Many tourists coming to Brussels hope to find the best Belgian fries in the capital. ‘Crispy on the outside, sweet soft potato on the inside’, that’s how you recognize them. I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint these tourist gold diggers. Ironically, Brussels is actually one of the least favorable spots to enjoy our Belgian delicacy.
However, some hotspots do exist: Frit Flagey at Flageyplein, Maison Antoine at Jourdanplein (where Angela Merkel always comes for a bite) and Friterie de la Barrière at Parklaan. Downside: these are all booths, so you can’t sit down and eat inside.
Therefore, whenever I want to have the best fries I head for Friture René. This is no ordinary booth. A former friture dating from 1932 was turned into a fancy friture-restaurant in 1967. It is family-run since then. I adore coming here with friends for what seems like a trip down memory lane. It actually feels like you’re in an old Paris brasserie (red-white tablecloth, white tiles on the wall, red barstools), but the food and drinks can’t get more Brussels than this: mussels from Brussels drowning in garlic sauce, carefully prepared huge steaks, shrimp croquettes, homemade mayonnaise, cheese croquettes, beef stew, local beers… And of course: the excellent homemade fries.
Fun fact: Friture René is located on the Verzetsplein (‘Resistance Square’), referring to the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. That’s why I always hope to find René “Allo ‘Allo!” Artois behind the counter baking my fries. Sadly without success so far.