This is really a hidden gem. So, please keep quiet about this spot as I don’t want it to get even more popular. It’s located just a little outside the center, but within walking distance.
The building is an old executive residence and is now owned but the Van Crombrugghe Society (a pluralistic Flemish-liberal socio-cultural organisation). In 1867 and 1869 the society invited Eduard Douwes Dekker (Multatuli), the writer of the book Max Havelaar, pleading for better working conditions in the Dutch East Indies and fair trade.
Inside this impressive building you can find the Eetkaffee Multatuli and of course they try to work as much as possible with fair ingredients. The menu is not that large, but everything I tried was just perfect. My favourite is of course the local stoverij a stew of beef and beer, served with chips (Belgian fries). But their salads are also very rich and tasty.
The dishes are quite big, so don’t worry that you might be hungry afterwards. They serve a lot of beers. Try out La Chouffe from the tap and after a few you might starting feeling like a gnome.
I always bring my foreign guests here and none of them were ever disappointed. I noticed that all waiters speak English fluently. They are also able to offer gluten-free meals. In the meantime, they opened a second place: De Stokerij.