5 vegetarian and vegan hotspots in Brussels
Aaah, the first rays of sunshine have started gleeming through and seems like summer truly is just around the corner. So about damn to time to carry out those New Year's Resolutions you once made on a cold winter's night. One of which probably being the ultimate cliché 'start working out like a mad man, get my tight summer body sorted and strut around the beach like a boss'. Or the simpler and shorter version : 'changing my eating habits to a healthy diet plan'. If you're hell bent on crossing the first one of your list, the gym is probably the best place to go. If option number two was your favourite, you can sit back, relax and keep on reading just a tad bit longer. So listen up foodies, we have hand picked some top spots in Brussels where you can feast on healthy vegetarian en vegan dishes. And whoever said veggie or vegan is boring, has clearly never been to these hot spots. Buckly up, because this is going to be the healthiest ride of your life.
Pictures by Mel Ryan and Amélie Vincent, written by Sandy Demandt, English translation by Ruth Bouillon. Nederlandstalige versie van dit artikel.
To all the tourists visiting Brussels, there's one piece of advice we love to hand out: go crazy and get off at Brussels Midi train station instead of Brussels Central station. Granted, this is more of a recommendation for those of you who like trying something else, instead of heading straight for the Grand Place or Nieuwstraat. Then why bother anyway? Because Greenway is a must see stop on your healthy tour through Brussels. The chain has already been around for over 20 years, with restaurants in Ghent, Antwerp and Louvain. So of course, our dear Brussels could not be left behind.
Unlike its counterparts, the Brussels booth is rather small, but this just adds to the coziness and charm in our opinion. Greenway is like vegetarian fastfood heaven: a whole lot of junkfood about which you actually don't need to feel guilty for once. Definitely have a go at the vegan kebab and the falafal wrap. Or better yet, the lovely fresh salad or a yummy bowl of soup. If you're already up bright and early, Greenway is also the perfect spot for a healthy breakfast.
Victor Hortaplein 24, 1060 Sint-Gillis
If you decide on ignoring our first piece of advice and to immediately get off at Brussels Central station, we'll forgive you anyway. Because our second vegan hotspot Moonfood, is only a short walk away. As the shop is located fairly close to the political and economical heart of Brussels, it's entirely filled with suits around lunchtime. But don't let them scare you off, because the food is not only extremely delicious at Moonfood, it's affordable as well. Just scoop up as you please and head to the register. There, everything is weighed in and you pay 2,70 euro for every 100 grams.
The buffet consist off 100% vegan, raw, glutenfree food, with a different menu every day. And that's not all, Moonfood lives by the living food concept: their food is cooked below 46 degrees Celcius, so it maintains even more vitamins. Another fun fact: did you know that the menu was composed by Annie Padden Jubb? Her name probably doesn't ring a bell, but she is the food coach for countless superstars like for instance Leonardo DiCaprio. If that's not a good reason to go see for yourself, we don't know what is!
Koloniënstraat 58, 1000 Brussels
The third place to go and discover is located near the popular Sint-Katelijne area. In a side street of the Dansaertstraat, you can find a bright yellow house which harbours a tiny Bio-Shop. At noon, from 12 AM to 2 PM, you can not only buy your healthy snacks (of course), but you can enjoy a nice lunch as well. Just walk up the stairs and make yourself at home. This is the true asset of the shop, as the cosy house feels like it was plucked straight out of Spanish coast town. That holiday feeling is only reinforced by the gigantic mural, reminiscent of those typical Italian or Greek restaurants.
The food definitely lives up to the cosy and laid back feel. Every item on your plate is organic either way, from the crispy veggies to the wheat germs. And that's exactly what Den Teepot is aiming for. Typical dishes with just that little bit of extra oompf, which makes it all worth while. So go ahead and deviate from your usual shopping route and enjoy a healthy lunch at Den Teepot.
Karthuizerstraat 66, 1000 Brussels
Of course, Brussels has far more to offer than just the town centre. So you might need to take a short busride for our next two stops, since we are taking you to the habitat of most Brussels students, Elsene. For most VUB and ULB students, the Flagey Square no longer holds any secrets. One of the most famous hotspots is vegetarian restaurant Ami. In winter, you can enjoy the most delicious cups of soup and during long, hot summer nights, everyone is chilling out on the small patio.
The Scandinavian vibe clearly draws out all the hipster students and even the menu accomodates this most precious customer. The veggie and happy food, as it is described on the sign outside, mostly contains burgers and sandwiches. The vegan options are a little more limited, as most vegetarians really seem to like cheese. But customers come first, even if this one is the toughest you can have, a vegan. So don't hesitate to ask for a no cheese sandwich, with lots of veganaise instead of the normal sauce assortment. One last tip: the burgers are rather small, so indulge a little and order two right off the bat.
Lesbroussartstraat 13, 1050 Elsene
Restaurant Dolma has been a rock solid establishment in Flagey for over 40 years, so it got a major, well deserved makeover last year. The transformation to a complete vegetarian and vegan hot spot has evolved over the years and now Dolma is run by an entirely new owner, who even manages the kitchen himself.
On a daily basis you can browse through a fresh buffet that doesn't contain eggs or chicken. Take up your plate and go on a culinairy journey through Italian, Mexican, Asian, Nepal, Creoole and Spanish cuisine. Everything you chose is purely organic, from the carefully selected wines to even the corn in the wilde rice. If you'd rather be at home indulging in an oversized portion, there's always the take away service. If you're a little more adventurous, you can purchase all the necessary ingredients in the nearby shop and unleash your inner Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson.
Elsensesteenweg 329, 1050 Elsene