Business trip to Brussels next week

So I’m going to be in Brussels helping to set up my company’s first European office next week. I’ll be landing Sunday morning, working Monday-Wednesday, and leaving Thursday morning.

I expect that I’ll end up getting roped in to working dinners both nights, but on the off chance I manage to get away from my boss for an evening, can anybody give me any recommendations on things to check out?

I usually have the most fun in foreign cities just wandering around. My tastes run toward the arty/underground rock/trashy/cafe slacking rather than the snooty - think used record stores, thrift shops, and bars with Plastic Bertrand on the jukebox. I don’t have a problem with museums and churches, but I probably won’t have much time for them on this trip.

Any ideas?

I’m sorry. Take a train somewhere else, like Amsterdam.

Just got back from Belgium, it was the least fun part of my European trip.

Wow, I’m going to completely disagree I did a two week tour of Germany, Austria and brussels last summer and the 3 days in Brussels were by far my favorite part.

Brussels was dirtier then any of the other cities that we visited but the beer and food was beyond compare. Mostly we just wandered around looking at cathedrals and other touristy stuff but going to the beer store and trying to select something to drink was an hour long endeavor. I’d say it’s impossible to not find a beer you like. My two favorites were jumpilier and westmalle Trappist triple.

As far as food I’d highly recommend finding a seafood place and eating the mussels also the waffles were a fun treat for dessert one night. I didn’t notice anythig special about their chocolate but it’s highly touted in the guide books. The biggest thing food wise the guide books missed were the fries, getting a plate of them loaded up was one of my greatest pleasures for a walking around snack. Unfortunatly I don’t remember what it’s called anymore but there was a long alley next to the main touristy area of downtown that was covered in resteraunts, you could eat there 3 meals a day for a week and maybe cover half of them. Grab a guid book it should be easy to find.

I tried for days to find a decent frite, it was all I heard about before I went, and honestly they were just soggy french fries. I’ve had much better elsewhere, but the mussels were good.

Can you extend your stay by a day or two? Because you’re unlikely to have any time unless the trip is very kind to your body-clock.

I’ll be downing a couple of whiskeys and a benadryl as soon as the wheels are up for the JFK-BRU leg, and probably taking a nap once I check in to the hotel. That seemed to work for my last trip to Paris.

I’ll definitely be getting mussels and some fritjes (if I can find them) at some point. I developed a bit of a taste for haring in the Netherlands a few years ago - any chance I might find some among the Flemish?

The Grand Place in Brussels is the singlemost stunning man-made structure (actually it’s a central square comprised of many individual structures all seemingly connected together) I have ever seen, especially when illuminated at night.

Words can’t come close to conveying how beautiful it actually is in person.

The “Restaurant Street” mentioned in a post above is called Rue de Boucher, and it indeed offers a multitude of dining options, almost all of which cater to tourists exclusively; Do yourself a favor and walk a few blocks (in any direction) from Grand Place and try out somewhere that has a local vibe to it, it will probably be a much more satisfying experience than someplace on Boucher.

Finally, if you like non-descript, yet totally unique places for a beer, please be certain to check out A La Mort Subite, a place that’s been around for a couple hundred years and makes the best fruit lambics in all Belgium. Get the kriek (cherry) or peche (peach) and a cheese omelette. Heaven…

(Mort Subite is only a 5 minute walk from Grand Place, in a perfectly safe little neighborhood—Anyone can give you directions, even though it’s just a tiny little bar.)

If you like comics, you can wander about close to the main square in the old town admiring the murals on various walls.
Some of them are great! Lots of small bars and restaurants in the area, too.