Themed bar with a great atmosphere and interior in the lively Saint-Catherine neighborhood of Brussels. Great choice of beer and drinks available, Â bartenders are kind and gentle. Lovely long & cool bar counter. Interior is very interesting, lots of vintage items on the walls , bottles, enamel plates. I especially loved the after ski theme on the wall.
bars and cafÃ©s
La Chaloupe d’Or (Den Gulden Boot in Dutch) is a popular cafÃ© restaurant located right in the heart of Brussels at it’s famous Grand place. Since medieval times and until the 14th Century here stood the guildhall of the tailors association. Remnants of that era like the statue of Saint Homobonus, patron saint of business people and tailors can still be seen on top of it’s facade. The building that stands today was rebuilt in 1697 after the 1695 bombardement of Brussels ordered by Lois XIV.
Location of La Chaloupe d’Or:
Photos La Chaloupe d’or:
The bust of Saint Barabara overlooking the pub and it’s terrace is from 1872
Entering the Pub
Cozy fireplace in the corner warms you up on those cold winter days
Making my way up the stairs
A few pictures of the room of the first floor
Well worth trying off their menu are their specialties: The Liegeoise (potatoes, beans and bacon bits) or American salad (steak tartar).
The seats in the back will give you one of the best view of the Grand Place
Back downstairs view from the back
The La Fleur en Papier DorÃ© small maisonnette style house dating from the middle of the 18th century was once home to the convent of the sisters of Saint-Vincentius but somewhere in the first half of the 20th century changed vocation. Owned by Geert Van Bruaene (nicknamed le petit Gerard) the pub “La Fleur en Papier DorÃ© (French) or Het Goudblommeke in Papier (Dutch)” became the meeting place of the surrealistic scene of Brussels. Paul Rouge, RenÃ© Magritte, Louis Scutenaire, Marcel Lecomte, Charles Plisnier, Paul MariÃ«n, ELT Mesens, Georges Remi (HergÃ©) and a lot of others gathered in the cafe and made it famous. Inside you can still find a photograph where a number of the above mentioned posed for eternity in front of the pub. The pope of surrealism, Rene Magritte, organized in this pub, well before he got famous, his first exposition of drawings and paintings.
Outside of La Fleur en Papier DorÃ©
After the war some members of the Cobra movement visited the cafe such as Pierre Alechinsky, Christian Dotremont, Marcel MariÃ«n, Paul Colinet and Jean Dubuffet, beside Flemish writers like Louis Paul Boon, Simon Vinkenoog, Jan Walravens and Hugo Claus. The last person mentioned in the list celebrated here in 1955 in a rather tumultuous manner his first marriage.
All these great minds created under the guidance of the inimitable Geert Van Bruaene this disconcerting melting pot of antics and kitsch such as you can see today. Some citations written on the walls of the pub like: ‘ Philologue, il est permis de se taire dans toutes les langues’ or ‘Chacun a droit a 24 heures de libertÃ© par jour’, perfectly reflect the state of mind of these glorious days.
Entering the Het Goudblommeke in Papier pub
Until now the “Het Goudblommeke in Papier or La Fleur en Papier Dore” remained a scene where several poetical and cultural events take place. This rich history didn’t escape to the attention of the Brussels Government which proceeded in 1997 to the protection of the facade, the roof, and the first three rooms on the groundfloor as well as parts of the furniture, all the paintings, drawings and aphorisms.
Location of the La Fleur en Papier DorÃ© cafÃ©:
Photos of La Fleur en Papier DorÃ©:
View across the cafÃ© from the room in the back
Example of some of the citations written on the wall
The decorations on the walls are abundant
Poetry (among many other things) on the walls
Bar located in the middle
Room in the center
The mix of Antics & kitsch
The old fireplace
Prose and poetry sessions are often held in this establishment
A very surreal decor
On my way out
Built in 1914 the Greenwich cafÃ© is the well-known meeting point of Brussels chess players where at any time of day or night multiple groups of players abound inside. The original decor completed in 1916 gives the pub its pleasant and authentic feel, where probably little changed from the time Magritte apparently frequented the place. A great place to relax in a calm environment while playing or simply watching a good game of chess.
