A l'Imaige Nostre Dame
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 11 | Reviews: 10 | Show All Ratings:
3.2/5 rDev -20%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$
Went with a friend on a Saturday afternoon. While it's down an alleyway off the beaten path, with info from reviews on this site we knew what to look for and actually found it quite easily.
First thing I notice upon entering is overwhelming smoke. It's all I could see or smell - I knew right then that being able to properly taste or evaluate beers would not be happening.
We each had a draft Saison that was tasty, but I was still struggling with the overall smokiness of the place to really enjoy it. They had about 30 beers on the list as others have noted, but I wasn't willing to stick around in the atmosphere to check out any others.
If you're into small, smoky, old bars, this place is for you.
01-15-2011 19:42:08 | More by kevinglin
4.06/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Admittedly, I was hammered when I visited this bar, however, my memory of the appointment still serves me well as I kept detailed, albeit messy notes of the evening, experienced quite a lot of unforgettable conversation, and took two dozen photos.
The visit began after I caught a case of the hiccups at Au Bon Vieux Temps and I decided that it was time to limp back to the hotel. Fortunately for me, I got confused leaving Temps and must have mistook the doorway of Nostre Dame for the alley leading back to the Grote Platz. A few moments later I had a bottle of brown beer and was aggressively biting my own knee at the recommendation of a Moroccan at the next table who told me that his name was Jean Bernard De St. Abdul, aka the hiccup doctor. It worked! My hiccups dissipated mere moments after beginning the attempt and soon I was carrying on a friendly conversation with two drunken gay Muslims, a hammered old lady, and a Flemish man who told me interesting stories of his time as a 14 year old conscript in the hated German Army during the final days of WWII. All four of them repeatedly told me that we must elect Mr. Obama as our president. This would happen at almost every bar I went to in Belgium during my stay.
Though nearly all the patrons of this crowded bar were drinking Juliper, I found the beer list of just over 30 beers to carry plenty to enjoy including a real charm or two. The prices were fine and the service was great. The barkeep, who could have passed for Alexander Skarsgård, let us stay long after closing and even served us after last call. The atmosphere felt largely unchanged for a century and a half or more.
Just take care going to the bathroom... It's not as easy as you might think and the patrons might have some fun with it...
09-16-2009 02:23:37 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.36/5 rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
A small, comfortable pub tucked away down an alleyway just off the Grand Place. For my son and I, 'comfortable' was what hit us right off the bat. Probably more crowded in the evening, but when we stopped in midafternoon there were only about 6 people in casual conversation. Decent beer list and very friendly staff, this is the kind of place I imagine locals drop in to and spend a few hours relaxing over their favorite brews away from the tourist crowds. I just wish we'd found it earlier in our trip.
07-16-2009 17:58:36 | More by Chuck
United Kingdom (England)
4/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Brussels has blind alleys like Birmingham (England) has canals, they are everywhere. Like Birminghams canals, Brussels alleys often have good bars down them.
This place is down an alley, it is earthy, basic old chairs and tables fill thispopular, fun place. A younger set use this place compared to the other alley bars you may have read about, but older people like me are also looked after. I have only been twice (October and December, both 2006), but is was very busy on both occasions.
Well worth finding, good quality draught beers and a happy, if small (for Belgium) bottle list.
12-12-2006 13:26:36 | More by BlackHaddock
3.8/5 rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Another Brussels hole-in-the-wall joint down a narrow alley from a major shopping street. Inside the door, the first room is to the left, with a small bar at the other end. Total of fivetables and four barstools crammed in here. An archway across from the door leads into a second room, which was closed when I was there despite the fact that the first room was packed. It was a Saturday at about 5:00 p.m. I hope they opened that second room later... Checkboard tile floor, beige plaster walls, dark wood ceiling. All of the furniture was dark wood. Beer posters and paintings adorned the walls They were playing 70s pop on the sound system - not too loud.
Seven taps, of which six were interesting offerings. I counted 14 bottles on the beer list. The beers were served in the appropriate glassware, and were fresh, but were definitely served too cold. The service was OK, although it was sometimes hard to get anyone's attention. (Welcome to Europe!) There are certainly better places to go in Brussels, but in a lot of other cities in the world, this would be considered a great bar.
12-11-2006 06:02:15 | More by Globetrotter
4.06/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Atmosphere: A bit of an adventure- Down the Rabbit Hole! er... alleyway. Anyway, I was greeted by Soul and Jazz music, heavy dark wood and beams, low ceiling, and dried hop vines over the bar. I sat on the church pew right by the front door. Very few people in the place, but it was early Saturday afternoon.
Quality: Beer was well cared for.
Service: Language seemed to be a bit of a barrier, but nothing that slowed things down. Alain (caricatures in the menu let you know who's who) served me promptly with proper glassware and temperature, actually a bit cold which was very nice given the heat. I had a Blanche de Brussels on tap.
Selection: Somewhat limited, I counted 31 beers listed, but a strong list with Trappists, Faros, Mariage Parfait, etc.
