You might not associate Belgium with vegan or vegetarian food. After all, the national dish is moules-frites and other specialities include meatballs and shrimp croquettes. So, if you want to eat meat-free in Belgium, do you have to stick to waffles?
Not at all. It’s possible to find vegetarian friendly food in Belgium—and rather spectacular vegetarian friendly food at that. Several vegan and vegetarian restaurants are making a name for themselves with innovative menus free of animal products and bursting with exciting flavours.
Think sensory and seasonal journeys through a vegetable garden in the form of an expertly masterminded tasting menu. Plates heaped high with raw and nutrient-rich vegetables picked that very day. Colourful dishes that could convert even the most devout meat-eater. Vegan Belgium is quickly becoming a thing.
By moving towards a plant-focused food paradigm, these restaurants are also leading the way in sustainability. Many prioritise organic and locally-grown produce, emphasising health-conscious dining while also minimising food waste and reducing their CO2.
So whether you’re looking for budget-friendly vegetarian cuisine, preferably with a buffet option, or you won’t settle for anything that hasn’t been graced with a Michelin star, our rundown of the top vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Belgium will satiate your taste buds. While many of these vegetarian restaurants are in Brussels, we’ve also included some outside the capital—proof that the country is on its way to becoming a true meat-free culinary destination.
The 9 Best vegan & vegetarian restaurants in Belgium
|Bon Bon||Best Michelin|
|Humus & Hortense||Best vegan|
|Le Botaniste||Best plant-based|
|CHYL||Best for vegan breakfast|
|Arabelle Meirlaen||Best fine dining|
|Copper Branch||Best for lunch|
|Restaurant Dolma||Best for local produce|
|Les 4 Jeudis||Best healthy|
If you’ve never considered cooking an art form before, then two Michelin-starred Bon Bon is here to change that. The philosophy of the restaurant includes an emphasis on roots, paying respectful homage to culinary traditions, as well as delivering an experience that fully engages all senses.
Owned by couple Christophe and Stéphanie Hardiquest, the restaurant’s traditional appearance with dark wood and cosy seating is complemented by its modern approach to dining.
There are two menus to choose from at Bon Bon: the Seasons Garden tasting menu, where the vegetable kingdom takes centre stage, but as you’ve never seen it before. Or there’s the Belgian Journey Menu, showcasing the best in national cuisine with a contemporary twist.
While it’s not exclusively vegan or vegetarian, Bon Bon’s focus remains on top-quality ingredients and there are increasing numbers of meat-free options. Healthy fine dining does exist and it looks just like Bon Bon.
Address: Avenue de Tervueren 453 B-1150 Bruxelles Opening days and hours: Tuesday to Friday, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm to 9 pm. Price range: $$$$ Website: www.restaurant-bon-bon.be
Humus & Hortense
Named the ‘world’s best vegan restaurant’ at the We’re Smart Taste Summit in Amsterdam in 2019, and definitely one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Brussels, Humus & Hortense is certainly breaking boundaries. Born from a collaboration between an expert mixologist and a chef with a passion for making vegetables perform at their best, the restaurant is also fully committed to sustainability.
In the kitchen, for example, they avoid food waste with a roots-to-leave approach that includes zero-waste cocktails where unused herbs are made into infusions and fermentations. All the food is organic, seasonal, and local as far as possible. In fact, much of it comes from the restaurant’s own garden.
The restaurant itself is an intimate venue, creating a convivial mood, while the interior design is a mixture of Art Nouveau and stately Baroque, including a stucco ceiling.
As for the food? At Humus & Hortense, texture, appearance, and aroma are just as important as flavour, which makes many of the plates incredibly photogenic. And, as you might expect, vegetables dominate, even popping up in desserts in the form of candied beetroot, for example.
Address: Rue de Vergnies 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium Opening days and hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 6:00 to 10:00 pm Price range: $$$$ Website: www.humushortense.be
Le Botaniste began life in a 19th-century pharmacy with the imaginative concept of serving diners botanical prescriptions in the form of plant-based ‘bowls’. Today, the restaurant continues to present dishes that are as healthy and wholesome as they are delicious, showcasing the best seasonal organic plant produce in a way that is both creative and compelling.
