I don’t think of myself as a stereotypical Italian: I usually don’t complain about food and adapt very easily to new culinary customs. However, there are a few things I need and others I sometimes really crave! The first of those is good coffee.
Knowing myself – and my need for coffee in the morning to counter my crankiness – I bought a ‘moka’ coffee machine and I regularly ask my mum to send me my favourite coffee (a fair trade brand I couldn’t find in Brussels). However, sometimes I am wandering around Brussels killing time between and errand or an appointment and I really feel like a nice cappuccino. But where to go?
Do not enter the first bar you see! Most of the places I’ve tried have despicable coffee at jaw-dropping prices: up to €4 for a small cappuccino! Instead, learn from my mistakes and take note of a few addresses around the city centre where I guarantee a decent – in some cases really good – coffee, still expensive if you compare it to Italy (about €2.50 vs €1.20), but what the hell, at least it’s drinkable!
Aksum has recently moved to rue des Éperonniers 60 from rue Haute and serves Ethiopian coffee in a small cosy room with free wifi. The staff are nice, which makes it such a good place to sit down and relax.
Another coffee place where you can sit down and take your time is the Coffee Company (rue du Midi 45). It has a similar concept to Starbucks (which you can only find in Gare Centrale or Gare du Nord in Brussels btw) and a reasonably good coffee. You can get a piece of cake too and sit down to read a good book.
A brand new discovery is Maison Corica (rue du Marché aux Poulets 49) where you can find a huge variety of coffee blends. There’s something for every taste. The only negative point is that you can’t sit down, you either drink your coffee at the counter or you take it with you.
If you’re curious, the other thing I miss is good olive oil. That’s probably because I grew up with the produce of our very own olive trees in Tuscany. It’s hard to get used to supermarket oil after that! And in fact I haven’t. My mum gladly sends me my annual consumption of olive oil at every new season, so sorry my dear readers, can’t help you with this unless you’d like to buy some from my mum!