Conveniently located near a cinema and theatre, and opposite the well-known A la Mort Subite bar, the Arcadi is buzzing day and night. The visual highlight is the photogenic range of enormous fruit-laden desserts on display – of which you are served sizeable portions. Okay, so the speciality is supposedly homemade vegetable quiche, but sitting here trying to absorb the menu you might be reminded of poor old Aladdin and his lamp: you can have almost anything you want, it seems, at any time of day or night: quiches, crêpes, waffles, pasta, steaks, milkshakes, ice cream, cheesecake.... The list goes on – and on!
With its hurried and less than polished service, this is not the place to come if you wish to linger undisturbed over a romantic lunch. During the day or on warm evenings it’s better to stick to outside tables, but otherwise it can be amusing to observe the slightly chaotic to-ings and fro-ings inside. There’s one particular waiter who reminds me of Manuel from Fawlty Towers: clumsy and forgetful and struggling to remember who’s ordered what.
Despite waiterly antics, the menu choice is difficult to beat, the food arrives quickly and is pretty consistent, and the café is open at times when other places are likely to be closed. So if you’re hungry in a hurry late at night, or have stumbled off the tourist trail around the Grand Place, this could be the place for dinner, lunch – or a takeaway quiche or tart! It’s much better than the touristy rue des bouchers with its dinner touts and, particularly after a few Belgian beers, the healthy portions will satisfy you more than a kebab will.
rue d'Arenberg 1B
02 511 33 43