L'Amadeus Rue Veydt 13 (tel 02 538 34 27. Métro: Louise. Tram #91, #92. Tues-Sun 6.30pm-midnight, Sun also 10am-2.30pm. Closed Jan 1-8, July 21-Aug 15. ?20-32.) A restaurant and wine bar in the attractive one-time studio of Auguste Rodin, not far from place Stéphanie, just off chaussée de Charleroi. Modern and classic Belgian cuisine are on offer, including delicious guinea fowl with juniper berries and the house speciality Burbot waterzooi . There's also an excellent wine list, which is rotated once a month to highlight different regions, and an eat-all-you-want brunch on Sunday (10am-2pm) for ?18.
Chez Marie Rue Alphonse de Witte 40 (tel 02 644 30 31. Tram #81. Mon-Fri noon-2pm & 7.30-10.30pm, Sat 7.30-10.30pm. ?20-32.) This well-known and long-established Ixelles haunt serves impressive, mostly French, cuisine in lavish but not snobbish surroundings. There's also an extensive wine list. You can get a lovely two-course lunch for a very reasonable ?14.75. You'll need to reserve in advance.
Le Doux Wazoo Rue du Relais 21 (tel 02 649 58 52. Bus #95, #96. Tues-Fri noon-2.30pm & 7-11pm, Sat & Mon 7-11pm. Closed July 15-Aug 15. Under ?20.) Long-established bistro with a friendly atmosphere, just west of the ULB University. The decor is 1930s style, with old posters and a collection of small clocks. The classic French cuisine - roast duck and foie gras , Burgundy ham - is both tasty and good value for money. Set menus from ?25.
EAT Rue de l'Aqueduc 103 (tel 02 537 22 90. Tram #93, #94. Daily noon-2.30pm, also Wed 7pm-10.30pm. Under ?20.) A straight-up, large and modern eatery open only for lunch - except Wednesday when Chatelain hosts its weekly market. You can pick and choose from a range of house dishes, most of them of the salad and pasta variety. The servings are generous and fresh, and the service is quick to flash a smile. Healthy dining in a smart setting, and prices remain supremely modest.
Le Fils de Jules Rue du Page 37 (tel 02 534 00 57. Tram #81. Bus #54. Mon-Thurs noon-2pm & 7-11pm, Fri & Sat 7-11pm. ?20-32.) Basque chefs serve up first-class cuisine from southwestern France at this small Art Deco-inspired restaurant. The setting, in the swankiest part of Ixelles, is a perfect backdrop to the delightful food. Reservations usually necessary, particularly on weekends.
Gioconda' Store Convivio Rue de l'Aqueduc 76 (tel 02 539 32 99. Tram #81. Bus #54. Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm & 6.30-10.30pm. Under ?20.) This bright, wedge-shaped wine and pasta shop doubles up as a restaurant and is a great place for a spot of lunch or an evening meal. The prices are fairly cheap, and the food - mainly Italian pasta dishes - is nice and tasty. There's usually an upbeat, chatty atmosphere, and the entertainment is provided by the amusingly manic Italian waiting staff. Good for vegetarians.
Le Macaron Rue de Mail 1 (tel 02 537 89 43. Tram #81. Bus #54. Tues-Sun 6.30pm-1am. Under ?20.) Charming French restaurant just off place du Châtelain on the corner of rue de Mail. The convivial ambience, homely surroundings and cheap fish, meat and pasta dishes - main meals under ?9 - mean the place is often packed to bursting, even on weekdays. The spaghetti bolognese is superlative.
Le Mess 1 Blvd Louis Schmidt (tel 02 734 03 36. Tram #90, #23. Daily except Sat midday noon-2.30pm & 7-11pm. ?20-32.) Traces of Le Mess 's former incarnation as a military barracks live on in the efficient service, spotlessly white tableclothes and Starck decor of dark wood and mood lighting. Tasty sushi lunches, and rich flavoursome dishes such as salmon with bacon. The large first-floor terrace is as prim and proper as the main dining rooms, although a little noisy given its proximity to the six-lane boulevard.
Notos Rue de Livourne 154 (tel 02 513 29 59. Tram #94. Bus #93. Tues-Sun 7-11pm. Closed Aug 15-31. ?20-32.) Airy and well illuminated Greek restaurant near the Chatelain area. If you've come looking for traditional mezzes and sirtakis you'll be disappointed: Notos serves up a far more refined and flavourful cuisine. Reservations are firmly recommended.
Ô-Chinoise-Riz Rue de l'Aqueduc 94 (tel 02 534 91 08. Tram #81. Bus #54. Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm & 6-11pm, Sat & Sun 6-11pm. Under ?20.) This small restaurant, just round the corner from place du Châtelain, is where the Chinese come to eat Chinese food. The food is excellent and you get the spectacle of frantic cooks boiling and sizzling your meal in the open-plan kitchen, thereby ensuring you'll leave with smelly clothes. It's also remarkably cheap by Brussels standards. Sample the crispy chicken with vegetables and the won-ton soup.
