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Support our local  “Marchés”

As Belgium experiences stricter covid restrictions, never has it been more important to support the small local businesses which not only give our neighborhoods character, but nourish our communities. For this edition of our series on the our Top 5 tips for residents at Morton Place, we focus on the outdoor food markets which are steps from Morton Place. A few minutes from Morton Place Chatelain is the the Wednesday afternoon market on the Place du Chatelain. Morton Place Louise and Parvis are steps from the market on the Parvis de Saint Gilles. This market is open almost daily as of 7.30 am until about lunch time with the exception of Mondays when it is closed, and Thursdays when it is open from 12-10pm. Not only do these markets feature farm to table ingredients but food stalls as well. Enjoy the Top 5 tips shared by our favorite foodie Chloé of Brussels Kitchen picking out the best food for you to enjoy at home, please support our friends and neighbors while staying safe.

– Tanya, founder @Morton Place

 

Our top 5 favorite neighborhood market stalls

Time is a bit suspended at present in Brussels and nothing is quite the way it used to be with many of the restaurants which give our neighborhoods life having been closed. Many restaurants and bars are implementing creative solutions with take away or special, limited sized events. But the best place to still enjoy a bit of the atmosphere of our community is at our local markets, Morton Place Parvis and Chatelain are among the more vibrant  fresh food markets of Brussels.

Markets are open

Despite covid and the darker autumn skies, our markets are open, thriving and they need us! Brussels has one of the coolest outdoor markets scenes in Europe, with street food stalls that would rival those of any indoor food market in London or Madrid. You’d think we’d have more covered markets but no – in Belgium it’s outside rain or shine. And now more than ever, our local markets of the Chatelain and Parvis need our support.

If our stall holders have to adapt, we will adapt too. So for now forget enjoying an aperitif while lingering in front of the food stalls with our friends. Instead, we visit the markets with our tote bag in hand, ready to fill it with fantastic food but this time as take away. The market on the Place du Chatelain is on Wednesdays from 1-7pm. The market on the Parvis de Saint Gilles is daily as of 7.30 am until about lunch time with the exception of Mondays (closed) and Thursday when it is open from 12-10pm. Not only do they feature farm to table ingredients but food stands as well.

We have selected our favorite stands – food, but not only – from the Châtelain and Parvis de Saint-Gilles markets. Because even your meal can no longer to be enjoyed on the spot, it’s nice to look your chef in the eye, exchange a few words and say thank you before enjoying your meal at home Let’s go.

Favorite market stalls at the Marché de Chatelain

Market Vendor and flowers

Neighborhood Gem: florist Ben van Hoo

Ben Van Hoo

Our first stop is for flowers. If you like pretty things, and as a resident of MP this is very likely, you will surely appreciate beautiful and affordable flowers. Ben’s stand is a golden nugget, no more and no less. Every week, the stand can be found on Wednesdays at the Châtelain market (but also on Saturdays and Sundays at the Flagey market). Ben selects the prettiest seasonal, organic and local flowers. It gives bouquets a rustic air, light as a breeze, colored as a summer’s day, or enchanting as a winter’s snow fall. Our most recent bouquet included Pampas grass, red holly berry flowers, and huge gladioli. A wonder.

The bonus? The bouquets, pre-made and soberly wrapped in craft paper cost only € 15.

Another bonus: you can also compose your bouquet yourself.

Thai food at stall

Neighborhood Gem: Thai food stall

Thai Food (the apple green tent can’t be missed)

While this Thai street food stand doesn’t really have a name it can be recognized from afar thanks to its apple green tent. Impossible to go wrong with tent or to choose a wrong dish as the food is good. Olivier tells us that with his wife Jeab, they’ve been working market stalls for 11 years. After living 6 years together on Koh Samet, a small island below Bangkok, where they ran a guesthouse, they came to settle in Belgium and made it their mission to introduce authentic Thai cuisineto Brussels. They can be found every Wednesday at Le Châtelain, and the rest of the week at the Boitsfort, Saint Job and Vieux Tilleul markets.

