Belga Cafe is an old favorite of mine on the Hill and one I recommend frequently for brunch in the neighborhood. Two of the best selling points — beyond the great food and atmosphere — is that they serve brunch on Saturdays and they have a great outdoor seating space that is perfect on a warm morning.
Despite this being one of my old favorites, I haven’t reviewed it yet because I’ve been so busy brunching everywhere else. But this last Saturday, Belga ended up being a great place to catch up with an old friend as we juggled our equally crazy schedules.
The menu has been expanded quite bit since my last visit, and is updated seasonally. It includes a wide range of offerings to satisfy your breakfast or lunch cravings, as well as your sweet tooth. If you’re in the mood for eggs you have multiple options such as scrambled eggs with mushrooms and bacon to an omelet with lobster, French tarragon and tomatoes. Or how about fried eggs with creamy polenta and braised short ribs? Yes, those were hard to pass up. They also serve a range of sandwiches — such as a burger, salmon burger, or Croque Madame or Monsieur — and puff pastry sandwiches with items such as salmon or ham and cheese. And if you are in the mood for something a bit more traditional off of their classic menu, you have that option as well — including their very popular mussels.
I ordered the waffle with berries and whipped cream, which was the perfect amount of sweetness without any syrup. And sometimes it’s nice to be able to get a waffle that has just the right amount of sweetness and flavor without all of the syrup that can put you into a sugar coma for the rest of the afternoon.
My one issue with the waffle — and this is a complaint I have heard from others — is that it’s a bit soft. Waffles should be crispy, holding their shape well as you top it with the fresh berries. But the flavor was just right and fresh berries and whipped cream were a delicious treat that perfectly complimented by mimosa, so it hardly spoiled my meal.
As for other dishes, I have had the crepes with nutella, and several egg dishes in the past and loved them all. The puff pastry sandwiches looked good but were not huge, and may not be enough for larger appetites. Belga’s dinner and lunch are delicious so don’t forget to check out the classic menu when you are there.
As I mentioned earlier, Belga’s outdoor seating makes them a great location on a warm morning but be prepared for a long wait if you do not have reservations. Their decor inside is a bit cramped but bright and beautifully decorated. It’s welcoming and energetic, and a great spot in the heart of Capitol Hill — once you’ve been you’ll understand why this has been a neighborhood favorite for years.