Top bars in Brussels

Best Brussels bars

Central Brussels is enclosed within the petit ring (a pentagon of boulevards), and divided between the Upper Town and the Lower Town. Of course, there are prominent buildings and fascinating histories to be explored, but it’s safe to say that wherever you choose to take a tipple, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Brussels. It’s arguably the best city in Europe for its beer quality (and strength), with many choices for punters to choose from. With their own, distinct vibe, the bars vary from cosy boltholes to slick beer halls. Whether you wanna dance to live music, take up a cocktail masterclass or simply savour the atmosphere, keep reading to discover the top bars in Brussels.

  1. A La Mort Subite
  2. Bonnefooi
  3. Celtica
  4. La Fleur en Papier Doré
  5. L’Archiduc
  6. Moeder Lambic
  7. Life Is Beautiful (LIB) Cocktail Bar
  8. Rock Classic

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. A La Mort Subite

Family-run A La Mort Subite bar opened in 1928 and still retains much of the same decor and atmosphere, with its tall brass pillars and cosy booths. It’s famous for its Gueuze and Kriek beers, while their small snacks and small plates work as a great accompaniment. With an extensive beer list and spacious beer hall setting, this is one of the best bars in Brussels.

Vibe: Slick 1920s

Area: rue Montagne aux Herbes

2. Bonnefooi

This fun bar puts on live music every night – there’s a particularly great atmosphere in the summer when the crowds mingle on the street. And why not? The bar is named after “by chance” in Brussels' dialect, so you’re almost expected to come here and discover new music and make new friends. And as Brussels bars go, there’s no better setting than in the centre of the city.

Vibe: Dancing to live music with new friends.

Area: Boulevard Anspach.

3. Celtica

If you’re looking for the best Irish bars in Brussels, the cream of the crop has to be Celtica. With a dark-furnished interior, this is the place to come to watch the football on the big screens, make the most of the cheap happy hour deals and dance the evenings away to live music and DJs. There’s also a disco space, so there’s no excuse not to bust a move or two – and spend the extra money on another drink, as there’s no entrance fee. If you’re looking at cheap holidays to Brussels, Celtica has decent prices for its central location.

Vibe: Good craic.

Area: rue du Marche aux Poulets 55

4. La Fleur en Papier Doré

This traditional Belgian ‘brown’ bar serves Lambric beer the traditional way, in ceramic mugs. It’s quite a homely spot for a bar, with its narrow walls lined with framed pictures, and there’s something of a cosy feel when you see locals lined up on barstools catching up over a beer. Try to squish around one of the dinky tables for a laidback evening.

Vibe: Belgian living room.

Area: rue des Alexiens 55

5. L’Archiduc

Things at this legendary Art Deco bar really start kicking off around midnight, or earlier on the weekends. Ring the doorbell to enter, and once you’re in, let the bartender rustle up a mean cocktail or two, and there’s also a decent selection of spirits and beers available as well. This quirky spot is one of the best spots in Brussels for live jazz music – the best of which is performed on the weekends.

Vibe: Art Deco jazz nights.

Area: rue Antoine Dansaert 6

6. Moeder Lambic

Head to Moeder Lambic to try Belgium’s many brews; there’s a total of 46 beers on tap, including Brussels-brewed Cantillon. Hunker down in one of the snug wooden booths and keep the beers coming in, with a dedicated team keeping things fun and light-hearted behind the bar. There’s also a great selection of wines, and some outside seating is available.

Vibe: Enough room to make new friends.

Area: Rue de Savoie 68

7. Life Is Beautiful (LIB) Cocktail Bar

Life Is Beautiful (LIB) Cocktail Bar is one of a kind. The light, airy bar is decorated with plants dotted along its white walls and hanging down from the ceiling; but what makes the place unique is that it serves bottled cocktails – yes, that’s right. The cocktails are dedicated to different regions in Belgium; go for Singforen which is dedicated to Antwerp. There’s also some swish finger food to accompany your drink, too.

Vibe: Simple style.

Area: Rue Antoine Dansaert 161

8. Rock Classic

The clue is in the name at Rock Classic; expect live music (Thurs–Sat) in this dark-list basement bar, which gives you the chance to make a rockstar arrival through its spotlit curved main entrance. There’s an extensive cocktail, beer, liquor and even shot list; neck a Pink Floyd, Whiskey punch or French Flag and dance the night away to some ace live performances.

Vibe: Rock Stars and groupies only.

Area: Rue du Marché au Charbon 55

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