Beer, waffles, fries and chocolate: the four main Belgian food groups. Infiltrating the streets and stomachs of Belgium with their cheap prices and iconic mystic, the street stands in Brussles lured me in. However, after spending two days fueled on beef fat and sugar pearls, I arrived in Brugge (also written Bruges), West Flanders like a Gila Monster: slow, lethargic, and with a month’s worth of fat stored in my tail.
Tight on money and sick at the passing scent of waffles, I couldn’t afford a restaurant but couldn’t stomach the thought of one more frites cone. So, I consulted my USE-IT Bruges map for an alternative.
Unable to find the healthy restaurant listed, I was thrilled when I stumbled upon Maona.
A coffee bar, lounge and, most importantly, a healthy and delicious eatery, Maona is an oasis from the fried, doused and propagated alternatives lining the streets. It’s hidden in a charming courtyard in Brugge’s historic town center, providing a relaxing, local atmosphere, free from the stress of being an angsty solo traveller.
The owner, Anick Devriendt, is lovely: friendly, helpful and conversational. She speaks perfect English, and we conversed like old friends. When I returned the second day, we basically were.
The first day I visited, I was traveling with a friend I met from my hostel in Brussels. We traveled to Brugge together, and were thrilled with our sandwiches and smoothies. The second day, I returned alone and tried a different sandwich and smoothie. It’s all fresh and delicious, with perfect proportions, bread pairing and flavor.
The prices are fair for the quality, quantity and atmosphere. Affordable on my budget, although at the top, I spent about €10 for the sandwich and smoothie.
If I’m ever in Brugge again, I’m absolutely eating at Maona. I highly recommend it for anyone who eats healthy rarely, sometimes or exclusively. Even if only for a cookie or espresso, it’s worth it.