If you're looking for a quaint, charming, and authentically Belgian restaurant, La Villette Brussels is a great choice. I had my first authentic Belgian meal here after not too long after arriving in the city.
The restaurant is located on the Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains in a bustling part of the old city called Place Sainte-Catherine. Checked table clothes, an excellent selection of 40+ Belgian beers, and all the traditional classic Belgian dishes made this place ideal for a first taste of Belgium.
Shrimp Croquettes are very common and a quintessential Belgian dish. The ones at La Villette are house made and filled with shrimp and a creamy bechamel based sauce. They are quite rich and filling, but are pretty tasty. I recommend sharing an order since it's hard to eat more than one!
We've always loved moules frites, one of the most famous Belgian dishes outside of Belgium. The Mussels with white wine cream sauce here was delicious, and came with a nice side of fries ("frites").
For mains, Bryan ordered a guinea fowl with cranberries, which he said was good and reminded him of American Thanksgiving.
Steak + Flemish Beef Stew
Steak was executed a good rare, and came with a side of polenta.
Flemish Stew is another classic, beef cooked for hours in a sauce that includes beer.
The restaurant is not huge so it's best to make reservations, which you can do online through their website or just have your hotel call them.
We had a lovely first Belgian meal here. The service was friendly, the food was hearty and enjoyable, and the ambiance was really charming. They have re-opened as of June 8, 2020 and do have outdoor dining now.
Le Villette Brussels
Rue du Vieux Marché aux grains (Place Sainte-Catherine) 3, 1000, Bruxelles