Anyone working around the Parliament or other EU institutions will know that the lunch business is huge. The crowds of people filling the streets from 12:00 to 14:00 to get just a sandwich, a bite or a real meal is impressive. Of course, I am part of them, at least sometimes, as I usually try to cook for myself.
Sandwiches can be found everywhere and usually prices and quality are fairly similar (from €4 up to €7). A chain that can be found pretty much everywhere in Brussels (one being in place du Luxembourg) is Exki, which follows the organic trend and offers a range of healthy food. It can be a bit more expensive depending on what you order, but they also serve warm options like quiches.
I already suggested Crèpes and Co in rue du Luxembourg, but if it’s pizza you’re looking for the best place for a few pieces is Lo Spuntino, just round the corner from square de Meeûs (rue Caroly 42). It’s run by Italians who do a thin crust pizza with of course a lot of different options but no unusual flavours.
One of my favourite places is El Turco at place de Londres 6, entrance on rue du Trône. It’s a cold and hot buffet and you pay per kilo regardless of what you have (still quite expensive, allow around €8 for a normal portion). They have various salads, hummus, vegetarian plates and meat. The idea is to offer a wide range of Mediterranean dishes.
Rue du Trône offers a few other decent places: El Verde (n. 39) which offers dishes with south American inspiration (tacos, tortillas etc) which again is a bit more expensive, allow about €10. Of course there’s a sushi place too: La belle de jour (n.83), with a shy Asian couple. You can choose between the ready-made plates or you can order and have your dish made on the spot. They are a bit slow but the food is worth the wait. The rolls are huge, so don’t order too many of them! Allow minimum €9.
A couple of cheap places are hidden in the Matonge area. One is an ‘African fast food’ shop (rue de la paix 45). You can have a dish for €5 (take away or €6 eat in) made up of rice, meat or fish of your choice, veggies and sauce. The second is an Indian place, Tandoori Land (at the crossroads of rue Ernest Solvay and rue Longue Vie). Here too you can choose between a range of veggies, meat, rice, naan and samosas to take away (around €6 for a complete dish).