Huset

It’s official, I’ve found my favourite café in Ghent. Huset, which is Swedish for “the house”, is anything but just that, it’s more of a home. You enter a house that you had no idea was a place to eat and immediately, it’s like your in someone’s living room. You are welcomed by the friendly host that serves you at your table right next to the big piano decorated with flowers. The food has the same hominess to it: baked goodies, scones (delicious!), hot soup,… all things that warm the heart! I love the imperfectness of the place more than anything: from the jungle of plants to the mismatched cutlery and plates. For any fika lovers our there, this place is a MUST. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking…

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Where? Hoogstraat 49, 9000 Gent

When? Every Monday – Friday from 11am till 6pm plus on evenings when they have an event going on (imagine the #hygge then!)

Happy fika!

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Anna – specialty coffee bar

I stumbled across this cute coffee bar as I made my way back to the underground parking in Leuven, but boy was I glad it happened! Although I’m sure there’s plenty of hip coffee bars in Leuven, I feel like there’s not a lot that are open on a Sunday AND close to the city centre. Well, this one is!

Anna is, as its full name suggests, a specialty coffee bar. But no need to worry, fellow tea lovers out there, they also have a wide selection of specialty teas. Oh yes! “Can I get a piece of pie with that?”, I hear you ask. Sure thing! Just walk in, choose one of the ones on sale that day  or just order all of them if you’re feelin’ frisky. Seriously, their sweet iced lattes are a treat on their own too though. A perfect place for… – you guessed it – fika!

Where? Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 27, 3010 Leuven

When? Mondays to Fridays from 8am till 6pm, Saturdays from 10am till 6pm and Sundays from 12pm till 6pm.

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Moon food

As I was looking for a vegan place to eat in Brussels, I realised there was only one place that ticked all the boxes: Moon food. This café near the Central Station describes itself as the first vegan café in Brussels and I think that must be true. Truly everything they serve, from breakfast options to lunch and dinner as well as dessert is vegan. What I like most about the place is how the wooden interior with lots of plants; it adds to the plant-based feel of the place. Another plus is that their food is served as a buffet and you can pick and choose whatever you like. Just let the people behind the counter weigh your plate afterwards and pay for exactly what you can eat. Or you can simply take-away your food, which is great.

Where? Koloniënstraat 58, 1000 Brussels (right on the corner), very close to the Warandepark and Bozar

When? Monday through to Friday from 12PM till 8PM

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Chouconut

If there’s one thing you should know about me, or perhaps you already do, it’s that I adore discovering places that are perfect for fika, a moment in our busy week where we take time to catch up and talk, have a good coffee and have an even more heavenly bit of sweet cake. I’d say me and my boyfriend do this once a week, and really, it is my favourite thing in the whole world. Obviously, I don’t want to deprive anyone of the cozy and delicious places that I have found myself, hence I set up a blog category called #HOTSPOT.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Chouconut, a place that describes itself as a tea salon and patisserie.  The name pretty much says it all, it’s a bakery that combines chous (soesjes), cookies and donuts. Their sweets are best had shared, because that way you can try different flavours. They are exquisite! And the whipped cream you get on your nose, that’s just something you have to deal with. It’s part of the fun. :-)

Where? Chouconut is only a few steps away from the metro/tram stop ‘Hallepoort/Porte de Hal’ in Sint-Gillis, Brussels, so very easy to get to. There’s a couple of cool shops on that same street too.

When?  Chouconut is open Tuesday-Thursday from 10am to 6.30pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 6.30pm. It’s closed Mondays and Fridays.

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Goesting

Goesting is a small, barely noticeable establishment in Ghent where you can have lunch, soup, coffee, tea and, of course, lots of pie. What I like most about Goesting is its name, because it is a typical Flemish word that reflects exactly the feeling you get when you are craving something, whether it be food or something else. You can totally have “goesting” for a piece of pie, for example. The second thing I like about Goesting is its simplicity: the interior, the menu, the way they serve the food, everything is kept simple. But hey, less is more sometimes.

Because Goesting is located right next to the water, it’s a perfect spot for people watching. Especially considering it is located right by the Dille & Kamille (always a nice treat to pop in there)  as well as the busy Veldstraat, which means that there’s always plenty of cyclists and people walking by. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find yourself basking in sunlight behind the glass window, which feels amazing, especially while sipping a cup of great coffee.

Where?  Goesting is located on the Predikherenlei 25 in Ghent.

When? Every day from 10am to 6pm, except for Tuesdays.

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Alice

Alice is a Rococco-like old manor house located only a short walk from the main shopping street, the Veldstraat. With its chandeliers, etsy chairs and baroque paintings, you’d think you are visiting Louis XIV. Nothing is less true of course, because the relaxed atmosphere in combination with the oh so fancy decor is what makes this place so special. No need to tiptoe around, just a very cool place to have a coffee or dinner with friends. Did I mention I also had the best cake (of my life!) there? It was a mascarpone and brownie piece of pie and I still dream about it sometimes. I’ve also read that Alice does afternoon tea and that is something I feel needs to be tried before I eventually move away from Ghent, too. I’ll definitely report back on that later…

(And, if you’re a bit of a weirdo, like me, you’ll very much enjoy the rounded door in the bathroom. Just one of those things that excite me for no apparent reason).

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Where? Alice can be found at Onderbergen 9, right across from the beautiful “het Pand”, which is part of the university and is also worth a quick browse. Because it’s so close to the main shopping street, it’s perfect for that little pick me up that you so desperately need sometimes while on a shopping spree.

When? Tuesday – Friday 8.30-17.30, Saturday 09.00-18.00, Sunday 9.30 – 14.00

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