Bar, Eatery

Rue De La Bourse, 18
Brussels, 1000

+32 (0)25 12 13 95 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 10 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bobsy
bobsy from Canada

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Really cool art deco style cafe located not far from Grande Place. Brass trimming dark wood, mirrors and ornate fixtures everywhere. The place honestly looks like its not changed since the 1800s, and its certainly one of the most atmospheric bars that I've been in. The waiters are bedecked in penguin suits, and there's even a cat licking itself next to me.

The menu isn't as extensive as some bars, and doesn't stray too far from the classics, but what we had was in great shape, at the correct temperature and in the right glassware. Service was efficient and friendly.

Worth a visit for the the atmosphere and decor if nothing else!

Sep 16, 2009
Photo of bernardus
bernardus from Virginia

3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Went to this place the day we landed in Brussels, 09JUL09. It's very close to the Grand'Place and the decor and atmosphere inside is outstanding. Walking into the place reminded me a lot of the Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast.

As others have mentioned, the beer list isn't as expansive as other beer bars in Belgium, or even Brussels, but they have a good selection of Trappists and an otherwise solid offering. I found the prices to be very reasonable to compared to bars closer in to the Grand'Place.

I eventually settled on a Mort Subtite Geuze, which was a little underwhleming in the end. A small tray of snack mix is served with drinks but it's basically one handful's worth. As mentioned before, the atmosphere is what wins out here although the beer list is decent. We went on a Thursday afternoon to find no crowd at all inside and from looking around the restaurant, the food looked pretty good.

Overall this place is a worthwhile stop if you are around the Grand'Place.

Jul 31, 2009
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BlackHaddock from England

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I like this place.

It is like stepping back in time, no rush, no noise, just a clean, pleasant experience.

My wife and I always have cheese and a bottle of 'Forbidden Fruit' each, when we visit this lovely old cafe. We always sit inside, there is so much to admire within, compared to outside.

Art Nouveau was invented in Brussels and this cafe is a fine example of how all 'well-too-do' central Brussels cafes would have looked back then.

It is a must visit cafe if you are in Brussels, trust me. It may not have a great beer list, but the decor is worth seeing, even if you only have a coffee!

Aug 13, 2006
Photo of dauss
dauss from Colorado

3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

So I had gotten off the tram station at Bourse, and was walking to the Place Hotel to go check it out. On the way, less than a couple blocks, there it was on my left. It looked quite nice from far away. It was located right across the Musee Bruxella and they had chairs set out. I just grabbed a seat, but never went in. The chairs were cheap grean plastic lawn chairs, and the tables were plastic also with a faux granite pattern. They had even more chairs and tables set out on top of the entrance to the Musee Bruxella, so there was plenty of seating.

I had ordered a Fruit Defendu, but the waiter paid no attention to the sediment and there were plenty of floaties in my beer. Along with the beers, came with a tiny dish of crackers and pretzels, and when I mean tiny, there were probably about 10 pretzels sticks about the size of a pen cap, and maybe 5 dime sized crackers.

Definite Italian theme. Waiters dressed in black and white, and there were pasta dishes. The good thing is the food menu comes in multiple language, including english. Beer menu included St. Feuillien, grimbergen, rodenbach, bush, rochefort, westmalle, and chimay.

For the food, I had ordered the Waterzooi. According to the menu it was a traditional belgium dish of chicken breast and diced potatoes. It was quite good and came with some bread. The prices weren't too bad either.

All in all, the beer was good and so was the food. Not much of a view, and not many passerbyers, if your wanting to be seen, this isn't the place. Would I come back, for the beer, probably not, there's other place with even larger beer selections.

Jul 22, 2005
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Goldorak from Canada

4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Stepping through the doors here really is like stepping back 100 years. From what I remember reading from the menu, Cirio was an Italian trader that shipped fine goods and had "trading posts" all over europe, this Brussels location being the last one open. You could say this place used to be a convenience store that gradually turned into a tasting salon, then a bar. They still have a few italian specialties, like their own house brand of Asti Spumante served by the glass called a gobelet, or half and half with Italian white wine.

