Hotel & Café Botteltje

Bar, Eatery

Louisastraat 19
Oostende, 8400

+32 (0)59 70 09 28 | map

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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 8 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Thankfully, Ostendes 2 best bars are almost right next door to each other. 't Ostens Bierhuus, or "Tims Bar" as we English call it, is in 'spitting distance' of this one. They are similar - yet world's apart in a strange sort of way. Similar, because the "Little Bottle" is also a changed establishment from its original inception. Unlike Tims Bar though, it did not move premises in order to expand, it just took over and merged into an adjacent shop. Originally a tiny bar that was always hard to get into (those who went will know what I mean), it now boasts a serious make-over and much needed increased capacity. A total redesign and refurbishment, you would not recognise it from old. The bar is centrally located and fabricated from expensive looking dark wood with quality fittings. It is extremely well organised, and hides a plethora of fridges that contain "well over" 250 beers, including rarities. The owner Jean Pierre ('tis he with the Sideburns) is a beer guru and local legend. Located on the ground floor of the 3-Star Hotel Marion, all the 25 or so rooms are named after Breweries (how cool is that???). Some of my friends have stayed here on Beer Tours, and tell me the menu is excellent, and features Cuisine-a-la-Biere to die for, I have only ever had the Hommelbier Soup - awesome. A very high quality establishment, and the best selection of beer on the Belgium coast by far, bar none. I dream of spending a Xmas here one year. A must.

Oct 05, 2002
More User Reviews:
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Sparky44 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Dec 17, 2016
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Freshining up from the medieval charm of Ghent, I go to the beach in Oostende. Café Botteltje was featured on the Tournée Générale, which gave me a second incentive for a short visit. It's a short walk from the beach, and not far from the train station.

The feel and look are much different of the usual Belgian cafe. Its styled like an English pub with lots of dark wood around, old pottery mugs displayed over the bar, green painted walls, and a mix of Belgian and British Isles beer memorabilia. The bar is large and goes in a curve shape. There's upstairs seating too. Despite the large size, there wasn't any wait staff during my 4pm visit. Visit the bar, place your order, and they'll bring it to your table.

Despite the atmosphere, much of the beer selection is Belgian. Also keeping with the theme is proper and matching glassware. 13 beers pouring from the tap (ex. Straffe Hendrik, Hopus, Keyte, Lindemans, Kwak), and at least 250 from the bottle (St. Feuillen, Kapittel, Judas, Palm). There also looks to be a little rotation in the selection, as new beers have been written into the existing beer menu. Flights of beer are available from draft; pick any 10 draft beers of 15 cl each for €18. Speaking of prices, some are reasonable, and some are a little more expensive (500 ml of Guinness for €7.50, ouch).

Tournée Générale or not, Café Botteltje is a must stop in this Belgian beach city.

May 20, 2013
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DaPeculierDane from Wisconsin

4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited 8-24-08

41 degrees, raining, August... Apparently, that's Belgium. Good thing we found a beer bar to escape into.

Holy beer list! 300 plus beers were advertised, but the first couple I ordered were sold out so let's call it 200-250. I was most impressed by the expansive Christmas beer section of the menu. I'm a big fan of Belgian Christmas beers and it was nice to see so many of them offered in one place, year round. I started with a couple local beers - Keyte Double and Tripel from Oostendse Brouweji (actually from Ichtegem I think) and then ordered a couple from Northwest Flanders that I hadn't seen elsewhere. There are certainly some rarities to be had here, including a solid selection of lambics.

Service was excellent and the atmosphere was enjoyable. It was kind of a kitschy British Pub. There were cheesy street signs pointing out that Westmalle was such and such miles this way, that Guinness was however many km that way, or that Ayinger was over that way. My favorite thing about the establishment was the arrangement of bottles behind the bar. Well over 300 bottles were displayed along the elegant dark wood bar and it was quite a beautiful site. I took several photos and could have stared at it all day.

Well recommended. Tourist town prices but not out of line.

Jul 29, 2010
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BlackHaddock from England

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Any bar that has La Chouffe, Kwak, Brigand and Westmalle Dubbel (and others) on tap does it for me. We visited three times during our stay in Ostend, this was by far the best bar we found. The staff were very helpful, the main food menu is only in Flemish, but they are more than willing to translate for you.

The place is like one of those 'English Pubs for Europe' that were exported in the 70's (you ordered by room size and a lorry turned up with interior walls and fittings to fit). This bar had loads of Continental add-ons though, making it a very fine and interesting bar to drink and eat in.

