The Best Frites (fries) in Brussels
Belgium is known for its waffles, chocolate, beer, mussels, and of course frites. Belgians chomp down on an average of 75kg (165 pounds) of frites a year, an astounding third more than Americans do. Frites are a passion.
They commonly use the flavorful and slightly sweet Bintje potato, perfectly suited to Belgian method of double frying. With that said, the secret to the uncontested superiority of their frites is seen in every aspect of their preparation. First, the potatoes are peeled and hand cut to about the width of a woman’s finger. Meanwhile, beef dripping (fat), not oil, should be heating to the ideal temperature of 160C (320F). The frites should be cooked through once, still retaining their pale color. Then they are left to drain and cool. After their rest, the frites are fried once more at 175C (347F) until they are amber in color with a satisfying crunch. Food alchemy at its best. These masterfully crafted frites are traditionally salted, wrapped up in a paper cone, with a dollop of mayonnaise on top.
Where is the best frikot (fry) stand in Brussels? Out of the over 5000 vendors in Belgium, three have consistently have made the top lists and won the local’s hearts. Comfortably book cheap flights here at www.fly.co.uk and head to Brussels for your taste of piping hot golden perfection.
Place Jourdan, 1040 Etterbeek
This place is a legend. Started in 1948 and handed down three generations, it is a permanent institution in the EU area. As the line snakes around the building, think hard about your decision. Not the frites, the only options there are petite and grand. It’s the delicious sauce options, ranging from the usual suspects (mayo, ketchup) to curry, pickle, and Chinese. What makes them especially popular is the ability to grab frites and bring them with to one of Antoine’s marked “partner bars.”
Place Flagey (Rue Gray), 1050 Ixelles
They are a direct rival to Antoine’s, with customers hungrily waiting in the rain. It was even referenced by the esteemed Jacques Brel in his song “Madeleine.” Revamped not too long ago, it nearly shut down, but was saved by a public petition. A sigh of relief: some claim that they are the standard to which all others should be judged. Try the perfectly golden fries with provençale—tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.
Place de la Chapelle, 1000 Brussels
Situated in a gorgeous Medieval Square, these frites constantly earn high marks. Similar to the other two, the fries are perfectly cooked, with a dazzling array of sauces to choose from. At Frikot, they only cook their fries in small batches, meaning a longer wait time. However, it’s worth the wait for the freshest frites possible. After stuffing your belly with frites, head over to the adjacent streets of Rue Haute and Rue Blaes for some excellent antique shopping.