Chez Léon in Brussels

Chez Leon restaurant brussels belgium mussels and fries

Chez Léon is a typical Belgian 🇧🇪  restaurant. It’s located on Rue des Bouchers, a street near by the Grand-Place, in the heart of the city. On this street there are lots of restaurants with their menus with images outside trying to attract tourists and locals to their establishments. The best known restaurant on this street, according to Brussels guides, is Chez Léon. This centenary restaurant was founded way back in 1893 by Léon Vanlancker and remains, until today, a family business. At that time, it had just five tables but through the good service, the quality of the food and its picturesque atmosphere Chez Léon is now an important place in Belgian cuisine.

Among its food specialties are the famous mussels and fries – the most famous dish in Belgian cuisine that every tourist wants to taste. This typical dish is usually cooked with white wine, butter and fresh herbs, served in a traditional cocotte (an iron pot) accompanied by french fries.

Who sees the restaurant from the outside, doesn’t believe how it’s inside. Chez Léon is huge… it’s Belgium’s largest restaurant! It occupies 9 historic buildings, has more than 420 seats 🪑 and two floors. Has a simple decor and full of history: wooden panels, old objects, handwritten notes 📝, pictures with old photos of the place and metal plates on certain seats that indicate famous personalities who sat there before.


My experience

When we opened the doors and we entered the restaurant we noticed it was crowded. Since there was no one outside the restaurant or queue, we found it very weird. We were immediately welcomed and taken to a table in the first room (the room with the entrance and the kitchen). The waiter soon came to bring us the menu so we could choose our lunch. I asked for the mussels and fries and my boyfriend for a seafood pasta that had mussels and (baby) shrimp. The food was excellent and we almost didn’t wait. However, I found the restaurant to be a little noisy for having so many people inside and tables too close to each other. Right next to our table was a Brazilian couple and we were able to hear and understand their conversation. 🙈

Since the food was really good, if I return to Brussels I will definitely come back to Chez Léon to eat the mussels and fries again. It’s a must see/eat restaurant for anyone visiting Brussels.

If you want to know more details about my trip to Brussels please see here.

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