Brugge Photo & Food & Drink Spot: Café Vlissinghe Bruges

Exterior of Cafe Vlissinghe in Brugge/Bruges Belgium.

About This Location

Brugge’s oldest operating cafe, Cafe Vlissinghe is also one of its greatest indoor treasures of daily life. At over 500 years old (est. 1515) it is welcoming to visitors and locals alike and offers a visually charming slice of Bruges life with great staff & good food. Recommended for lunch/dinner, either indoors or in the spacious garden terrace.

(This post is from my guide for photography locations in Brugge with SNAPP Guides.)

Getting There

Café Vlissinghe 500th anniversary (Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm @ 16mm & ISO 5000 & 1/30 sec)

Situated in a charming alley (Blekerstraat) at the bottom of the Jan Van Eyck plein, look out for the faded “Jupiler Bleeker”  and then you’ll spot the Vlissinghe’s blackboard of food offerings. Best reached by foot or bicycle; very limited car parking.

When To Go

Open 11am-10pm Wednesday to Sunday (closes 7pm on Sunday), closed Monday & Tuesday. Anytime is good for photos as well as for food and drink.

Time To Shoot

The staff are used to people taking photos but bear in mind if it’s busy that they will be running around. Weekday mornings & early afternoons are usually the quietest times.

Café Vlissinghe bar (Fujifilm X-M1, Samyang 8mm f2.8 @ ISO 2000 & 1/120 sec)

What To Shoot

The main room is a feast for close-up details (wall hangings, fireplace, little statues of saints) and a wide shot of the room, the outdoor terrace with tables and lawn bowling also provide good opportunities. Ask the owner (Bruno) nicely when he’s not busy and he might let you see the meeting room, a cozy, 500+ year architectural delight.

Good to Know

In general it’s appreciated if you can keep the use of flash and tripod to a minimum when shooting inside the cafe, and don’t use either if staff are rushed due to a busy service. High ISO and fast aperture lenses are useful. Be considerate if shooting people without asking (hint: ask or keep it wide shots). Don’t feed Freddie the dog, he’s very smooth at seduction and you will be tempted!

Freddy working to get fed. (Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm @ 26mm & ISO 200 & 1/50 sec)

Website: www.cafevlissinghe.be

Recommended Gear

  • Lenses: Wideangle, Midrange zoom, fast prime lens.
  • Camera Settings: High ISO as needed, open/low-numbered aperture.
  • Tripod: Possibly if shooting low ISO, and ask first. Monopod also perhaps useful.

More? See my suggestions for which lenses to travel with via this link.

Recommended on the Menu

All food here is hearty and recommended. Bruno’s Fish soup is quite lovely, the croque-monsieur (toasted ham and cheese sandwich) suits a light meal budget, and of course (because it’s Belgium) the house beer is delicious!

Photo Gallery of Cafe Vlissinghe

(Photos by your instructor & guide Andy McSweeney)

(More Brugge photos? Click here.)

Getting There

Situated in a charming alley (Blekerstraat) at the bottom of the Jan Van Eyck plein, look out for the faded “Jupiler Bleeker”  and then you’ll spot the Vlissinghe’s blackboard of food offerings. Best reached by foot or bicycle; very limited car parking.

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