Food of Bruges
Belgian cuisine is regarded second in quality to French. Pork, beef, fish and seafood - especially mussells are the staple items eaten here,traditionally prepared in butter, cream or herbs and sometimes even beer. Soup served in huge tureens is comfort food and even though reasonably priced can be quite satisfying.
The cafes-bars in Bruge are the least expensive places to eat, with dishes ranging at a modest EUR 12 - EUR 17. The restaurants are usually the more expensive affairs and serve other cuisines apart from the usual Belgian fare.
Bruge cuisine is traditionally Flemish, borrowing from Netherlands, known to be more simple. Asparagus, endives, potatoes and different types of meat or seafood are the most commonly used ingredients.
So, if you want to try the local cuisine, go ahead and look out for Waterzooi, a stew preparation with chicken or fish boiled with vegetables; konjin met pruimen, rabbit with prunes (for the adventurous ones!); paling in Ít groen, eels cooked in spinach sauce; stoofvlees, beef marinated in beer; stoemp, combination of mashed potato with meat or vegetable puree and hutsepot, a mixed stew comprising mutton, beef and pork. Moules or Mussells prepared in different ways, is yet another delicacy.
Bruge is indeed haven for meat lovers.
Breakfast in Bruges, is an usual affair of coffee, rolls or croissant, unless you opt for a breakfast buffet in the more expensive hotels, which is a lavish spread of cold cuts, cheese, fruits, cereals and the like.
Feast on some French Fries (no they are not French in make), while on the move. Frituur stands or parked vans seve you this popular favourite with mayonnaise or other exotic dressings. These stands also serve a variety of sausages, the blood sausages being a local favourite.
You can't go to Belgium and not have the Waffle or Belgian Chocolate. Gaufres/wafels available in two kinds - the more common Liege one, which is naturally sweetened and caramelised and the Brussels variety, fluffier, served which jam, honey, whipped cream or a variety of other sweet toppings.
Bruge also boasts of several pattisseries and chocolatiers, serving pastries, mousse, chococlate bars which are sheer decadence. Do make a trip to the Godiva store in Markt, to pack home goodies.
Teetotallers do not read ahead.
Hop into the cosy unpretentious bars situated almost at every corner, to sample the beer here. Freshly brewed in plenitude of flavours (the De Garr serves 100 flavours!), beer is quite reasonable here. Vlissinghe Tavern is the oldest, having been around since 1515!
Flemish cuisine although delectable, is more so for the brave hearted. De Karmeliet, Bhavani, Taj Mahal, Indian Tandoori and many more are hence, there to salvage your comfort food needs, with elaborate menus on offer.
Vegetarian in Bruges? Eat the waffles!
On a more serious note, vegetarians you need to do your homework before setting out for meals. Although scant, there are some much sought after venues in the likes of Reliva, De Bron and Lotus.
Flemish vegetarian stews or tarts to the rescue!