A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors posted a picture of delicious looking tapas on Facebook. She was having lunch at Gloria, a new restaurant here in Leuven, Belgium and as she claimed it was good, I immediately booked a table for myself and a friend.
Gloria, a restaurant at an old cigar factory
That turned out to be unnecessary, because when we arrived at the rather early hour 6.30 p.m., there were still a few spots left on the terrace. Gloria has a large terrace located in the inner courtyard of the old cigar factory Vander Elst. It's calm and quiet there – the perfect place to catch up with someone over lunch or dinner.
The menu offers salads, starters, pasta, finger food, fish and meat main courses and desserts. There's also a three-course Glorious Menu, but my friend and I quickly agreed on sharing some finger food and ordered the kroepoek with beef tartar and an eastern salad, the calamari with lemon and garlic mayonnaise and the hummus with lamb meatloaf balls.
When the food came, we were a bit worried it wouldn't be enough, but we were wrong. The three portions (the amount the guy serving us had recommended) were just perfect in size. We finished everything but the last few bites took a bit of effort. You know how it goes when something's delicious and so you must eat it all.
We took our time to finish our finger food and never felt rushed by personnel to get on with it while we were talking just as much as we were chewing. Service was friendly and even went the extra mile: when my friend ordered coffee but I skipped the tea because I'd already finished half a liter of sparkling water, they brought me a cookie and a chocolate as well. Now, that's winning me over!
By the time we left – around 8.30 p.m. – both the terrace and the inner seating area had filled up nicely so if you want to have dinner a bit later, I do suggest making a reservation.
Gloria – Simply glorious food
Arnould Nobelstraat 50
Good to know:
- They have an online reservation system. I used it and it worked perfectly well.
- Because Gloria isn't located in the commercial center of Leuven, it's pretty easy to find a parking space. You do have to pay until 9 p.m. to park on the street there.
Hotels in Leuven
Don't want to rush dinner because you have to catch a train or worry about how much you're drinking? Book a hotel in Leuven and enjoy a worry-free time at Gloria.
If you're looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first stay!
How to get to Leuven
Leuven can easily be reached by train from other cities as well as from Brussels Airport, which is the best airport to fly to if you plan on visiting Leuven.
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