Culinary hotspot

Antwerp's culinary identity is certainly diverse. As the city with Europe’s second largest port, it has undeniably been a melting pot of cultures, ideas, heritage, food, drinks and spices from all over the world ever since the 16th century. This is what makes Antwerp’s gastronomic DNA so unique. Each district of Antwerp has a character all of its own. All of them are equally vibrant, but each has a distinctly different vibe. Come along and discover them and find your culinary match!


Start your day by enjoying breakfast at Charlie's on Volkstraat – a street with a wonderful mix of styles and tastes.

To experience an indulgent oriental dining experience, you can choose between 5 Flavors Mmei, an authentic Chinese restaurant serving traditional Cantonese dishes, or Bún Bar and Restaurant, which was elected best Asian restaurant of 2019 by Gault&Millau.

Walk further south along Volkstraat until you reach Leopold De Waelplaats. The imposing Royal Museum of Fine Arts occupies a quarter of the square, so this square is certainly the epitome of grandeur. On a practical level, however, many of the businesses here are relaxed and laid back. Treat yourself to some comfort food at Ellis Gourmet Burger or take a break in one of the cosy cafés like Hopper, where you can even catch a jazz performance. While it might not seem fancy, you can get one of the best kebabs in the world in Antwerp. Finjan is an iconic location that is well-known far beyond the city's boundaries.

Or would you prefer something a bit more luxurious? Around the corner is Kommilfoo*, which has been the proud holder of a Michelin star for more than 10 years now. Its chef, Olivier de Vinck, will certainly take you off into the clouds when sampling his culinary creations.

Album, barely two streets away, is also the right place to go for a creative dining experience. Its light, inventive dishes follow the seasons and the sourdough bread is simply delicious.

On a sunny afternoon, Marnixplaats is the place to be! No fewer than eight streets converge here to form a cosy square that is becoming increasingly popular among hip residents in the neighbourhood. ​ You can be certain to find a space on one of the spacious terraces on the square where you can sit and enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy a nice aperitif at Vitrin, a beer at Café Baron or delicate fish dish at Fiskebar. And to savour the best smashed burgers (hamburgers in which the mince is flattened), you should go to Plump, just around the corner. ​ The menu also includes various sharing dishes that will certainly have you licking your fingers and thumbs afterwards. Choose a tasty craft beer or organic wine with your food and your evening will be one to remember!

Those who enjoy walking could also venture further out from the Leien, the city's wide boulevards where Antwerp's city walls once stood. In and/or, chef Karen Shu and her partner and sommelier Tatiana Gumuchdjian serve an inspired, plant-based menu combined with wines of the very best quality. The relaxed and informal New York-style atmosphere is something that Karen Shu happened to bring with her as an added extra!

Fancy another quick drink after dinner? If so, you’ve come to the right place. With five impressive venues less than a kilometre apart, Het Zuid has a “golden mile” when it comes to cocktail bars. BarBurbureBar ZarBelRoy’s Bijou and SIPS will cause every cocktail fan to jump for joy. Try out all five of them at your own peril.

And for anyone who'd prefer to stick around a bit longer, there is Hotel Pilar, a trendy boutique hotel that boasts a breakfast and lunch bar and a spectacular terrace. A stone's through further along, the Iranian-born Sepideh Sedaghatnia runs Divin. There, she treats her guests to carefully selected wines and complementary dishes.

You can also take a look at the following top locations:

The new residential area of Nieuw Zuid is very much cutting-edge in every sense. Walking through the area itself, you will find yourself surrounded by jewels of contemporary architecture, amongst which world-class galleries have found their perfect home. This year will see the construction of a park with amphitheatres, two pavilions for hospitality, restaurant and catering uses and exhibitions and even an area of woodland alongside the river Scheldt. This district is Antwerp, futureproof.

Though the district is still very much under development, two high-class restaurants, both of which are run by a young chefs who has achieved a Michelin star, have already been completed. In his eponymous restaurant, Misera*, Nicolas Misera primarily serves fish dishes and culinary creations with crustaceans to his customers. At NEBO*, the chef Dimitri De Koninck, who belongs to the same generation, serves French classics with a modern twist.



The old site of the military hospital was reinvented to become a green, car-free neighbourhood called Het Groen Kwartier (The Green Quarter). PAKT is home to an abundance of creative and innovative culinary spots to visit in these grandiose buildings. On the roofs of the buildings, residents and restaurants cultivate vegetables and keep bees. They even have their own 'Coeur de pakt' tomato and also keep fish and chickens on site!

Right at the heart of PAKT, you can pay a visit to the RACINE PAKT breakfast bar, and its sunny roof terrace. All the items on the menu are fresh and home-made and are mostly sourced from the local area. Enjoy an espresso at Caffènation, a famous Antwerp coffee bar that roasts the coffee beans on site.

