Le Cirio: a little gem of authenticity in the heart of Brussels

© Helmut Wille

It was a “spur of the moment” decision my friends and I took, when we entered the Le Cirio. We didn’t know what to expect from this very intimidating looking Café. Le Cirio is one of the few authentic Art Nouveau Café’s in Brussels. Dating from 1903, when it was an originally upscale Italian Food shop, it is now a café with period interior dating from 1903. Once inside, the seemingly small entrance opens up to reveal a grand interior, with sky high ceilings, gold ornamented wallpapers and beautiful glass chandeliers that hang from the ceiling. It looked like we travelled back in time, as we sat down the rusty-red, gold leaf decorated lounge chairs. A little over the top was what we thought.

As soon as we sat down, a very friendly waiter dressed in black with a white apron tended to our needs. Though we only stepped by for a cup of coffee, they offered a variety of dishes ranging from typical Belgian dishes to salads, such as fries with mussels. In addition, an assortment of desserts, such as the typical Gaufre de Bruxelles and Crêpes milkado, coffees, cocktails and Belgian beers invited the guests to prolong their stay. There is something for everybody.

The mixture of locals and tourists recreates the truly cosmopolitan lifestyle of Brussels. Even though the ravages of time have gnawed at this gem, it cannot conceal this wonderfully expressive era. An absolute must for photo’s and lovers of these artfully decorated architectural styles.  In summer there is also a terrace where you can sit in the sun, just next to the Roman excavations, drink coffee and watch the many tourists pass by. Contrary to what you would expect from this intimidating interior, the prices are not exaggerated

Cirio is a ‘grande dame’ among Brussels Cafés.

Le Cirio
Rue de la Bourse 18-20, Brussels 1000, Belgium
+32 2 512 13 95

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