Ghent, Belgium during the Christmas holiday proved to be extremely festive and interesting. Each day there seemed to be an interesting new dessert or snack vendor that we would find to try. Needless to say, most of the calories that we consumed during these days were in sugar, but it was well worth it.
Our first stop was right after checking into our hostel. Since it was our first time in Belgium, one of the first things we wanted to do was try a Belgian Waffle as soon as possible. This so happened to be a man at his stand near Gravenstein Castle. I tried the caramel flavor, which kind of ended up just tasting like maple syrup. My wife tried the Nutella one, which I was told was quite amazing.
After some rest, the next day we set out and found yet another waffle place to try. This was the first person in Belgium that I encountered who did not speak English, but he was friendly nonetheless and we found out ways to understand each other. The original waffle and sugar waffle were our choices this day and they were great. The sugar gave it a funnel cake like taste that was familiar, yet very unique.
After all of this sweet food, we decided to get some lunch from a place called Frituur Het Puntzakje. I had heard they have the best fries in Ghent, and they were definitely very good. Also, they had great sandwiches and chicken strips and were a convenient little off the street place near Gravensteen which we had just visited. The patio there is a great place to sit and watch people passing by. Just watching trains and people on bikes go through streets that are old and beautiful is such a fun thing to do.
The Christmas festival had some great selections as far as vendors for both food and shopping. I have always wanted to have one of the spiral potatoes on a stick and I was not disappointed. There was also just a little chile pepper sprinkled on to the spud for spice. It was definitely touristy, but it was worth it. There was also a waffle on a stick dipped in white choclate covered with oreos. This was very tasty in small quantities, but I prefer the traditional Belgian Waffle as compared to this.
As we were running to our train to Amsterdam very early in the morning, we found out that the local McDonald’s, of all things, had Nutella muffins. Needless to say, this was a very welcome surprise. It was fantastic!