Hidden Belgium: Shrimp croquettes at the harbour cafe

Hidden Belgium: Shrimp croquettes at the harbour cafe

No bookings. Just turn up at the door and hope there is an empty table. The harbour bistro ‘t Werfje has been around for more than a century.

Located in Zeebrugge’s old port, it’s a plain, friendly place furnished with an ancient stove, wood-panelling and mirrors. Local fishermen drop by for a bowl of fish soup while Belgians make a special trip here for the garnaalkroketten (shrimp croquettes).

You can find shrimp croquettes in restaurants all along the Belgian coast. Every place has its own way of making the fried croquettes filled with tiny North Sea shrimps in a creamy sauce. But many people think ‘t Werfje is the best place to go to taste this iconic Belgian dish.

The owner doesn’t like to call it a restaurant or even a café. It’s just a simple spot to sit in the salty breeze with a croquette that tastes of the North Sea.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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