Delirium Café

Not Rated.
Delirium CaféDelirium Café
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

196 Ratings
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: n/a
Taps: 15
Bottles: 2,400
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Tut:
Photo of Tut
3.4/5  rDev -19%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of almostjay
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

It was weird being in such a landmark place, and feeling as though I was crashing a Euro frat party. Very young vibe.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of heymikew
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of LeDirtyPanda
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

With a great selection of beer, people from all around the world gather in this awesome cafe. Great atmosphere, great great beer. I cannot recommend this place more!

Photo of newbeeraday
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Honeybourne
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mr-jj
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Been here a few times. It's definitely touristy, but they have a great selection of beer. Worth a visit just to say you've been here.

Photo of Kwak
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

great place to explore belgium beers, good recommendations from the bartender was their on a Saturday night was too loud and crowded wish i had time to come back another day.

Photo of TOOSE
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Fantastic selection of mostly Belgian style beers. It's basically self order at the bar and it can be busy and a bit loud, but highly recommended.

Photo of Brushkanna
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Rocklobsterbrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of edgarius7777
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of nowhere_native
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of 5373752018
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of HoppySeb
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of daryk77
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Fairly well known, touristy spot but a fun place to visit. Obviously they have their famed 2000+ beer bottle list but might as well drink some DT or DN on draft or wait forever for a bottle. It can get pretty packed so maybe not a place to hang out all night.

Photo of AlexM
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of WesFoxlove
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of srletend
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Obviously a great selection. But, too big and touristy for me. Try the Loft area for something more quiet.

Photo of R3ason
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Riggsy
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Highbury09
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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Delirium Café in Brussels, Belgium
93 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.