Flemish: street food for every taste
Delicious, unpretentious and increasingly popular, street food is being recognised as a part of culture. Especially in Flanders. The home of waffles, fries and other unique culinary delights, you're able to enjoy award-winning gastronomic fare in Flanders without setting foot in a restaurant or even ordering a main course. What's on the menu? The best of the best.
There's a lot of technical skill needed to prepare the perfect garnaalkroket: a shrimp croquette. Especially when it's done the Flemish way. In the coastal towns of Oostduinkerke and Koksijde, you'll see fisherman riding horses and dragging homemade nets behind them to catch shrimp straight from the white sands. The method has even been recognised by UNESCO as an example of intangible cultural heritage. Don't miss the spectacle. And then head to any restaurant or kiosk for a serving of ultra-fresh shrimp croquettes.
Flanders: where fries are the main attraction...
Frites, frietjes, chips or fries: call them what you want, there's no denying the well-deserved reputation they have for being utterly astounding in Flanders. Quite understandably, it's a region that takes its fries very seriously: Flemish newspapers even run an annual competition to identify the best frituur - a restaurant or kiosk that specialises in fries and other fried street food - in Flanders. If you want to enjoy your frietjes like the Flemish, add mayonnaise or a good serving of stoofvleessaus: a sauce in which beef extracts are cooked with onions in brown beer. It's heaven on a cold day!
Vegetarian and vegan
There's no denying the Flemish love their meat. But what if you prefer a diet without it? You'll find there are plenty of original and tasty options across Flanders to help you embrace a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. You'll find different veggie options at the different vans, stalls and food booths. However, you might also enjoy attending the Vegan Summer Fest in August. Based in Ghent, this festival puts the best in vegetarian and vegan cuisine on the menu, sold from food trucks, food stalls, both indoors and outdoors, and often cooked before your very eyes! What if you miss it? Treat your taste buds at the Vegan Street Festival in Antwerp in April or Brussels in May, or book your ticket foor Veggie World in October. You'll be able to make the most of the talented chefs there, either by attending their cooking classes or enjoying the incredible treats they whip up for you.
Waffle waffle waffle
It's not called a Belgian waffle out here: you'll most frequently see references to Brussels waffles and Liège waffles, the two main types of waffle. The waffle is such a convenient food, it's almost like it was invented to raise street food to new heights. You won't have trouble finding a waffle: just follow your nose. The only struggle will be to decide what to have on it ... Belgians love to douse them in sugar - waffles are often served with three or more different kinds of sugar. Of course, strawberries and cream are options, ice cream is common, as is chocolate spread, or anything else that complements the light, crispiness of the waffle itself ... How do you decide what the best topping is? By trying them all!
One of the highlights of street food in Flanders, cuberdons, also known as neuzekes, Gentse neuzen or Ghent noses are a unique, usually purple, cone-shaped candy that look a little like noses. The outside is almost like a crust, while inside, they are filled with raspberry-flavoured syrup. The best place to find them is at the small stalls you'll find at the Groentenmarkt in Ghent. While they are definitely available elsewhere in Flanders, you'll be hard pressed to find them anywhere outside the region.
The Land of Chocolate
It's time for chocolate. Did you know that pralines were invented in Belgium? The Neuhaus shop is still open in the prestigious Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, but is now one of an uncountable number of places you'll find vending chocolate of all sorts, from creatively shaped chocolates to the exquisite truffles that melt in your mouth. But don't just savour the flavour and texture: chocolatiers proudly sculpt incredible window displays that will amaze you almost as much as the chocolate itself.
There's no denying the incredible range of different street foods you'll find in Flanders. Exactly how do you indulge in them all if you're short on time? Try a private tour. Already popular in Bruges, you spend three hours, crunching and munching your way around the city with the benefit of local insight. It's also a feast for your eyes: you see the highlights of the city at the same time.
Now you know what Flanders has on offer, it's time to experience it first-hand! Join us for a stand-up meal sometime soon!
Story created on 4 June 2019