Like most major cities, Brussels is heaving with great bars and clubs, providing a brilliant nightlife experience to locals and visitors alike. While we love the city’s famous beer, sometimes you want something a little more refined to sip on, instead of a hoppy, heavy drink. If you’re in the Belgian capital and don’t want another glass of Duvel or Leffe, then check out our list of the best cocktail bars in Brussels!
Not all the best venues and bars are right in the centre of the action, as shown by the stunning Ethylo. Tucked away in the northeastern corner of the city, right next to Josaphat Park, the bar is a short drive away from the bustling heart of Brussels, but this allows it to retain its cool, underground vibe and means that it’s often not too hard to get a seat. The space is airy and bright, and the decor is classic and refined.
The bartenders are all highly trained but there is a laid back attitude here that makes them feel less like experts and more like friends recommending something to sip on (plus, the bar chihuahua Tips is usually around, adding a bit of fun dog watching to the activities to do here) . There’s an ever changing list of in-house specialties and concoctions, made using locally sourced ingredients. but of course you can ask for a classic cocktail and you’ll be wowed by the excellence that’s poured into every glass.
Ethylo also offers cocktail making classes, as well as plenty of delicious, homemade bar snacks to really make visitors feel at home. A truly charming spot.
This tiny, hidden bar is easy to miss if you don’t know about it, but once you’ve discovered its delights it’s near impossible to forget. Named for the famously rakish British poet, the drinks here will certainly charm all your senses. The classics are mixed to perfection, and the specialties are uniquely built, utilising some truly intriguing combinations to make unforgettable drinks.
The place is dark and cosy, and the furnishings are reminiscent of the heyday of the cocktail in America in the twenties and thirties. With that said, it’s also easy to people watch if you’re fortunate enough to grab a window seat, and given how central the location is the folks passing by will offer plenty to look at.
Lord Byron is the perfect spot for a chat over drinks, and with an extensive beer list for any acquaintances who might not want a cocktail, we can’t recommend this bar enough.
Skylab is a venue of extremes. The interior is dark and vibey, with plush decor (the sofas are almost too luxurious and easy to fall into) and a classically decorated bar that gets you in the mood to drink some of the finest cocktails in the city. However, during summer, the terrace opens up in its full glory. Under the baking Belgian sun you can enjoy all kinds of tipples while the bells of St Catherine’s chime right next to you.
Of course, it takes more than cool surroundings to make a great cocktail bar, and Skylab has everything you’d want and more. The selection of drinks is second to none, so whether you’re keen on a winter Old Fashioned or a summer Aperol Spritz, it will be made to the highest standards and delivered right to your table. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy your refreshment.
This wonderful little bar lives up to its name and then some. The owners and staff here have been serving locals for 7 years now, and in that time they’ve figured out how to do things right. Housed in a small, intimate space, Life is Beautiful offers the very best of Belgian mixology, combined with a hearty dose of friendliness and homeliness. The ingredients used are all of the highest quality, and the finger foods and bar snacks are unbelievably delicious too, so it’s not just the drinks that make this spot worth visiting.
The cocktail list changes pretty frequently thanks to availability and seasonality, so it’s hard to suggest a special, but pretty much every single one of their creations is something to write home about. The atmosphere is absolutely charming, and the staff as approachable and amicable as any in the city, while also knowing everything there is to know about their drinks. A unique drinking experience, but one that’s so good it’s almost worth a visit to Brussels on its own merits.
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