Nestled in the heart of the city of Bruges is Belgium’s best historical café Vlissinghe. Its dark oakwood panels and traditional menu are what make it such a special combination of old flavours that have stood the test of time. It was founded all the way back in 1515 and is the longest running café in the city.
The best historical café since the 16th century
The café has a very long history since the 16th century. A meeting ground for Flemish painters such as Van Dyck and locals looking for a good cup of coffee and a drink, Café Vlissinghe has an intricate and fascinating past. Famous artist Rubens was also another regular who paid for his drinks with his paintings.
It was founded by Herberghe Vlissignhe and transformed into what it is today more towards 1855. It was bought out by Jacques De Meulemeester who was an artistinal beer brewer. He owned the De Arend brewery near the café.
The epicentre of Bruges
His son Leon DeMeleumeester would manage the café later on in 1869. A beer tap and a black marble fireplace would soon become the main pillars of the café-tavern. A neo-baroque twist was added with furnishing and Flemish art.
Outside the café a flag of Bruges hangs featuring a blue lion. The main dining and drinking area is surrounded by dark wooden wall panelling as the walls are draped with paintings and a coat of arms. Dining at Vlissinghe is like stepping back in time and that’s precisely why we’ve selected it as the best historical café in Belgium.