Bottom of the pit #8, Bruges

In BOTP, News Item by Mrs. Strawberry1 Comment

Bruges, the city of uhm… Old stuff? Horses? Pricy low quality food, yes that’s it! No Bruges is actually a nice city with plenty of things to do. Some restaurants try go destroy it’s reputation…. That’s where we step in.  It’s easy to make mediocre food. Being with the top 10 worst restaurants of a particular area is (unless there are only 10 restaurants in that area) not that easy either! Let’s start with the 10 worst restaurants of Bruges, BE according to the people who visit them!

Bruges has about 600 listed restaurants! These are the absolute worst! All of these restaurants have more then 10 reviews online. Some of these places have closed (for a good reason).

#10 La Romagna

I went here with my wife. I’ve lived in Bruges for 30+ years. We wanted to try a place we had never been before so we landed in a more touristic part of the city. It was honestly the worst restaurant I have been to in my entire life. I ordered a lasagna. It was as if they bought the cheapest pre-made lasagna at the supermarket and gave me 1 quarter of that. For a €13 lasagna i got 2 small leaves of pasta in a tiny bit of bland sauce. It was absolutely surreal. I finished my lasagna in 30 seconds without rushing. The Pizza was tasteless, the bottom totally burned.

I paid €58 for dinner for two, one drink each. A more fair price considering the amount and quality of the food would have been €10. I went to get some real food straight after that.

#9 Le Panier d’Or

The sun had finally come out so wanted to enjoy a spot of lunch outside on our last day. Patiently waited for a menu from the waiter, which he eventually threw down on the table. Again patiently waited for our order to be taken while he socialised with the table of 4 next to us, and took their order before ours, even though they sat down after us! As he walked off, tried to grab his attention for a drink order. He aggressively replied “if you are in such a rush you can eat else where”.

Quite embarrassed by this, my girlfriend and I thought we would rather just have a drink than eat as he was so rude & made us feel very uncomfortable,only to be then told we can’t have a drink and if we are not eating must vacate the table and had our menus snatched away.

Never experienced such rude behaviour and really put a downer on our last afternoon in a wonderful city.

#8 Carillon

In Bruges, most main courses in mid-ranged eateries seem to average around 20 euros, but it’s a real gamble as to whether it’s any good. The fact that there were hardly any other customers soon after midday on a Saturday should’ve sent warning signals, given that some other places nearby were already full!

The chicken vol au vent that I’d ordered was lukewarm, the chunks of chicken tough and dry, and the gravy didn’t have a great deal of flavour. The vol au vent was the most feeble excuse I’ve seen for a bit of pastry – it was just a few centimetres across, fairly solid rather than flaky, and someone had failed to remove the centre, which meant that when the chicken stew was poured on top, it had just rolled off, leaving a gloopy sheen.

The fries were limp, and the salad consisted of grated carrots and shredded cabbage squashed on top of some leaves in a small bowl. I would expect this sorry attempt at “cooking” to cost around 8 euros, not the 17.50 euros that they charged.

#7 Cafe Français

We were looking for a warm, cosy restaurant (with an open fire) to have our final lunch in Bruges! Having walked out of the restaurant next door due to complete disinterest by the staff we hoped that this one would fit the bill. Unfortunately not!!! I don’t think the waiter could raise a smile even if his life depended on it!

Our experience started badly when we were told that they had sold out of sour cherry beer and they didn’t have any raspberry beer either! I then ordered my main meal of Flemish Stew and my husband ordered the “House Lasagne”. The meals duly arrived after a short wait. The Flemish stew and chips were fine (if mediocre for the price) but when my husband’s lasagne arrived it was scaldingly hot on the outside but freezing cold on the inside. On complaining to the (still disinterested) waiter, he took the meal away without a word of apology!

My husband told the waiter that he did not want a replacement meal so we shared the Flemish Stew (using one fork as the waiter did not feel it necessary to bring another for my husband to use!). On request, the waiter brought the bill to our table but again there was still no apology for the disastrous lunch! If you do decide to use this restaurant, make sure you use the “facilities” somewhere else … these are disgusting! This restaurant (and staff) obviously feel that, due to their prime location, they don’t need to try!

#6 Uilenspiegel

It’s always upsetting to have a bad experience of food and service, particularly on a short break, but that’s what this place gave us. We walked in because it had quite a few people inside but it turned out to be a large group of American tourists.

Our two meals – a chicken dish and a mixed grill – were barely warm and served so soon after ordering that they could only have been re-heated. Some of the meat in the mixed grill was raw. When we brought it to the manager’s attention, he was irritated and replied that we’d eaten some of it already. His manner was aggressive and intimidating -he brought back the same meals, heated up, and stood over us asking if that was better.

My wife was upset. We said we’d pay the bill, meals uneaten. This did not go down well and he started talking very loud, almost yelling – so embarrassing! We paid and left. It was a real ordeal in every respect.