The dining experience at Le Botaniste is casual and unpretentious in a space that is airy and full of light. As one of the best plant-based restaurants in the country, and a top contender for the best vegetarian restaurant in Brussels, it offers 99% organic and 100% plant-based options, re-imagining fast food by making daily plant consumption easy, simple, and surprisingly tasty.
Indeed, in the kitchen, plants have been restored to pride of place rather than being a last-minute side order, and the restaurant’s motto is #bringtheplantback.
Definitely a contender for the best vegan restaurant in Belgium, Le Botaniste also seeks to generate as little waste as possible, reducing its energy use, and offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions by supporting a Ghana-based climate project that distributes energy-efficient cooking stoves. Customers can even ‘add a tree’ to their meals as part of the restaurant’s tree-planting initiative.
Address: Hoornstraat 13, 9000 Ghent, Rue Franklin 2, 1000 Brussels, and Rue du Bailli 10, 1000 Brussels Opening days and hours: Monday to Friday, 11:30 to 14:30 and 18:00 to 21:30 Price range: $$-$$$ Website: www.lebotaniste.eu/en/home
Located in Ixelles, the super trendy destination of CHYL is not just a restaurant but also a store where people can bring their own containers to fill up with organic and eco produce (check out the truffle mayonnaise), minimising packaging while saving money.
Meanwhile, the kitchen at CHYL is focused on sustainably sourced and seasonal products with a range of cooked and raw dishes. Firmly banishing any notion of healthy food as boring, it serves hearty burgers, flavour-packed juices, decadent cakes, and, on Sundays, there are five different brunch options, making CHYL one of the top vegan breakfast places in the city.
The building is a 19th-century maison de maître and still has the original high ceilings, parquet floor, fireplaces, and mouldings, along with pot plants and thrift-store furniture for an authentic and laidback mood. CHYL stands for CHange Your Lifestyle then CHerish Your Life, and a couple of hours there certainly does have an uplifting and transformative effect.
Address: Rue de Belle-Vue 62, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium Opening days and hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sunday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Price range: $$-$$$ Website: www.chyl.be
Komkommertijd is located in the centre of the historic port city of Ghent and should be your number one pick if you’re looking for budget-friendly plant-powered meat-free dining in this vibrant cultural hub.
Expect vegan classics such as pumpkin and bean casserole, a vegan version of scrambled eggs, heart-warming vegan carbonara, and deep-fried lentils.
But the best thing about this restaurant? The all-you-can-eat buffet, where the spotlight is firmly on vegetables. How does aubergine pakoras, potato gratin, and coconut cake for dessert sound to you?
The restaurant tries to use as much organic and fair-trade produce as possible, and because dishes change on a regular basis, it’s certainly worth visiting more than once.
Address: Reep 14b, 9000 Gent, Belgium Opening days and hours: Wednesday to Friday 11:45 am to 2:30 pm and 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Price range: $$ Website: www.komkommertijd.be
Arabelle Meirlaen is a Michelin-starred chef whose eponymous restaurant is one of the ultimate Brussels destinations for vegans, vegetarians, and those who care about sustainable dining. Meirlaen was named best vegetable chef of 2019 by the We’re Smart Green Guide so this is definitely a woman capable of delivering plant-based dishes that pack a punch.
Her modern restaurant in Liège comes complete with a beautiful vegetable garden, chicken coop, and beehives. In the kitchen, the emphasis is on seasonal food, from the freshness and vibrant colours of spring to the mushrooms, root vegetables, and spicy flavours of autumn.
Arabelle refers to her cooking style as ‘intuitive’, focusing on what feels good to our bodies depending on the weather and seasons. She also integrates what she’s learned from herbalism, naturopathy, and Ayurveda cooking into her cuisine.
Menus are updated regularly depending on the garden harvest but it remains one of the best restaurants with vegan options in Belgium. Arabelle also offers gluten-, lactose-, and sugar-free dishes. Fermentation and pickling ensure minimum waste in the kitchen while a substantial wine cellar completes the experience.
The restaurant is just over an hour from the City of Spa, so why not head there for a post-pampering treat following a stint at one of Belgium’s best wellness retreats?
