Bruges, and Belgium as a whole, is a mecca for food and drink lovers. Those with a sweet tooth can find a wealth of waffles and toppings, plus an overwhelming provision of chocolate. More savoury treats include cheese, or the seasonal but delicious moules-frites (mussels and fries). And those with a temptation towards beer will find a selection of the best beer bars in Europe.
Press play to experience the best beer bars in Bruges (or read on!):
I’m not much of a chocolate person and a plate of fries never seem to meet my expectations of good food, so with mussels out of season I made my last trip to Belgium a mission to find the best beer bars in Bruges. Below and in this video are six of what I believe to be the best beer bars in the city.
And trust me, I took my mission very seriously by visiting each of them (and more) and tasting their beer while I was there. Don’t say I never do anything for you guys…!
The Best Beer Bars in Bruges
1. 2be (The Beer Wall)
During my four night stay in Bruges, I actually visited 2be twice; once with friends and the second time alone. With a range of table sizes, plus one long communal bench on the terrace overlooking the canal I found the bar perfect for solo travellers, couples and friends.
The main attraction at 2be is their Beer Wall, an extensive glass cabinet that lines the alley that leads from the main street to the beer bar on the edge of the canal.
Because of the wall, 2be is often touted as a tourist swamp but I don’t know if it was the perfect time of year for my trip last week because whilst the bar was busy, it was far from crowded and I easily found a seat on both visits.
There are 16 beers on tap at the bar, which I found overwhelming to choose from as quite the ignorant beer drinker! And so the best thing we found to begin immersing ourselves in the Belgian beer experience was to order a tasting selection. For just 10 EUR you can choose from either light, strong, or mixed platters of four small glasses of beer, plus a bowl of nuts, salami and cheese!
Phone Number: +3250 611 222
Location: 2be, bvba Dubbel, Wollestraat 53, 8000 Brugge
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 10:00 to 19:00
2. Staminee De Garre
The complete opposite of 2be, De Garre screams local and despite being well known amongst beer tourists the butter yellow tablecloths and classical music soundtrack reminds you more of your grandparent’s living room than a rowdy bar.
Being British (and so more of a pub girl than a bar girl) this was my favourite beer bar in Bruges. And just to make your visit seem extra special, De Garre is the only bar in West Flanders that serves the self-titled and intense “Tripel van De Garre”.
The beer is brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge and at 11% the bar only allows three to be ordered per person at any one sitting. But if an 11% beer doesn’t tickle your fancy, they have an extensive drinks menu that also includes draft beers, abbey beers, bottled beers, and trappist beers as well as wines and spirits.
But by far my favourite part of our trip to De Garre was the staff! The bartender/waiter was just as funny as he was friendly, joining in on our jokes about having to share the cheese – which comes free with the beer by the way!
Phone Number: +32 50 34 10 29
Location: De Garre 1, 8000 Brugge
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 12:00 to 00:00; Fri: 12:00 to 00:30; Sat: 11:00 to 00:30
3. De Halve Maan
Another unique brewery with fantastic and funny staff, De Halve Maan offers the perfect mix of indoor and outdoor terrace seating which I was lucky to enjoy during my trip. Despite the rain falling mid-way through my lunch, parts of the outdoor seating area are covered and offer heaters and I had fortunately chosen a table under the cover which meant I saw the sun shine on either side of the rain!
But the beauty of De Halve Maan comes from the stories that permeate the brewery and its beers. The brewery dates back to the 16th century and the current owners, the Maes family attained it in 1856.
In 1981, Véronique Maes continues in the family brewing tradition and creates the ‘Straffe Hendrik‘ along with her father. This is one of the brewery’s most famous beers. The second is the ‘Brugse Zot‘ first released in 2005 by the son of Véronique. The name translates to the ‘Bruges Fool’ which is a reference to a dispute between the city and it’s former 15th King, Maximilian of Austria – click here to read the full story!
By far my favourite part about visiting the brewery is that not only are you in a place that holds almost 500 years of history within its walls, but it’s also great for budget travellers! I also took their beer, cheese and ham soup whilst I was there and whilst it doesn’t look a lot it was so filling and cost just 6 EUR! Their mains however do stretch between 14 and 21 EUR.
Phone Number: +32 50 44 42 22
Location: Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge
Opening hours: Sun – Wed: 10:00 to 18:00; Thurs – Sat: 10:00 to 23:00
As much as I was on a mission to find the best beers in Bruges last week, I also wanted to find great views of the city. It was tricky as even with a climb up the Belfry, you couldn’t get a good view of the Market Square. So when I heard from a local that you could get a view of the square from the Duvelorium bar without having to pay entry to the Historium museum I made it a priority to visit!
And I’m so glad I did! Not only is the view fantastic (you can see it here in the vlog), but the beers are also really well priced. I went for a Vedett as the sun was shining and I needed refreshing – and both the ‘beer of the month’ and the Vedett cost just 3.50 EUR!
For an extra 5 EUR we also treated ourselves to a cheese platter, took a seat on the outside terrace and watched the crowds mingling below in the main square of the city. It’s the perfect place to relax from the hectic tourist crowds (for some reason the bar was almost empty when we visited around 2pm!) and taste some of Belgium’s best beers.
Phone Number: +32 50 27 03 11
Location: Duvelorium, Markt 1, 8000 Brugge
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 10:00 to 18:00
5. Café Vlissinghe
Holding the impressive title of the oldest pub in Bruges I just couldn’t not include it in this list of the best bars in Bruges! Café Vlissinghe celebrated its 500th anniversary in 2015 after opening in the Saint-Anne quarter of Bruges in 1515. But amazingly the building has stood and been used as far back as 1485, possibly even longer!
The comforting smells of a homemade menu drift from the open kitchen at the bottom of the stairs up to the cosy bar lounge upstairs where locals and tourists are welcomed by warm orange glow reflecting off the old wooden tables and panelling. For solo travellers it’s a great place to mingle as whilst the bar is short, the tables are long and communal.
If mingling isn’t your thing or you’d rather enjoy the upcoming Summer sunshine then the bar has a beautiful open garden. Order the house beer (self titled Vlissinghe) for 3.80 EUR or one of their many bottled beers ranging from 2.50 EUR to 4.10 EUR and take a seat outside…
Phone Number: +32 50 34 37 37
Location: Café Vlissinghe, Blekersstraat 2, 8000 Brugge
Opening hours: Wed – Sat: 11:00 to 22:00; Sunday: 11:00 – 19:00; Mon – Tues: Closed
6. The Bauhaus
The thing that makes The Bauhaus stand out one of the best beer bars in Bruges is the fact that they offer a beer tasting experience every evening with a guide that can properly explain the difference between Trappist beers, Abbey beers, Tripels, Ales and more for just 12.50 EUR.
Of course, if you can’t make the beer tasting experience then the bartenders are also just as helpful, asking what tastes you like and recommending their favourites from a wide selection of Belgian brewed tap and bottled beers.
It’s a lively hostel bar and very popular with guests from all over the world, but I also met a range of locals who visit on their way home from work and always had great things to say about it. In fact one local I met, the owner of Books & Brunch Café told me that he had met his wife at the very same bar years ago!
Phone Number: +32 50 34 10 93
Location: The Bauhaus, Langestraat 133-137, 8000 Brugge
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 10:00 to 02:00
Bruges: Final Travel Tips
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Do you like beer? What is your favourite tasting beer bar in Europe? Let me know in the comments!
I would like to thank the St Christopher’s at The Bauhaus in Bruges for sponsoring my stay with them, but as always opinions are honest and entirely my own.