Their specialty, ideal for this season: Thai chicken noodle soup. A cousin to the classic Vietnamese Pho, the base is close but its broth differs with wonderful flavors very specific to Thailand. A treat for the modest sum of € 7.

Bonus: Olivier and Jeab have adapted the recipe to make it ideal for take-out. The noodles are pre-cooked and packaged separately from the broth, to prevent overcooking. Once back home, just heat them up for a minute in the broth, and it’s ready!

Borek

Neighborhood Gem: Aslan Borek

 

Aslan Borek

This is our latest crush no more and no less. Before being convinced by the taste, we had already fallen in love with the gestures. A ball of dough that is bounced between the fingers, then twirls in the flour, before being flattened, garnished, ending up cooking to a nice crisp on the plancha. We had our eyes on this stand for a while before having the patience to wait in the long lines for their Borek. The first good news, for us, is that there are no more lines. The second is, it’s not only mesmerizing to watch, but their food is also delicious.

Damla, whose maiden name is Aslan, works as a team with her husband Arnaud. It’s been two years since they gave up everything – they were respectively a sports coach and a sales engineer – to pursue their dream to work  “les marchés”. First in Lille, then in Knokke, and finally in Brussels, where they have been for just over a year. They can also be found on the Flagey market every Sunday.

Tip: Try the spicy beef borek, or the mushroom one, or both. These are our two favorites, but they are all amazing.

 

Favorite food stalls at the Marché du Parvis

El Taco Mobil

It is thanks to El Taco Mobil that we discovered the Parvis market. When their stand disappeared from the Flagey market, we went looking for them – that’s how good their food is. If there’s one thing that doesn’t take to the streets in Brussels, it’s a good Mexican taqueria. Not a frozen wheat tortilla Tex-Mex chain, no, a real Mexican, where the corn tortillas are made by hand. El Taco Mobil is exactly that, but mobile version. In addition to the authentic tortillas, Selene makes her homemade salsa verde, and garnishes her tacos with pulled pork, grilled beef and organic and seasonal vegetables. The dream. Our only regret: only being able to taste their incredible cuisine on Thursdays.

Our tip: Enjoy your tacos with a horchata, a traditional Mexican drink made from rice milk and cinnamon, homemade by Selene.

 

Ty Penty

Ty Penty is one of the great classics of Brussels food trucks, turning out the unmistakable sweet and savory Breton galettes. The line, usually endless, has been synonymous with their success for many years now. People come for their buckwheat pancakes of impeccable quality and for the kindness and smile of the owners. Our favorite, the ham, cheese and egg “complete” has never disappointed. They can also be found in Flagey on Saturdays and Sundays, on Mondays at Place Van Meenen and on Tuesdays at Square Meeus.

 

The must: accompany your pancake with a traditional bowl of cider – or a bottle – Breton of course.

The must of the must: finish off  with a traditional sweet pancake (this time with wheat flour). The pear and chocolate one is to die for.

 

Marché du Chatelain: Place du Chatelain 1050 Ixelles

Wednesday 12:00- 19:00

Marché du Parvis de St Gilles: Parvis de St Gilles 1060 Saint Gilles

Monday closed

Tuesday 07:45–14:45

Wednesday 07:30–13:00

Thursday 12:00–22:00

Friday  07:30–13:00

Saturday  07:30–14:00

Sunday 07:30–14:00

 

5 Cafés to (really) get some work done

It’s back to school. And even if summer isn’t quite over, or never quite started, there’s something pretty uplifting in the air. With many of us working from home, we often need a change of scenery so here’s a look at cafés where we are able to get some real #wfh done and all within close distance to Morton Place.

When you’ve had enough of working from home

We self-employed are often hopping from client to client or in my case from House to House and I have some favorite spots in the Morton Place neighborhoods where I know I can concentrate and get things done. Surprisingly, I find it easier to stay focused when working in a café. But the key is knowing how to choose the right place and avoid the cafés with bad Wi-Fi connection, loud music or the incessant noise from the various machines.

