Restaurant review #16 – De Bron is the only vegetarian restaurant in Bruges. It is located in the south of the city center, near the Beguinage and the Minnewaterpark .
It is only open during weekdays for lunch, and offers a soup of the day and a plat du jour, which can be ordered in different sizes: baby, mini, medium and super size. Main dishes are veganized upon request. Desserts are mainly non-vegan, except for the soy vanilla pudding. There are also fresly pressed juices available. Most of what’s served in De Bron is organic.
They also offer take-away lunch (orders must be placed before 11.30).
We have been to the Bron several times over the last couple of years. On our last visit in March 2014, we had the soup of the day (2€), which happened to be vegan that day (carrot and chard). I went for the mini-size plat du jour (10,5€), my partner had the medium size dish (11€), which is already a fairly big portion. The plat du jour mostly consists of grains and a selection of different warm vegetables added with raw vegetables (a salad). We explicitly asked for the plat du jour to be veganized, which was said to be no problem. On past visits, we have noticed that the non-vegan items on the plat du jours were sometimes simply replaced by an extra bowl of rice or potatoes.
The vanille soy pudding for dessert (2,5€) was a huge portion, but conspicously seemed to resemble the premade soy-vanille pudding available in shops by Alpro or Provamel.
Limited options at De Bron
Both time and culinary wise, De Bron has limited options: it’s not open for dinner, nor in the weekends, and you can only get the plat du jour as a main dish. On a positive note, the variabel size of dish is ideal if you are not too hungry or on the other hand have a huge appetite.
Vegetarian restaurant De Bron offers what we like to consider ‘old-school’ vegetarian dishes: the stereotypical ‘plat du jour’ vegetarian meal, with lots of different preparations on one plate. I tend to believe this helps feed the prejudice among non-vegetarians that cooking vegetarian (or vegan) is very time consuming, given you need to prepare all those different recipes!
The food is fresh, healthy and organic for sure, but it’s no gastronomic experience. And rather blend to our tastebuds, and requires a lot of spicing up (taking full advantage of the veganaise, soy-sause and herbal salt standardly available on the table!).
Nonetheless, De Bron has been a given name in Bruges for years (also being the only vegetarian restaurant in town), and is always full house. It is however not possible to make a reservation for 2 people and as a party of 2 sitting at a table for 4 you may forcibly have to share the table with two strangers (which maybe you don’t mind, but is not quite enjoyable if you want to have a private or romantic conversation).
All in all: limited choices (only plat du jour, restricted opening hours, 1 vegan dessert), no gastronomic experience, but not all that expensive (especially considering other prices in touristic Bruges) and fair value for money.