Have you visited Belgium before?
Do you know what type of Belgian street food you can find while walking around here?
We made a top 10 of most typical Belgian street food.
The choice was hard though, however these are the most popular snacks.
Whether you feel a bit peckish in between meals, you need a quick lunch on the go or that smell coming from the food vendor makes your mouth water.
These Belgian street food options are very popular.
You can find most of them at farmers markets, fairs, major events or shopping streets.
We listed 3 sweet treats and 7 savory Belgian street food.
How many have you tried before?
1. Belgian fries
And what better Belgian street food to start with than fries of course!
Both Luc and I both have a weakness for freshly deep fried Belgian fries. And yes, with mayonnaise only! Classic and delicious. The smell of fries is irresistible.
Where to buy fries? In a shack which we call frituur. You can get a bunch of other treats at the shack as well such as bitterballen (meat croquettes), burgers, cheese croquettes, chicken fingers and so on. That and a load of other dipping sauces. However we stick to the classic fries and mayo. Preferably in a paper cone instead of a plastic tub!
Learn more about Belgian fries and how to make them at home right here!
2. Whelk soup
Do you like snails?
In Brussels you will find shacks that say ‘caricoles’, or ‘karakollen’ in Flemish. That is where you can get a portion of this delicious soupy treat: fatty whelks cooked in a broth with celery. And loads of pepper! Not surprisingly this is a fantastic little snack in the winter when it is freezing cold. The whelk soup is served in plastic cups, which is a great way to warm your hand.
Unfortunately you see this whelk soup less and less. Here in Antwerp you can find this whelk soup at an oyster stall on the Saturday’s farmers market.
A peppery delicacy.
3. Smoutebollen (dough fritters)
There is no fair in Belgium without a smoutebollen shack.
This one could probably be the most popular sweet Belgian street food. These doughy golden fritters contain a thick batter of flour, eggs, yeast, sugar and milk. Once the fritters are deep fried, they are sprinkled with a very generous layer of icing sugar. These beignets also go by the name of oliebollen in Flanders and croustillons in French.
Smoutebollen are available all year round, and especially around Christmas.
4. Martino sub sandwich
And why not add a typical Belgian sub sandwich to this Belgian street food chapter?
It was hard to choose. A mitraillette (with meat, fries and sauces) and a smos (ham and/or cheese with raw vegetables and sauces). In the end we decided to go for the martino sub sandwich because that is the one we eat most of all.
A martino sub sandwich (broodje martino) contains préparé or raw finely ground beef that is spiced with worcestersauce, tabasco, salt and ketchup. This mixture is spread onto a sub sandwich and garnished with raw chopped onion and pickled gherkins. Some even put sliced boiled egg and lettuce on it. Perfect for a lunch on the go.
Quite a few butcher shops also sell sub sandwich with whatever topping you like. There you will find a good martino. Or at any sub sandwich shop.
5. Shrimp croquettes
One of our all time favorite Belgian street food?
Deep fried crunchy croquettes stuffed with a creamy brown shrimp filling, another delicious classic! You can also find them on farmers markets, and at every frituur fries shack as well. These shrimp croquettes are very popular, even in restaurants as a starter or main course.
Not surprisingly some are better than others. Making a good shrimp croquette is quite a challenge. The crust has to be crunchy and thick enough to keep the creamy filling inside while deep frying them. And that filling has to contain a good amount of brown shrimp, and not just a shrimp flavored batter.
6. Belgian waffles
You might have seen those massive waffles topped with whipped cream, fruits, chocolate sauce, candy etc. in and around the touristic Manneken Pis area in Brussels.
Those are for, yes exactly, tourists. We mainly eat waffles with very little toppings as a Belgian street food.
Do you know by the way that there are 2 types of waffles in Belgium? The Brussels waffle is a large, airy and perfectly rectangle waffle that is traditionally sprinkled with icing sugar. The other one is called a Liège waffle and it is much heavier and irregular in shape. The batter also contains pearl sugar which makes it extra sweet.
What do you prefer: the gaufre bruxelloise or the gaufre liègeoise?
Maatjes, isn’t that a Dutch treat?
Indeed very little people know that maatjes are also very popular in Belgium. And rightfully so because this fish is a real treat. The official maatjes season starts around mid June. However you can find maatjes all year round at supermarkets, farmers markets and fishmongers.
Maatjes are young raw herring that are gutted and preserved in barrels for a couple of months. Enzymes start a natural fermentation process which kind of marinates the fish. That is a posh was to describe rotten fish, you might think. Don’t worry, the taste of maatjes is far from the Scandinavian surströmming. You will find maatjes as street food at farmers markets and summer events.
Read more about maatjes and how to eat this Belgian street food traditionally right here!
8. Ice cream
However ice cream is extremely popular here as a Belgian street food.
No matter what season it is, ice cream parlours and vendors always attract flocks of people of all ages. You can buy ice cream in paper cups. However we prefer the ice cream cones. Those crunchy cone shaped wafers are not only very handy to hold as a street food, they are edible as well.
What is your favorite type of ice cream?
9. Fresh oysters
Another world wide delicacy that is also very popular here in Belgium: freshly chucked oysters!
You will very often find them at the same food stall or vendor that sells maatjes, whelk soup or shrimp croquettes as well.
If you can’t find them at all, then that means that oysters are not in season at that moment. Some types of oysters are more expensive than others. Here at the Saturday farmers market we pay €11 for 6 freshly chucked oysters. And they are excellent. Classic toppings are black pepper, lemon juice or sliced onion pickled in vinegar.
Hey, did you know that we also eat raw mussels, also known as moules parquées? Unfortunately they are very hard to find nowadays.
10. Braadworst & caramelized onions
And last but not least: another Belgian street food that is comfort food at the same time!
It sounds like Bratwurst. And that is because it is exactly the same. Braadworst also means the entire lot: a bread roll stuffed with sausage and caramelized onions. Oh my, the smell of caramelized onion. Braadworst comes with mustard or ketchup.
Nope, this is not a hot dog. That sausage is a good quality ground pork or beef sausage, not a processed one. You can find braadworst bread rolls at farmers markets, fairs, major events like concerts and sports event.
How many of these 10 Belgian street food have you tried yet?
Let us know in the comments below!