I don't know how this place survived for so long while changing so little, and in great shape I must add. Maybe those museum people that restore paintings come in here at night and clean the place up. Everything looks vintage 1800's, from the windows, to the wallpaper, to the toilets that make you feel like you go into a confession booth as you walk in. Spot the bottles of Vermouth sitting on one of the shelves, they look at least 60 years old!

Patrons there are usually in thier 50s and up, having a quiet drink, or just drinking in the surroundings. There was a live band playing old melodies softly in the back room while a few people danced cheek to cheek. There's even a cat that calls this place his home, and seems to enjoy the company.

Service was probably the best we got the whole trip. You know the expression "getting something served to you on a silver platter"? They actually do that here. Very nice touch.

Beer selection is a little sub-par compared to most bars I've been in Belgium, but still, Orval, Chimay, Westmalle, Affligem, I'd be damn glad to have those at my local watering hole!!! It was here at le Cirio where I got the freshest Orval I've ever tasted, two months old almost to the day. Holy cow was it good! Even at the brewery itself I got older samples than that!

This place is only a stone throw away from the Grand'Place, and with litteraly a dozen good Beer Bars in a half mile radius, make sure you visit this one.

Sep 29, 2004
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Phyl21ca from Canada

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

This place is a great 1850’s cafe beside the old Bourse in Brussels. It is a 5-minute walk from the Grand Place. The place has been opened for close to 150 years with almost no change in the decor. The choice of beer is limited but the service (french/english) is great. This is more of a must see place for the beauty of the architecture and the nice terrace then for the beer selection. Nice place to sip a beer before going out afterward to one of the trendy bars or the nice restaurants beside this café.

Jun 30, 2004
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Popsinc from Canada

3.93/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

Another bar right off of Grand Place and around the corner from A La Becasse. The interior of this bar is fantastic. What i would consider "fancy" with a very stylish layout. In fact, being a wandering Canadian beer bum, i almost felt out of place here.

I walked in around the lunch hour and the crowd was primarliy an older, well dressed bunch. Prices were higher than elsewhere but that is to be expected around the Grand Place.

We had ourselves a Chimay Blue and a Grimbergen Dubbel and then headed around the corner to the much more casual and laid back A La Becasse.

Service was very good. Worth a visit.

Oct 29, 2003
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

There are some great places in Brussels worth visiting for the sheer ambience alone, let alone the beer. Some of the places in Brussels that have this ambience and good beer – are slowly but surely disappearing I note, which is of great concern. These are the type of places that you must visit if you are in the general area of them.

One such place is the marvelous Cirio. I always go here when in Brussels, for it is a part of the part of the drinking culture of Brussels and should be experienced. I always lend support to Cafés like this, because when they disappear – and no doubt they will – they are never replaced!

The Cirio is opposite the Bourse. As you enter take time to look at the glass house that is right outside, for it covers partially excavated Roman ruins that are now preserved by a rather nifty greenhouse contraption.

The Cirio is a solid retreat worthy of popping in for a beer and a rest between high level Beer Bars and serious drinking. Once inside, you will be transported back in to a stupendous Art Nouveau Edwardian atmosphere. Dark wood paneling, huge glass mirrors, deep wood carvings. A few leather sofas, upholstered wooden chairs and heavy marble topped wrought iron tables make up the furniture. The incredible marble & gold restrooms must be seen to be believed!

Extremely smartly attired waiters attend to your every need. The Beer List is above average, around 30+, and surprisingly for the very high quality surroundings, the prices are good. I had my first ever Alexander Rodenbach in here. Offerings include Bush, Ciney, Chimay, Gordons, Orval, Duvel & Westmalle plus a couple of Luxembourg beers. I love to come here, order a Rodenbach (Classic) or a Karmeliet Blond, sit back and watch the amazing characters that frequent this old style Brussels Café, most seem to be from Agatha Christie's Death on the River Nile. Somehow the Rodenbach in here always tastes that much better than when I have it at home. Value Snacks are served all day.

Another one of the places that time seems to have forgotten in Brussels. I always think – “how does this place make a living?” Maybe it doesn’t?
Maybe next I am in Brussels it will be trendy MacDonald’s....


You should go here at least once on each visit to Brussels.
...Whilst you still can.

& buy Hercule Poirot a beer whilst you're here.

Last Visit: 28 Nov. '02

Jun 24, 2003
Cirio in Brussels, Belgium
Place rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 10 ratings