Location of the Greenwich cafÃ©:
Photos of Greenwich cafÃ©
Approching the pub with its outside terrace
The tables in the middle are reserved for the chess players
Closer look at the chess players
Corner view from my seat
The back near the toilets
The Greenwich seen from all the way in the back
A rather large English style pub spread over three floor the Drug Opera bar and restaurant takes its name from an old pharmacy that used to occupy previously the same location. Place is rarely ever packed so it makes it a good spot for a drink or some quick food in a calm decor away from the hustle and bustle.
Photos of the Drug Opera from outside during the day
The main entrance of the Drug Opera
Close up of the drug opera sign
The imposing bar: First thing you see as you enter
swirling around the bar
View all the way to the end of the downstairs portion
At the end looking back catching a glimpse of the 2nd floor
Stair going upstairs
2nd floor of Drug Opera pub
lots of Empty seats
Looking down this time at the 1st floor
3rd and last floor not quite opened yet
Drug Opera seen at night this time again from the exterior
In the trendy Halles St.GÃ©ry area the Mappa Mundo cafÃ© is a popular hang with a cosmopolitan crowd set inside a cozy and warm extravagant decor. The terrace is always packed with people in the summertime. Though it features a good selection of beers the Cocktails menu is quite limited but the excellent Caipirinhas, Strawberry Margaritas and Mojitos which are sold by the glass or liter make up for it.
The Mappa Mundo cafÃ© from the outside
The entrance door seen from inside
On one side of the cafÃ© you can find a more laid back and cosy section
From the back
The main bar section made of marble
Sitting at the other end of the cafÃ© with its exterior totally opened
Another view from the stairs leading to the 1st floor
Upstairs section of the Mappa Mundo bar
Even more intimate section in the back
Looking at place Saint GÃ©ry from outside the window
Last glimpse from outside of Mappa Mundo bar leaving
Strategically located right in the trendy place Saint GÃ©ry Le Roi des Belges is a popular laid back atmosphere cafÃ© with a nice terrace and some good background music. Calm during the daytime it gets quite busy and packed at night sometimes featuring a DJ. The menu offers a mix of good but simple foods for a snack, a decent choice of beers, coffee and cold drinks. At the first floor there’s a cocktail bar that has a large selection of drinks with a daily 2 for 1 happy hour starting at 18:00.
Photo right In front of Le Roi des Belges
View from inside Le Roi des Belges cafÃ©
Cocktail bar at the first floor
View from the window at the first floor of Le Roi des Belges
Bartender preparing to open the Cocktail bar
People at the outside terrace
The CafÃ© Metropole is the bar and restaurant of the prestigious Hotel of the same name. Superbly decorated it is the last 19th century French Renaissance-style Hotel to have survived in Brussels. The magnificent terrace is heated during the winter but it’s inside that you can really experience the luxurious decor.
The entrance of the Metropole hotel and the Cafe Metropole terrace behind it
The terrace itself from the other side
Well dressed waiters provide table service
The posh view sitting inside the CafÃ© Metropole from one corner
My choice from the six page menu arrived
Crystal chandeliers and high-ceilings are all part of the luxurious decor
Marble fireplace and bar in the back
Like most well kept secrets A l’Imaige Nostre-Dame is not easy to find and one would need to be really lucky to simply stumble into it. Located at the end of a long and narrow alleyway it is one of the oldest cafÃ©s of Brussels. Having a unique and authentic feeling to it, this pub has had the chance to retain its original decor and boats a very friendly atmosphere with its share of regulars, merrymaking students and the occasional tourist.
Look for the A l’Imaige Nostre-Dame estaminet entrance sign
The room in the back with some students having a drink
University students often come to this cafÃ© and the bartender has been made their honorary Godfather with all the official gear.
View from the bar
More students arriving for some refresments
Sitting at the bar having a look at that colorful student cap
Just a stone’s throw from the Manneken piss on the corner is where you will find the Poechenellekelder cafÃ©, or just nicknamed “Poech” for the regulars. This typical Brussels pub with its phenomenal interior decor is one of the most lively in the center during the day and has varied clientele where the locals don’t hesitate to share with the tourists for a chat.
View from the exterior
Nicely served Cantillon beer & cheese
A look from the 1st room near the entrance
You get a feel of rich decor and special atmosphere as soon you enter
Approaching the main room near the bar section
Probably the best spot to enjoy the densely packed interior decoration with its puppets, trumpets, crossbows, beer crates hanging from everywhere.
Seated and awaiting a drink and a view of the bar itself
Downstairs section where they seem to have puppet shows
Final decision ater a while looking at the menu was Trappist Achel to drink