Please share where you would stay, where you would eat, and what you would see/do with one night and one morning in Brussels. Thank you.
Unless I had to do something urgent in Brussels early in the morning, I'd change my reservations and stay in Gent or Bruges.
I agree with Nigel, except I'd say Bruges or Antwerp. But the debates about how to rank and prioritize the "big four" in Belgium (Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, and Bruges) are eternal. So, if you find something you want to see in Brussels, go for it. For me, the only real highlights of Brussels were my first view of the Grand Place, and my Art Nouveau tour with ARAU (which you won't be able to do on your schedule).
For any lurkers who will be in Brussels for longer, here's ARAU's website. I feel so strongly about this being a highlight (in a city sorely lacking in appeal for me) that if I ever go back to Brussels, I'll schedule my visit around their tour schedule: http://www.arau.org/en/tours
Ok. Here's the deal ... we went ahead and chose the all-night train between Berlin and Amsterdam. We would like to pop out of the train station in Amsterdam and eat a breakfast / have a walk, then go on to Brussels for a Eurostar the next day at 14:00.
Are you saying that after all of those train rides we should not stop in Brussels for the night but go on to Bruges or Antwerp for one night, and the following morning head back to Brussels for the 14:00 Eurostar?
It's one dinner, one night of hotel, one breakfast and a couple of hours of walking around.
ah, you didn't give any of that with your question.
So look around Brussels. You'll be exhausted after the night train and then another train or two to Brussels.
Stay near Grand Place, which is also by the main train station. You can walk around that area in the evening and morning. I am bad about remembering specific restaurants, but there is a whole street of restaurants very near Grand Place and I had good food in several. There are also places to eat right on Grand Place which would be good for atmosphere. If you wanted to go a little farther there is a nice little park in front of the palace, but I would probably just relax and enjoy some good food, coffee or beer around Grand Place in the amount of time you have.
If you're talking about the rue des Bouchers near the Grand Place, those restaurants don't have a very good reputation and are notorious for scams (mediocre food, low-priced menu deals outside the restaurant that the waiters have never heard of when the bill comes). There are about three well-respected places in that area, Aux Armes de Bruxelles, Vincent, and Ogenblik, but they are all quite expensive.
There are some good restaurants along rue du Flandre, a bit further south-west. I can also recommend La Grande Porte in the Marolles area, although that's a bit more distant.
Ok. Staying at the Ibis.
Now ... Where do we go for dinner - beer and moules? Where do we go for breakfast? We can walk up to 20 minutes away from the hotel area for great food in a not-fancy setting.
What Ibis? There are several branches in Brussels.
Sorry - I meant to write this - Ibis Grand Place.
For breakfast, walk out the front door and angle over toward the Grand Place which you will have found the night before. At the far edge of the square the Ibis faces go to the right into the covered mall area called Galeries Royale St-Hubert.. Le Pain Quotidien is along on the right. Service is slow. Croissants and cafe au lait are excellent! It can be a bit breezy in the sidewalk area even though it is covered.
There are also a number of sidewalk cafes on the square the Ibis faces.
I was just there the other day...after 3 nights in Bruges I was in Brussels for one night, very close to Grand Place. I saw your Ibis hotel nearby. I had a great lunch, and a great dinner, my one day in Brussels before my flight the next morning. There are ONE MILLION places to eat near Grand Place.
I highly recommend both places I just happened to stumble upon.
Right within Grand Place is La Chaloupe D'or. I had a delicious noodle/scampi dish and it is an attractive old-style pub, with seating outside if you wish.
For dinner that night I was lucky to choose Scheltema, an wonderful French restaurant, without the white tableclothes or stuffy atmosphere. Also is like a pub. The prices are a bit more, but if my salmon/orange dish is any indication, it is well worth it. Great crusty, warm bread to start too. It is very close to the Grand Place and the two-block shopping plaza "Galleries" at Rue des Dominicains 7.
You should seek out these two. There are so many choices, with waiters trying to lure you in as you walk by that are surely all the same and mediocre.