After 4 months on the other side of the pond, I feel justified in saying that TikTok is my go-to place for finding new experiences, hidden gems, and apparently, Tonton Garby's Bread & Cheese shop in Brussels, Belgium. 

We may not have TikTok for much longer, so stockpile your restaurant recs now!

The Experience

While waiting in the small terminal of Thessaloniki International Airport, I entered my destination in the TikTok search bar to find a plethora of places to try. However, some places were more memorable than others, especially Tonton Garby.

Nestled on the side of a stone road in Brussels, Belgium, a small storefront with a bright yellow interior is home to a bread and cheese shop named after the cheesemonger himself, Tonton Garby.

The line is often lengthy, but the experience with Mr. Garby is unforgettable and well worth the wait. His knowledge of cheese is unmatched and his ability to curate sandwiches from an unassuming group of ingredients is impressive. With a few simple questions, Mr. Garby knew my likes and dislikes. Just like that, the fate of my sandwich was in his hands.

I chose the first of two options Mr. Garby offered: freshly baked seeded-wheat bread, cranberry chèvre, cured meat, fresh pear, spicy cow's milk cheese, crushed walnuts, and honey. The first bite was nothing less than sheer bliss.

Grace Knipe

It was clear to me that this was the passion of Tonton Garby. After countless years of making cheese sandwiches, he told me that the highlight of his job is getting to know customers who come from around the world to try his creations. He is constantly coming up with new ideas and chances are he will not make the same sandwich twice. He claimed Maryland, my hometown, is not far from Belgium which gives me the perfect excuse to go back.

Looking for a sweet treat after your savory snack? Check out Sara Weltzer's review of the Best Chocolatiers in Belgium!