Les Pénates

Hidden in a side street of the Place Flagey near the lakes of Ixelles in Brussels is the Pénates bar. 

The Pénates were the housegods in Ancient Rome. In every Roman kitchen there was a shrine for them because they guarded the household and the food cupboard. I hope they guard the wine cellar in this bar too, because there are some very fine wines on the predominantly biodynamic wine list.

There is a menu with wines ranging 3,80 to 5 euro per glass. On the blackboard you can find the monthly suggestions. The food menu is small but special, not your usual croque monsieur you find everywhere in Brussels. Here they serve a 'black' croque: made with rye bread, smoked salmon and dill yoghurt. The sandwiches are made with Fougasse bread, the French equivalent of focaccia. My favourite salty 'crêpes' with spinach and salmon are on the menu and for the little hunger with your glass of wine there are the 'assiettes' to share, platters with fromage and charcuterie. I didn't eat there but I saw a salad passing by that looked huge and the prices are very reasonable for Brussels.


The decor is surprisingly colourful with green and orange lamps and the place is bigger than you expect from the outside. Ideal spot to meet up with friends. Bonus points for the attractive range of teas on the menu: I am saying yes to the Maple Grey: green tea with bergamot and maple syrup.

On sunny days it is nice sitting on the terrace at the back or in the front, unfortunately it rained when I was there...


Bar Les Pénates

42 Rue des Vergnies
1050 Brussels

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