.

Maria Hedian Skyscanner

16. Taverne Greenwich

Rue des Chartreux 7, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

One of the most stunning restaurant interiors I have ever seen. Although it is located in a central, touristy area of the city - there were more locals than anything else. Service was great, slower than what us Westerners are used to, however this is the same in all of Europe. Our waiter was very attentive and hospitable. The food was delicious, I ordered pasta Bolognese and was extremely happy with my choice. To our complete surprise, there was a tango performance the night we dined there. When asking our waiter, he explained that they occasionally have this on Friday nights. We had been lucky! Overall, a wonderful experience.

Maria Hedian Skyscanner

17. Bon-bon

Avenue de Tervueren 453, 1150 Bruxelles, Belgium

This beautiful restaurant is located in an elegant residential area of Brussels. Upon arrival, you're given the choice of an a-la-carte menu or a "surprise tasting". I chose to be surprised but informed our waiter that I was vegetarian. He said it would be no problem. I received plate after plate of heavenly vegetarian options - some of which the best I've ever tasted. Everything everyone says about this place is true. Is it expensive? Yes - it's a Michelin restaurant. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY.

18. The Lobster House

39, Rue des Bouchers, Brussels 1000, Belgium

After some research, I decided to give this place a try mainly because all I could find was glowing reviews. I am happy I did. Everything I tried was absolutely fantastic. Prices are reasonable. There is an option for a 3-course meal that includes a drink for only 12 euro! Fresh lobster grilled with garlic butter, just as tasty sides and of course, excellent Belgian beer. The seafood paella was also amazing, you can taste the freshness of all the ingredients in every bite. The staff was very attentive and the place itself was not as packed as I thought it would be, especially being so close to the Grand Place.

19. CiPiaCe

Parvis Saint-Gilles 49/A, Brussels 1060, Belgium

Although St. Gilles Quarter is well off the tourist track, this wonderful Italian restaurant was packed both times I stopped in for dinner. Among the locals, this place is a known hangout for drinks (they are delicious!), however, the best part for me was the incredible and authentic Italian food. The staff is so warm and welcoming, you feel right at home. They ask you what you like to eat to then recommend something from their menu. Their cocktails are sophisticated and strong - what more could we ask for? And as a bonus, a complimentary shot of Limoncello with the bill!

20. Comme Chez Soi

place Rouppe 23, Brussels 1000, Belgium

Walking into Comme Chez Soi is like walking into a decadent dream. The Art Deco design of the restaurant itself is enough to take you away from where you are. My friends brought me here for dinner on my birthday and planned the most unforgettable night. We received a tour of the wine cellar, which apparently anyone can ask for but many do not know to do so. Ask for a tour. The wine cellar is spectacular! The next surprise was the location of our seats, they got us the chef's table in the kitchen. I was transported to another world- completely enthralled by what I saw. Every single thing was so delicately prepared with such attention to detail. The food was unreal, so delicious and the chef was happy to accommodate specific food requests due to allergies. The entire experience felt royal. You must stop if you're ever in the area, it will change your life!

Maria Hedian Skyscanner

21. Dolce Amaro

Chaussee de Charleroi, 115/117, Brussels 1060, Belgium

What can I say? No matter where I am in the world, I always fall back on trusty Italian restaurants. Sometimes, I am not satisfied - but other times, my mind is blown by how good they are outside of Italy! This was one of those times. Dolce Amaro is delicious authentic Italian food in the heart of Brussels. The atmosphere is perfect for sharing with friends but also accommodates to the solo traveler as the staff are extremely friendly. The first time I came here, I sat at the bar as I was traveling on my own. The bartender was so sweet and conversational. Any time I eat here, I leave with a smile on my face because everyone just makes you feel so welcome and the food is just so so good. Prices are reasonable, a bit on the high end, but it's well worth it.

22. Hotel des Galeries

Rue des Bouchers 38, Brussels 1000, Belgium

Beautiful small hotel located in a perfect location - minutes from Grand Place and central station. The staff was very helpful in recommending places to eat in the area that weren't tourist traps! Rooms are very clean and comfortable, though the shower pressure could be a little stronger! The main lobby was staffed 24/7 which was a bonus when I got back to the hotel late. Prices were reasonable and breakfast was simple but delicious.

23. Maison Flagey

Avenue du Général de Gaulle 39, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

Maison Flagey is a beautiful art Nouveau bed & breakfast located on the south side of Brussels. Staying here was like stepping into the past, a decadent and royal past! The room was outstanding - simple but elegant, down to every minute detail. With a balcony overlooking the water, it was such a peaceful stay. Very clean, not very large but you definitely have space to feel comfortable. Breakfast is small but tastes fresh and is delicious. I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

24. Sleep Well Youth Hostel

23 Rue du Damier | 23, Brussels 1000, Belgium

Standard hostel with cool common areas and a very laid-back chill environment. Perfectly located between north and central train stations, this hostel was great for my quick 2 night stay. Depending on the time of year, you can find amazing deals (I paid 12 Euro per night!). Breakfast is interesting but good. You are always in walking distance of a large market should you want to get food to make. Check-in is late, but they do offer a place to store your bags while your room is ready. This was essential for me as I got there at 9am and did not want to carry my backpack all day! Also, they allowed me to leave my bag there a few hours after I checked out, giving me the opportunity to sightsee some more before my train to Amsterdam. Great place for the price.

25. Generation Europe Youth Hostel

Rue de l'Éléphant 4, 1080 Bruxelles, Belgium

Clean and spacious hostel with interesting decor. Price was a bit high, but it was fairly close to all of the main attractions and train stations which made it worth the price. My room was cleverly designed as you could use the toilet, shower and wash your hands separately which is great when sharing, not so great when you get up in the middle of the night and have to find your way from the bathroom to the sink in the dark (and trying to make as little noise as possible). The hostel has many students who are often quite loud, so if that's not what you're looking for - don't book here. Breakfast was good, there was a good variety of hot and cold. They also offer a full service kitchen you can use if you prefer. Overall, a good bang for your buck!

Last updated at Jun 27, 2018