Where to eat the best mussels in Brussels?

Where to eat the best mussels in Brussels?
Chez Leon Restaurant in the Center of Brussels (c) Pierre Halleux, Mussels and Fries

Updated June 13, 2024 by pierre

Did you say “mussels and fries”?

Belgian or not, there are no excuses for wanting to eat mussels in Brussels. Even if it means eating mussels, you might as well opt for the best mussels in Brussels. However, it is not easy to distinguish one-day tourist spots from favorite places of Belgians and expatriates. InsideBrussels has the information for you so as not to spoil this succulent dish (or your bill). In fact, it is better to find out about the restaurant in advance. In Brussels, the prices of mussel casseroles can vary from one to two.

In Belgium, mussels are served in hearty dish and consistent, if you are a little hungry, a saucepan weighing a little more than 1 kg will be more than enough for you. If you have the appetite, you can eat this mussel casserole without any problem. Don't forget that these mussels are very often served with a fairly large portion of fries. In some Belgian restaurants, the weight of the pan of mussels can be close to 2kg.

Different types of “mussels and fries” on the menu!

Mussels in Brussels at Volle Gas (c) Photo Pierre Halleux

You are about to enter the thrilling world of mussels and fries in Brussels, dear intrepid foodies! If you're looking for a gastronomic adventure, then you've come to the right place. Be aware, however, that once in the restaurant, there will not be just one “Mussels and fries” on the menu. If this dish has become a true culinary institution that rocks the city, it’s because there is something for everyone.

Prepare for a taste journey through a variety of flavors and combinations that will make your taste buds dance, below are our favorite combinations:

  • 🍴 Moules Marinières: Tradition in the spotlight 🍴

When you talk about mussels and fries in Brussels, it's impossible to miss the classic Moules Marinières. Prepared in a divine sauce of white wine, garlic, onions and parsley, these mussels offer a taste experience that is both sweet and aromatic. A real treat for lovers of authentic flavors.

  • (I.e. Mussels in Cream: Softness and Smoothness (I.e.

If you prefer a touch of creaminess in your mussels, opt for cream mussels. Bathed in a velvety cream sauce, they will envelop you in softness with every bite. It's the kind of dish that makes you say, "More, please!" »

  • ???? ️ Provençal Mussels: A Mediterranean Explosion ???? ️

For those who like a little exoticism, Provençal-style mussels are an option that awakens the senses. A sunny tomato sauce, enriched with Mediterranean herbs and spices, adds a Mediterranean dimension to this culinary adventure.

  • 🔥 Curry Mussels: A Zest of Spices 🔥

If you have an adventurous palate, curry mussels are for you. A tangy and fragrant curry sauce transforms the mussels into an explosion of exotic flavors. Expect real fireworks in your mouth!

Whatever your preference, one thing is certain: in Brussels, mussels and fries are much more than just a meal. They are a celebration of Belgian cuisine and an invitation to explore the diversity of flavors on each plate. So, are you ready to embark on this taste adventure? Head to the bustling streets of Brussels to taste the best mussels and fries of your life! 🍟🍻

Different types of molds!

Be aware that not all mussels are equal... Some will unfortunately be filled with algae and others with small crabs... spoiling the delicious feast. 🍽️ So let's dive for a moment into the incredible diversity of mussels, bouchots in Zeelande, and even the impressive mussels jumbo. You will therefore be able to choose with all conscience the perfect type!

  • Bouchots mussels

Let's start with the bouchots, these little wonders from bouchot breeding along the Belgian coasts. 🌊 Bouchot mussels are renowned for their subtle flavor and delicate texture. A true maritime symphony that goes perfectly with a white wine sauce.

  • Zeeland mussels

Let's move on to the famous Zeeland mussels, often called “Dutch mussels”. 🇳🇱 These mean beauties are soft, tender and deliciously tasty. An ideal option for purists looking for an authentic experience.

  • Jumbo molds

And now, prepare to be impressed by the jumbo molds ! 💥🍤 These giant mussels are a taste experience in their own right. Their imposing size matches their strong taste. Every bite is a real adventure.

  • Imperial Mussels

And now let us enter into the mystery of Imperial mussels ! 👑 These mussels, worthy of the empire, are characterized by their generous size and their royal taste. A majestic culinary experience that will transport you to another world of flavors.

  • Extra Mussels

Molds " Extras » are a special variety, prized for their exceptional quality. They are carefully selected for their generous size and abundant flesh. These mussels are the perfect choice for those looking for an even more hearty and flavor-rich experience. These gems of the sea are often praised for their strong taste and delicate texture. “Extra” mussels are pampered from start to finish of the preparation process, ensuring an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

All in all, whether you're a fan of delicate bouchot mussels, classic Dutch mussels, or bold jumbo mussels, there's a variety for every palate in Brussels. Add to that the pleasures of Belgian boulets, and you get an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Prepare for a memorable feast during your next visit to the Belgian capital!

This is why, below we advise you on our best restaurants that we have tested in Brussels for eating mussels.