Relax for a while on the green grass or even play some pétanque, before heading on over to De Koninck City Brewery to peek behind the scenes of the brewing process and try some of its delicious beer of course! In the visitors' centre you’ll learn more about the brewery’s history, the process of making beer, and why Belgians use a different glass for each beer.

Pretty full by now? Wait a minute, PAKT and Het Groen Kwartier have yet more surprises in store. What about The Jane**: a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars in the striking setting of a former chapel? A cosy atmosphere and local, organic cuisine at Camionette? Or a tasty sourdough pizza with veggies as fresh as they come from the rooftop garden at Standard? Or maybe you'd prefer just a beer (or two)? If so, take a stroll down to Spéciale Belge: a beer venue with an industrial allure where you can choose from an enormous range of less well-known beers or sample one of the beers from their own microbrewery.

If you would like to stay for a comfy night’s rest, the former Augustinian convent is now a designer hotel: August. It comes with a spa, a cocktail bar and a restaurant, where the menu is curated by Nick Bril, the chef at The Jane.

You can also take a look at the following top locations:

Cross underneath the neo-baroque railway bridge into the Zurenborg neighbourhood. The epitome of grandeur from the 'belle-époque', the highlight of this district is the Cogels-Osylei. After a walk along this elegant 19th-century street with its art nouveau and eclectic villas, enjoy a drink on the atmospheric Dageraadplaats. For a fantastic meal, the new SOIXANTE is the place to be!

DOMESTIC,  in turn, is a patisserie renowned for its extremely delicious creations. The Dôme *, a starred restaurant, specialises in French cuisine. Of course the district is also home to venues specialising in international cuisine as well.



While the full range of cuisines from around the world is available in the historic city centre, you really should also try out some of the classics. Lose yourself in the narrow streets with their centuries-old houses or marvel at the imposing Grote Markt in the shadow of the Cathedral of Our Lady. Find your favourite quaint pub or restaurant here and stroll along the banks of the Scheldt after dinner.

Caffeine addicts can jumpstart their day at Caffe Mundi. At Caffe Mundi, they select, roast and grind their coffee beans themselves. Be sure to taste their unique coffee of the month!

Fancy a snack? For an afternoon snack, get the best fresh shrimp croquettes in the city from Fish à gogo, directly opposite the Cathedral. Pair them with some fries from the legendary chip shop Frituur n° 1 on Hoogstraat. Then wash this all down with a cold Bolleke beer in Den Engel, where you can admire both the Cathedral and City Hall, with their unique mix of gothic and renaissance architecture.

Around the corner, on Muntstraat, lies a sunlit, pocket-sized park that’s very popular during the summer months. Sit in the sun and enjoy a lunch with an Asian touch on the extensive terrace at Camino. Or opt instead for a sustainable, organic lunch (sharing concept) at Native. Kloosterstraat, which is located nearby and is home to a large number of antique shops and designer shops, is certainly worth a visit.

Between the Muntstraat and the historic centre lies a cute, somewhat hidden square called Vrijdagmarkt. Stop by at MARIGOLD for delicious aperitif, or at Dim Dining* for elegant and innovative Japanese cuisine that has been awarded a Michelin star. Our recommendation: order the five-course menu with a wonderful glass of wine or sake to go with your meal.

Another location famous for fine dining is ‘t Fornuis, where the living legend Johan Segers has been serving the finest dishes since 1977 and has held a Michelin star since 1986. Just a stone's throw away is the refined wine restaurant InVINcible, where the chef and sommelier Kenny Burssens serves a three-course menu. That certainly represents value for money. Be sure to try their vol-au-vent or salt-crusted sea bass.

Not to be missed: mussels with fries, Belgium’s national pride. Restaurant Maritime has been serving this magnificent classic for over half a century. Lovers of classical cuisine will also find something to their liking at In De Balans. You can certainly expect a range of refined dishes and a truly spectacular interior.

In the shadow of Saint Paul's Church, lady chef Victor Avonds stirs the pots at her own restaurant VICTOR. After an international career in London, she has returned to her roots. Food without rules, but invariably of high quality. Here, you can enjoy several interesting ciders with your meal.

Be sure to visit Antwerp’s ‘newest’ landmark, the Handelsbeurs. This magnificent neo-Gothic building was constructed in 1531 and was the first stock exchange in the world. After an eagerly anticipated renovation, it reopened its doors in 2019. Next-door lies the Schippersbeurs, where international boatsmen arrived with trading goods for the Handelsbeurs. Here, Restaurant Fiera fittingly serves dishes with influences from all over the world.

You can also stay the night in the luxurious Sapphire House Antwerp, Autograph Collection, a hotel that forms part of the Marriott chain.

