A is for Anderlecht – Commune Dinners in Brussels

Anderlecht

In February I was telling you about our culinary plan to discover Brussels (foodie) spots one commune at a time. In the meantime it is July and there was not much story telling on those commune dinners …

Fear not! We have made it all the way to E … with some interesting discoveries along the way. The thing is with Brussels, every of its 19 communes has its own individuality, being almost like mini-cities within the city. We discovered not only the foodie spots but also went a bit deeper into what makes Brussels … Brussels. So often our lives take place in the ‘inner ring’ that we forget there is a whole Brussels life out there, offering a peak into what makes this capital of Belgium interesting, different, French, Flemish, white or black.

Before I take you through this culinary journey one commune at a time the only rule we had/ have is: we will only go and try restaurants none of us had tried before. Here we are, 4 of us taking Brussels by foodie storm. Starting with A … for Anderlecht.

Commune facts – Anderlecht

To keep things a bit interesting and to indulge guilt free in food and wine, our Anderlecht commune dinner started with a short history lesson and a visit. There is more to Anderlecht than football. Facts in no particular order :

  • Erasmus lived in Amsterdam way before the student exchanges
  • Tour de France trivia – Philippe Thys (3xwinner) was born in Anderlecht
  • Nine local museums are open for visit
  • Anderlecht hosts a colorful (cattle) market at the Abbatoir
  • Probably the only commune brewing Belgian beer locally at the Cantillon Brewery
  • Twinned with London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
  • … and the football connections continue with Anderlecht being home to RSC Anderlecht

Culinary discovery – Le Chapeau Blanc

Anderlecht is pretty much undiscovered foodie territory for me. Granted, I heard of different restaurants in Brussels but never went to eat there.

Our first stop was at the Friture René. Which was … fully booked! Not something we were ready for outside the ‘inner ring’ (see, cliches all-around!) . Lesson learned, this never happened since in our commune foodie discoveries. With René booked we went around the corner to the Le Chapeau Blanc, our plan B.

A typical French brasserie, Le Chapeau Blanc has been an Anderlecht institution since 1890. It has the decor to go with its history, the mirror framed walls, the statues holding lights, the wooden waiter holding the menu, the long oyster bar. Why the name The White Hat? No one seems to know …

The food is French’y and true to a proper brasserie. Our choice was equally traditional with steak, lamb, mussels and steak tartare. All served with vegetables, proper Belgian fries and accompanied by the house red. We were too full for dessert although there were some tasty choices.

Overall impressions? A great brasserie, lively waiters, seriously delicious honest food at very fair prices. Probably somewhere we will take visitors around for a taste of true Brussels very soon. 

Le Chapeau Blanc – website 

Please share other restaurant suggestions in Anderlecht in the comments

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