Waffles are a widespread culinary delight, and Brussels is one of the cities well-known for its delicious waffles. During my recent trip to Belgium, I ventured into the world of waffle specialties in Brussels, and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the incredible range of flavours. It was a delightful mix of classic Belgian favorites and creative combinations, blending in a mouth-watering symphony of taste.
Brussels waffle and Liège waffle
Brussels waffles are light and crispy when hot, characterized by their large, rectangular shape with fine ridges and large holes for sweet garnishes such as fruit, ice cream, chocolate, and whipped cream. They are made from a yeast-based batter, giving them a fluffy texture. Brussels waffles often have toppings like powdered sugar, whipped cream, fruit, syrup, or chocolate sauce. In general, they are popular street food in Brussels and are welcome by locals and tourists.
The Liège waffle is another type that appeared in the early 1800s. Unlike the Brussels waffle, the Liège waffle is made from a sweet, dense dough that contains pearl sugar. The sugar caramelizes during cooking, forming a crispy exterior with a chewy and rich interior. Liège waffles are often savored in their pure form as they have a sweet and caramelized flavour. Besides, it is quite often to eat Liège waffles for breakfast or dessert. I had never heard of Liège waffle before my trip, therefore I popped into a small café that offered Liège waffles and tried a fresh made one.
Popular Waffle Toppings
Waffles can be savored with a variety of delicious toppings. Here are some of the usual toppings you can find to accompany waffles:
- Powdered Sugar. Dusting of powdered sugar adds a touch of sweetness and a delightful visual appeal to the waffle.
- Whipped Cream. Its light and creamy texture pairs perfectly with the crispiness of the waffle, creating a contrast of flavours and textures.
- Fruits. Fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and raspberries often garnish waffles. They add freshness, colour, and natural sweetness to the dish.
- Nutella. Nutella, a popular chocolate-hazelnut spread, is a favourite topping choice for many waffle lovers. Its smooth and creamy texture and the sweet hazelnut flavour creates a strong taste.
- Ice Cream. Topping your waffle with a scoop of ice cream is a fantastic option. The contrast between the warm waffle and the cold, creamy ice cream is a delightful combination that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
These are just a few examples of the usual toppings that are commonly enjoyed with waffles. I tried the strawberry waffle with Ice Cream (sometimes topped it with a generous dollop of whipped cream). It was freshly made and was a delightful culinary experience.
Creative waffle toppings
As I wandered through the Royal Gallery towards the Grand Palace in Brussels, I spotted the shop Gaufres & Waffles, which offers some unique and intriguing waffle creations.
One of its creations is the Gaufre & Chicken Waffle, inspired by Mexican cuisine. This fusion of flavors combines traditional Mexican ingredients and flavours. I tasted ingredients like salsa, jalapeños, or other Mexican spices to add a vibrant flavour to the toppings. And it was amazingly delicious!
I would also like to order its waffle with tuna tartar topping, but the tuna wasn’t available on that day. The vegan version is also attractive. Without a doubt, a taste of those creative waffles is a true food adventure.
Waffles stuffed with savory ingredients
Right behind the tourist office on a side street, the Waffle Factory offers a variety of delicious and unique stuffed waffles.
The Waffle Factory is a chain with shops in Belgium and France. In addition to typical choices between a Lieges waffle and a Brussels waffle, the Waffle Factory has extended its creativity to the Lunchwaf, a type of gourmet stuffed waffle that features a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, sauces, salmon, meat, and cheeses. And, the savory fillings create a satisfying meal option for lunchtime.
I ordered Norvégienne Lunchwaf stuffed with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and Provencal herbs. The round-shaped waffle looked huge, and it was more than enough as lunch for me. Other Waffle products are, for example, Grecque filled with Halal kebab, gouda, and tzatziki, or Texane filled with crispy bacon, barbecue sauce, honey, cheddar, and mozzarella.
Where to eat waffles
My discovery of waffle specialties in Brussels was a delightful surprise. It added an extra layer of enjoyment to my trip as I indulged in these iconic Belgian treats. I highly recommend trying the Brussels and Liège waffles with or without a variety of toppings when visiting Brussels or any place that offers them—it’s an experience that will leave your taste buds craving for more! Look for waffle shops that specialize in freshly made waffles and offer a variety of popular toppings. Alternatively, you can try waffle products at one of the following shops:
- Maison Dandoy: It offers popular toppings and is a very good place for tea or coffee time. You can also find other Belgium sweet treats in the shop.
- Waffle Factory (Rue du Lombard, 30 (Coin avec la rue de l’étuve) 1000 Brussels). Other than the usual waffles, it offers stuffed gourmet waffles.
- Gaufres & Waffles: It offers creative waffles with exotic toppings, the true waffle specialties in Brussels.