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Leopold Café Press – POLITICO

Rue de la Loi, 17

What’s good? Quinoa bowls and brilliant bagels for lunch are Leopold’s main attraction. My favorite selection is the Avocado Chicken Bowl, which comes on a bed of quinoa and salad with a tangy dressing, and includes crunchy pomegranate seeds, chicken topped with melted cheese, and delicious mashed avocado. It’s both filling and healthy. Sometimes the chicken can be a bit tough, but that’s a minor issue.

Leopold offers a large selection of tasty wraps and salads, encompassing a variety of cuisines around the world. The cookies, cakes and drinks are also of high quality, especially the velvet rich hot chocolate.

What is not? A sometimes heady smell of truffle oil, which seems to have become essential in 2023; and erotica-themed Tintin parody graphic novels, once less subtly placed directly above the food counter. No one needs to see Bianca Castafiore in a state of stripping next to her lunch order.

Atmosphere: The chic of colorful Belgian comics. It’s a very relaxed place; business meetings and first dates happen up close, in a bright, bustling room filled with (non-erotic) Tintin memorabilia. The service is quick and the staff smiling.

Who collects the check? It’s cheaper than a restaurant (although arguably better than most nearby options); but more expensive than its neighbors ASAP, Pulp and EXKi. You won’t necessarily have to use the company credit card for lunch.

Spotted: A number of officials from the European Commission’s DG NEAR, whose office is located directly above the café; and POLITICO reporters meeting with sources. The walls have ears here, so rotate your head.

Insider tip: Get your free edition of the weekly POLITICO at Léopold. They have a stack of copies and it’s an ideal read if you’re here alone.

Fun fact: The café, which now has several locations across Brussels, was originally designed for cyclists and green energy.

How to get there: Brave the smoke as you walk down Rue de la Loi, and it’s just before the big crossroads on the left side of the road.

— Review posted June 1, 2023. Art by Dato Parulava/POLITICO


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