#5 ‘t Voutje

We sat outside in the sun, and were promptly brought our menus. My friend decided on the set menu, which consisted of a starter, main and dessert. As he was placing his order, the waiter kept offering suggestions; however, didn’t advise that those suggestions would total over six euro.

His starter came within seconds (soup), so clearly there’s a large pot of this bland drivel sitting back in the kitchen somewhere. The mains came- he had the Flemish beef stew, which from my understanding, was also bland. Everything you order in this place is frozen grocery store quality. My friend had a dessert as part of his set menu. It arrived and was the tiniest portion of chocolate mousse. At this point, the waiter stood outside the restaurant smoking.

The bill arrived, after we sat and waited for about 15 minutes. To our surprise, all the additions the waiter had suggested (without telling us there was an added cost), were on the bill. The lunch, totally around 77 euro, was worth less than half of that at best. We provided the waiter with our money and waited for him to return our change. For the terrible service and below par food, we certainly were not going to tip. Another 15-20 minutes passed and the waiter just kept walking past our table, not once offering our change back. Finally, my friend spoke up and asked for it back. We were provided our change by our surly waiter and went on our way.

#4 Café centrale

Terribly expensive, bland food, with a rude waiter included. He didn’t even allow us to put our jackets on before he was already re-setting the table for the next guests. My tagliatelle in white wine sauce tasted like the cook (I can’t call him/her a chef) poured cream over the noodles & said, “ready to go!”. My wife’s baked lasagna tasted like it came from a can, and our kids’ spaghetti bolognese tasted like noodles & ketchup.

#3 Le Grand Cafe Belfort

Never, ever, ever visit this restaurant (if it deserves to be called like that). Terrible service, greasy food and credit card frauds. After an expensive, mediocre dinner, I had to ask for the check several times (which had to be revised twice because they were charging items that we did not order). When the check was finally ok, I tried to pay with my credit card but it was rejected by their POS terminal—which, by the way, never printed the “cancelled order” voucher.

So I had no other choice than to use another one. To my surprise, the next month my credit card balance included a charge of 180 euros from Cafe Belfort! (Yes, the same card that their terminal rejected that night). I immediately filed a case with my bank. After a long back and forth process, the bank rejected my complaint by showing me the scanned voucher that the restaurant allegedly gave them as a proof of this 180-euro bill! These guys had the nerve to charge this amount on my card, print the voucher, sign it on my behalf (with a signature that I obviously did not recognize), and use it as a proof to sustain their fraudulent action—which I am still struggling with.

Never, ever visit this place unless you want to be a victim of such a bunch of criminals, let alone the poor food quality and the terrible customer service

#2 De Beurze

We walked in here since most other restaurants were full on a Sunday and this was a giant mistake. First of all the food isn’t good. The mussels were very small and all the ones on the bottom of pot were not even cooked. They were all closed. The white wine sauce had no flavour and could have just been boiled water. The fries tasted worse than at McDonalds. They gave us packaged Heinz ketchup to go with it. The dessert chocolate mousse was inedible as it looked like pudding gone bad.

Worst of all is the service. When we asked for the bill and tried to pay with credit card they asked us how much tip to input into the machine. I said none since tipping is not a common European practice and service was not good at all. The miserable waiter yelled at me, saying he survived on tips and now he would not be paid. He continued to act like a madmen whiles swiping our credit card. I checked the bill to make sure that he didn’t overcharge us. This was the first time that I had a waiter try to bully my into giving a tip.

At first I thought the waiter was some lonely racist since he only yelled at me (a young Asian women) but after consulting the internet it seems they used the same bullying strategies on all their customers. Just avoid this dump. There are better restaurants in Bruges.

#1 La Taverne Brugeoise

After a month in Europe , this was our last restaurant to eat at before our journey back to the uk. How wrong were we to chose it, it was the worst yet most expensive meal we had! We had dined in many restaurants in our travels with fine food in great settings, so thought by this restaurant being in the square it should be setting a example for Brugge!! How wrong we’re we!

The toilets were so bad I refused myself and children to use them. My mum and I had the beef stew which I would not even feed to my dog!! I’m sure It came from a tin can. The fries were so overcooked that it could damage your teetg. The portion would not have even feed a toddler, for example: my husband had the tortellini where he only had 5 pieces and they were small ones!! My dad had the lamb chops and… that’s all he had, with a bit of lettuce (had to pay extra for fries) at 26 euros. You don’t mind paying if you are in a top restaurant and food is good but in this instance they they were rock hard!!! We had to clean the cutlery even though the waiter stood nearby. This has to be closed down!

So the food is bad. What about the service in this magical wonderland. As one reviewer pointed out, it isn’t perfect…

“My husband queried all the extras on our bill at which point the waiter tried to start a fight! (physical) After this he wouldn’t accept credit card.”
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About the Author

Mrs. Strawberry

Born on a cold thursday near Berlin in 1989.