We are definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to breakfast and brunch places in Gent. Here is a list of places to enjoy a breakfast and brunch in Ghent in the following categories:
- Just nice
- Vegan/vegetarian/allergy friendly
- Irish breakfast
We’ll also give you a small explanation about breakfast in Belgium and list where you can find more breakfast place suggestions and reviews. Post-Corona, many of these places have also added take-away breakfast and brunch packages so you can spoil yourself at home.
I couldn’t pinpoint these into any other category than just being my favourite places for breakfast and brunch in Gent. What they have in common is generous portions, the food is made with love and served with a smile and you get value for your money. They also have comfy chairs and cosy interiors.
This cosy place – choose between wooden tables at the front or comfy sofas at the back – opens already at 8:15 AM. Its location smack in the old centre of Gent (views of Belfort, anyone?) makes it a perfect coffee-refuelling stop at any time. For the morning hunger you can enjoy Italian specialities, omelettes, grilled sandwiches, special coffees (with lots of cream, oreo, nutella etc.) and much more with great service.
The owners of this egg-focused places believe in serving breakfast all day, similar to many places in the U.S.. As the name suggests they serve amazing dishes with eggs. But also waffles and more. I love savoury breakfast and suffer serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) here when choosing between the huevos rancheros, Eggs Benedict and their shakshuka. Their pancakes and waffle portions look amazing too! You can find some vegan options on their menu as well.
Emmy offers homemade bread, spreads, coffee, delicious sweets, freshly squeezed orange juice and much more in a cosy interior. Despite its location in the student area it is a far cry from a quick morning bite before lessons – take your time and enjoy!
Vegan & allergy considerate
Breakfast and brunch can be naturally vegetarian, just skip that slice of ham or bacon. But for vegans, it might be more difficult to find a place with meat- and dairy-free options. Same goes for people with food allergies. Here are a few options for vegan breakfast and brunch in Gent:
After years of weight struggles as a teenager, the owner Laura decided to stop counting calories and rather focus on living a healthy life. And luckily, she believes that hearty breakfasts and desserts are part of vegan life. When she launched her idea it brought her the title of student entrepreneur of the year. More importantly, it lead to her opening the Madam Bakster coffee house – the perfect place for a healthy brunch and cakes.
Julie’s house first became known as the place to come for cupcakes and sweet pies. Nowadays, they also offer luxurious breakfasts and afternoon tea. While you can buy their delicious cakes and cupcakes at two locations, only the one in the old town also has a sit-down area for breakfast and tea. There are vegan and gluten-free options in the selections, and you can order things to take away as well.
This Belgian breakfast and brunch chain has conquered the world, so it is no surprise that you can find it in Ghent as well. They offer an extensive organic breakfast menu and numerous vegetarian and vegan alternatives at two locations in the heart of Gent. You might also end up making new friends during your breakfast as the concept is the original ‘communal table’ type of establishment.
[August, 2020: Closed until further notice because of Corona] In order to attract more customers to the furniture shop, Ikea offers a super cheap breakfast. This is the cheapest place for a breakfast and free coffee refills in town, but you will have to take a tram to the outskirts of the city for it.
Did you know you can have a cheap breakfast on the second floor of the homeware retail chain Hema at Korenmarkt in Gent? For a few euros you can pick and mix items from their buffet. They also have one of the best terraces with a view in town. The cafe is open during the opening times of the shop.
When you need something more fried than the traditional Belgian breakfast or brunch then you need a full Irish Breakfast. Get one from:
This typical Irish pub is the longest standing one in Ghent and comes with a slightly scruffy look and decent meals. During the weekends you can enjoy a full Irish breakfast brunch (bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, toast, butter, marmalade….) in the early afternoon (for precise timings check the Foley’s Facebook page).
Other popular places for breakfast and brunch in Gent
The following brunch and breakfast places are often mentioned and praised in travel guides and city blogs. I include them here too, even though I have not experienced them myself:
Here are some lists:
- Elle.be, the Belgian version of the famous fashion magazine has published a list of their favourite breakfast and brunch places. Great especially for ladies. In Dutch.
- Hipste Adresjes has a newsletter announcing new hip, trendy, newly opened places in Gent. Check out their breakfast list here. In Dutch.
- The travel blog Gorgeous Blog has a list of 20 places for brunch and breakfast in Gent in English available here.
- The official tourist guide Visit Gent list in English: “A breakfast fit for an emperor
Looking for a cozy spot for breakfast or brunch?”
Speciality: You can enjoy the flower market every day on Kouter, but on Sunday mornings, there are more flowers, stands, music and you can eat oysters and drink champagne at the kiosk Blauwe Kot. Or enjoy an espresso and a croissant at the coffee wagon. Or go to one of the cafes next to the square for brunch or breakfast, such as Paard van Troje, Cru or Cafe Theatre’s Bloch.
Enjoy organic products at this small weekly market on Sundays opposite the main entrance of Gent St Pieters train station. You can compile breakfast from the various stands and enjoy it there al fresco, from coffee to freshly baked bread, cheese and fruit. Expect crowds and queues after 10am, although the place always keeps its laid-back atmosphere.
Read more about markets and shopping in Ghent in our special guide.
Waffles at Establissement Max
Catch this Ghent all-time favourite before they move out of town in 2021! This is my favourite spot to bring friends and family visiting Gent. Most people want a good waffle when they are in Belgium. The waffles are only served from 11 AM so it is only suitable for a late & sweet breakfast.
They are also quite pricey but boy are they worth the look on the face of the first time eater! And so crunchy yet so soft. At the back of the restaurant you can watch the waffles being made with traditional irons.
Max is located in the middle of the historical centre, so it’s great to combine with other sightseeing activities.
This winning combination of eatery+laundrette has conquered Belgium, but was first launched in Ghent. You can find it at two locations in central Ghent. Wasbar serves daily breakfast and brunch, as well as lunch bites and solid coffee. Check the website for details on booking.
As the name suggests this restaurant located near the St Pieters station dishes up Spanish dishes the Spanish way. Their breakfast follows the Belgian concept of bread and spread, with the exception of “eggy bread” – bread soaked in eggs/milk and then fried. And Serrano ham instead of the normal one of course!
Many hotels in Ghent offer breakfast buffets also to non-guests, call the hotel you’d like to visit to know if this is possible and what the price is.
Breakfast traditions in Belgium
A traditional Belgian breakfast usually consists of croissants, chocolate or raisin pastries (called ontbijtkoeken in Dutch) and/or bread, with cheese or meat, butter or margarine, sweet jam and chocolate paste. Coffee with milk, tea, chocolate or fresh juice is drunk. Often also yoghurt with muesli or cereals are eaten (with or without milk). Especially on Sundays, it’s common to get freshly baked bread and pastries from the nearest bakery. People amp up the breakfast with an egg and possibly bacon when they do their lazy Sunday breakfast.
Past breakfast time?
Going for breakfast or brunch in Ghent? Do check the links of the places for the latest updates on opening hours, addresses, and whether a reservation is necessary. That way you will have the latest information and avoid any disappointments.
Is your favourite place not included on the list? Share your preferred breakfast spot and the reasons why you enjoy it so much in the comments, please!