You feel like you are going back in history when you dine at a classic Belgian restaurant like Aux Armes de Bruxelles. Not only is the food very traditional Belgian and done well, the whole place feels like old Europe. I love it. In fact, King Leopold III ate here regularly and especially enjoyed the sole meunière and the mussels.
Any person visiting Belgium for the first time should visit at least one of these traditional restaurants. Aux Armes de Bruxelles is a great choice because it offers many traditional classics, such as "tomato crevette" (tomatoes with brown shrimp), Flemish stew, moules frites (mussels and fries), and of course, a great selection of Belgian beers. The restaurant is also located in the old part of the town, near the Grand Place, so it's fun to walk around that area.
How It All Began
Aux Armes de Bruxelles has been around since 1921 and introduced the concept of serving mussels in the pot, which is how it is still served today. The founder, a Flemish man named Calixte Veulemans, found success because he was able to guarantee fresh mussels to his customers on a daily basis.
Bryan decided to take me here because he had come here earlier with a co-worker who raved about the amazing flavors of the Flemish Stew. We ordered this time around, and it was indeed deeply flavorful and overall delicious.
Two Halves, Two Different Feels
The restaurant is divided into two halves with different feels. The left side is more "fancy", with white tablecloths, chandeliers, and waiters dressed in white. The right side feels more like a brasserie, with wooden booths, a bar in the back, and an overall more casual feel. The food is actually the same, but the restaurant hopes to preserve the old world feel for long time clients while trying to attract new, younger clientele.
All in all, this is a great historical and authentic place to enjoy very good Belgian food. Afterwards, you can walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the festive atmosphere. We had a drink at Delirium, a well-known local bar that takes up a large part of the same block.
Aux Armes de Bruxelles
13 Rue des Bouchers, Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 511 5550