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Cheap eats Brussels: best places to eat in Brussels on a budget 2024

As a city in Europe, it can be challenging to find affordable places to eat in Brussels. Here are the best cheap but delicious meals available, from street food to budget-friendly restaurants. 

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Table of Contents

Tonton Garby

Rue Duquesnoy 6

The sandwiches from here will change your life. It’s a one-man business, and the passion of Tonton really shines through. Every sandwich is made from the freshest ingredients, but be prepared to wait – word has gotten around!

Opening hours: Mon – Tue 9am-5pm, Wed-Thur 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-5:30pm

L’Express

Rue des Chapeliers 8

For a quick and tasty meal near the Grand Place, head to L’Express. They do Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine, with a small shawarma costing 6 euros, or a large one costing 8 euros. Everything is made fresh and the portions are generous. 

Opening hours: Tue 6pm-1am, Wed-Thur 12p-1am, Fri-Sat 12pm-3am, Sun 12pm-1am

Bia Mara

Rue du Marche aux Poulets 41

A small restaurant in the center of Brussels, serving fish, seafood, fries and beer. The portions are large and everything is delicious. It has a small menu, and everything is simple, but that just means what they do, they do well. A large crispy piece of fish and fries costs around 12 euros.

Opening hours: Mon – Thur 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-9:30pm, Fri 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-10pm

Il Colosseo

Boulevard Emile Jacqmain 74

This is a small and cosy pizzeria, where every pizza costs 10 euros regardless of the toppings. It’s run by an Italian family, and the food is simply delicious. The restaurant itself is small, and it gets busy, so make a reservation in advance!

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm

Ballekes

Rue des Chapeliers 3

A small cafe with cheap food, as the name suggests, they specialise in meatballs with 6 different sauces. It’s extremely popular with both tourists and locals, with the meatballs prepared from authentic Belgian recipes. They also do croquettes, fries and salads and have a great choice of local beers and ciders. A meal will set you back between 10 – 15 euros. 

Opening hours: Tuesday 6-9:30pm, Tuesday 12-3:30pm, Thursday – Sunday 12-3:30pm, 6-9:30pm

Pistolet Original

Rue Joseph Stevens 24-26

Trying a classic pistolet roll is a must in Brussels – grab some for a picnic on the go of stop by this lovely cafe. Fillings include humble ham and gherkin to delicious duck rillette – enough to keep you trying something new for weeks. 

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-3pm Sat-Sun 11am-5pm

Pois Chiche

Pl. de la Chapelle 15

Pois Chiche is a cool middle eastern restaurant in the city center. It offers fast food with a vision, using local and organic ingredients, homemade pickles, syrups and sauces. Everything here is vegetarian and very affordable for the quality – a main course will set you back around 17 euros or grab a filled flatbread for 8 euros. 

Opening hours: Mon-Wed 12pm-9pm, Thur-Fri 12pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 11am-10pm

Best cheap eats in Brussels FAQs

Is it cheap to eat in Brussels?

Brussels can be a relatively affordable city to eat in if you know where to look. There are plenty of budget-friendly options, including street food stalls, local markets, and smaller, family-run eateries where you can enjoy a meal without breaking the bank. Many of these places offer traditional Belgian dishes like moules frites (mussels and fries) or carbonnade flamande (beef stewed in beer), allowing visitors to experience the local cuisine without spending a fortune. Additionally, there are also many international restaurants and fast-food chains that cater to a variety of budgets. However, if you prefer a more upscale dining experience, Brussels also offers a plethora of high-end restaurants and gourmet eateries, where prices can be considerably higher. Overall, the cost of dining in Brussels can vary greatly depending on your preferences, but with a bit of research and exploration, it is possible to find affordable and delicious meals throughout the city.

How expensive are restaurants in Brussels?

Eating out in Brussels can range from affordable to quite expensive, depending on the type of restaurant and the area of the city. In general, dining at a mid-range restaurant in Brussels can cost anywhere from 20 to 40 euros per person for a meal, not including drinks. However, if you choose to dine at a high-end restaurant or enjoy a multi-course tasting menu, the prices can easily exceed 50 euros per person. Additionally, dining in the more touristy areas of Brussels, such as around the Grand Place, may also come with a higher price tag due to the demand from visitors. On the other hand, exploring the neighborhoods outside the city center can lead to more affordable dining options, such as local cafes and bistros. Overall, while Brussels does have a reputation for being relatively pricey in terms of dining, there are still opportunities to find budget-friendly options for those looking to eat out without breaking the bank.

 How much is a coffee in Brussels?

The price of a coffee in Brussels can vary depending on where you choose to purchase it. In most traditional cafes or coffee shops, a standard espresso or americano can cost anywhere between €2 to €3.50. However, if you opt for a fancier establishment or a more touristy area, the price can easily go up to €4 or more. Prices for specialty coffee drinks like lattes or cappuccinos tend to be slightly higher, ranging from €3 to €5. If you’re looking for a quick and cheaper option, you can also find coffee kiosks or street vendors offering coffee for as low as €1.50. Additionally, many bakeries or pastry shops offer coffee at a similar price point, making it convenient to grab a quick cup with a snack. Overall, while coffee prices in Brussels may be slightly higher than in some other European cities, there are still plenty of options available to suit various budgets.

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