Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven

So, to get yourselves in position, I have been living in Belgium for a bit less than 4 years. I have been to Christmas Markets, to plenty of fairs, and to a few Carnivals. But by far, my favorite event has always been the Hapje-Tapje. Why? well, in a word: food.

You can find some more information about this year’s event here.

Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven | The Solivagant Soul

What is the Hapje-Tapje

The Hapje-Tapje is an event that goes on every year during the first weekend of August. It is a day in which most of the restaurants in the city center open their doors and put a food stand on the street. You can find a typical (and suprisingly good) paella, freshly made sushi or some groumet burgers or BBQ. And the best part of it? All these little delicatessens do not exceed the 4€ price tag. The best thing is to just wander a little through town and pick a few things here and there. You can have a very nice and international meal while walking through the beautiful Leuven. Moreover, the market that is usually there every week all Saturdays also puts up some stands, meaning you can find olives from all around the world, fried chicken or simply some very fresh vegetables and bread.

Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven | The Solivagant Soul

The Bartender Race

Besides this festival of great food, something else goes on in Leuven that same day. If I have to be honest, that is what brought me to the festival initially… The bartender race! I know it sounds a bit weird, but it is exactly what you are thinking. This is a competition of bartenders regarding a very specific set of skills: beer pouring, running with the mentioned beer and avoid obstacles while carrying the beer. And really, drinking half of it during the race is allowed! People goes to the streets and cheers. Some bars have full teams fighting for the crown. And some guys even dress up.

It is something very funny to witness, and if you are in the crowd, you will have a great time.

Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven | The Solivagant Soul

Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven | The Solivagant Soul

Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven | The Solivagant Soul

About Leuven or Louvain

The Hapje-Tapje goes on in Leuven every August. This little city is pretty close to Brussels in Belgium and it is once of the nicest in the country (if you ask me). There are plenty of little restaurants that very nice and the city is not big enough to have very high prices. Moreover, because it is in the center of one of the most frequent train lines in the country, you can get there from anywhere in the country in less than two hours.

Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven | The Solivagant Soul

Have you been there? Would you join the race?

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Hapje-Tapje, a culinary tour in Leuven | The Solivagant Soul

4 Comments

  1. This looks amazing!!!! I would have been quote happy with a Christmas Market but this food festival looks awesome! Just look at that paella! Bartender races look cool too! So lucky to live in Belgium… I have never been but would love to one one! Sim xx

    • thesolivagantsoul@gmail.com

      Well, the Christmas Markets are better in Germany, these guys are great at doing Christmas, but Leuven is nice all year long. During the Hapjie Tapje it is specially nice to visit because the whole city is on a celebration, but if you can, I would recommend you to visit any time!

  2. This looks insane, one day I hope yo get myself there to witness it all in person. All that food and all that drink, I would be a happy man!

    • thesolivagantsoul@gmail.com

      I think that if food does not make you happy… you are just eating the wrong one! You should definitely try and come by any Hapje Tapje. Everything is great, and the city itself is very nice and cute, worth the trip!

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