When you think of croissants or baguettes, you’ll probably think of Paris. Which is not only historically incorrect, as the croissant actually originated in Vienna, but also doesn’t do justice to the delicious bakeries found elsewhere besides – let’s say – Paris. Take Brussels, for example. You might not associate the Belgian capital with delicious bread and pastries, but if so, you’re wrong. Those who have been living in this city may already know this (lucky you), but if you still haven’t found your favorite Brussels bakery, we’re here to help. Because everyone surely deserves a mouthwatering croissant, baguette or loaf in their lives.
Compared to other hipster proof bakeries in Brussels, Charli has been around for a long time. The bakery started out in 2009 and has since been an institution for all those seeking a tasty loaf or a crumbly pastry in the city center. All their flours are totally biological and they mainly focus on sourdough bread – which, as you’ll see, is a big trend in Brussels. However, that focus doesn’t mean they neglect the pastry-making part of their business. Whether you go for a pain au chocolat, a tarte tatin or a classical baguette, there’s no room for disappointment.
2. C’est si bon
We’ll give it to you, the whole bakery trend often seems to focus on the south of Brussels. If you’re living in Uccle, Ixelles or Forest, it’s not that difficult to come across a delicious new generational bakery. But the same doesn’t go for whoever’s living in let’s say Anderlecht, Schaerbeek or Molenbeek. Luckily, there are some exceptions and C’est si bon is one of them. Christian Celej and his mother, business partners in this adventure, started out in Anderlecht before moving their bakery to Molenbeek. This bakery actually combines two very different kinds of bread-making: the French, very crunchy, and the German, very filling and dense. And that combo seems to work as, more often than not, you’ll have to wait in line to buy some of their delicious goodies.
Just when we were saying most bakeries are concentrated on the south of Brussels, here we come with yet another Anderlecht-based address. Only around since 2020, Kiekebich is quite the recent addition to Brussels’ new bakery scene. Tom De Vuyst chooses to open just two days a week, meaning he can focus on delivering a very qualitative product, based on organic flours and local products. Oh, and De Vuyst is also a miller so this is what we call a very short chain business. Be aware though, Kiekebich’s products can only be ordered online and are to be collected afterwards at the bakery itself or in one of the pick-up points throughout the city.
4. La Boule
Just like many other bakers these days, Vincent De Troy hasn’t always been in the bakery business. Only after twenty years of graphic design did he realize it was time for a change. And that change came in the form of La Boule in 2018. Here, De Troy sells mainly sourdough-based bread, along with some pastries and baguettes. The bread is made everyday, early in the morning, so don’t be surprised if your loaf still feels warm when you buy it. A very modest yet delicious address we wish we could visit more often.
What to call your bakery? Well, the two brothers Maxime and Bertrand Delubac decided to name theirs after their grandmother, Janine. Original, just the way they work. Initially, the bakery started out in Etterbeek, not far from a brewery – called Janine as well – as a way to make both the beer brewing and bread making industries more sustainable. Residues from the brewing process are used to make bread and unsold loafs are turned into beer. Other than those unusual loafs of bread, you’ll find croissants, cinnamon rolls and even the Brussels’ specialty Bodding at Janine’s.