 

Although my list evolves, in conjunction with Chloé from Brussels Kitchen we have selected for you the cafés which, in our opinion, combine all the elements necessary for a good productive working day, from the quality of their coffee, sturdiness of their tables – to their playlists and all within an easy stroll from Morton Place!

Cafés near Morton Place Chatelain

Matcha Coffee

Belga & Co Bailli

Belga & Co is our go-to when we want a café where we are guaranteed to get through the To Do list. The concentration that reigns there is exemplary; customers even go out to the garden to make a phone call, just to be sure not to disturb the others. The three adjoining rooms, the dark walls, the sober and warm decor make it feel a bit like home. But with better coffee.

 

Our Tips: the sunny garden for a break (or phone call!)

Our favorite drink: coconut milk cappuccino

The best time to go: around noon, to be sure to get a table easily and after the morning rush

 

Belga & Co – 7 rue du Bailli, 1050 Ixelles

 

Coffee and cookieKami

Kami is the new kid on the block, having opened after the others in the neighborhood, yet they have found their place and we love it. If you are lucky enough to nab a spot in the small conservatory, you can be even more secluded with a nice view of the garden and it’s song birds. Inside is comfy as well, with benches that allow several people to sit around a table, ideal for mini improvised meetings around a coffee.

 

Our Tips: the excellent home-made pastries, especially the “financiers” which are to die for, and the grilled cheese sandwich on soft sandwich bread.

Our favorite drink: Ethiopian filter coffee in batch brew

Best time to go: 9 a.m., as of opening

 

Kami – 355 chaussée de Waterloo, 1060 Saint-Gilles

 

 

 

 

Coffee shop with plants The Wild Lab

It’s our favorite address to start the day off right. They serve one of the best breakfasts in the capital. Too bad we can’t also start the week there: they only open as of Wednesday. But when Wednesday arrives, we tuck our computer in our bags and we rush there as soon as it opens for an indulgent breakfast: pancakes, banana toast and peanut butter, acai bowl or poached eggs and toast, they have it all. Everything to put us in a good mood and get us over the mid-week slump.

 

Our Tips: the fab menu from breakfast to brunch and snacks, which means that you can easily stay there all day

Our favorite drink: golden latte with coconut milk

Best time to go: Wednesday morning!

 

The Wild Lab – 44a rue Antoine Bréart, 1060 Saint Gilles

 

 

 

Cafés near Morton Place Louise & Parvis

 

Eggs and toastCafé Flora

With its enormous sunny yellow terrace, this place is hard to miss. At first glance, you might think it’s more of a bar – and we have enjoyed more than one drink there however, it is also a very good base camp to get some work done. In the morning, the atmosphere is still calm and we enjoy a buttery croissant while soaking in the first rays of sunshine. If outside is too distracting, inside we like to settle into the thick velvet benches, with a coffee at hand to catch up on our to-do list. And when it comes to happy hour – what better place to invite your friends to join you to finish up your day!

 

Our tips: best eggs and soldiers on the Parvis

Our favorite drink: homemade lemonade with yuzu

The best time to go: as of early morning, when it’s calm, until “apéritif” time to end the day in style.

 

Café Flora – 16A Parvis de Saint-Gilles, 1060 Saint-Gilles

 

 

Shopping caféPetit Mercado

 

This one is our latest gem – we have a huge crush on this place. Despite its popular weekend brunch and after work drinks, the Petit Mercado is a peaceful place at any other time of the day. We love the company of owners Mano and Pia, always there to make suggestions from the delicious croissants sourced from La Boule, the coffee from Velvet served in pretty Moroccan glasses, to the daily lunch and delicious cookies for an afternoon pick me up.

 

Our Tips: Le Petit Mercado is also a grocery store. Take this opportunity to leave with a few goodies. Our musts: the bouquets of dried flowers and the collection of canned goods straight from Portugal.

Our favorite drink: oat milk cappuccino

The best time to go: when it opens, around 10 a.m., or in the afternoon, around 3 p.m.

 

Petit Mercado – 82 rue de l’Hotel des Monnaies, 1060 Saint-Gilles

 

  • written in collaboration with Chloé of Brussels Kitchen @brusselskitchen