Pablo's Rue de Namur 51 (tel 02 502 41 35. Métro: Porte de Namur. Bus #71. Mon-Sun noon-3pm & 6pm-midnight. Closed Sun midday. ?20-32.) Tex-Mex joint just across the road from Métro Porte de Namur. Although there's always a good atmosphere, the food - spare ribs, steaks, tacos, and tasty burritos - is a tad pricey for what you get. A great place to go with a bunch of loud and frolicking friends. On the plus side, the desserts, especially the cheesecakes, are delicious, and there's a long bar serving interesting and lethal cocktails. Reservations aren't accepted, so go early to avoid a long wait.
Le Passiflore Rue du Bailli 97 (tel 02 538 42 10. Tram #81. Bus #54. Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat & Sun 9am-7pm. Under ?20.) Overlooking the Baroque church of Ste Trinité, this trendy but relaxing café serves light lunches, including homemade salmon and spinach quiche, crêpes, and a variety of salads, all for under ?8. It's usually packed on Sunday mornings, when hordes of pasty-faced late-twenty-something revellers attempt to cure their hangovers with one of the good-value continental breakfasts. The croque monsieurs are the finest in the capital.
Pizza Marseille Ch de Waterloo 412 (tel 02 534 28 20. Bus W. Daily noon-2.30pm & 7-10.30pm. Under ?20.) A fascinating blend of 26 different kinds of pastis and delicious pizzas from Marseille. Brightly coloured tables create a childlike feel, but the thin-dough pizzas with toppings that vary from pastis -flavoured prawns to saffron chicken and fresh figs are very grown-up indeed. Don't leave without sampling the Rolls-Royce of pastis : the Versinthe.
La Quincaillerie Rue du Page 45 (tel 02 538 25 53. Tram #81. Bus #54. Mon-Fri noon-2pm & 7pm-midnight, Sat & Sun 7pm-midnight. ?32-44.) The chic, stylish and downright loaded make their way to this delightful restaurant, occupying an old hardware shop, a couple of streets away from Musée Horta. Well known for its mouthwatering Belgian and French cuisine, specialties include fish and fowl, often cooked up in imaginative ways. There's normally a reasonably priced plat du jour for ?9, but the à la carte is very pricey.
Shanti Ave Adolphe Buyl 68 (tel 02 649 40 96. Tram #93, #94. Tues-Sat noon-2pm & 6.30pm-10pm. Closed July 15-Aug 15. Under ?20.) First-class vegetarian restaurant - popular with meat-eaters too - set in a lovely neo-Baroque oriental interior filled with plants. Dishes include fish tandoori and tofu and crab combinations. A bio and natural products store occupies the ground floor.
Touch and Go Rue St Boniface 12. (Métro: Porte de Namur. Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm & 6.30pm-12.30am, Sun 6.30pm-12.30am. Under ?20.) A cheap and trendy pitta chain - ideal if you want to catch a tasty snack and you're in a hurry. Although more upmarket than the average fast-food joint, the turnover is almost as rapid and the food - exotic pitta fillings and salads - is scrumptious. Other branches are at avenue Paul Héger 20, and rue de Livourne 131.
Tutto Pepe Rue Faider 123 (tel 02 534 96 19. Tram #81. Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm & 7-11pm, Sat 7-11pm. ?20-32.) Located just off rue du Bailli, this intimate eight-table Italian is romantic without being clichéd. Tutto Pepe combines tasteful, rustic-style decor, a background soundtrack of Italian opera, and a simple menu of tasty Italian staples such as tagliatelle, spaghetti and bruschetta.
W-Double You Ave Louise 519 (tel 02 644 97 77. Tram #93, #94. Daily except Sat midday & Sun noon-11.30pm. ?20-32.) Brussels' cool crowd flocks to this cosy, modern restaurant - all soft colours, plush surroundings and smooth tunes. The food, including tasty pizzas and pasta with chicken, is as palatable as the decor, though the service is slightly haughty.
Yamato Rue Francart 11 (tel 02 502 28 93. Métro: Porte de Namur. Mon-Sat noon-2pm & 7-10pm. Under ?20.) A tiny, busy Japanese restaurant with minimalist decor, just round the corner from place St Boniface. If you like authentic Japanese food this noodle bar is the place to come - it's fairly cheap (?8 for a main) and full of character.
Yamayu Santatsu Ch d'Ixelles 141 (tel 02 513 53 12. Métro: Porte de Namur. Daily except Sun midday & Mon noon-2pm & 7-10pm. ?20-32.) This well-established sushi and sashimi restaurant is one of the finest in Brussels. With the interior organized around the sushi bar, the owner shouts orders to underlings as he presses strips of fresh fish, his wife works the minimalist room as best she can and the whole spectacle is worthy of its own write-up. Usually packed, you should be snappy with your orders and settle down with some cold sake for the considerable wait. Highly recommended, and reservations are essential.
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