The food was good, I had a beef stew cooked with Westmalle Dubbel. There is normal snacky food too, this can be found in the beer menu as well as in the food menu, which covers a greater selection. The restuarant which used to be joined to the bar is now closed, hence the larger menu in the bar.

A small warning though. The beer list is huge and one evening we choose to attack the 'winter beer' list and decided on beers we had never had before. Both were well out of date, great for those that like aged beers I suppose. My beer was a murky sludge and I spent sometime on the toilet the following day. It didn't matter though, because my wifes beer had an aroma and taste of lemon washing up liquid, so she cleaned up after me!

The tap Triple is the local 'Keyte' and I couldn't get on with it, I have a bottle to review latter, I hope it has more flavour than the one I had in here. The beers do come very cold, but they soon warm up (if you let them sit awhile).

Worth going to Ostend just to use this place, even with the little hick-ups I've mentioned.

Jul 22, 2008
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Goldorak from Canada

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

We had no real plans for our final two days in Belgium. I wanted to spend a bit more time in Flanders, and I know my girlfriend likes the ocean, so why not hit Ostend. My Walloon friends, who usually shy away from going to the "other side", surprisingly followed along! So we booked a pair of rooms at the Marion hotel and headed off. Ostend sort of reminded me of Atlantic city. It had it's charms, the marina and the beach was nice, but overall it was a bit run down, with lots of tourist trap restaurants, gambling dens and other establishments catering for the UK crowd that was the huge majority.

Café Botteltje is right next to the hotel, you don't even have to go outside to get to your room. Old fashioned place with a cool sofa section near the hotel entrance that had lots of books, we sat in a corner near the front door, we had a good view of the bar. Menus are made with large carboard sheets binded on a large wooden stick, the kind they use in hotels in order not to get their newspapers stolen. The menu absolutely blew me away. Over a dozen taps, bottles were in the hundreds. Everything was classified by style, with a section called "special" for all the oddball Beers. Superb selection of Lambics - finally, a place that had De Cam! - and X-mas Beers with different vintages. Honestly, I couldn't ask for anything more. They even had a pretty decent wine menu and tons of Jenever.

Our waiter eventually came around and took our orders. He was the typical blazé, sarcastic and somewhat condescending type we got used to seeing on the Flemish side. He recognized us as Canadians right away - switching from French to English was a dead givaway he said. What I liked about him is that he brought the bottle over to you for inspection before poping it open. I ordered a Lou Pepe Framboise, but brought a Lou Pepe Gueuze instead. I don't know if it was some sort of test, but he kept on telling me that it had raspberries in it and I kept on insisting it didn't. He took it back and brought me the right bottle, served in the wicker basket with really nice Cantillon glasses I've never seen before, without saying a word.

We spent the whole evening there, and ordered dinner. We tried the carbonnade flammande and the rabbit stew, served of course with fries. Presentation was really nice, served on big wooden boards with Le Creuset style pots, a bowl and spoon. The meat was a bit tough, but the sauce was great. If memory serves it was made with Rodenbach.

Definately a highlight of my trip to Belgium, perhaps not up to par with Kulminator but pretty close, and worth the detour to Ostend by itself.

Sep 30, 2007
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saltydog from New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A really fine bar in Ostend, located in a good, and quite cheap hotel, and connected with a highly regarded restaurant. The layout is really interesting, with a circular wooden bar with beer memorabilia (including Schlitz!), green walls, and rooms on the side that have huge, comfortable couches. Lots of books on the walls. They do have some interesting vintage beers. The beer list is quite substantial, and there is also a good selection of genevers, but I did notice that most beers seemed to be served excessively cold, something I'm more used to in US bars! The bar across the street is also quite handy, which makes Ostend an incredibly easy pub crawl, with the added advantage of ending your night by simply walking upstairs to your hotel room!!!

Oct 19, 2003
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pluto from Washington

2.45/5  rDev -40%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3

One of the strangest experiences I had during a recent trip to Belgium. After walking the length of Ostende to find this bar, we walked inside to a very full house with a prominent "Members Only" sign posted on the bar. Not knowing what to make of it we said hello on separate occasions to the two fellows behind the bar and were prominently ignored twice. Hung around for five minutes or so trying to look thirsty but finally took the hint and left.
Not sure what we ran into, Tim Webb's book mentions that English speakers have been unwelcome in Ostende in the past due to rowdy behavior. From LongBeachBum's review sounds like a great place, sorry we weren't welcome.

Oct 18, 2003
Hotel & Café Botteltje in Oostende, Belgium
Place rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 8 ratings