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Delirium Café

Not Rated.
Delirium CaféDelirium Café

141 Reviews
Reviews: 141
Visits: 221
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: n/a
Taps: 15
Bottles: 2,400
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

Impasse de la Fidélité 4
Brussels, 1000
phone: +32 2 514 44 34

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Reviews: 141 | Visits: 221
Reviews by Tut:
Photo of Tut
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 5

Given the ongoing number of over-the-top/rave reviews here for the Delirium Cafe, I think it's important to keep a contrary, alternative view in the mix for balance, so I'm updating mine to provide it. Most of the raves seem to come from young American guys who like nothing better than getting wasted while packed elbow to elbow with a bunch of other tourists. Typical of them is the guy below who thought the highlight of his night at Delirium was when an extremely drunk kid fell face first down the staircase. If you're a more mature, seasoned traveler who doesn't find stupid behavior like that amusing, Brussels has many more atmospheric, interesting, and unusual cafes to discover. Spend your time seeking them out rather than wasting it surrounded by drunken tourists in Delirium.

Nothing has changed since I wrote the following in late 2008:
First, a little background. I've traveled throughout Belgium on ten trips(as of 20013) starting in 1998 and have been to most of the great beer cafes. I've spent over three months total in Brussels alone, have a number of friends there, and know it pretty well.

I don't review many overseas beer cafes and pubs because it would take way to much of my time. I'm doing the Delirium Cafe to hopefully spare new visitors to Brussels from thinking, because of all the A+ reviews here, that they've found "beer nirvana" and wasting their limited time there. I can tell from what they say that many of the rave reviews are from first time visitors to Belgium who spent, at best, only 1-2 days in Brussels and were easily impressed due to the novelty and newness of the whole experience. There are much better options to be had.

The Delirium Cafe is a classic tourist trap.It's interior resembles any number of somewhat shabby college bars in North America. It has no special atmosphere or uniqueness and is usually full of foreign tourists. The impasse(dead end alley) it's on is right off the ultimate tourist armpit of Brussels, the Rue des Bouchers, which is a narrow pedestrian street lined with 20+ phoney, overpriced, rip-off, tourist restaurants. These places are patronized by the throngs that spend all their time near the Grand Place and who think they're having an authentic Brussels experience at those restaurants. Those same tourists also fill the Delirium Cafe. Yes, it has a huge beer list, but many are standard, generic macros from other countries and they're often out of the better Belgians. My friends from Brussels never would go there and it only required one visit for me to understand why.

Last summer I convinced my Belgian friend Marc to check it out with me late one afternoon, just to satisfy my curiosity. We had a couple beers, were very unimpressed with the place, and decided to go to one of the numerous cafes we know that are well away from the tourist hordes. We paused outside the door and had a final look at the beer list on display. Thinking we had just arrived, a drunken young American in his mid-twenties came over to us, gushing about the number of beers the Delirium had and how it was "the best bar in the world!" What he didn't realize was that one of the reasons we were leaving was because the place was full of people like him.

The "biggest beer list in the world" isn't enough to get me there again. I really dislike it's location - Brussel's tourist armpit as I said above. There are plenty of other great cafes in Brussels that have excellent beer lists, much better atmospheres, and keep me very happy with interesting and unusual choices -- without being surrounded by tourists and hearing English spoken as if I was in the US.

My best advice is to get Tim Webb's guide(for overall Belgian beer info.), Joe Stange and Yvan de Baet's, Around Brussels In 80 Beers(for the best cafes/restaurants), a good street map(not the city center tourist maps), and walk and/or use the subway and trams to go to cafes that take a little time and effort to find. Places away from the touristy Grand Place. In the process you'll discover the real Brussels. The tourists won't be there but you'll meet the locals and you might run into some fellow travelers, which is good. (4,163 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Barracudas
4/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of tduecen
5/5  rDev +21.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

went in several times, bartenders were nice and friendly even though there was a crowd. They helped me find some off the beat path beers I would not have tried otherwise. (170 characters)

Photo of BelgianBeerMe
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Photo of sjccmd
2.76/5  rDev -33%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 2.75

I have to say I really didn't like this place. When visiting Brussels the first time, I avoided it, hearing that it was kind of a tourist trap. This last time, I thought I'd decide for myself.

This place feels crowded even when it isn't. Lots of tables and chairs strewn about and an unpleasant stench in the air. Somewhat claustrophobic feeling.

Service is perfectly fine. No complaints.

I thought the selection was supposed to be massive. I really didn't find too much that I couldn't elsewhere. The lambic selection was only Oud Beersel straight lambic, which was nice, but that was the only lambic. Seemed odd.

This place is probably more appealing for people drinking a lot of different Belgian for novelty's sake, which is fine, of course, just not for me. (766 characters)

Photo of Howlader
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of stevoj
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

nice place with a beer hall vibe, awesome selection. Easy access from Central Brussels and all the restaurants. (111 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Photo of CavemanRamblin
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.5

Photo of PJASchultz
2.19/5  rDev -46.8%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.75 | food: 1

This is not a beer bar, it's a frat party. It was hot, crowded, and more effort than it's worth. (Might be different experience during day, midweek.) They may have a lot of beers, but it's not a curated selection. It's just a lot of mediocre (or worse) beers, served large for novelty, with a few gems in they middle. So not worth the hype at all. No food. (356 characters)

Photo of djhowell
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of BenBreeg
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Photo of Randyarchy
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

It was awesome, easy to find and full. (38 characters)

Photo of mjstern70
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 2.25 | selection: 5

Ok, Delirium is good beer and their place is awesome. The only negative is it's always packed. This is probably THE tourist bar in Belgium for those semi-familiar with Belgians. Perhaps on Chirstmas Eve this place might be thinned out a little, but any other time, don't count on it. Hey it's no Hard Rock at least. (319 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.08/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Loud and cavernous. Despite it's size, it was packed on the Monday night I was there, with what looked to be college students/young professionals. While the tap selection was better than most of the places I was at in the area, the noise and crowds would keep me away. (268 characters)

Photo of 31Sam13
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of dabone
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Place is packed with younger crowd but still worth checking out (63 characters)

Photo of desint
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 2.5

Photo of ColSanders123
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Grogsky
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 2.75

A must visit. Nothing else. (27 characters)

Photo of BeerOps
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of innominat
2.58/5  rDev -37.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

I had high hopes on visiting here but was very dissapointed. The 1st 3 beers I asked for where not in stock and many of the 2000 beers claimed are just generic macro lager from different countries. I also drank in the hoppy loft upstairs and while some of the beers i asked for where in stock all 3 where out of date, one by 5 years. There are better beer bars in Brussels Moeder Lambic for example. (400 characters)

Photo of parris
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of rodzm14
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.25

Photo of gholmes
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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Delirium Café in Brussels, Belgium
92 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.