Everytime I take tram 92 to the city centre from our house, it goes past Forcado. It’s one of the few café-like places that looks cozy from the outside looking in. It’s a Portuguese pastelaria that has specialised in pasteis de nata, the national pastry. The places has been there since 1982 and still, it’s extremely popular. And with reason! One bite of the pastry took me straight back to Lisbon; if heaven were a pastry, it’d definitely be this! For those that like experimenting with flavours, they have different variations of the traditional pastry, ranging from speculoos, chocolate, praliné to lemon and coffee.
Where? Charleroise Steenweg 196, Brussels (close to tram stop Janson)
When? Every day from 10am till 6pm, except for Mondays
JAT forms the ideal hub for a sunday catch-up with a friend or a break from sightseeing the museums at the Mont des Arts (Kunstberg). They serve really good coffee and delicious iced teas paired with gorgeous looking sweets. For those that are not as sweet toothed, they also serve soup and sandwiches. There’s definitely something for everybody. And the cozy and colourful seating with the wooden interior complete the feel of a cozy sunday afternoon. Sit back and relax.
Where? Rue de Namur 28, 1000 Brussels – close to the Magritte Museum and Museum of Fine Arts as well as tram stop Koning and Metro stop Naamsepoort/Porte Namur
When? Open everyday – weekdays from 8am till 7pm, weekends from 9am till 7pm
It’s official, I’ve found my favourite café in Ghent. Huset, which is Swedish for “the house”, is anything but just that, it’s more of a home. You enter a house that you had no idea was a place to eat and immediately, it’s like your in someone’s living room. You are welcomed by the friendly host that serves you at your table right next to the big piano decorated with flowers. The food has the same hominess to it: baked goodies, scones (delicious!), hot soup,… all things that warm the heart! I love the imperfectness of the place more than anything: from the jungle of plants to the mismatched cutlery and plates. For any fika lovers our there, this place is a MUST. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking…
Where? Hoogstraat 49, 9000 Gent
When? Every Monday – Friday from 11am till 6pm plus on evenings when they have an event going on (imagine the #hygge then!)
I stumbled across this cute coffee bar as I made my way back to the underground parking in Leuven, but boy was I glad it happened! Although I’m sure there’s plenty of hip coffee bars in Leuven, I feel like there’s not a lot that are open on a Sunday AND close to the city centre. Well, this one is!
Anna is, as its full name suggests, a specialty coffee bar. But no need to worry, fellow tea lovers out there, they also have a wide selection of specialty teas. Oh yes! “Can I get a piece of pie with that?”, I hear you ask. Sure thing! Just walk in, choose one of the ones on sale that day or just order all of them if you’re feelin’ frisky. Seriously, their sweet iced lattes are a treat on their own too though. A perfect place for… – you guessed it – fika!
Where? Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 27, 3010 Leuven
When? Mondays to Fridays from 8am till 6pm, Saturdays from 10am till 6pm and Sundays from 12pm till 6pm.
It’s time for some another #HOTSPOT for the coffee and cake lovers. Take Five Espresso bar is, as the name suggests, an espresso bar with different types of coffee and delicious homemade baked goodies. It’s a great place to peoplewatch, because the street the café is on is often busy with people going past. Good thing the bar has a huge window you can silently sip your coffee. They also have free WiFi, which makes it a good place to do group work, have meetings or book a trip with friends in a cozy yet simple environment. Check out the tiles too, they are very pretty :-)
Where? Take Five Espresso bar is located really close to the city centre, which makes it an ideal place to take a break from shopping or sightseeing. It’s located at Volderstraat 10, 9000 Gent.
When? You can grab a coffee to go or sit down Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 6pm or on Saturdays from 9am to 6pm.
If there’s one thing you should know about me, or perhaps you already do, it’s that I adore discovering places that are perfect for fika, a moment in our busy week where we take time to catch up and talk, have a good coffee and have an even more heavenly bit of sweet cake. I’d say me and my boyfriend do this once a week, and really, it is my favourite thing in the whole world. Obviously, I don’t want to deprive anyone of the cozy and delicious places that I have found myself, hence I set up a blog category called #HOTSPOT.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Chouconut, a place that describes itself as a tea salon and patisserie. The name pretty much says it all, it’s a bakery that combines chous (soesjes), cookies and donuts. Their sweets are best had shared, because that way you can try different flavours. They are exquisite! And the whipped cream you get on your nose, that’s just something you have to deal with. It’s part of the fun. :-)
Where? Chouconut is only a few steps away from the metro/tram stop ‘Hallepoort/Porte de Hal’ in Sint-Gillis, Brussels, so very easy to get to. There’s a couple of cool shops on that same street too.
When? Chouconut is open Tuesday-Thursday from 10am to 6.30pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 6.30pm. It’s closed Mondays and Fridays.