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Mussels or Moules are Belgium’s national dish as well as a delicious local delicacy. Mussels are both delicious and extremely nutritious, full of good fats and a variety of vitamins. You’ll find them in Brussels with all kinds of sauces and styles of cooking, and make an amazing meal or treat to share. Here’s where to find the best mussels in Brussels.
Why do they eat mussels in Brussels?
Although the fish is popular across Europe, it is considered to have originated in Belgium. Mussels used to be a popular and cheap food option eat around the coast, and were normally combined with fried potatoes that were popular in the Winter. Thus making moules-frites!
Between 25 and 30 tonnes of mussels are eaten every year in Belgium, but most of the mussels served actually come from farms in the Netherlands.
How are mussels eaten in Belgium?
The mussels are normally boiled until they open up, and served in a large bowl with a choice of sauce. In Brussels, you’ll find them served with a huge portion of frites.
The best way to eat your way through the dish is to use an empty mussel shell to grab the meat out and you’ll be given a second dish to put the empty shells into.
The way the mussels are cooked can vary, but commonly you’ll find:
- Moules marinière – a white wine, shallot, parsley and butter sauce
- Moules nature – steamed with celery, leeks and butter
Most common in Brussels is to find the mussels served with french fries – frites. These will be served separately, to avoid the fries becoming soggy. You’ll find mussels served everywhere in Belgium, and they are particularly popular in Brussels. The best season to eat them is between September and December as this is when they’re freshest, but you’ll find restaurants serving them year round.
So, here’s where to find the best mussels in Brussels
The Lobster House
Rue des Bouchers 34, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Get your fill of some of Brussels’ best mussels at The Lobster House. Taking food from boat to plate, this 60 seat restaurant is renowned as a Brussels icon because of their seafood, lobster and mussels.
Rue de Flandre 99, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
A family affair run by a husband and wife team, La Marée serves only the best quality fish cooked to perfection, and their mussels are no different.
Aux Armes de Bruxelles
Rue des Bouchers 13, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Take your pick of how you want your mussels served at Aux Armes de Bruxelles. This historical establishment is a must visit when you’re in Brussels, said by many to serve the best traditional food in the city.
Pl. Sainte-Catherine 50, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Noordzee is a classic fish bar and fishmongers in the heart of the city. They are stong believers in sustainable fishing, and only work with suppliers that work to protect the planet.
Rue de la Fourche 33, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
This quiet and cosy restaurant serves up a whole menu of mussels dishes with pretty much every sauce you could want – from garlic and white wine to truffles or mustard.
Galerie de la Reine 38, Rue des Bouchers 43, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Right in the heart of the city by the Grand Place is Le Marmiton, serving up some of the best mussels in Brussels. Run by dad Toni and his three children, they serve classic Belgian style mussels.
Le Chou de Bruxelles
Rue de Florence 26, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Serving over 30 variations of mussels, Le Chou de Bruxelles is the place to go when you’re craving moules frites. They’ve been in business for over 25 years, and offer a build your own menu – choose a starter, main course and dessert for only 34 €.