Participate Translate Blank profile picture
Image for Chocolate, waffles, ‘frites’ and beer in Brussels

Chocolate, waffles, ‘frites’ and beer in Brussels

Published on

Translation by:

Default profile picture Danielle Goshawk


Belgium is all this and more. Your wallet may feel the effects in times of crisis, but there’s no need for your stomach to as well

Belgian chocolate

Chocolate is a product that is bearing up relatively well against the crisis. Its sales are not falling dramatically because it is associated with pleasure and is seen as a treat that can reduce anxiety; although, people are definitely looking for cheaper chocolate. The European chocolate and confectionary industry generates annual profits of over 47.8 billion euros (£43.46 billion). Belgian chocolate contains a high percentage of pure cocoa and is one of the most famous kinds due to its high quality; going into one of the chocolate shops is a feast for the senses (Image: ©Álvaro Millán)

Belgian waffles

There are two types of waffles in Belgium: one in the Liège style made with a chewier batter, and the Brussels style which is a bit lighter. Judging by the hoards of people who queue up in front of the street stalls, it seems as though the crisis has not affected sales of this low-cost treat either. The best Belgian waffles can be bought in the streets surrounding Mannekin Pis statue, which is just off the grand place square (Image: ©Álvaro Millán)

Belgian 'frites'

Fritland, in the square in front of the Bourse (stock exchange), is one of the most popular places to taste some good ‘frites’ (chips). Belgians love them and they are typically sold in paper cones with a selection of sauces to suit all tastes. It’s a cheap dish to enjoy during the crisis – and for just a few euros, who can resist? (Image: ©Álvaro Millán)

12 euro menus

But if the ‘frites’ aren’t enough, the crisis has led to many restaurants reducing the prices of their set menus. You can enjoy a three-course meal for 12 euros or £10.91 (Image: ©Álvaro Millán)

Food budgets

At lunch time, MEPs congregate in a different hemicycle. According to official figures, the monthly allowance before tax for Euro MPs rose to 7, 665.31 euros (£6, 969) in 2009 (Image: ©Álvaro Millán)

More than 200 types of beer

Belgian beer is one of the most varied in the world, and is not far behind the Germans in terms of fame. The different kinds of beer include amber ales, Pils, brown ale, white and sweet beer…but the crisis has affected this sector too. The world’s largest brewer is the Belgian company Anheuser-Busch Inbev; in early 2010 they announced the redundancy of 10% of its workforce in the country, around 2, 700 employees. However, the country’s beer consumption has only fallen by 1.9%. Over the last decade, its consumption has fallen from 99 litres to 82 litres per inhabitant (Image: ©Álvaro Millán)

Happy hour

Happy hour, group discounts…going out drinking can be cheaper than expected if you shop around. There are even offers for people who don’t drink much alcohol or who go out in groups. In this Brussels bar a shot or shooter costs 2 euros 50 (£2.27) or ten for 18 euros or £16.37 (Image: ©Álvaro Millán)

Translated from Comer en Bruselas en tiempos de crisis