Brussels

The Best Waffles in Brussels: 5 Must-Visit Spots

If you’re visiting Brussels, you HAVE TO try a traditional Belgian waffle. Here is my guide to the BEST waffles in Brussels…

The history of Belgian waffles

You’re probably wondering why waffles are so popular in Belgium?

Well, it goes all the way back to the Middle Ages when cooks used irons over open flames to cook obeios or wafers. By the 18th century, these had developed into waffles, and they became a popular street food across Belgium. Chefs started experimenting with different flavours and topping, and this led to the two types of waffles we have today – Brussels and Liège.

By 1964, they were so popular that they were showcased at the New York World Fair. They were super popular with New Yorkers and over 2,500 waffles were served a day, topped with fresh cream and strawberries.

In this October 1964 photo provided by worldsfairphotos.com, four girls eat Belgian Waffles on the Grounds of the World Fair in the Queens Borough of New York. (AP Photo/Bill Cotter)
Photo courtesy of worldsfairphotos.com October 1964 , four girls eat Belgian Waffles on the Grounds of the World Fair in the Queens Borough of New York. (AP Photo/Bill Cotter)

What’s the difference between Brussels and Liège waffles?

The main difference between Brussels and Liége waffles is their texture and how they are cooked! Both types are delicious in their own ways, so try and taste both types, so you can see which one is your favourite!

Liège waffles are smaller, denser and chewier, with irregular shaped pockets.

They are richer and sweeter, with pearls of sugar inside which caramalise during cooking. Which gives the waffles a crispier and crunchier exterior.

Liège waffles are made from a thick dough that is made into balls. These balls are then pressed into a special iron which cooks the dough and caramelises the sugar pearls.

Instead, Brussels waffles are softer and lighter with large rectangular pockets.

They are made from a batter which is poured onto a hot waffle iron and then cooked until crisp and golden brown.

Brussels waffles are the most common waffles you will see around the city, loaded up with lots of toppings.

What toppings are available?

Personally, I think that Liége waffles are best eaten without toppings so you can really appreciate the crispy, caramelised sugar pearls hidden inside. Instead, Brussels waffles are best eaten with loads of delicious toppings.

Toppings include:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh fruits (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, etc.)
  • Chocolate sauce or syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Nutella
  • Fruit compote or preserves
  • Ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, etc.)
  • Chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
  • Honey
  • Marshmallow
  • Yoghurt
  • Savory toppings (ham, cheese, bacon, eggs – Gaufres & Waffle serve great savoury waffles)

How can you tell the difference between a good & bad waffle?

Firstly, if the waffles are not being made fresh in front of you then RUN AWAY! Both Brussels and Liège waffles should be made fresh for each customer. IF NOT you are definitely buying a stale, soggy waffle.

Look out for waffles that are golden brown and have a fluffy interior (for Brussels waffles) and a nice crispy, caramelised exterior (for Liège waffles). Brussels waffles should be light and airy when you bite into them. Whereas, Liège waffles should have a crisp exterior, chewy centre with caramelised pockets of pearl sugar.

How much do waffles cost?

The cost of Brussels waffles and Liege waffles in Brussels can vary depending on where you are in the city and how many toppings you choose. Here’s a general idea of what you might expect to pay:

Brussels Waffles: On average, a plain Brussels waffle without toppings might range from €4 to €6. However, if you add toppings like whipped cream, fresh fruit, or Nutella, the price increases to €7 to €10 or more. It depends on how many toppings you choose, as individual toppings can range from €1-2 each.

Liège Waffles: Liège waffles tend to be slightly cheaper than Brussels waffles. A plain Liège waffle might cost between €2.50 to €3.50. Adding toppings could increase the price to €6 to €8 or more.

You may be charged slightly less for waffles to-go, or slightly more if you want to eat inside the restaurant. It’s always a good idea to check the menu or ask about prices before ordering to avoid any surprises.

DON’T SLEEP ON Brussels’s waffle vans – they serve some of the best waffles in Brussels:

A waffle van serving warm liege waffles

As you are exploring the streets of Brussels, you will definitely stumble across the different waffle vans parked around the city. In Brussels, these yellow vans are usually parked near popular tourists attractions, parks, events or festivals.

Personally, I think these waffles vans serve THE BEST liége waffles in Brussels, and probably the cheapest as they usually cost €2.50 for a plain waffle.

Don’t sleep on waffle vans! They are a quick, affordable way for you to grab a waffle and continue exploring the city, and they give everyone to opportunity to quickly grab a Belgian waffle in a fun and accessible way.

A warm liège waffle I picked up from a waffle van near the Royal Palace of Brussels

Want to try the best waffles in Brussels? Here are my top must-visit spots:

Gaufres de Bruxelles – near Grand Place

You can eat inside the restaurant or take your waffles ‘to-go’

Opened in 1970, Gaufres de Bruxelles is one of the oldest tea-room in Brussels. It is located right around the corner from Grand Place, and is known for serving some of the best waffles and pancakes in Brussels. In 2023, they were awarded the Best Takeaway Food in Brussels by restaurantguru.com

You can order your waffles to-go from their takeaway window, or sit and enjoy your waffles inside their tea room.

Aux Guafres de Bruxelles
My Brussels waffle from Gaufres de Bruxelles, topped with fresh cream and strawberries. It cost €8.90

Maison Dandoy – an old-school tearoom

Image courtesy of Madame Dandoy

Madame Dandoy was recommended by my Tour Guide on the SANDEMANS Brussels Free Walking Tour. A popular chain, Madame Dandoy is a popular Belgian biscuit and waffle chain, with shops across Brussels. They now have thirteen shops open in the city, with their oldest shop on Rue au Buerre.

Visit here if you want to eat your waffles in a beautiful, old-school style team room, visit their shop located inside the Gallerie du Roi.

Le Funambule – a cozy cafe in the heart of Brussles

Le Funambule translates in English to the tightrope walkers. Recommended by one of my friends who lives in Brussels, Le Funambule has three cozy cafés which are popular for serving Liège waffles which are topped with whipped cream, chocolate or fresh fruit.

A photo of Melissa standing in the streets of Brussels holding a freshly made liege waffle
I went for a plain Liège waffle which cost €2.50

Vitalgaufre – popular with locals

A photo of a hand holding a fresh Vitalgaufre waffle - the best liege waffle in Brussels

Popular with locals, the mission of Vitalgaufre is to serve the best Liège waffles in Brussels. Since 1998, they have been serving fresh liege waffles and have never altered the recipe.

Not only do they serve their original vanilla waffle, they now serve their own cinnamon, apple-cinnamon, raspberry and chocolate liège waffles.

Veganwaf – the best waffles in Brussels for vegans/gluten-free

A photo of a Veganwaf waffle topped with vegan  ice cream and strawberry sauce - the best waffles in Brussels for vegans/gluten-free

This spot is perfect for vegans, or those that cannot consume dairy! They serve plant-based and gluten-free waffles and ice cream in the centre of Brussels.

Opened in 2018, and located in Galerie Agora, even if you aren’t vegan or gluten-free Veganwaf is definitely worth checking out as most reviews say ‘you can’t tell they are vegan or gluten free’

Want to delve deeper into Brussels local food scene? Check out these food tours:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalise a purchase.

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