The “pièce de résistance” of the historic centre is definitely the Cathedral of Our Lady. At 123 metres high, it is the largest Gothic structure in the Benelux and took 169 years to build. Inside, you can not only admire the breathtaking architecture, but also an impressive collection of famous art works, including a series of paintings by Rubens. Call in for a night cap at Witzli Putzli: a permanent feature in Antwerp that can be found opposite the nave of the cathedral, where you can enjoy the city's wonderful night-time atmosphere.

You can also take a look at the following top locations:

​Just south of Antwerp’s busiest shopping street, the Meir, lies the Theatre District or ‘Quartier Latin’. The city’s 4 main theatres are located here, including the 19th-century Bourla; the last remaining theatre in Europe with the original stage machinery still intact. Among creatives, students and gourmets alike, this district is known for its fashion, interior design shops, beautiful architecture and – of course – its hospitality locations.

Ready to take a break from shopping? If so, pull up a chair at Sergio Herman's Le Pristine*, which achieved its first Michelin star after just six months. This restaurant features a cosy café that is perfect for unwinding from the city’s hustle and bustle. In addition to Le Pristine, a second Sergio Herman restaurant opened in June 2022 – Blueness. In this dining bar, you can sample modern French cuisine with Japanese accents. Both the maître and the chef earned their stripes at Oud Sluis** and The Jane**.

MATOBAR, the brainchild of Maaike Notte and the fashion duo Bart and Tom of ​ LES HOMMES, opened its doors recently and proved an immediate success. Fans of honest Italian cuisine made with quality ingredients can feel a sense of escape and, just for a while, imagine that they're actually visiting the fashion city of Milan.

A few hundred metres away, next to ‘Den Botaniek’, the five-star hotel BOTANIC Sanctuary Antwerp opened its doors in spring 2022. There, you can visit the two gastronomic restaurants of Gert De Mangeleer and Joachim Boudens: Bar Bulot and Hertog Jan at Botanic Antwerp**, which was immediately awarded 2 Michelin stars. Or you can enjoy an exquisite cocktail or digestif at Henry’s Bar. Henri-Ferdinand Van Heurck was director of the city's Botanical Garden in the 19th century and it is clear that his love of plants, the cultural heritage and the joy of botany serve as inspiration. Fine dining with a casual touch is also available on site at Fine Fleur*, the restaurant belonging to Jacob Jan Boerma and Thomas Diepersloot.

On Saturdays, stroll down to the market on Theaterplein in front of the Stadsschouwburg. It’s packed with stalls and ingredients from all over the world. Try some spicy Moroccan bites or oysters with a glass of cava. The stall in the shape of a lighthouse is literally not to be missed. There, you can eat what must be the most delicious cheese and shrimp croquettes in the city. Drink a Gueuze beer at Oud Arsenaal or mingle with local residents and celebrities at the traditional pub known as De Duifkens.




Surrounded by water, what was once the old port of Antwerp is now a real hotspot, with trendy venues situated along the former loading docks, monumental warehouses and hangars. Stroll along the cool water with the sun on your face and admire the architecture of the MAS museum.

Coming from the direction of the city centre, you can walk through the Felix Pakhuis. This is a monumental storage space built in 1861 that now houses the city's archive. Downstairs, there’s a restaurant, summer bar and events hall . Walk through the characteristic central hall and take an Instagram-worthy snap!

On a summer's day, the cool breeze from across the water may not be quite refreshing enough. So why not stop by the Cremerie Germaine  ice cream parlour for some of its marvellous gelato and take a look inside their ‘ice cream laboratory’. Still a bit too hot? If so, try to cool down with a freshly tapped Bolleke at unpretentious café ‘t Licht der Dokken.

A tasty lunch, cocktail or dinner with a view over the river Scheldt is a must whenever you visit Antwerp. At Vis van A, owned by Bart De Pooter, you can do yourself a favour by ordering some delicious fresh sea food while enjoying the view of the river. ​ ​ At the other end of the dock, you will find Au Vieux Port: a restaurant with a Parisian feel, that is well-known for its pressed duck, which is prepared at the table, and for its cheese croquettes.

On Oudeleeuwenrui, behind Felix Pakhuis, the chef Ingrid Neven serves an effortless mix of Japanese, French and Italian flavours in her restaurant Pazzo.

While the sun slowly starts to set, get ready for dinner with a spectacular view at Zilte ***. This restaurant received a third Michelin star in 2021 and is operated by the chef Viki Geunes. Delight in his creative, contemporary and meticulously detailed dishes on the rooftop of the MAS museum.

Walk past the MAS, along the docks, to discover the new Port House (designed by Zaha Hadid), glistening like a diamond in the distance. You are now entering the Cadix neighbourhood and getting closer to the port. So what could be more perfect right now than some fresh fish? At Fiskeskur, located in a small former customs office, you can enjoy fish and finger food all day long. Although the inside might be small, their spacious terrace is perfect for relaxing in the sun. On the other side of the Londonbrug (London bridge), you'll find Antwerp's newest star restaurant, Pont-Neuf*. Chef Tommy Bocklandt received his first Michelin star in 2024.

