Ghent offers some of Belgium’s finest foodie experiences going way above and beyond many an expectation of fries, waffles and beer. You’ll find all these for sure, and very good they are too, but you’ll also find a plethora of talented chefs, producing some exceptional, if sometimes quirky, sophisticated dining experiences. Here’s our choice of favourites from waffles to fine dining in Ghent.
The House of EliottJan Breydelstraat 36
09 22 52 128
Feathers, statues, mannequins and dolls, flowers, hats, dresses and even a handbag under a glass dome – The House of Elliot is crammed full of 1920’s kitsch memorabilia, oozing charm and atmosphere in reputedly the best lobster restaurant in town. If you opt for the Eliott lobster menu, you’ll get 6 lobster dishes prepared in 6 very different ways. And if one of you party is not a lobster fan, don’t fear, there are plenty of other options to choose from. A warm welcome awaits you and the service is superb. The memories of your visit to this wonderfully quirky restaurant will stay with you a very long time.
VoltaNieuwe Wandeling 2b
09 32 40 500
A ten minute walk from the city centre you’ll find this cool restaurant in a huge converted turbine hall was put on the Ghent foodie map by the chef Olly Ceulenaere one of Belgium’s three “rock n roll chefs” as nicknamed by local press. Olly passed on the baton last year to another talented young Flemish chef Davy De Pourcq, ensuring that continues to offer a first-rate, if sometimes surprising, dining experience.
De FrietketelPapegaaistraat 89
Unlike traditional Belgium fries, which are fried twice in animal fat, at De Frietketel their renowned fries are freshly cut each day and fried twice in vegetable oil. As the premier fry shop in Ghent it is well worth the ten minute walk from the town’s historic centre and you’ll be rewarded with a huge mound of fries, even if you order a small portion. As is traditional in Belgium, at an extra cost, you may also pick from a wonderful assortment of mainly unpronounceable sauces for dipping including Stoverijsaus, a rich meaty stew and the homemade, spicy mayonnaise, Samurai. They also offer a great variety of veggie burgers as well as several vegan options.
Possibly due to being very popular with locals and students, they only open during the week.
09 33 62 808
Serving Flemish tapas around a marble counter in a former butcher’s shop, this popular restaurant also has a small dining room out the back which gets fully booked well in advance. They offer fresh and surprising fare at a reasonable price in an unpretentious atmosphere.
09 22 39 731
The home of the Belgium waffle – it was invented right here! Yves and his family have been cooking waffles for six generations in this charming art deco establishment. The perfect waffle should be light, translucent, not at all greasy, traditionally with 20 squares and dusted in powdered sugar but they can also come with whipped cream, chocolate fruit and many other delicious combinations!
Photos courtesy of Trip Advisor