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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you been there? Would you join the race?
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