When people move to Brussels, they might not immediately think of Uccle as their dream location, but the municipality is actually a lot more attractive than you might think.
We’ve put together a short guide about Uccle, just to show how nice it is… and we love it, after all, we’re opening a new house there in September, Marlow 933.
It’s one of the largest municipalities within the Brussels Capital Region, it’s just to the south of Ixelles, and sandwiched between Bois de la Cambre and the Sonian Forest – Forêt de Soignes – on one side, and the communes of Forest and Drogenbos on the other.
It’s a little bit quieter than Saint-Gilles or the centre, but it’s no suburban wasteland, it’s a place with a rich history, vibrant cultural scene, plenty of places to eat and drink, and it’s the perfect mix of city and country for nature lovers.
Read on to learn all about Uccle and why it has a chicken named after it.
Our favorite places in Uccle
- Meet Meat Uccle
- Au Petit Suisse
- Parks and outdoors
- Van Buuren Museum
Meet Cohabs Marlow 933
Our new house is due to open in September and is our first house in Uccle. The house itself is a beauty to behold, and it should be considering it’s on the architectural heritage register.
Inside it has 15 bedrooms ranging from cozy (10.5m2) to spacious (23m2) as well as all the usual common spaces you’d expect in a Cohabs house.
In addition to a living room, you’ll struggle to leave, it boasts a dining room, fully equipped kitchen (no more washing-up by hand, ever). It’s got a gym room to stay in, or get into, shape (all of my belts seemed to get smaller during lockdown).
There’s also a cinema room for movie lovers, and there’s no better way to enjoy Netflix than on the big screen. There’s a working space in the house too, or you can open up your laptop in the garden and work (or pretend to) from there.
And while Uccle is slightly further from the center of Brussels, the house is literally in front of a tram stop (Rittweger) and a Villo (also Rittweger) point, so you’ll save time getting to work and you’ll never have to run from the tram in the rain.
We’ve picked some of our favorite places in Uccle to share with you. As Uccle is packed full of things to do, read on to find out about just some of the best places to eat and drink, enjoy the outdoors, try something extreme, and meet some friends.
Bars and Restaurants in Uccle
Le Vieux Spijtigen Duivel
Founded in the 16th Century (possibly earlier), Le Vieux Spijtigen Duivel (The old furious/peeping devil) is one of Brussels’ oldest pubs. legend has it Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, when staying at the then boarding house, actually coined the name “furious devil” the describe the landlady, Bette, a woman with a fierce reputation. It’s not pretentious, but serves great brasserie food at a reasonable price, and is a great place to organize a group dinner! It’s just 4 minutes away from Marlow 933 on the tram… and a 15-minute walk back!
Address: Chaussée d’Alsemberg 621, 1180 Uccle
Check out their website.
As you might expect from the name*, Bier’cotheque has a large selection of Beers to delight connoisseurs and amateurs alike, but not only. They also serve food, and are proud of keeping certain traditions alive, such as fish Fridays. And you can sit in their spacious garden and enjoy courtyard dining just a ten-minute walk from Marlow 933. They’re on Saint Peter’s Parvis (le Parvis St-Pierre).
*For those that don’t know, any “-otheque” establishment is playing on “bibliothèque” meaning “library”)
Address: Parvis Saint-Pierre 9, 1180 Uccle
Check out their website.
Barabar is a staple of Uccle nightlife. The party really starts here, especially at the weekend. They hold regular themed parties (Halloween is closer than you think) and as they’re right next to Bois de la Cambre, you can spend a day in the park, and drop in for all-night-dancing on the way home.
Open from 5pm to 5am! Happy hour is 5pm-10pm (and until 11pm on Saturdays)
Address: Chaussée de Waterloo 862, Uccle
Meet Meat Uccle
What do you get if you cross Argentina and Belgium? Steak and Frites! Also, great wine.
Their expert staff will advise you on which steak to have, and pairing for wines too. The perfect place for a lomo asado and a glass of Malbec, which will leave you longing for the Argentine Pampas (the rolling plains south of the river plate) or at least feeling full.
5 minutes up the road from Marlow 933, they also have a restaurant near Schuman.
Addresses: Chaussée d’Alsemberg 541, 1180 Uccle and Rue Stevin 124, 1000 Brussels
Check their website.
Au Petit Suisse
If you fancy an alpine experience for your après-tram, then au petit Suisse is right up your street (though not literally), as you might expect, you can order your favorite Röstis, dried meats and potages, as well as pasta dishes (Switzerland has an Italian-speaking canton after all), baked cheeses perfect for those cold winter evenings, as well as a selection of Swiss and French wines.. They even serve Fondu dis-donc! 10 mins from Marlow 933, just off St Peter’s Parvis.
Address: Rue du Postillon 4, 1180 Uccle
Check out their website.
Every Sunday on St Peter’s Parvis there’s a fresh food market where you can find (a couple of) organic food stalls and an artisan Baker, Benoît Segonds, who’ll happily sell you some fig, olive, or even yoghurt bread or just a pain-au-chocolat.
If you’re looking for a more regular source of organic food, you can visit Bio C’bon at Chaussée D’alsemberg 676. For more organic options in Brussels, read our blog post.
Parks and outdoors in Uccle
Uccle really is a great place to live if you love the outdoors. The town was carved out of the forest in the 19th Century, but has managed to stay one of the greenest communes in Brussels. It has four parks within the municipality, Parc Brugmann and Parc de Wolvendael are particularly worth a visit, and it borders Bois de La Cambre and the Sonian Forest – Forêt de Soignes – where you can (literally) get lost and forget that you’re in the Capital of Europe.
If being in the woods isn’t quite enough action for you, then you always pop down to Nemo 33 an indoor diving centre, with a 34m deep pool which used to be the deepest in the world (until 2014). You can take lessons there, or just go to their restaurant and watch the divers swim by.
Fancy a little rest, in peace? Check out the now defunct Dieweg Cemetery, where you can have a (probably one-sided) chat with early feminist and editor Isabelle Gatti de Gamond or ruminate on the controversies of TinTin with his creator the late Hergé
Address: Dieweg 95, 1180 Uccle
Van Buuren Museum
Need a culture trip? The Van Buuren Museum might be just the place. Created by the late Van Buuren family, the house and gardens are a work of art themselves, but you can also see works ranging from the 16th to 20th Century, from artists including Bruegel and Henri Fantin-Latour. There’s also an impressive maze in the grounds (keep turning left) as well as a rose garden and an orchard.
Address: Avenue Léo Errera 41, 1180 Uccle
Uccle is well served by public transport, with tram line 51 and bus line 43 both stopping right in front of Marlow 933, to take you into town quickly and easily. You can also catch the train from Uccle Calevoet with direct trains to all the major Brussels stations and north to Antwerp, or south to Waterloo. There’s also the weekend Noctis N11 bus service, which runs from Central Brussels and also stops at Rittweger in front of Marlow 933. Cycling from central Brussels will take you around 25 mins, and an Uber costs around €16 for the same trip.
Close to town, close to nature, that’s Uccle!
And we almost forgot to mention the chicken! In 1905 Michael Van Gelder crossbred poultry to create a new type of fowl, the Barbu d’Uccle or Bearded Ucclois … even if it does sound like a hipster hairdresser… or a pirate.