From Leffe to Mussels: Celebrating Belgian Independence Day

By: Jason Koebler

Along with waffles and Audrey Hepburn, Belgium has given us a plethora of fantastic beers. Lucky for you, Tuesday is Belgian Independence Day, the perfect excuse to knock back a few Stellas and hit on a leggy blonde. Here’s how local establishments are celebrating the holiday.

Local Belgian institutions Belga Café and Brasserie Beck are going all out with their celebrations. Belga Café will have food and drink specials specials all day long, including mussels from Brussels. Apparently, Belgians like animals, because the cafe will become part petting zoo between noon and 3 PM. Not sure what’s Belgian about pigs, ducklings, and goats, but hey, why not?

Around 11 PM, the cafe will seem more like a club, with a deejay and bottomless beer. Five Belgian beers will be on tap, and $10 gets you in the door.

Brasserie Beck celebrates with a beer-and-food (note the order) extravaganza. Chef Robert Wiedmaier has selected more than 20 Belgian brews for a tasting, which will be complimented by a selection of grilled sausages, mussels, and more. Tickets ($100) can be purchased by phone at 202-408-1717. 7 PM.

Et Voila! will serve marinière mussels for $15 per pot, and premium Belgian beers Hoegaarden and Duvel will cost $5 a bottle.

Call it foresight or just good luck, L’Enfant Cafe and Bar and Bohemian Caverns both have half-priced Belgian beers on Tuesdays, which falls in line perfectly with Belgian Independence Day this year. Bohemian Caverns’ happy hour runs from 7 to 9, and L’Enfant Cafe’s specials run from 4:30 to 7:30.

Marvin, a Belgian/soul-food restaurant on DC’s U Street corridor, has recently added many Belgian-style brews made in America, so you can celebrate with the Belgians in a wholly American way. Look out for the Belgica, a Belgian Indian Pale Ale made in Colorado. The melting pot approves.

Related: Our Favorite Spots for Mussels 

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