A fine bar worth the hunt.
08-15-2006 05:55:39 | More by HardTarget
4.06/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
A great, friendly, hide-away, bar steps from the Grand Plaza. A bit hard to find but worth it. The entry alley sets it up well - neon beer signs leading to a mysterious courtyard. Reminded me of entrance to the hidden bar on Barrow street in NYC. Decent taps but nothing really unusual, good bottle selection. The big thing here is the atmosphere, friendly, laid back, and ancient. Check out the open window in the back room that opens to another mysterious alley and the gilded mermaid mirror. It was sparsely populated when we where there on a late summer afternoon, a great respite from the city outside.
09-07-2005 20:42:24 | More by schemb
4.06/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
As we walked down the alleyway to reach the inside of the bar, some dude was there taking a leak over a sewer drain...I guess he was as fed up from the piss maidens as we were! His girfriend was next to him, standing guard, but she didn't do too good of a job, because we walked right by them and she didn't say a word! The funniest thing is that the guy could have walked the 15 feet to the front of the bar, the toilets are right there outside the front entrance!!!
Just another Brussels gem that time forgot, the place looks a hundred years old if not more. We sat in the back section, which I agree isn't as nice as the front, but it was non-smoking (and therefore, empty!). I loved the old style penny-pinball machines!
The Beer list was pretty good, and since the Chimay white was on tap, I treated myself to one, and enjoyed it. Even though the place was moderately packed, the lone bartender was quick to serve us.
Another awesome place, and the last Beer bar I had the privilege to visit on my trip to Brussels.
10-11-2004 20:02:20 | More by Goldorak
4.56/5 rDev +14%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4
Everything Darren has said was spot on. This place is down an alley that is next door to the Au Bon Vieux Temps (which is down another small aleyway). From the moment you walk down this alley, you know this place is hardcore-authentic. Old wooden casks stand outside, as are the previously mentioned outdoor restrooms. The entrance doors are old, and heavy. The outer windows are authentic stained glass, wow, this place rules!
OK, so now we are inside. Everything is insanely old, beautiful, and ornate. The beer list is 30 strong, with many of the trappists featured, as well as Rodenbach, Bush, and more. They also have a few brews on draught, including jupiler, and the crap-o taps of Belgium. Erica ordered a Bush (Scaldis) 12 here, and I opted for a quick Rodenabach. Both beers were in excellent shape, and the bar tender was quick and attentive.
I can't think of a more authentic bruxellois cafe if I try (well, maybe Zageman...)
Go here, and have a Rodenbach. It'll probably be the best Rodenbach of your life!
04-05-2004 16:21:29 | More by francisweizen
4.09/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
One of Brussels hidden gems is the A L'Imaige Nostre Dame. The alleyway, which leads here, is called Impasse de Cadeaux, & is accessed from Rue Marché aux Herbes. All only a 3 min. walk from the Grand Place.
This is a genuine 16th Century Café. It does at least have a wall-mounted wooden sign that says A L'Imaige Nostre Dame Estaminet painted in black gothic lettering with an large red arrow that at least confirms you are in the right alleyway (there are a few around here!!).
Two lead-glass doors are all that keeps the 21st Century outside of the Café that time forgot. Before you enter remember the 2 wooden doors on brick outbuildings to your right. Inside, the small bar is to your left. Many misshapen well worn tables are wedged into the small cramped front room. A larger room at the back lends some privacy, but it looses the atmosphere that this Café has to offer. Lots of genuine fittings whisk you back to a Brussels long gone. Old wooden pub games are in the front room, but they are not museum displays, & thankfully still used.
The beer range is around 30, but has some notable beers that are worth seeking out. It has a few beers on draft. On my last visit it was selling the Chimay White, the first time I had ever seen & tried it draft. To my surprise, my least favorite of the Chimays was very refreshing & packed with spicy hop taste.
In addition to the Chimay White, the bar also sells a beer called Bourgogne des Flanders. This is from Timmermans, & is a 5.5% Flemish Red style beer that is reputed to be a lambic-based beer. I found it to be exceptionally spritzy, fruity & slightly sour on draft.
The bottled beer range is limited, but contains many solid classics & very few from the Big Boys, something here for everyone.
In reality, you come here to experience the classic surroundings of an Old Brussels Café that has retained many of its unique interior features, whilst enjoying the offerings from the short but solid beer list, incl. the marvelous Bourgogne des Flandres. If you cannot find the restrooms, dont worry! - remember those wooden doors outside at the entrance? Told you it was authentic.
Not many tourists get here. If you fancy sneaking away from the thronging masses for a couple of beers, I would recommend sneaking in here for the Bourgogne des Flandres its a great afternoon pick-me-up beer.
Last Visit: 30th Nov. 2002
06-22-2003 18:49:13 | More by TheLongBeachBum
A l'Imaige Nostre Dame in Brussels, Belgium
90 out of 100 based on 11 ratings.