In North America, Belgian waffles can be easily found in the frozen aisle in the supermarkets. But did you know it tastes very different from the authentic Belgium waffles we tried on our recent trip to Brussels?
In Belgium, you can find them in restaurants, small cafes, to sweet shops, where they have their own version of waffles.
Waffles are known as “gaufres” (in French) or “wafels” (in Flemish), meaning the same as waffles English. Funnily, it is not called ‘Belgian waffles there’. It is just waffles.
Waffles can be traced back to the Middle Ages when they reached Europe and were sold as a round crispy street snack outside of churches in those days. Waffles became fairly popular in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, but only gained popularity in the US after the New York World Fair in 1964 when they were introduced as Bel-Gem waffles.
If you head to Bruges in Belgium, you will find many side-cafes selling those types of waffles that are also reasonably priced. It is in Bruges where you can taste the special ‘waffle on a stick’ creation!
Waffles in Belgian are of two kinds – Brussels (and now world wide popular) waffles and Liege (another city in Belgium). Brussels waffles are lighter and crispier (similar to the ones found in the USA – it is crispy!) Liege waffles have a thicker base.
In Belgium, there are normally had for dessert and/or tea time/snacks time, unlike in North America where we normally consume for breakfast. I also make it Canadian using maple syrup on top, but that’s not the point. Point is Belgian waffles should be tried at least once to relish and savour the difference.
There are many places to eat waffles in Belgium. Some of the popular places to try out Belgian waffles in Brussels include
- Waffle Factory near the Grand Place
- Los Churros and Waffles
Have you tried any Belgian brussels? Or do you prefer liege? Which is your favorite?
About Mayuri, the founder of To Some Place New
Mayuri is the creator behind ToSomePlaceNew and Canada Crossroads. An Indian-Canadian traveler and a historian (by qualification), she loves to capture historical and cultural nuances from all over the world, especially Europe. She travels with her husband and lives in Canada. Follow her on Instagram!
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