Restaurants in Antwerp
Being a bustling port, Antwerp restaurants reflect a number of international influences, as well as the traditional, stick-to-your-ribs Flemish cuisine, which comprises dishes like potato croquettes and beer-braised-stews called carbonades. Most importantly, Antwerp restaurants specialize in fresh seafood, from grijze garnalen (shrimp) to flash-fried eel and lots of mosselen, or mussels (the moules frites is a specialty). All this food pairs delightfully with the iconic Belgian beers. The most traditional restaurants in Antwerp are found in the Oude Strad neighborhood, while Het Zuid has more contemporary, cutting-edge places. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Antwerp:
Grand Café Horta: This brasserie serves excellent mussels and Belgian beers (as well as dishes using beer), but it's also a destination for architecture geeks, since the structure was built from the recycled iron girders of an 1897 building, then covered in glass.
De Kleine Zavel: For a taste of those hearty Flemish classics, visit this spot near Grote Market to sample the saddle of hare with "melted" root vegetables.
For dessert, wander along Schrijnwerkersstraat and Korte Gasthuisstraatwhere, where you'll find chocolate shops and bakeries like Godiva, Neuhaus and Burie.
A white-tiled Danish joint perfect for scallop cevice and aquavit.
If you find yourself on the Lange Gasthuisstraat (and you should), combine lunch- linguine with black truffles perhaps - with amusing bourgeoise-watching at concept store Flamant home interior's swank brasserie.
In 2006, the owners of Dôme opened this seafood brasserie across the square in the Zurenborg district. With a wide marble bar, open kitchen, and walls of windows, it's the perfect place to polish off a split of Krug and a couple dozen belon oysters.
A quick walk from Grote Markt, this traditional restaurant serves rib-sticking Flemish dishes prepared the old-fashioned way; the saddle of hare with "melted" root vegetables is a standout.
Perfect for pad thai with an industrial-emporium vibe.
You'll have to look closely to find this unassuming restaurant on the square's southeast corner, but don't be dissuaded. Fare is cheap, organic, and delicious - and a stealth fashion hot spot.