They have been blooming for a few years in the parks of Brussels and are an amazing spot to enjoy the hot weather of this summer. The “guinguettes”, or kiosks, attract more and more people in Brussels’ green areas and contribute to a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. But where are they and what are their specificities?
1. Guinguette Gisèle
If you happen to be in the area of the Bois de la Cambre, the Guinguette Gisèle is located at the entrance of the La Cambre Abbey. It is a very charming and peaceful guinguette surrounded by trees and grass, where you can relax in the lounge chairs, play mölkky — that finnish throwing game involving wood pins and a lot of swag —, fool around with your kids and even take yoga classes.
La Cambre Abbey, info here.
2. The Woodpecker
At Bois de la Cambre, you’ll find the Woodpecker, a very nice wooden kiosk developed by some of Brussels’ coolest kids into a festive and gastronomic concept. The team here promotes seasonal and very little transformed products, as well as ecological initiatives. They were among the first ones to banish plastic straws in Brussels, yay! On top of that, the Woodpecker organizes the best thing ever: afternoon parties. Good music, nice drinks, beautiful weather and cool people. What else?
La Cambre woods, info here.
3. Guinguette Henri
The Henri Guinguette is located in the George Henri Park of Woluwe Saint Lambert. What we love about this place is its very musical atmosphere, with weekly live jam sessions on Wednesdays, Swing evenings on Thursdays and apéro Tango on Fridays. So, music lovers, this has to become your daily spot.
Georges Henri Park, info here.
4. La Guinguette Royale
Also managed by the Woodpecker cool gang, the Guinguette Royale is located in the magnificent Royal Park and offers drinks, cocktails, snacks and lunches, but also organizes afterworks, DJ sets and concerts! And for the early/busy crowd, they also have coffee to go. And yes, they have freddo espresso.
Royal Park, info here.
5. Bar Eliza
For the third year, the pop-up summer bar Eliza set up her quarters in Elisabeth Park in Koekelberg. This place is very special, as it was set up by the community centers of Koekelberg and Ganshoren with the aim of bringing together people from those neighborhoods around various activities. Here, apart from the fresh juices, local beers and snacks, you’ll find a library, games and toys for kids (or for you, who knows), yoga classes, badminton rackets, but also a community pizza oven.
Elizabeth Park, info here.
6. La Laiterie
La Laiterie was one of the most beautiful places of Brussels in the past century, but was unfortunately destroyed by (criminal) fire in 2006. Last year, it came back to life in Josaphat Park as one of the coolest places to be, and in a beautiful passive building moreover. What we love most about this place is the huge windows that open directly on the park, making it perfectly blend with the environment.
Josaphat Park, info here.
7. La Guinguette du Parc de Forest
This guinguette is in the middle of the park and offers a friendly environment to grab a bite, a drink or just spend time with your kids. What we love here is the accent put on vegetarian food and the kid-friendliness of the place. Note to self: it’s also possible to celebrate your birthday here.
Forest Park, info here.
8. Buvette Sint Sebastiaan
Located in the heart of Josaphat Park in Schaerbeek, the Buvette Sint-Sebastiaan is open all year from Wednesday to Sunday and Monday and Tuesday during the Summer. The kiosk is next to the park’s archery plain (one cannot make that up) and offers homemade dishes made with local and seasonal products. You don’t want to miss out on Frietjesdag (Sunday lunch).
Josaphat Park, info here.
A few other guinguettes are worth mentioning as well: Guinguette Fabiola in King Baudouin Park (Jette) where you can practice Tai chi and meditation, Guinguette Maurice in the magnificent Parc du Cinquantenaire where you can do Salsa and Lindy Hop, but also pétanque. And finally, the Tandem Café which is a friendly place gravitating around the bike theme and serving high quality food quality.