Eating and Drinking at the Cambrinus in Bruges


On our first night in Bruges we spotted this tasty-looking menu outside the Cambrinus. This plus the 400 different beers(!) had us slavering for a meal.

Alas they were totally booked up that evening, and the next as well. However, lunch the next day had one table left at one o’clock, and we grabbed it!

The next day we arrived promptly at one o’clock, even though it seemed awfully early to eat lunch, especially after the huge breakfast at our B&B.

The menu was as thick as a book, mostly containing masses of information about the endless (400+) beers on offer.the Cambrinus MenuAl and I ordered variations on the white asparagus which was in season, El a fish soup and B steak with frites. The 400+ beer menu was so bewildering we had the waiter recommend beers that would complement our food choices.

The small bites menu mostly featured the delectable white asparagus that was in season only for the few weeks that we were in Belgium – I had the ‘Gratin van asperges‘ and Al ordered the ‘Gemarineecole zalm met asperges‘. the small bites menu mostly featured the delectable white asparagus that was in season only for the few weeks that we were in BelgiumThe beers arrived tout de suite but the food was not so quick. Initially we amused ourselves by taking photos of our beers against the stained glass windows. The waiter had chosen the Arende to complement El’s ‘Fish Soup’ and the Augustin for B’s ‘Steak and Frites’.celebrating in the Cambrinus Inspired by the sketching done in bars by artists such as Picasso and Magritte, I started sketching the woman at the next table…

from my journal: the girl at the table next to us

from my journal: the girl at the table next to us

Our drinks had long gone dry and been whisked away by the bus person when our waiter finally came back to the table. He acted as if this was the first time he had ever seen us, and asked us what we would like to drink. We ordered more beers and then tentatively inquired about our food. The waiter looked slightly startled, and ran off. A waitress came back with our beer order, and a few minutes later our waiter reappeared with the news that there was a problem with our order…

The food eventually arrived (at 2:30), and by this time we were really hungry. El regarded her ‘lite’ order of soup with dismay, saying, “if I had known it was going to take this long I would have ordered something more than soup!”

This was what I ordered: ‘Gratin van asperges’. The white asparagus is more delicate than our green asparagus at home. It was served ‘au gratin’ in Bruges cheese sauce (sort of like Gruyere) with a hint of nutmeg.Asparagus au Gratin in the CambrinusAl had a ‘White Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Salad’ which also contained arugula, tomato, finely chopped parsley and grated cheese.
White Asparagus & Salmon Salad in the CambrinusAl had a Delirium Tremens with his salad. I suspect that this was Al’s choice, not the waiter’s.
12apBelBeerDeliriumTremens5994wB’s ‘frites’ with mayonnaise were a piece of Belgian art!
Belgian Frites in the CambrinusAt lunch we found out that there was still space available for dinner the next day! Al and I immediately reserved a table. It’s not too often you find a place where the food is so good it’s worth waiting an hour and a half for it to appear!


22 responses to “Eating and Drinking at the Cambrinus in Bruges

  1. That all looks absolutely delicious! We are going to be in Bruges May 20-23…I wonder if the white asparagus will still be in season?
    Would you suggest a reservation for dinner?

    • definitely get a reservation, as soon as you arrive. It appears that once you have a table reserved you get it for the whole night so they are always booked. I suspect that the white asparagus may just be out of season at that time but other things will probably be in. Let me know what you have!


      • Nope. Hotel Malleburg
        I don’t know how you keep it all straight!! I’m guessing most of the free wifi in the hotels we are staying at will be snail like…but I guess if you write and save it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

  2. That soup was sooo good and the beer was quite filling (and soo good!) so no complaints from me. El

  3. We’ve returned to Canada now and I’m busy writing. I should have followed your example and kept a journal! I just do trip advisor reviews and so have completed one for the Hotel Malleburg. It was a gem for our family and I was glad to stay there three nights. So close to Cambrinus! It was busy the first night we arrived, there was a lot of singing going on so the kids didn’t want to wait around. Should have made a reso right there but we lucked out the next night anyway and got a table really early. Once you leave though, you can never come back as they slap a ‘reserved’ sign on the table right away. I regret we only got to go once; so many beers, so little time!

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