2016 August. Came there for the Petit Orval. Quite a long journey down there from Cologne, and back. So only had a handful of hours. Sat outside, enjoying the beautiful nature surrounding the place and Orval abbey itself. Food was simple and good, maybe lil bit to expensive for working class like me, but it's not that like i am complaining. Beer was just magical. A L’Ange Gardien is example of the case, where nor the food, nor the beer is the most important, but the whole package and experience. And it was the most pleasant one I had visiting trappist abbeys of Belgium.
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 you’re 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. Doesn’t 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 it’s always nice to drink a beer you can’t find anywhere else, it’s a nice place to hang out, prices are ok, so you should stop and have a drink when you’re there, but don’t 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 Orval’s 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!
Orval’s restaurant, professionally run and probably the only place in Belgium where you can be sure to taste the green (’petit’) 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.