Just across from the wildly popular Manneken Pis (sculpture of a little boy urinating) have a beer at Poechenellekelder (Eikstraat 5). Grab the first vacant table and wait for a busy server. The Lindemann's Framboise (raspberry-flavored beer, only 2.5% alcohol) is delicious. If berry-flavored beer is not to your taste, there are dozens of other choices.

Brussels' two most popular beers seem to be light lagers, Stella Artois and Maes. I preferred the Stella.

Though I like the style and clamor of the very popular Restaurant Vincent (Rick Steves recommended) we caught a whiff of attitude. Our table—in "Siberia" despite an advance reservation—came with an apathetic waiter going through the motions. A nearby table was relocated—much to its occupants' dismay—in order to accommodate a group apparently more familiar with management. Next to us, a group of eight Italians never lost their good humor despite waiting a good 20 minutes before getting drinks ordered. The bread was dry, cold and served with little plastic containers of butter. On the other hand, across the street at Scheltema we were started with a small, fresh loaf directly from the oven and a generous slab of butter. It's an easy choice: Scheltema—better food, better service.

A losing battle with the Euro.

  • Three paperback books for the price of two, €36.5
  • Breakfast at the Metropole (wonderful Art Deco café with 20-foot ceilings, €20
  • Breakfast at the Marriott, €40
  • Guidebook and maps from Flanders Tourist Office, €3
  • 24 hours Internet use at the Marriott, €19.95