Address: Chemin de Bertrandfontaine 7, 4570 Marchin, Belgium Opening days and hours: Thursday evening, Friday mid-day and evening, Saturday evening, and Sunday mid-day. Price range: $$$$ Website: www.arabelle.be
Looking for a wallet-friendly vegan restaurant in Brussels? Copper Branch may be a chain but we would be remiss not to mention this fast-food destination on our list as it’s ideal for those looking for a quick plant-based pick-me-up.
The Canadian brand offers a 100% vegetable menu and its mission is to serve simple, healthy, and high-quality dishes at a reasonable price. Health-conscious wholefoods that are good for the Earth shouldn’t necessarily cost the Earth and Copper Branch is here to ensure that they don’t.
Carefully chosen ingredients come together in well-rounded meals that will leave you energised and ready to take on the day. We particularly recommend the power bowls where you can choose a base (options include brown rice, quinoa, and konjac noodles), followed by a protein (tempeh, tofu, teriyaki, or carrot keftedes) and a range of toppings such as spiced chickpeas and edamame salad.
Follow up with a power smoothie full of plant-based goodness, including spinach, strawberry, banana, cocoa, cinnamon, and hemp seeds.
Address: Rue Neuve 123 1000 Brussels Opening days and hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Price range: $$-$$$ Website: www.copperbranch.be
Dolma has been serving highly-coveted vegetarian food since 1973, making it one of the original plant-based dining destinations in Brussels. When it first opened, it was focused on macrobiotic cuisine and today it serves exclusively vegetarian and vegan dishes.
The owner, Vincent Philippot, grew up as a vegetarian, living in a hippie commune with his parents. However, the restaurant feels less 70s boho than contemporary eco chic, decorated with natural hardwoods and plants. Meanwhile, the recipes are creative and inventive, featuring all seasonal products and changing daily.
While the emphasis on local produce means some things are off-limits (including avocados), you won’t feel like you’re missing out once you’re faced with a plate full of the restaurant’s fresh, delicious-smelling, vegetable-led creations. The fact that many of the diners are actually meat eaters tells you all you need to know.
Address: 329, Chaussée d’Ixelles, 1050 Brussels Opening days and hours: Monday to Saturday, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Price range: $$-$$$ Website: www.dolma.be
Les 4 Jeudis
One of the big perks of vegetarian and vegan food is the fact that it’s super healthy. Nowhere is this more true than at Les 4 Jeudis where the chef uses complex lacto-fermentation processes to ensure that the vegetables retain their impressive nutrient profile.
Think citrus-marinated veggie carpaccio served with a goji berry sauce. Butternut squash tabbouleh with curry. Chinese cabbage with fennel and a fruity vinaigrette. Lentil burgers with turnip, mushroom cream, and buckwheat. Or how does a creamy apple and date mousse with chocolate crumble sound for dessert?
Portions are generous, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, everything is cooked to perfection, service is attentive, and there’s also a selection of ethical and sustainable drinks.
The only downside is that it’s only open at lunchtime.
Address: Les 4 jeudis, Hamerstraat 36A, 1210 Sint-Joost-ten-Node, Brussels Opening days and hours: Monday 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Friday 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Price range: $$-$$$ Website: www.les4jeudis.be/en
Frequently asked questions about vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Belgium
While traditional Belgian cuisine is not vegetarian-friendly, good quality vegetarian food is available in Belgium with a number of new restaurants popping up offering meat-free alternatives to the quintessential Belgian moules-frites.
While traditionally Belgium hasn’t been particularly vegan-friendly, these days more and more restaurants are appearing that cater to both vegetarians and vegans. Check out our guide to vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Belgium for inspiration.
As the capital of Belgium, Brussels is one of the best places to find vegan-friendly cuisine in the country. There are a number of vegan-friendly restaurants in the city for diners on a range of budgets, as well as vegan cafes for lunch or brunch.
Belgium restaurant Bon Bon has two Michelin stars and an increasing number of vegan and vegetarian options. Then there’s Arabelle Meirlaen, a Michelin-starred chef who owns a plant-based restaurant named Arabelle Meirlaen in Marchin.