Since we had already been to Brussels in the past, we decided to spend our time in Belgium exploring other cities, and chose the Flemish city of Ghent as our first stop. Located a short 45-minute train ride away from Brussels, Ghent is a city rich in tradition and history.
In the Middle Ages, Ghent was one of the richest and most powerful cities in all of Europe. The remnants of which can still be seen in the gorgeous architecture of the city’s houses and churches.
While we were traveling through Europe, there were certain countries we chose to visit during the off-season, when the number of tourists visiting was low. This meant that accommodations were cheaper, and popular cities were less crowded, and Ghent had a lovely campsite, which was prefect for us.
We were some of the only tourists around, which worked in our favor. It enabled us to avoid the tourist traps that plague most cities, and experience authentic Flemish cuisine, which is a combination of French classics with a northern European touch.
Here’s a list of the top five kid-friendly foods in Ghent that you and the family must taste!
You know you’re in Belgium when the first thing someone recommends is dessert! Cuberdons are these lovely raspberry purple candies shaped-like cones.
To me, it tastes like the “violet” candy we had as kids (those small square purple ones) but in the shape of a cone with the texture of a very large jelly bean. Oh, so good! Read all about our experience tasting them for the first time here.
Did you know that french fries originated in Belgium, and not France as their name would imply? The kids enjoyed learning that fact over several trips to fry-stands.
French fries are a common snack-food throughout Europe, but our favorites have to be the ones we had in Belgium – there’s just something about the way they are cooked (they pre-cook them and then fry them) which makes them incredibly crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside…the perfect fry if you will!
Waffles are the ‘IT’ dessert in Belgium. After the Brussels waffle, we loved the Liege. There’s a big difference in the taste and texture in this waffle – its texture has a thick, chewier, dough-like consistency and is sweetened. So sweet, that it doesn’t require all the whipped cream that is frequently served on top.
Bicky Burger from T’Puntzakje
If you find yourself in Ghent craving a hamburger (it happened to us), head over to T’Puntzaje and try their Bicky burger. What’s that, you ask?
It’s the Belgian take on the American classic. Composed of a deep fried burger made from a mix of chicken, pork & horse meat, what really makes this burger special is the combination of sauces: a bicky ‘special’ dressing: ketchup & hot sauce! Try it with a side of freshly fried frites, and you won’t be disappointed!
Spare ribs are a specialty in Ghent, and a must have dish when you’re in the city. Locals love ribs, and they’re eaten with a much sweeter sauce than the traditional American bbq sauce we’re used to. There are a number of restaurants specializing in spare ribs, but we loved Amadeus for its 15,95€ all you can eat ribs and potatoes – music to our ears!
We’re so glad our spontaneous decision to visit Ghent paid off. A city with its fabulous canal side buildings, Gravensteen castle, and interesting museums, also proved to serve up some unique treats and Flemish specialities. The kid-foodies had a wonderful time exploring the cuisine, and we’re sure this is a city your family won’t want to miss in Belgium.