Another remarkable terrace is to be found at Bar Paniek. The repurposed hangars are now home to several artistic initiatives and its wealth of plants give it a special feel. Sit down on the cobbled quay, looking out across the water, and feel as if you’re in your own garden. Tip: try a Seefbier, a typical Antwerp beer that has allegedly been brewed since the 16th century. It reached peak popularity in the 19th century, but disappeared around 1930. The recipe was lost for years, but the Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie relaunched the beer in 2012 and it has been a tremendous success ever since.

Let French chef Lionel Bethaz surprise you in his cosy restaurant Evidence. Local, fresh products and an astounding dining experience are the focus here.



Ready for a trip around the world? Here, people of over 170 nationalities (of the approximately 200 nationalities that exist in the world) live side by side. That is what makes Antwerp the ultimate example of a multicultural city. This is most noticeable in the northern district and in the neighbourhoods around the station. That is where you will find the most diverse range of cuisines; there is quite literally something for everyone here.

Let’s start at the Central Station, repeatedly mentioned among the most beautiful railway stations in the world. This ‘railway cathedral’ as Antwerp locals call it, is really something to marvel at. Right next to it, tucked away in a corner of the vast Astridplein, you will find the entrance to one of the oldest and most beautiful zoos in the world. It was founded in 1843 and many of the splendid old buildings have been well preserved.

Right across from the Central Station, Antwerp has its very own Chinatown. Aside from the colourful Chinese shops and authentic restaurants, this neighbourhood also houses a lot of Thai, Philippine and even Nepalese establishments. Be sure to try out The Best for Cantonese food, Bai Wei for hand-pulled noodles and Pho Viet for Vietnamese cuisine with a modern twist.

Stop at Chocolade Del Rey – one of the best artisan chocolatiers for over 35 years – and make your choice from 12 different types of hot chocolate to go. Those of you with a bit of a sweet tooth should definitely pay a visit to Chocolate Nation, the largest chocolate museum in the world, and follow their interactive tour.

The recently renovated covered market Criée has been a household name for fresh produce for decades. Two artisan butchers and a poultry and game specialist fill the 66 metres long counter. Go along and sample the atmosphere, or buy some fresh meat or delicatessen to take away.

Thirsty? Try a craft beer at Beerlovers Bar. They serve 12 beers on draught and over 150 types of bottled speciality beers.

Antwerp’s famous Diamond District is just around the corner. Right behind it lies the Jewish quarter, one of the largest in the world, with numerous kosher restaurants. Hoffy’s is the most famous kosher restaurants in the country. This delicatessen with restaurant is operated by the Hoffman brothers and you can go there to sample traditional Jewish dishes.

Just across Sint-Jansplein, you will find Bistrot du Nord*, an authentic bistro that serves top of the line produce and holds a Michelin star.

Continue walking further north and discover Park Spoor Noord. From its past as an abandoned railway shunting yard, the park occupies an area of 10 hectares complete with water features, play areas, a skate park and a summer bar complete with large sunny terrace. This is definitely a big hit among people living in the district!

Walk along towards the Dam neighbourhood, you can discover Antwerp’s very own meat district, the ‘Slachthuissite’. Here, you will find restaurants with a broad assortment of meats. Try the steak tartare at Bart-à-vin, an Art Deco bistro in a former pig butchery that serves fresh French cuisine. For large portions in a rustic atmosphere, visit Piétrain. At Veranda, chef Davy Schellemans serves a seasonal five-course menu with natural wines in a modern, industrial setting. Recently, he opened a restaurant located a few hundred metres further along in a premises previously occupied by a traditional district pub: the Café Commercial. The authentic atmosphere and the interior are still the same, but the menu is contemporary, seasonal and above all, unpretentious. What could be better than tasting dishes prepared by a top chef in an informal atmosphere?


Culinary tips from Antwerp chefs
Antwerp hosted the World’s 50 Best Awards in 2021. We asked 5 Antwerp chefs, who reflect the city’s culinary diversity, to share their tips...



Press kits
About Visit Antwerpen

Antwerp, city on the stream, world port, international diamond centre, home to Rubens and renowned Mecca for fashion… all these aspects make Antwerp the city it is meant to be: a dazzling, hospitable easy to get around metropolis, cosy and heart-warming, plenty of stimulating greenery and calm nooks. A great shopping paradise with shops of designers from Antwerp and superior expertise. A cultural city blessed with delightful architecture, impassioned works of art and impressive monuments. In the cafés they serve the best beers and in the many restaurants food enthusiasts can enjoy the most delicious traditional and multi-cultural dishes. Antwerp is something else and a lot more fun, come and find out for yourself!