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Being next door to France, Brussels has struggled to make their mark on the world’s culinary map. In recent years chefs in Brussels have taken traditional dishes and infused them with foreign influences to create some outstanding Belgian dishes. They have even begun a Brussels Food Festival held in June to celebrate Belgian food. Whet your appetite for Belgian food with these descriptions of the Best Foods to Eat in Brussels.

Tarte Au Riz

Tarte Au Riz translates into rice pie. This dessert is a pie without a top crust similar to quiche. The filling is like a sweet flan of milk custard glazed with egg. Try it a Boulangerie Alexandre, Pepinster.

Tomates aux Crevettes Grises

This dish uses fresh local tomatoes scooped out and salted inside. The tomatoes are then stuffed with a mixture of tiny gray shrimp, chopped boiled eggs, and mayonnaise. Try this dish at Belvedere, Ostend.

Speculoos

These spiced shortbread cookies have unofficially been named as the national cookie of Belgium. They were first baked in celebration of St. Nicholas Day on December 6. Their popularity has given rise to a Speculoos spread, and the taste has been incorporated into ice cream or gelato. Get speculoos at Maison Dandoy in Brussels.

Anguilles Au Vert

The French translation of “eel in green sauce” sounds much more appetizing as a name for this dish. Eel is much like chicken only with a gamey taste. The eel is cooked in butter, cream, and white wine. A sauce made with sorrel and chervil—hence gives the dish its green color. Try this dish at Belga Queen in Brussels.

Moules Frites

Moules Frites or mussels with fries is a classic dish of North Sea mussels cooked in a vegetable-based broth and white wine. It is served alongside fried potatoes. Try this dish at Poules Moules.

Stoemp

This Belgian side dish is prepared with mashed potatoes and other vegetables like carrots, onions, or kale cooked in vegetable stock and flavored with onions, leeks, cloves, and nutmeg. Try stoemp at Royal Brasserie in Brussels.

Boulet a Sauce Lapin

Sauce Lapin means “rabbit sauce, ” but this dish is not prepared with rabbit. It consists of meatballs made with beef and pork. The sauce consists of brown sugar, vinegar, onion, and Sirop de Liège, a jam made of fruit juices. Try Boulet a Sauce de Lapin at Café Lequet in Liège.