Food’n gin: my go-to’s in Leuven

I spent 4 years of my life commuting between Brussels and Leuven, so now that I’m not there anymore, the least I can do is  share some of my favorite places to eat’n drink.

Leuven is a student city in the Flemish part of Belgium, some 20 minute drive from Brussels. Which means: there’s no shortage of bars and pubs in Leuven, and they tend to stay open longer than their Brussels counterparts..

I’m not going to give you a tour of the city.

It’s way more fun to do a a half restaurant / half bar crawl through Leuven.

And my post caters to all tastes: you’ll have Italian, Belgian, burgers, sushi, foods around the world, and of course: the bars!

Crazy for some Italian cuisine?

For some reason, Belgians absolutely adore Italian food, so you’ll be having a hard time not finding a place for pizza or pasta.

Zoff By Max

Or in their words: Catchy Italian Bar

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Zoff in Leuven

Oh, it’s catchy all right. Zoff is one place I particularly like. There’s a lot of good Italian food to choose from here, and in large quantities too!

Bring your large appetite and try the sharing platters for more fun (though the salads are pretty cool)

The gin also gets my seal of approval.

PepeNero 

Another Italian restaurant, with some good pasta on menu and great desserts. What I like about PepeNero is their very cozy (glass covered) sun terrace in the back.

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PepeNero Terrace

Fast food is best eaten slow

Wurst Haute Dogs

They give hot dogs a haute cuisine feel. The resulting haute-dogs don’t come cheap at a starting price of 8€, but they sure are tasty.

The place is always packed with people.

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Huis Der Burgers 

Or in English, the House of Burgers. It’s where I had some seriously mean burgers.

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Cool interior

The place is quite small but hip, and there’s a good offer of burgers to choose from.

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Huis der burgers, Leuven

Burger Folie 

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BurgerFolie

They call themselves the best Gourmet burgers in town.

And they are pretty good, though I personally prefer the ones at Huis der Burgers.

However, Burger Folie (French for Burger Madness) has more interesting options – such as The Hangover, Blue Cheese Folie or the Double Decker.

And for a something else..

ViaVia travellers cafe

I really like the concept of this one. There are 2 ViaVia places in Leuven, I personally like the old one on Parkstraat, it has more character.

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ViaVia in Leuven, on Parkstraat

They’ve got Cambodian, Turkish, Peruvian, Chilean, Indian, Indonesian .. and much more!

Tr3s – Classic, contemporary cuisine in Center Leuven
Fancy and upscale-looking restaurant at surprisingly balanced rates.
I suggest you try either the cheeseburger or the lamb as they are are especially tasty.
Oh, and the gin. Always the gin.
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Tr3s restaurant in Leuven

Now for the Gins ‘n Drinks

Bar Nine 

Not just a bar, the place has a loungey feel during the day but transforms in a party den in the weekend, with DJs playing dance and urban tracks.

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Bar Nine in Leuven
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Try their Belgian Gin, Red Devil. it comes with free nachos.

What convinced me was the great selection of gins, which you can enjoy either on the terrace or in a very cozy atmosphere indoors.

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The unmistakable Gin Hendricks

Kosmopol 

The Belgian brasserie across the street from the train station has plenty of room indoors as well as on the terrace, is open for lunch and dinner.

They really have it all: finger food, good and well priced drinks, Belgian cuisine and a mix of other popular dishes.

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Kosmopol, Leuven

Barvista

Still in close to the old market (well, Leuven is not that big), you’ll find Barvista, a cocktail bar with a dance floor at night.

The Seven Oaks

Are you still with me or are you ready to turn in?

Okay! then head to The Seven Oaks downstairs: a cellar filled with even more drinking options; no pictures here, the night wasn’t young anymore..

If you’re in Leuven or planning a visit, have a try and let me know where you ended up .

Happy wandering!