The personal data of patients in Belgium is not being used as efficiently as it should be,...
Belgian mathematician Pierre Deligne yesterday received the Abel Prize, unofficially known...
Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang yesterday met Belgian parliament speaker André Flahaut in...
The B-52’s, Primal Scream, Tinie Tempah, Anvil and The Fratellis are among the acts added t...
Ten of the best cocktail bars
They exist in all the colours of the rainbow, have the craziest names and are mixed with myriad ingredients. From dangerously sweet to potent elixir, here are 10 of the best cocktail bars in the city.
After a trip to Martinique many years ago, Christiane and Jean-Claude Waver decided to open their very own rum bar near Sablon in 1982. La Canne à Sucre is said to be one of the oldest rhumeries in the country. The list of cocktails is long (about 250 concoctions, to be precise), and illustrates all the amazing things you can do with rum. La Canne à Sucre has a very exotic food menu as well, featuring ingredients such as crab, pineapple, coconut, fish, mango, lime... and rum! Every weekend, you’ll get some festive entertainment by the Combo Canne à Sucre.
12 Rue des Pigeons, open pen Wednesday to Saturday, from 19.30, www.lacanneasucre.com
Smoods is the restaurant/bar of the Hotel Bloom near Botanique, although they like to call it their living room. The interior architects tried to make the place as cosy as possible, by adding something for every mood. Choose between the seven mood islands of passion, safari, bling-bling, library, bazaar, spring and flower power. Once seated, pick a cocktail from the list featuring classics, reinvented classics, champagne creations, nonalcoholic cocktails and many more. Should you get hungry or develop some cravings, the menu offers a range of meals as well as some smaller bits and bites.
250 Rue Royale open Monday to Friday, 11.00 to 1.00, (until 2.00 on Friday); Saturday, 18.00 to 2.00; Sunday, 18.00 to midnight, www.smoods.net
It’s hard to pick ‘the best cocktail bar’ on the Saint-Géry square, as all the joints do a pretty good job of shaking and mixing drinks. What’s actually more important when heading to Saint-Géry is finding an empty table and some seats. But why Zebra? Because it was the first bar on the square opened by legendary bar-goer Frédéric Nicolay (the man behind Café Belga, Bar du Matin, Café Walvis, etc). In a few weeks his latest project – a café called Potemkine – will open, in the shadow of Porte de Hal in the commune of Saint-Gilles.
Place Saint-Géry open daily from 11.00 to 2.00 (until 3.00 on Friday and Saturday), www.zebrabar.be
There’s always something going on at Floreo in the Riches Claires area. Tucked away just off the busy boulevard, it’s the perfect spot for coffee, brunch or lunch. As the day progresses, funky Floreo gets ready for its daily dose of musical activities (ranging from tango to DJ sets), and the bartenders prepare for another round of cocktail-shaking. Pink Lady, Femme Fatale, Legend Sandy, Dry Martini or Whisky Sour. Like the sound of these? You can try them every day, and if you come during happy hour (18.00 to 21.00) you’ll get them for €5 each. Check the Café Floreo Facebook page for more info on the musical events.
19 Rue des Riches Claires open every day from 11.00 until late, www.floreo.be
Roxi is a popular bar in the Bailli area, at the crossroads of Rue du Bailli and Rue Simonis. Accompanied by the many bars in the neighbourhood, the crossroads becomes a busy square when everyone sits outside on the terraces. If you can, try to get seats on the balcony of Roxi; it’s less busy than downstairs and perfect for people-watching. On the menu: cocktails, wine and beers, as well as a selection of salads and pasta dishes. Check the blackboard for specials, the cocktail of the week and happy hour.
81 Rue du Bailli open daily until 1.00
At the beginning of Rue Dansaert, the most fashionable part of the city, you’ll find Art Deco jazz bar L’Archiduc. The place opened in 1937, and you can still see some of its original decor features such as the benches along the wall. L’Archiduc started with jazz gigs in 1953 and still has weekly concerts: blues on Mondays or after-shopping jazz on Saturdays, for instance. What better to sip to some jazzy tunes than a perfectly blended cocktail? Rum-based, champagne-based, with gin or tequila, the list is long and comprehensive.
6 Rue Dansaert open daily from 16.00 to 5.00, www.archiduc.net
Behind Grand’Place in the city centre, cocktail bar Sphinx is another must-visit if you love cocktails. The choice is overwhelming, with a menu featuring cold and hot cocktails, shooters, and even cocktails for two or four people. Sphinx comes with a terrace on the street side, and has music and parties every night. The website hasn’t been updated in a while, so look for Sphinx Brussels on Facebook if you want to stay up-to-date.
20 Rue du Marché aux Fromages
open daily until late, www.thesphinx.be
The area around the cemetery of Ixelles is paved with restaurants and bars, and much frequented by the many students of the neighbouring universities VUB (Flemish) and ULB (French). One of the popular places to visit is Waff, a bar that recently celebrated its fifth birthday. Waff is best known for its mojitos, a must-have accessory on the terrace. If you come early, you can catch the happy hour, between 18.00 and 20.00.
455 Chaussée de Boondael open daily from 12.00 to 3.00, www.waff.be
Madame Moustache is not a cocktail bar, but then again it’s hard to describe what Madame Moustache exactly is. In short, if you’re up for a good time and a stiff cocktail, it’s the place to be. With an eclectic interior and a very diverse music range (anything from Balkan beats to western and DJ sets), it’s a nightclub like no other. Check their website or find them on Facebook to see what’s on next.
5-7 Quai au Bois à Brûler open Tuesday to Sunday, 17.00 to 4.00, www.madamemoustache.com
Brussels Beach must be the largest cocktail bar in the city. Unfortunately you’ll still have to wait a few weeks for it to open (the beach is open from July 1 until August 7). Here’s what to expect: spread over 1km, one cocktail bar after another competing to make the best cocktails of the bunch. Caipirinhas and mojitos are always the most popular, but every year there are plenty of tropical fruity mixes as well. Cocktails are served in a plastic goblet and are almost all priced between €4 and €6, but look out for the wooden cabins throwing happy hours every now and then. You’ll find the beach next to the canal, at Place Sainctelette.