Slotted inbetween busy teashops and chocolate stores on the narrow road that connects the Vrijdagmarkt square and historic Patershol, Gitane somehow manages to get a bit overlooked. I must have walked past it a hundred times whilst dashing to get from A to B. Then a few months ago, when trying hard to think of a good bar near the square (there aren’t many), I saw Gitane and thought ‘well this might be worth a try’.
Gitane has a terrace (heated in winter) at the front which kind of disguises what’s going on inside. Once through the door, it takes a moment to get used to the low lighting and start taking it all in. But then you notice the old-fashioned blue and white street signs on the wall, the church-like bar area with stained-glass window, and wood-paneled walls. Be careful not to trip over Suzie, the super friendly little dog that likes to stretch her legs when she’s not observing the room from her basket on the stairs.
The beer selection at Gitane is as it should be for a traditional Flemish bruincafe. There are the classics like Orval but they also have lots of craft beers, as well as a beer of the month on tap. Service is quick and friendly and it really would be easy to stay there all night. Whenever I have visitors in Ghent, I ask them which was their favourite spot. My last group of visitors picked Gitane.