Ghent bleg

What to do and where to eat?  I thank you all in advance for your wisdom and counsel.

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Take 5 espresso and Simon Says both have good coffee, nice ambience. There is, in general, good coffee in Ghent.

Seli's Noodlebar was one of my favorites the last time I was there.

Hot Club Gent has very good Jazz nights. The town is known for cocktails. (for Belgium anyway) Just walking along the water is highly recommended.

Thumbs up on Seli's. Had great dumplings and a Belgian beer there on a cold evening there last December!

who knew children often change their minds?
pretty much everbody
whose not some sorta sociologist/idealogue?

My inlaws live in Gent so I have the pleasure of visiting regularly.

-There is an excellent little escargot stand on the south side of the Groot Vleeshuis in Groentemarkt.
-Best chocolate is at Denaeyer Chocolaterie in Evergem, in the NW suburbs.
-Devos bakery in Wondelgem is good.
-'t Dreupelkot for jenever.
-Very touristy but the Ghent Altarpiece is still a must-see.

-If you have a car, a visit to the Abbey and Brewery of St Sixtus in Westvleteren is highly recommended. About an hour away.

Definitely Westvltetren. You can only get their beer at the little cafe across the monastery., And you are ( at least used to be limited to two six packs per person.

Gent also has a large Turkish emigre population. Lots of good Turkish mom-and-pop places in the Rabot neighborhood just NW of the center city.

A good place to avoid. If we want Turkish we will visit turkey (Self recommending!)

It is one of the most beautiful places in Belgium outside of Brugges IMHO. Haven't been there for a while but the waffle stands are always a good place to start for a bite, although this is probably a standard in the Benelux. If you can stay for any music festivals, you could experience the city's tourist-friendly attitude and party atmosphere night and day. Frites and beer for sure! Flemish cuisine is a bit rich but quite good.

"Flemish cuisine is a bit rich": you can say that again. But for a few days it's pretty good stuff. I'm another Benelux fan.

>outside of Brugges

Now that's a fairytale town. Definitely everybody's thing.

Try to find the little plaque commemorating where the Treaty of Ghent was signed, ending the War of 1812. (But, famously, news of the treaty did not reach North America in time to prevent the war's most famous battle from being fought)

Given your love of underrated things, the War of 1812 is almost certainly underrated. When was the last time you heard somebody talk about it?

If you don't have "Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton on your Spotify playlist, you aren't living!

Fries from the Frietkot on the Vrijdagsmarkt. Ask for 'frieten special' and you'll get your fries with a generous helping of mayonnaise, ketchup and diced onions. They'll ask you which ketchup- choose curry ketchup.

'Stoverij' (beef stew) is of good quality at the Multatuli, where there's an excellent selection of beers as well. It comes as a surprise to some that in Belgium, unlike the US probably, the best beers aren't the ones on tap. You want to sample some of the bottled abbey ales. Orval, Chimay Blue,...

Ghent also has lots of veggie places which are quite good for a quick lunch. The city is very pleasant and extremely walkable, most obviously around the Graslei, Gravensteen, Patershol and Vrijdagsmarkt.

ahhhhh, Chimay Blue. So lovely.

I tend to prefer Red, myself, and Piraat Triple Hop is just as good as Chimay Blue. Got to love how after opening a Chimay iit tends to foam over in the bottle itself .

When I visited the Orval abbey and tried their beer, it was not one I have any desire to drink again, particularly.

Fries with mayonnaise are awful, to be honest.

That Belgium fries in a good shop are made with fresh potatoes is a real plus, however.

+1 on the stoverij, I got mine at 't Klokhuys but I'm guessing the Belgian guy knows better.

Side question: is the restoration of the Van Eyck brothers' Altarpiece complete, and if not, does someone know when that will be?

It's still being restorated. It should be finished by the end of 2019.

You can visit the restoration at MSK: https://www.mskgent.be/en/exhibitions/restoration-ghent-altarpiece

Are you going to be there on March 31? If so, be sure to enjoy the 1-day classic Gent-Wevelgem bicycle race. It's part of the Flemish 1-day classic calendar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gent–Wevelgem

Hey I live in Gent and would like to give suggestions because the guy I like seems your big fan.

1. If you like Belgian beers. Order this 1.2 litre boot shaped glass served Kwak Beer, and they will ask you to take off your shoe and hang it on the roof. Nice beer, good vibe, special experience. Where: Dulle Griet, just google map the name.

2. If weather allows, take a boat trip in the city. As you know, Gent is the city with many canals crossing over. Enjoy the breez with stylish European architectures and houses in the boat. I am sure you will walk into the places where you can start the boat trip coz they have several locations along the canals.

3. there are a lot of museums, churches and art exhibitions, just make sure you don’t miss The Ghent Altarpiece: supreme divine art.

4. If you want to try local Flemish cuisines: my suggestion is: Restaurant Du Progres, Korenmarkt 10, 9000 Gent.

All I can think of so far. Gent is an old style European city with a lot of things to do. Let me know if any details needed.

Enjoy your stay!

Prof. Cowen does not drink beer, and will thus miss out on part of what can make eating in Belgium particularly memorable.

However, he does seem to like chocolate, so if you have any suggestions where to buy chocolate, he would likely appreciate it. Do note that some of the best Belgian chocolate is not legal to import into the U.S., as it uses fresh butter and milk, and the USDA forbids such products from being imported (the same applies to cheese, as one Belgian told me that the cheese he was bringing for a friend was seized, it being made from unpasteurized milk).

