You can’t go to Brussels without trying a steaming pot of moules-frites. The way it’s served is a complete experience, seeing all the mussels stuffed into a deep casserole and served with a delicious helping of crispy Belgian fries. To complete the experience, wash them down with some traditional Belgian beer.
Rue des Bouchers 34, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
The Lobster House is a charming restaurant located on the pretty and popular street Rue de Bouchers. With its 60-seat capacity, it has become an icon in the city. Known for serving some of the best mussels in Brussels, The Lobster House also offers an impressive variety of lobster and fish dishes that are sure to satisfy any seafood lover. With its prime location and reputation for excellent seafood, it’s no wonder The Lobster House is a favorite spot.
2. La Marée
Rue de Flandre 99, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
La Marée is an authentic Brussels bistro run by a husband and wife team. Known for their perfectly cooked fish, this charming restaurant never fails to impress with its delicious seafood dishes. The highlight of the menu is undoubtedly the moules frites, which are cooked to perfection every time. The secret to their success lies in their dedication to using only the freshest ingredients. The chefs at La Marée believe in letting the quality of the seafood speak for itself, so they keep their preparations simple yet incredibly flavorful.
3. Aux Armes de Bruxelles
Rue des Bouchers 13, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Aux Armes de Bruxelles is a historical restaurant in Brussels, known for serving some of the best traditional food in the city. Established in 1921, this traditional brasserie has retained its old-world charm and is full of character. The menu offers a wide variety of Belgian favorites, including delicious mussels and fries.
Pl. Sainte-Catherine 50, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Noordzee is a classic fish bar and fishmongers in the heart of the city, in Place Sainte-Catherine which is filled with fish restaurants. They are stong believers in sustainable fishing, and only work with suppliers that work to protect the planet. Place your order at the counter, wait a few minutes and then grab your food and a table across the street. The food is delicious, simply cooked tapas style dishes made on the spot.
5. Le Pecheur
Rue de la Fourche 33, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Le Pecheur, which means “the fisherman” in French, has an interior adorned with intricate nautical motifs. The menu at this French and Belgian-inspired eatery focuses heavily on fresh seafood, which is expertly prepared using classic culinary techniques. Their mouthwatering moules frites is a definite must try. Served with a rich and flavorful sauce, you can choose from a wide array of options, including garlic and white wine, truffle-infused, or even mustard-based.
Galerie de la Reine 38, Rue des Bouchers 43, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Le Marmiton is a charming restaurant located near the Grand Placd. It is run by Toni and his three children, who have created a warm and inviting atmosphere for their guests. The restaurant has been serving its patrons for over 30 years, and during that time, it has become known for serving classic Belgian dishes. Some of their most popular items include shrimp croquettes, waterzooi, and of course, mussels.
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 €.
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 the shellfish 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 common recipes 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.
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.
Best Mussels in Brussels Map
Best Mussels in Brussels FAQs
Mussels are in season between early autumn and late winter, so this is the best time to eat them when you visit Brussels!
Yes, Brussels is famous for its mussels. They are served everywhere in the in Belgium, but are particularly popular in Brussels.
Mussels were traditionally prepared in Belgian homes, especially during the wintertime when it was harder to get fish. Mussels were plentiful in the North Sea, so were a cheap alternative for Belgian families.
Mussel season starts in July – though you’re meant to only eat mussels in months containing an ‘r’ apparently. July through to April the following year is mussel season.
Why is Brussels famous for mussels?
Mussels are a Belgian staple, as they’re cheap and plentiful. Originally they were considered to be food for the poor, now they are commonly eaten with fries.