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McDonald’s Bourse, Place de la Bourse 3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium (Belgique)

What: McDonald’s restaurant at Place de la Bourse, Brussels. Does not offer a veggie burger, unlike in Germany.

 Prices: mixed salad €2.50, medium fries €2.00, small tropicana orange juice €2.00, sachet of ketchup €0.60!

Vegetarian menu: fries, a miserable mixed salad (see photo below), possibly cheese rocks (but is the gouda vegetarian?).

Drinks: soft drinks, still water, sparkling water, tropicana orange juice and beer.

Service: Good. English spoken.

Comfortable? As you would expect. There is a fine view of the old stock exchange building (la bourse).

Was the food good? The mixed salad was as miserable as it looks. McDonald’s Belgium offers three salads, only one of which is vegan (the awful mixed salad), one tuna salad, a chicken salad and a cheese salad (unknown if the rennet is animal or vegetarian).

Toilets: Downstairs with a €0.30 charge collected by an attendant.

My advice to the chef: not applicable!

My advice to the manager: why not offer the same veggie burger that is available in Germany? The mixed salad is positively offensive in its awfulness.

Overall: They need to learn to be vegan and vegetarian friendly here. Still, it’s a handy place to sit and watch the world go by, and the view of the stock exchange is nice. It is difficult to be vegetarian in Brussels, let alone vegan. The only vegetarian cafe (to this reviewer’s knowledge) within walking distance of the Grande Place is best avoided (and I do like to support such enterprises in general).

Most boring salad ever

Most boring salad ever

Mykonos, Rue du Marché aux Fromages 8, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

What: Kebab/pita restaurant on a street full of kebab shops, just off the Grand Place (this reviewer has heard that this street has the nickname “Rue des Pitas”). If you’re used to the Turkish Imbiss restaurants in Germany you’ll feel at home.

 Prices: Around €4 for any one plate and each plate is more than two people could eat.

 Vegetarian menu: Huge plate of falafel €4, massive plate of hummus €5, massive plate of aubergine puree €5, big plate of vine leaves €4, vegetarian pita €3.50, falafel pita €3.50 and more.

 Drinks: Sparkling water (in cans with a plastic cup), fizzy drinks and some more.

 Service: Friendly and casual. This is a street packed with kebab-style “restaurants” and waiters are eager to have you choose their one.

 Comfortable? There are seats outside (most popular) and inside upstairs (not so nice). It’s a narrow street absolutely full of cheap eateries. As such, it’s noisy and bustling. There’s a fun and lively atmosphere. The tables and chairs are of that cheap, plastic variety. The table was big enough, but it did wobble, as did the chair (but they’re outside on cobblestones so one can’t really expect anything else).

 Was the food good? Yes, it was very enjoyable. Falafel was excellent, aubergine puree was very nice, hummus was passable and the bread was served very warm. Fries were not good.

 Toilets: To get to the toilets you have to negotiate very many flights of stairs, the last one might prove difficult for people with vertigo (and was an experience in itself). Men and women share. They were less than adequate. There was no soap so this reviewer had to go all the way back down to the ground floor to request some and was given washing-up liquid. Hmm.

 My advice to the chef: The fries could be improved, otherwise everything was nice.

 My advice to the manager: The toilets need to be improved and there should always, always be plenty of soap available. I worry about what the chef uses?

Overall: Brussels is a very tough city for vegetarians. The area around the Grand Place (Grote Markt) is teeming with streets packed with restaurants but most of them specialise in mussels (the national dish). At best there is a “vegetarian option”, which is usually pasta and something dreary. This reviewer spent a long time wandering the streets looking for a “fine” restaurant and ended up at a kebab shop because the Indian restaurants were full. This street (just off the Grand Place) is worth noting because vegetarians are unlikely to find greater variety elsewhere and there was nothing wrong with the food. Vegans are also unlikely to do better than here (for a vegan restaurant see here). This reviewer would return (despite the soap situation).

Click on photos to increase size.