"Prof. Cowen does not drink beer": oh dear, he plummets in my esteem.

Layali Halab Syrian Restaurant is outstanding.

The James Ensor house and studio is in Ostend, about 45 minutes out of Ghent.

http://uglybelgianhouses.tumblr.com/

Marvel at the '3 towers of Ghent' in the absolute centre (Saint-Nicolas Church, the Belfry and the Saint-Bavo's cathedral).
Walk around in the medieval neighbourhoods Patershol en Prinsenhof.
Go sit by the water and have a drink at Graslei.
Visit the one of the beguinages (the small one is very nice and close to the center, the bigger one is more impressive but a bit further from the center).
Do a boat tour (a bit touristy but seeing Gent from the water is a whole different experience).
The adoration of the mystic lamb is of course one of the most important pieces of European medieval art. It's being restorated at MSK (museum of fine arts) where you can visit the restoration. The outer panels are already done and can be visited (together with replica's of the panels that are being restorated) at the Saint Bavo's cathedral.
Visit Industriemuseum (industrial museum) if you want an account of the industrialisation period (Gent was one of the first cities outside of the UK to industrialize when Lieven Bauwens smuggled the first spinning mule from Manchester to Gent)

Have drinks at Hot Club Gent, Het Spijker, Missy Sippy or Minor Swing.
For food: Du Progres is the classical Belgian food, the best ethnic food can be found around Sleepstraat.

Orapax for Greek food
Green Onion on Colley Ave for anything
Cogan’s on Colonial for pizza. Especially after an Admiralty Law final!

Visit the bicycle museum downstairs at Plum-Gent bvba
Nederkouter 141, 9000 Gent, Belgium

eat authentic food and stay away from tourist traps.

you should be good if you do that.

I can't remember the name of the restaurant but I had some excellent Surinamese food there, and from what I can remember there were several Surinamese options.

The 2 panels on the lower right of the Ghent altarpiece have trees that inspired the artist who drew the back-frames for those scenes in the Flinstones when Fred and his wife or Fred and his pals are driving down the road.
On the upper right, Eve is pregnant. Very pregnant, actually, in those days childbirth was easier, and the babies did not need to be as large when born as they did in later harder times.
The landscape in the bottom center looks to mountains in the North, (or does it?) which is rare in the environs of Ghent, where the real mountains are to the south. If you want to see a similar scene in Northern Virginia, stand somewhere about 30 miles northwest of Old Rag Mountain, and look at that peak with the Blue Ridge behind it.
And if you happen to miss the altarpiece, there are about 30 paintings in the DC National Gallery of Art which may have been seen, in their day, by the artists who made the altarpiece, some of them very good.
God is good, all of us know that now or knew it at least once in the past.
Finally, lots of the people featured in the popular video "How Do You Do" by "Mouth and Mcneil" look an awful lot like lots of people you will see in Ghent.

Let us send him to Alaska to eat raw seal blubber.

> I thank you all in advance for your wisdom and counsel.

Obviously you don't read the comments here very much

Read the comments above - Prof. Cowen reads the comments here, and at times they are definitely worth his time. At least this way he doesn't have to do anything much himself - sort of the way that it is most likely that someone else did all the trip arrangements for him, whether the dept. secretary or someone at the public policy institute he apparently heads.

About 30 mins outside of Ghent is a restaurant called Hof Van Cleve. It is expensive but it is one of the best restaurants in Europe. If you are interested I would recommend reading the review on Andy Hayler's blog.

The New York Times, or at least its web version, had an article on restaurants in Gent the other day. I do not think they mentioned Volta, however, which if nothing else is in an interesting building.

As a Ghent native I would recommend a stroll through the old town and dinner outside of that area. Volta, Pakhuis, De Superette & Bodo are all affordable and good. Outright expensive, but definitely worth it are Vrijmoed and Chambre Séparée.
The views in the old town and center are nice and there are many nice cafes. The museums however are... a bit provincial and second rate.

"The museums however are... a bit provincial and second rate." Now, now - stop trying to elicit cheap snidery.

For good contemporary cooking: souvenir
For long tasting menu: chambre séparée

The Graffiti Street (more of an alley really) is interesting and can be walked through quickly.

If you are there then, go see Gent-Wevelgem. March 31 this year. Belgium differs from other countries in part by how cycling-obsessed the country is. Of course, GW is no Ronde van Vlaanderern, but it is still a major race. There is plentiful streetfood wherever spectators gather.

The Altar Piece is the absolutely must thing to see, even whatever state of repair it is in. This is one of the world's greatest works of art, period.

Eat: Kobe Desramaults (chambre séparée) without any doubt. I would even recommend the late shift (while knowing your theory about eating early being better). It is more laid back and the music gets even better.

Bruges is 22 minutes by train

Venetia of Belgium summer call it

Fascinating feel

The Michelin-starred Oak Restaurant and Restaurant Du Progres were highly recommended by a foodie friend who was in Ghent recently.

The stew dish "waterzooi" originated in Ghent, so definitely try it. The jenever bar "'t dreupelkot" is worth a visit if you drink alcohol (try a few of the lower strength varieties). Echo recs for the "Adoration" altarpiece and a trip to Westvleteren (if you like beer - and if you do but don't make the trip, try Westmalle which is widely available (I recommend dark), another of the genuine Trappist beers).

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