When I’m on holiday I’m always looking for locals’ tips for dinner. Tripadvisor is fed too much with tourists reviewing restaurants in tourist quarters. I don’t know why it is, but I only write reviews and rate restaurants when travelling, almost never at home. That’s why, the foodie in me wants to share our favourite dining spots in Antwerp. Most are not located in the historic centre, all are worth a bike or metro ride, trust me!
Address: Boomgaardstraat 6-10, 2600 Berchem / Budget: €€ / Cuisine : Belgian
This food serving pub is one of our favourites on a Friday night after a busy work week. (Do make reservations.We never do and get disappointed quite often.) The pub is situated in the De Coninck Brewery site. The interior is classic Belgian pub style. Though after the renovation, the glass veranda took it straight to the 21st century. This is the ideal place to tick off some must try Belgian classics: Stoofvlees (a beef stew with beer), Vol-au-vent (chicken, meatballs and mushrooms in a white béchamelsaus or sausage and mashed potatoes. The meat here is truly top class, not chic but that would totally kill these dishes. Have your dinner with a Belgian draft beer, brewed across the street.
Address: Dageraadplaats 10, 2600 Berchem / Budget: €€ / Cuisine: Thai
After travelling to Asia, take away asian food kind of loses its magic and a constant search to real Asian flavours takes over. Overzee is exactly that, Thai food as you order it in Thailand (including a Singha, or two). Combined with a relaxed and no nonsense atmosphere, this restaurants makes a perfect night out. By the way “de Dageraadplaats” makes a perfect night out, go and enjoy! Back to the food! I keep ordering the Thai beef salad and the garlic and black pepper squid.
Address: Graanmarkt 13 🙂 / Budget: €€€ / Cuisine: Belgian, European
This restaurant was selected best Vegetable restaurant of Flanders in 2015, so is a perfect choice if you want to eat a vegetarian dinner. They do serve meat and fish if you like. But Seppe Nobels his true passion is in vegetables. The scenery is pretty as a picture, no wonder since the interior is sculpted by architect Vincent Van Duysen. Expect honest, healthy and seasonal dishes served in a three course menu (€45, drinks excl.). The city garden is a lovely place to have an outside dinner during summer.
Lam & Yin
Address: Reyndersstraat 17 / Budget: €€€ / Cuisine : Chinese
Another Asian star in Antwerp, this one slightly more high-end than the previous one (yep they have a Michelin star). Don’t stop reading, this one is actually quite affordable. No million course menu, just pick 2 or three dishes, they will come in normal sizes and add normal rates. But do expect exceptional flavour. I had my best piece of fish ever, the most delicate piece of steamed sea bass as a main. The atmosphere is relaxed, the waiters are the friendliest ever, and the Chinese cook is a delight to see at work in his kitchen. He makes it look like cooking for a full restaurant is the most relaxing thing in the world.
Address: Boomgaardstraat 1 / Budget: €€ / Cuisine: BBQ
A hidden BBQ gem at the De Coninck Brewery site. The restaurant is found on the third floor of the old brewery building. Chefs behind the wood fire and smokers are Kasper Stuart and Jord Althuizen. After a road trip visiting 40 BBQ-joints in the US, these guys decided to bring some real American barbecue flavors back to Antwerp and started combining them with Belgian quality meat.
Start off with some overloaded nachos, before selecting your favorite cut of meat. Or go totally wild with the BBQ bonanza. Totally over the top, I must admit, but fingerlicking delicious as well. You will get 1/2 smoked chicken, a dry rub rib, a beer sausage, some pulled pork an a 9to1 brisket. They throw in some rosemary roasted potatoes, a delish dressing sauce and jalapeno-cole-slaw. Overload, overload, overload, but oh so good.
Combine with a local beer (I recommend a “Lost in Spice”), indulge, enjoy and start your diet the day after.