Updated at: 23-05-2023 - By: Craig Huey

A visit to Edward Vanhoutte’s cozy gin bar requires a knock on the door. You might be turned away if you show up on a busy night at this hidden location because it can only accommodate 20 people. It’s safe to say that Vanhoutte’s collection of nearly 400 gins, including some rare bottles, is unparalleled.

A sophisticated cocktail lounge housed in a grand baroque townhouse decorated with rich wood. The bartenders are very welcoming, and they know how to mix a mean Long Island Iced Tea or Bloody Mary. Unique Belgian beers are available as well.

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This laid-back cafe opened in 2018 in a historic brick gabled house. Unique gins, whiskies, and tapas are on offer. You can choose to relax in the indoor lounge or the outdoor courtyard.

A few tables can be found outside this tiny bar tucked away behind the Cathedral, right next to the ancient walls of Sint-Salvators. The bar’s young, welcoming owner, Nina Corty, stocks the taps with a variety of interesting brews, including the popular Sint-Bernardus. Tapas dishes and vintage cocktails are on the menu as well.

In 2015, Galle Boedt opened her cozy cocktail bar behind cafe Craenenburg, her father’s historic Bruges watering hole. It would be difficult to find two locations with greater contrast. Frederiek Van Pamel designed the cocktail bar’s moody, sultry interior, which features Moroccan tiles, candles, and a cow skull. Locals frequent this bar because of the welcoming atmosphere and delicious gin cocktails infused with herbs and spices.

Anyone interested in discovering Bruges’ lesser-known gems will find The 500 Hidden Secrets of Bruges a helpful guide.

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