Menu --- dishes looked just like that when served

Menu --- dishes looked just like that when served


Menu

Menu


Hummus and Aubergine

Hummus and Aubergine


Bread --- served warm

Bread --- served warm

Belgian Waffles Opposite The Manneken Pis

What: Window selling Belgian waffles opposite the Manneken Pis.

 Prices: They advertise waffles for €1 but as soon as you add a little something prices jump. For Nutella* (which, it turns out, to this reviewer’s great disgust, is not vegetarian) and banana this reviewer paid €3.20.

 Vegetarian menu: The waffles are vegetarian and you can choose toppings from several different fruits,  honey, etc.

 Drinks: Bottles of water, cans of fizzy drinks.

 Service: Fast and friendly. English is spoken (handy for those who don’t speak French).

 Comfortable? Not applicable.

 Was the food good? Yes. It made for a tasty, cheap and filling snack.

 Toilets: Not applicable.

 My advice to the chef: How about a vegan waffle?

 My advice to the manager: I think it would be more reasonable to make it clear that it is a plain waffle that costs only €1. As it is, the very large “€1 euro” sign draws a crowd who probably end up spending around three times that amount.

 Overall: Very touristy spot to pick up a Belgian waffle. There are many such windows around Brussels selling waffles. A fun snack for when you’re in the city, though it seems that vegans miss out on this one.

Belgian waffle with Nutella and banana

Belgian waffle with Nutella* (thank you to the poster who pointed out that Nutella is not vegetarian --- this reviewer was disgusted to learn that this spread contains calf rennet) and banana


Waffle window oppose the Mannken Pis

Waffle window opposite the Manneken Pis


Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis

Den Teepot, Rue des Chartreux 66, 1000 City of Brussels, Belgium

What: Vegan restaurant with a health food shop downstairs. Take-away possible.

 Prices: Soup €4, rice with vegetables €7, rice with vegetables and a croquette €11, rice with vegetables, croquette and seitan €13, croquette as a side €4, vegetables as a side €4, soya dessert €2.00.

 Vegetarian menu: Everything is vegan but the menu is not extensive. It does not extend much beyond what is listed above.

 Drinks: Fruit juice €2.20, carrot juice €2.20, beers around €2.20, wine, water, tea, coffee.

 Service: Very poor, extremely frustrating, but they do speak English, if needs be. We ordered soup and asked for a croquette on the side. The menu states that a croquette is available as as side, but the waitress told us that we could not order it as a side with soup and that it is only served as a side with a dinner dish. When we asked her if she wanted to sell food or not she told us that she didn’t care if the restaurant sold food. All of this was observed by confused looking staff in the nearby kitchen who we then overheard telling the waitress that it is possible to order a croquette as a side and that she should return to our table and inform us that we could indeed have a croquette.

 Comfortable? Yes. It’s a nice, bright room. The table was big and solid.

Was the food good? The soup was adequate but nothing special. The croquette, which looked like a very thick burger, was nice. Bread was fine, but again, nothing memorable.

 Toilets: Adequate. Men and women share (a common feature in Brussels).

 My advice to the chef: Vegan food doesn’t have to be so bland. Rice and vegetables? That’s what non-vegan restaurants offer as an “option”. This reviewer was expecting something a lot more creative and imaginative.

 My advice to the manager: Staff are very poorly trained. They give the impression of being volunteers in a soup kitchen rather than employees in a vegan restaurant charging full restaurant prices. This needs to be addressed. The menu is uninspiring and needs a lot more creativity.

 Overall: Two bowls of watery soup (vegetable soup was ordered and we did not expect only onion), one croquette, some bread and a bottle of water cost €17. This, together with incompetent staff, made this reviewer feel ripped off. Despite the shortage of vegetarian, let alone vegan, food in Brussels, this reviewer will not be returning.

Click on photos to increase.

Soup

Soup


Croquette and bread

Croquette and bread


Part of restaurant

Part of restaurant


Menu

Menu


Menu

Menu


Front of building

Front of Den Teepot