2024 guide to artisanal bakeries and patisseries in Brussels

Boulangerie Soleil © Alexis Haulot

The Tartine et Boterham is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the celebration of Brussels’ most artisanal bakeries. The guide lists no fewer than 70 artisanal bakeries and patisseries located in the Brussels-Capital Region. 

Together spoke briefly to Géry Brusselmans, founder and coordinator of Tartine and Boterham, at the launch of the latest edition. 

“It’s a guide that lists the bakeries and patisseries of Brussels, so everyone can find the best places near them. There are three main criteria to qualify as ‘artisanal’, firstly, at least 80% of the products must be made in an atelier situated next to, or close to the shop. Secondly, they must use ingredients of the highest quality (butter, eggs, sugar, flour, plant-based butter…) and, finally, that they have a point of sale open to the public.”

With over 74 addresses it is an essential guide for those longing for a good loaf of bread, the perfect croissant or a cake to impress. 

“There are so many blogs about restaurants, but there isn’t much on the profession of baker or patissier,” says Brusselmanns. “It’s a profession that isn’t easy, that demands a lot of technical expertise and which is completely different to what we find in supermarkets.”

Asked if he can name a favourite, Brusselmans says he goes to Soleil Bakery most often, as he lives in Schaerbeek. Close to the Maison Communal of Schaerbeek, micro-boulanger Antoine Martinot sticks to bread, brioches, buns, cardamon rolls and foccacias. Soleil Bakery also marks another trend, Martinot, doesn’t follow the punishing hours of the traditional baker, it is open four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday and only opens at eleven. 

For those of you who can’t eat gluten or are gluten intolerant there’s Chambelland in Ixelles. Taste is not sacrificed in making bread and patisseries for those who have an allergy, or just wish to avoid gluten. Wheat flour is replaced with rice or sarrasin flour. In addition, it is 100% organic. 

While most of the bakeries are focused on traditional franco-belgian products, Garcia on Avenue de la Couronne, Ixelles, is recognised for its Portuguese pastries, most notably their famous ‘pastel de nata’. Open since 1990, it’s a little bit of Portugal in the heart of Belgium. 

There’s also the eponymous Giovanni, led by Giovanni Lepanto, who brings Sicilian specialities like cannolo and even arancini on Chausée de Louvain.

Of course, the croissant that always tastes best is the one that you can buy at the corner. My nearest patisserie is Brian Joyeux and his croissants have achieved legendary status in the area and beyond. It’s become a great incentive to leap out of bed on a Saturday morning. The cakes and macarons change frequently according to the season and the constant need to experiment. This is particularly notable with the macarons, which I’m told by an authority on the subject, are the best in Brussels. The macarons, in particular, are famous for their lively and often intriguing combination of flavours. Happily for the locals, Brian Joyeux also cooks some bread, a great act of mercy for a quarter that doesn’t have a bakery. 

© Laetitia Bozzoni