Mussels in Brussels
A huge classic, mussels in Brussels. Right?
When I first heard about Chez Leon I was scared it was a super tourist-y restaurant. It is situated right next to the Grand Place in Brussels, in Rue des Bouchers which is arguably one of the most visited streets in Brussels, especially for the restaurants. And not a lot of these restaurants are of great quality.
However, Chez Leon is best known for their mussels, of which they have 14 versions such as classic, à la crème, with curry but also gratinated and even raw! Their most successful mussels dish is the "Special" which is made according to a secret recipe.
We were welcomed by the lovely Mario Zucca. He made us feel at home immediately and offered us some champagne because, to be honest, why not?
We were impressed by how many people kept coming into the restaurant. Groups and families of tourists as well as locals. They have an amazing menu but you should definitely go for the mussels with a side of fries and mayo; a classic Belgian dish. There is a kids menu and get this: kids under the age of 12 eat for free!
This place has seen the likes of Johnny Halliday, Jacques Brel, Jimmy Carter, Catherine Deneuve and even Hillary Clinton. They have all been here to try one of the 14 different mussel dishes accompanied by a Belgian beer.
I had a lovely time with my friend; Chez Leon is a relaxed, fun, authentic place. It is very big and can welcome a lot of patrons in one go, but it is still cosy and fun.
The different dishes are a treat, if you're coming in with a friend who is not so much into mussels, no worries, there is something for everyone here. Come and try it out. Chez Leon is not only for the tourist but any real "Brusseleir" should know this restaurant!