Visited twice, a few years back and last year, but unfortunately it was closed for renovation the last time. Spaceous building, only visited the ground floor, big benches, lots of tiles (looks a bit like a big butcherís shop), a very old-fashioned Belgian style bar. Had the Petit Orval and the regular Orval which were great, some Orval cheese (not really spectacular, rather tasteless). Of course this is a must-visit when youíre in the area, if only for the Petit Orval. The surroundings and the abbey are beautiful, absolutely worth the trip. Like Rastacouere said, if you want to visit just one Trappist brewery, Orval should be your choice.
Very cool to go and check out the grounds of the old abbey prior to visiting the cafe. The cafe is very nice, a good public face for the trappist abbey. Food was solid for what it is, cheese plates and sandwiches, salad, all made with stuff from the abbey. The one bottle, obviously, which is surprisingly quite different when fresh, and if youíre lucky they may have the Petit Orval on tap.
The semi-official restaurant, next to the abbey. Except for the gift shop in the abbey itself, the closest you can get without special open brew days. And, of course, the famous Petit Orval is here, the only Orval on tap and quite frankly a stunning beer. Worth the visit alone! The food was very fresh, better than expected (although I didn;t care much for their bread). service is very(!) quick and friendly too although very young and thus not the most experienced. Doesnít matter. Drink the super fresh orval with some better-than-expected food and life is good. Then get to the gift shop to stash up on cheap Orval beer and memorabilia.
It was a sunny day when we visited. At the outside, the first floor was almost empty when we came in, so service was good, but in like 15 minutes it he was completly packed and the service totally failed... Only one guy to take orders, not the most efficient guy, so we had to wait a very long time to get an extra Orval, or the bill etc etc. But itís always nice to drink a beer you canít find anywhere else, itís a nice place to hang out, prices are ok, so you should stop and have a drink when youíre there, but donít have to high expectations... Update: visited this place 6-7 times already now. Last time was februar of 2016. Seems like they upped their service and quality of the food a little. Prices are sooo good! 2.5 euro for a glass of the petit Orval, 3 euro for a young one and 3.5 euro for a aged one (>1y). Try the meatballs with the Orval-potatoe!
Nice modern Orvalís restaurant near the abbey. The only place where "Petit Orval" can be drunk. And carry good appetizers and food. Too modern I would say, but the service is friendly and the surroundings are majestic.
This is a rating for the self guided tour around the monastery along with the restaurant. If you are there, make sure you walk the grounds as it is far worth the cost. What an experience from an historical aspect to see the remains of the original monastery. Nice gift shop to stop at and get beer or schwag. The restaurant itself offered a variety of Orvals (3 I recall!) and the food was decent. Had a 33cl of the aged Orval, mmm good!
Orvalís restaurant, professionally run and probably the only place in Belgium where you can be sure to taste the green (ípetití) Orval - but do not go to this far-out place only for that, as this is probably just regular Orval diluted with water. The environment is beautiful, though, so if you visit the Orval abbey, make sure to stop by.
My wife and I visited the abbey in hopes of trying the famed Petit Orval and exploring the monastery grounds. We did just that. The grounds are really very beautiful, and we took many pictures. We also visited the shop inside the walls of the monastery. That is the busiest place we visited in our whole european vacation! I would place money that over 100 cases of Orval left the shop in the ten minutes we were there. People were bringing dollyís in just to take their haul out. Iím not quite sure what that is all about, but it seemed very odd to me, especially since you can buy that beer almost everywhere in Belgium, and all over the world. But on to the review of A LíAnge Gardien. It is located near the beginning of a long road that leads to the abbey itself. Very modern inside and out, with quite a lot of seating. The ability to speak some french will go a long ways here. This is about the only place we had any real language barrier with speaking English. Fortunately, though, we were able to place our order for a beer and a sampling of their cheese. Our order came out very quickly. The beer was alright and the cheese was pretty good, especially the 18 month. Pricing was decent as well. We spent less than 10 Euro on the visit. If you are a fan of Orval, I recommend making this trek and spending a couple hours.
Located just a hundred metres from the abbey, this modern and spacious restaurant is now the only place where you can taste Petit Orval, which I duly did. The staff are busy but they do their job well, and they obviously know all the differences between the Orvals they serve :-) The food is great - I had Plat "Terroir", a selection of local meats and cheese with some bread and pickles. Yummy. Not expensive and definitely worth visiting, even if you have tasted the beer before. The view from the terrace is just superb. I will gladly come back here.