In North America, Belgian waffles are a variety of waffle with a lighter batter, larger squares, and deeper pockets than ordinary American waffles. Belgian waffles were originally leavened with yeast, but baking powder is now often used.[1]

In Belgium itself, there are several kinds of waffle, including the Brussels waffle and the Liège waffle.

In North America, they are often eaten as a breakfast food; toppings vary from whipped cream, confectioners sugar, soft fruit, and chocolate spread, to syrup and butter or margarine. They may also be served with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit (such as strawberries) as a dessert.


The Belgian Village at the 1964 New York World's Fair, where the waffles were popularized.

Originally showcased in 1958[2] at Expo 58 in Brussels, Belgian waffles were introduced to North America by a Belgian named Walter Cleyman at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962, and served with whipped cream and strawberries.[3] The waffles were further popularized in the United States during the 1964 New York World's Fair[1] at Flushing Meadows Park. The waffle was introduced by Maurice Vermersch of Brussels, Belgium, and was named the Bel-Gem Waffle. Largely based on a simplified recipe for the Brussels waffles, Vermersch decided to change the name upon observing that many Americans could not correctly identify Brussels as the capital of Belgium.[4][5] These waffles were served with whipped cream and strawberries, and retailed for a dollar.[2]


  1. ^ a b Roberts, Sam (2008-07-27). "A Fair, a Law and the Urban Walker". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  2. ^ a b "Belgian Waffles". CooksInfo. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  3. ^ "There's Something for All at Seattle's Fair", Spokane Daily Chronicle, April 24, 1962, p. 2
  4. ^ "His waffles made memories at the Queens World's Fair". Newsday. 1989-08-22. 
  5. ^ "The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America - Google Books". 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-10 – via Google Books.