Zinneken's

About Us

Our Legacy

Hi! We are the Zinneken’s and we bake the best waffles outside Belgium!

Our signature waffle, the Belgian Sugar waffle (aka Liège waffle) is not the waffle sold in most restaurants in America today. Ours is made from a dense dough encrusted with imported pearl sugar from Belgium. When baked in the waffle irons, the dough cooks and the pearls caramelize. This results in a rich, sweet, indulgent waffle.

We use the finest ingredient imported from Europe to make the most authentic Belgian waffle outside Belgium.  Our dough is handcrafted in order to ensure the exclusivity of its texture.

To ensure freshness, the waffles are baked right in front of you and then topped with your choice of our delectable topping offerings. From fresh berries to imported Belgian chocolate and Speculoos, everything is high quality and delicious!

The Name
Like our waffles, the name of our shop is authentically Belgian. The name originates from that of the Zenne River, a river running through the center of Brussels. People of the city began calling the mongrel dogs inhabiting the land near the river “zinneke”. Eventually, the name evolved from a term referring to a mixed breed dog to a symbol of the mixed Dutch and French roots of the people of Brussels. Our name, Zinneken’s also pays tribute to the multiculturalism of this Belgian city.
A Bit of History

The waffle’s namesake a result of the town in which it was invented, the first Liege waffle was created in the 1700s by the chef of the prince-bishop of Liege, Belgium as an adaptation of brioche. As the waffle popularized throughout Belgium, so did the practice of street vendors selling them as a take-away product. In Belgium today, these waffles are still most commonly sold plain and warm on the street.

About the Owners

The story starts with Nhon Ma, a Belgium native who grew up immersed in the food and the restaurant business. Both of his parents owned a world-renowned restaurant in Belgium, while his mother was the only female Asian chef to attain the coveted Michelin Star Award. Nhon grew up taste testing the food and working alongside his parents. He became friends with Bertrand Lempkowicz while at school in Brussels. They bonded while feasting on Belgian waffles after classes.

At this time, Belgian waffles were baked by vendors, eaten outside on the beautiful streets (as they still are today), and sold at 20 Belgian francs (50 US cents). This sum was a fortune for these two boys at that time, but they found the waffles to be worth every single penny.

Later, while traveling in the US, they discovered that there were no authentic Belgian waffles sold there. All “Belgian waffles” were different from what they’d known from their childhood. Some were fuzzy imitations, others not even close to the original.  These two boys missed their waffles!

Those two boys are now men. . Both had spent many years working successfully in the business world, but due to their ongoing passion and affinity for waffles, they quickly traded their old jobs for a new endeavor! They decided to take the waffle problem in the United States into their own hands. Their solution was to pack up their cast irons for the U.S and start baking authentic Liege-style waffles the way they are supposed to be!

Nhon works like he did in his boyhood as the foodie searching for the perfect recipe, while Bertrand handles the creative side of things. They are proud and elated to be doing what they’re doing!

They don’t want to say that that is how the story ends, because they are still living out their dream and passion and hope to continue to bring this delicious treat to you for years to come!

Nhon & Bertrand (pictured left to right)