Sunday, April 21, 2024

Harvard Square will have a gourmet Belgian waffle house within three months, a Brussels-based businessman says. (Photo: Andee Duncan)

A Belgian waffle house called Zinneken’s plans a mid-January opening at 95 Winthrop St., next to the Upstairs on the Square restaurant, co-founder Nhon Ma said Sunday.

Plans are to be open from 7 a.m. for breakfast to 11 p.m. for dessert seven days a week, with a terrace for outdoor dining in the spring and summer.

The product looks luscious — an authentic, premium and unique alternative to the options at the nearby International House of Pancakes that starts with “Brussels waffles” and “Liège waffles,” which Ma said have been beloved in Belgium for two centuries but are unknown in the United States. Ma’s description of the latter sort:

The waffle (from the city of Liège, in eastern Belgium) is usually bought and eaten warm on the street as a takeaway product. The dough density and texture — melted with pearl sugar drops — are very distinct from the well-known American waffles.

The waffles can be cooked within a minute, as the customer watches, making it a good takeaway product for Harvard Square as well, Ma said. Prices are expected to be around $5 or $6, with toppings adding to the cost at 75 cents each. Customers may take more time deciding on those toppings than the waffles take to cook; you can look at them here courtesy of the food blogger Longbo Li.

There will also be drinks and desserts other than waffles, including “housemade cake, Belgian chocolate-dipped strawberries and French viennoiserie.”

Ma and partner Bertrand Lempkowicz, a fellow Belgian, seem to know Cambridge well.

“The company will contribute to social causes through donations, volunteering or zero-profit catering for local social causes,” Ma said Sunday.