The Italian influence in Brussels can be traced back to the 1900s when a migration agreement was signed between Belgium and Italy. This agreement led to a large influx of Italians to Brussels, bringing with them their rich culinary traditions. Today, pizza and pasta have become staples in the city’s food landscape.
From casual pizzerias to high-end Michelin-starred establishments, there is no shortage of Italian restaurants to choose from in Brussels. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for an unforgettable dining experience, our top recommendations cover it all. So, if you’re planning a trip to Brussels and want to indulge in some delicious Italian fare, here are the best Italian restaurants that you need to check out.
1. Nona – Neapolitan Pizza
Nona is a slice of dolce vita and one of the best pizzerias in Brussels. With its striped awning, marbled counter, and full-scale wood-burning oven, the restaurant exudes an authentic Italian atmosphere. Despite its popularity, Nona manages to provide quick service, ensuring that customers are not left waiting for long.
The secret to their delicious neapolitan style pizzas lies in their commitment to using mostly local and organic ingredients. Depending on the season, customers can enjoy a variety of mouthwatering toppings, such as pumpkin and bacon or gorgonzola, pear, and pine nuts. Nona offers traditional stone oven pizza in Milanese style, with a wafer-thin base and fresh toppings. Nona also prides itself on its amazing pasta dishes, all made from scratch.
2. Osteria Bolognese
Osteria Bolognese is a gem that has earned its reputation as a Michelin Bib Gourmand. The menu is carefully crafted around dishes from Bologna, and the restaurant takes pride in importing high-quality ingredients straight from there, such as their flavorful pasta and cured meat.
One of the chef’s main missions is to correct the misconceptions of the popular ‘spag bol’ dish, and he does so with his mouthwatering tagliatelle al ragu using traditional italian recipes. The ambiance of Osteria Bolognese is low key, allowing the focus to be on the fantastic Italian food they serve. However, with only a few tables available, it is essential to book a table in advance as they tend to get filled quickly. In fact, be prepared to reserve weeks ahead to secure a table at this exceptional establishment.
4. Le Buone Maniere
Gazetta is a cosy Italian cafe and delicatessen. Whether you’re in the mood for a cup of aromatic coffee, a delicious panini, or a comforting plate of pasta, Gazetta has got you covered. This quaint cafe is open all day, making it perfect for those looking to grab a quick bite on the go, indulge in a leisurely meal, or simply enjoy a drink with friends.
7. La Truffe Noire
La Truffe Noire is a renowned restaurant that celebrates the exquisite taste and aroma of truffles. Their menu features a range of dishes from beef carpaccio to raviolis, all delicately enhanced by the addition of this pivotal ingredient. When indulging in their gourmet offerings, guests have the option to choose between black truffles or white truffles to accompany their dish. We recommend choosing a simple dish like pasta with cream and adding white truffles.
Fico is a renowned restaurant in Brussels that has received the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand award. This charming establishment pays tribute to its Sicilian roots, creating a friendly vibe and showcasing a vintage interior. The restaurant’s history is deeply connected to Sicily, as the family moved to Brussels from the island in the 1970s. Fico prides itself on the high quality of ingredients used in their dishes, which mainly consist of pastas, pizzas, and antipasti. One must-try dish is the vitello tonato, featuring anchovies and tuna mayonnaise, complemented by an amazing candied lime and caper jam. And of course, the legendary tiramisu is a definite must-order for dessert.
Ricciocapriccio is a colourful bistro located in Brussels that has become a favourite among the Italian community. The chef at this restaurant is a fan of fine produce and specializes in dishes featuring sea urchin and squid. When in season, fresh sea urchins are served whole or mixed with pasta. In addition to their seafood options, Ricciocapriccio also offers a variety of pasta dishes and vegetarian options on their menu. The restaurant takes pride in sourcing its fruits and vegetables directly from Puglia, ensuring the highest quality ingredients. To top it all off, guests can enjoy their meal in the lovely secluded garden, adding to the overall charm of the dining experience.
Racines is a vintage restaurant with Mediterranean accents, offering an authentic Italian trattoria experience. While it can be a bit pricey and crowded at times, the dishes served are of top quality and absolutely delicious. In addition to the restaurant, Racines also has a fine grocery shop offering various culinary delights.
The menu at Racines does not include any meat options; instead, it highlights local vegetables, fresh herbs, and wild-caught fish. One highly recommended dish is the oven-cooked ricotta topped with sun-dried tomatoes. Racines boasts a beautiful and spacious garden, which is especially delightful to dine in during the summer months.
Gioia is a stylish restaurant in Brussels that boasts a lovely rear terrace. The highlight of the menu is the homemade pasta, which is made with love and care. Each dish is bursting with rich flavors, thanks to the use of fresh ingredients and the simplicity of the recipes. The restaurant is run by a dynamic duo of women from a family that has a renowned reputation for bringing Italian gastronomy to Brussels. They have truly mastered the art of creating delicious and authentic Italian dishes.
We love their weekly specials, which are always a treat for the taste buds. For example, they offer hand-pulled tortelli filled with a delightful combination of pumpkin, amaretti biscuits, parmesan, mostarda di Cremona and fried sage.
Genco is a beloved restaurant among locals, known for its traditional Italian food and upscale dining experience. The menu at Genco is filled with classic dishes made from the finest ingredients, showcasing the rich flavors and techniques of Italian cuisine. One particularly recommended dish is the pulpo carpaccio, which features thin slices of octopus dressed in a bright citrus vinaigrette.
13. Da Mimmo
Da Mimmo is a renowned restaurant that has been awarded a Michelin Star. Specializing in delicious Mediterranean cuisine, Da Mimmo prides itself on using top quality ingredients to create simple yet delectable dishes. The menu boasts a variety of mouthwatering options such as the risotto with porcini mushrooms and baked chestnuts, or the squid tagliatelle with smoked eel and truffle. At Da Mimmo, guests can expect a dining experience that prioritizes rich flavors and quality ingredients over gimmicks. The restaurant also boasts an excellent wine list, ensuring that guests can find the perfect pairing to complement their meal.
14. Pasta Divina
Pasta Divina is a popular family owned restaurant located just steps away from the historic Grand Place. It is well-known for its authentic and delicious pasta dishes. What sets Pasta Divina apart is that all of their pasta is made by hand, and all dishes are cooked to order, allowing customers to customize their meals to suit their preferences. The menu offers a wide range of options, from classic dishes like carbonara to more unique and adventurous selections. Due to the restaurant’s popularity, it is highly recommended to book in advance to secure a table.