Hidden Belgium: Vennestraat

Hidden Belgium: Vennestraat

They call it the straat van de zintuigen – the street of the senses. It’s located in Genk, a former mining city in Limburg province.

The Genk coal mines attracted workers from all over Europe. They came from Greece, Italy, Turkey, Poland. You name it. And they brought their traditions with them. Especially food.

The Vennestraat lay close to one of the big mines. It has restaurants, shops and bars from all over Europe. There’s a Turkish barbershop, an Italian delicatessen, a Spanish tapas bar. Someone grows olive trees in a back garden. Another resident has planted a vineyard.

It makes Vennestraat one of the most diverse streets in Belgium. A lesson in successful integration, you might want to say.

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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