Cook and Book

There is a magical place in Brussels. It is called Cook & Book.

D has listened to me wax lyrical about this place for ages now – especially since everytime we drive by it, I’ve said, ‘Hey, we should go there! Have you heard about it? They cook and you can read books!”  [Insert sigh and eye-roll from his side here, followed by a “Oh… I’ve mentioned it before…” from me.] I repeat myself. I prefer to see it as an endearing quality… ahem…

Back to COOK & BOOK. We went there for lunch yesterday and this place is fun. It has been featured as one of the top 20 most beautiful book stores in the world by Flavorwire, and it lives up to its reputation. Just take a look at the Mini parked inside the Italian cafe & cookbook section:

Built over a huge space just behind the new(ish) Woluwe-St-Pierre cultural centre, Cook & Book is comprised of two separate cafes and nine book stores melded into one. There is a brasserie for everything from sandwiches and soups, burgers and woks as well as an Italian restaurant (pictured above). Eating space is interspersed in between the various book stores as well as over some prime-time mid-day terrace space during the summer months.

The nine bookstores cover French-language literature, Lifestyle, Cookbooks, Kids, Comic books (very Belgian), Travel, Fine arts, Music and my favorite, English-language literature. A major bonus for anglophones living in Brussels, there are three English book stores to choose from in town (Waterstones and Sterling Books being the other two, located downtown).

But Cook & Book is more about the ambiance in my opinon than serious book searching. It is a place to spend a few hours. Have lunch, browse, find some neat gifts (there are food items, little knick-knacks and other items everywhere), have a coffee and then browse some more. You can even lounge outside the English section in some classy 20s-inspired beach chairs. And warn your boyfriend he’s going to have to drag you out kicking and screaming.

I failed to take a picture of the beach chairs…but did capture the cool pool-table inspired seats just inside.

To get to Cook & Book, take the metro to the Roodebeek station (you come out under the Woluwe mall… so plan to get some shopping done too). Then exit the mall and cross the street towards the almost Guggenheim-looking Woluwe cultural centre. Cook & Book is just behind it.

Photos taken with Instagram by jessinbelgium.

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8 comments
  1. wuadmin said:

    Reblogged this on WUSG and commented:
    Cool!

  2. Ryan Bowles said:

    Jess — Was this place there in 2008/2009? My dentist was near the mall and I think I remember wondering what this cool-looking place was as I went to get on the metro.

    • Hey Ryan! I think this was probably it. Gives you one more reason to come back to Brussels and visit us, doesn’t it? … 🙂

      • Ryan Bowles said:

        I definitely need to come! I thought I might do so this summer, but now I’m taking up this assignment in Seoul. It looked for awhile as if I might get assigned to Paris, but we are apparently not destined to be neighbors again so soon. So yes, I will visit. But I must insist that you and the gang come see me in the orient as well!

  3. This place looks awesome! And I also have the same, arm, endearing quality. BF’s I’m sure secretly love it.

  4. Food AND books…ohhhh, yeahhh. But I have to wonder how they got the Mini in there.

    • Me too… there is a green house in the middle of another section. That place is a designer’s haven.

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