Every now and then, we like to give the floor to our members to share insider tips about their favorite hotspots in their neighborhoods. This time, we asked Yaren, who lived in Schuman 80 then launched the Bug in our Bag blog with Antoine (more about this here), to tell us more about her beloved Schaerbeek neighborhood!
Schaerbeek vs. Scary-beek
When I was living in Schuman 80, I found out that a colleague of mine was living not so far from me in Schaerbeek. When we were talking about the neighborhood, our boss intervened.
“What? Schaerbeek?” she said. “Isn’t it super dangerous there?”
My colleague laughed. “There’s Scary-beek and there’s Schaerbeek. We live in Schaerbeek.”
Indeed, some people have this idea that Schaerbeek is dangerous and there’s not much to do in the area. I actually enjoyed living in Schaerbeek during my time in Brussels and luckily, I was able to see beyond Scary-beek. I think each neighborhood of Brussels deserves attention and visiting Schaerbeek would also be a part of discovering the multicultural side of the city. Brussels is definitely a city that will surprise you!
Should you decide to opt for one of the three Cohabs houses in Schaerbeek, here are some tips!
Cafes, bars and pastry shops
Cafe 1030 was opened by two brothers in 2010 who had the dream of opening a bar in their beloved neighborhood for a long time. Located next to Parc Josaphat, Cafe 1030 is a great place to get coffee, a beer or a cocktail. The brothers were the pioneers of many bars that opened in the area afterward.
There are two great areas to eat and drink in Schaerbeek: Plasky neighborhood and Chaussee de Haecht. They are quite different, though! The Plasky neighborhood is home to some trendy bars, such as Chez Felix. Locals enjoy this wine bar for its terrace, its shared food platters and of course, a broad choice of wines. Also close to the same square, there is Le Python, a craft beer bar, which offers affordable, nice beer and tapas.
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Chaussee de Haecht is the place to try out Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisine for affordable prices. For example, there are a lot of Turkish brunch places that offer an all-you-can-eat menu for €12.
Van Dender Chocolate is also located in Schaerbeek. They have many awards, including the World Pastry Cup (Coupe du monde de la pâtisserie) and are also purveyors to the Belgian royal family.
Train World is an interactive museum where you can learn about the history of trains and beyond. Belgium has the oldest railway network in Europe and Train World is known as one of the best train museums in the continent.
The Clockarium Museum is a museum of art deco ceramic clocks from all around Europe, mainly Belgium. Besides Belgian clocks, their collection includes clocks from France, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Italy. They do guided tours in French on Sundays at 15:05.
There are many great museums and breweries where you can learn about the most typical Belgian drink: beer. And one of them is in Schaerbeek. Schaerbeek Beer Museum has a collection of more than 2000 beer bottles and you can taste the famous Schaerbeekoise beer here.
Schaerbeek is close to many parks in the neighboring districts, such as Leopold, Cinquantenaire and Ambiorix. However, one of the most beautiful parks in Brussels is in Schaerbeek: Parc Josaphat. It is less known than the others yet it is popular among locals for a walk or a run during the day and drinks when the sun is out. And in the Spring, the numerous park’s cherry trees blossom in a beautiful pink explosion!
Groceries and shopping
There is a great food market held in Place des Chasseurs Ardennais every Friday. Although it’s not that big, there is a lot of variety, from honey-glazed ribs to Greek food. It is also a great place to do your groceries, support the local economy and have a few after-work drinks.
When I was living in Schaerbeek, I discovered a Turkish supermarket called Lodos. As a Turkish Cypriot, this became my go-to place when I wanted to buy groceries because it was cheaper and it allowed me to cook traditional food from home to my roommates. Within two months, almost all my roommates in Schuman 80 started going there for groceries!
You’re interested in joining your own new family in Brussels? Let’s have a chat together, apply to join here!