Five restaurants to absolutely try to eat mussels in Brussels

1. Brussels Sprouts (Ixelles)

It seems that it is Au chou de Bruxelles, in a warmly decorated with the effigy of Jacques Brel and Manneken-pis that we could taste the best mussels in Brussels? Anyway, the restaurant, and this, for more than 18 years, hasn't seen its mussels menu shrink: you can eat there molds in more than 30 ways different. You can also accompany them with a “Belgian wine” from “Hageland” unique to Brussels. In summer, a pleasant terrace will welcome you in good weather. This restaurant in Ixelles is often full, which means something: the Mussels are good there!

2. At Zinneke in Brussels (Schaerbeek) 

Mussels restaurant Zinneke Brussels
Mussels restaurant Zinneke Brussels

At Zinneke, always looking for the best mussels in Brussels, you will find yourself in this Slow-Food type restaurant! The mussels marinière casserole is €23. For this price you receive 1,100 kg of Golden mussels. We're great, the sauces are homemade and the fries are fresh. In the pan, the chef will tell you that the , like most of the ingredients that go into the mussel preparations. As for drinks, the restaurant recommends beers BIO. This restaurant offers one of the largest choices of mussels in Brussels. On the menu, you will find no less than 69 different mold choices. Among others, we find: Garlic and ginger mussels, Indonesian mussels, Brazilian mussels, Ardennes mussels, Batavian mussels, as well as the traditional Normandy mussels. With an extra charge, you can opt for the 1.6 kg!  

3. Au Pré-Salé

Interior of the Pré Salé restaurant in the center of Brussels (c) Photo Pierre Halleux
Interior of the Pré Salé restaurant in the center of Brussels (c) Photo Pierre Halleux

This restaurant that we particularly like is located in one of the streets we love in Brussels near Place Saint-Catherine. We serve there Belgian dishes including mussels and fries. Really delicious and tender mussels. We need to predict around €25 per person for a casserole of mussels accompanied by fries. A single serving may be enough for two people who have little appetite. Remember to make a reservation if you wish to dine after 19 p.m. as the establishment is often full from 20 p.m. In terms of conviviality, you will be quite close… the tables are placed closely next to each other to accommodate as many guests as possible since it is a small place. The servers are courteous and we didn't have to wait long. The welcome is typically Brussels😊🍲🍟 In summer, the terrace on the street also seems to be an excellent place to enjoy Belgian cuisine in summer weather. 🌞 . Anyway, this place seems to be the next place for your outing with friends.

Don't miss our article on best Belgian breweries in Brussels

4. Chez Léon “the king of mussels”

Chez Leon Restaurant in the Center of Brussels (c) Pierre Halleux, Mussels and Fries
Chez Leon Restaurant in the Center of Brussels (c) Pierre Halleux, Mussels and Fries
Léon Brussels mussels
Léon: Brussels mold

Restaurant Leon was created rue des bouchers in Brussels in 1893. Today it is the largest restaurant area in Brussels. Over time, the restaurant specializing in mussels transformed into an international chain. Today you can eat mussels at Léon in France as well as in Belgium. Maybe it's not for nothing. To find out whether the critics who say that “at Léon are mussels for tourists” are right or wrong, you will have to taste it yourself and form your own opinion. However, it is important to note that Léon only offers Zeeland mussels, which are mollusks of large size and offer a particularly refined flavor. The origin and quality of these molds are the only ones accepted at Léon.

Don’t miss our article on where to eatThe best fries in Brussels

5. Au Volle Gas

Au Volle Gas Typical Belgian Brasserie in Ixelles (c) Photo Pierre Halleux
Au Volle Gas Typical Belgian Brasserie in Ixelles (c) Photo Pierre Halleux
Au Volle Gas Typical Belgian Brasserie in Ixelles (c) Photo Pierre Halleux
Au Volle Gas Typical Belgian Brasserie in Ixelles (c) Photo Pierre Halleux

The Restaurant Au Volle Gas is the Paradise for Lovers of Mussels and Frites and Belgian dishes in Ixelles🍟🍽️ If you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy mussels and fries to die for, look no further than the Restaurant Au Volle Gas! Located in the heart of the city, this establishment combines a casual chic with a Belgian cuisine deliciously bold. This restaurant stands out advantageously for its location outside the areas frequented by tourists. Its menu offers a plethora of traditional Belgian specialtiesIncluding around fifteen varieties of mussels. Customers also benefit a large choice of beers and a pleasant selection of wines despite its modest size. The service was slow during our visit (because the restaurant was crowded). The mussels were delicious. You will see in the menu: everything is homemade!

Do not miss our article on Belgian beers

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Barely a foot in the Belgian capital, Pierre launches "InsideBrussels.be", the idea is simple: "What to do? Where to go eat or have a drink?" Entrepreneur at heart, this is not his first project! Far from there. Like wine, with time the project improves! Pierre does not hesitate to share his favorites and his best addresses of Brussels restaurants that he could recommend to you with his eyes closed.

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