Théâtre Royal de Toone

A puppet theatre wouldn’t be the first place you’d look for a nice beer, would it? But hidden away at the end of a narrow alley, the estaminet attached to Théâtre Royal de Toone is serving beers from Oud Beersel and Boon on draught, and a few more interesting beers on bottle! Even though we’ve been at Toone a couple of times already, so far, we have never seen a show. But if you’re interested, there are plenty of puppets hanging around — literally — to get an idea of what you can expect ‘on stage’, three nights a week.

Even though Théâtre Royal de Toone is a bit hidden, it attracts quite a lot of tourists, more so than most of the other bars we’ve discussed so far. It doesn’t really help, of course, that the back entrance is in the Rue des Bouchers tourist trap. The estaminet, however, is far from being a tourist trap itself. For example, the Westvleteren — all three versions are available — is at €12 per bottle quite a bit cheaper than in most of the other bars in the area.

On draught you’ll find Oud Beersel‘s Bersalis Kadet and Boon‘s Kriek here, alongside KwakBlanche de Bruxelles and Tripel Karmeliet. They’ve decided to not even serve pilsner on draught! The rest of the menu is a strange mix of ‘big beer’ — both AB InBev‘s Leffe and Heineken’s Affligem abbey beers, for instance — local beers — Taras Boulba and Zinnebir — and a small selection of lambic beers and trappists.

The menu hasn’t changed for at least the last two years, but if you’re not too distracted by the puppets, scattered around the place, you’ll find some chalkboards with further suggestions of a more recent date, like the Bersalis Sourblend or Bersalis Tripel Oak Aged.

The available food is — just like the beer — more than just what is mentioned on the paper menu. Apart from the usual crisps and cheese, and, for an establishment like this not unusual, plattekeis on bread, you can therefore also enjoy a hardboiled egg — quite unusual in Belgian bars these days — a cold meatball, an Orval pancake, or a bowl of soup.

If you’d like to support the art form that is puppetry, and a puppet theatre as old as Belgium itself, buy a puppet, poster, card or T-shirt of Woltje, a character only found in the Brussels puppet theatre. And if you get bored while you wait for a show to start — or want an entertaining way to decide who picks up the bill — go ahead and ask for the pitjesbak!




  • 5 beers on draught, none of them pilsner
  • Lambic beers and trappists


  • The usual crisps and cheese
  • Plattekeis on bread
  • Hard boiled egg or cold meatball
  • Orval pancake
  • Soup


Koninklijk Theater Toone / Théâtre Royal de Toone (Koninklijk Theater Toone)
Grasmarkt 66 Rue du Marché aux Herbes
1000 Brussel
+32 2 511 71 37


What have people been drinking here recently?