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...


Sepideh Sedaghatnia

Besides being a widely respected sommelier and the business manager of Divin, Sepideh has also written several best-sellers on wine. She regularly organises wine & dines with famous vintners, that have attracted professional and casual wine connoisseurs alike. Divin by Sepi - her wine restaurant and gastrobar - is one of the leading lights of Belgium’s culinary scene. The dishes on the menu are a brilliant fusion of Sepideh’s Persian roots with authentic French products.

Classic dishes that have stood the test of time: Au Vieux Port

‘Are you in the mood for some old-style classics such as snails, steak, turbot or pressed duck? At Au Vieux Port, you can enjoy dishes like these in a top-class setting. The style of the restaurant and the table-side preparation will transport you instantly to Paris. I think this restaurant works well for any occasion. I like to come here with my friends as well as with business contacts. No visit to Antwerp would be complete without lunch or dinner at Au Vieux Port!’

Epic steak tartare: Bar(t)-à-vin

‘I can’t help but feel an instant crush for certain smaller restaurants, like Bar(t)-à-vin for example. This restaurant is located in Antwerp’s old slaughterhouse district. You can still get a feeling of the site’s history in the white tiles of the old butcher’s shop and in the meat dishes that are served here. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Bart serves the best steak tartare in all of Antwerp. Fun bonus: he loves organic wine and his wine knowledge is amazing.’

MILAD Ice cream

‘Setareh Pourjavan is Persian like me, and an ambassador of Persia’s rich language and culture and of course its delicious cuisine. A few years ago, Setareh launched The Persian Supper Club, where people could enjoy eating in an Iranian 1970s-style interior. She spent the lockdown experimenting extensively with ice cream and flavours such as saffron, rosewater, cardamom, lavender and tahini. When she opened MILAD , her little ice cream parlour in Antwerp’s Zuid, it was an immediate hit!’


Seppe Nobels

Seppe Nobels is the former chef of Graanmarkt 13 and the proud holder of a Michelin Green Star. In early June 2021, he launched a new project in the port of Antwerp called Instroom Academy. Here he cooks with multicultural chefs who have fled their home country. Seppe adds a green twist to the dishes they learned to cook at home, elevating them to the next gastronomic level. Real fusion cuisine, starting from a unique premise. 

A relaxed take on street food: Camino

‘My best friends cook side by side in the kitchen at Camino. If you like Asian street snacks in an informal setting, then this is just the place for you. I always look forward to their vegetable dishes, lacquered aubergine and an espuma of fermented soybeans for example. Any time they have something with pork belly on the menu, I absolutely have to taste it.’

Multicultural Antwerp: Beni falafel

‘Beni’s falafel sandwiches, made with pita breads that are heated on a hot plate under steel irons until they’re crunchy, instantly make me happy. This place is a perfect cross-section of Jewish society: you hear people speaking Hebrew everywhere around you and there are caricatures of comic strip figures on the wall. Actually, this is my secret spot: I always sit at the same table on the right in front of the fridge, so that I always have everything within reach (he winks).’

Traditional coffee klatsch: Butchers Coffee

Butchers Coffee is so popular that you have to queue for a table. My mouth starts to water at the thought of their sourdough toast with poached eggs, mousseline sauce and North Sea crab, but their cheddar burger stuffed with finely-sliced vegetables is every bit as good. I come here regularly at around 11 a.m. to enjoy a doppio.’


Viki Geunes

Viki Geunes and his wife Viviane Plaquet have been running his restaurant Zilte ever since 1996. He was recently awarded three stars for his perfectionism, his persistence and his innovative cooking techniques. In 2011, Zilte moved to the ninth floor of the MAS museum. In addition to enjoying refined and subtle flavour compositions, you can also take in an unforgettable view of the Scheldt river and the port.

Japanese precision: Dim Dining

Dim Dining is the place to go for the most unique, Japanese-inspired dishes. I love the exclusive setting as well as the warm welcome and the expertise of drinks expert Jonas Kellens. He is the perfect manager of his talented young team. Chef Simon van Dun also always succeeds in finding superb ingredients. Guests are treated to an experience here that they will long remember.’

Liquid tapas experience: BelRoy’s Bijou

‘I have known Ben Belmans, the founding father of BelRoy’s Bijou, since we were kids. I love his stylish cocktails and I rarely say no to a Dry Martini with a twist. You will always be served a balanced drink here. They even have tapas if that’s your thing. Ben also distils his own spirits so you can enjoy his premium spirits and bottled cocktails at home.’

Antwerp bread specialities at Bakkerij Goossens

‘If ever there was a person who exudes authenticity, it’s baker Philippe Goossens. His soft sugar bread tastes divine with salted butter but his roggeverdommeke, a rye bread with raisins, sultanas and nuts is simply unique. I’d even say that you haven’t really been to Antwerp if you haven’t tasted his roggeverdommeke. On weekends, queuing at this little bakery has become a tradition for me. They don’t allow me back in the house if I don’t bring the goods (he laughs).’


Ingrid Neven

In 2010, Ingrid Neven won Lady Chef of the Year and one year later, she was crowned a Mastercook of Belgium. Her wine bar and restaurant Pazzo has been a household name on Belgium’s restaurant scene for many years now. Ingrid blends Asian and Italian influences in this warehouse, which is just a stone’s throw from the port of Antwerp. 

Belgian mussels done right: Maritime

‘You will taste the best mussels at Maritime. I sometimes order their grilled lobster to mix things up a little. My partner and I regularly come here with our children. Tip: enquire about the wine cellar leftovers that are not on the wine list for an even better time.’

Hoppy aperitifs at Beerlovers Bar

Beerlovers Bar is my favourite place for aperitifs. Don’t be intimidated by the 13 beers on tap, which are always changing. There’s bound to be something that you like. Personally I prefer IPAs, gueze beers and artisanal kriek beers although I always discover something new on the menu.’

Sinful sweets: DelRey

‘I never say no to a dessert from DelRey. Choosing patisserie, biscuits, ice cream cakes or refined chocolates is a real experience here. The festive presentation and the elegant packaging always make any purchase at a grand institution like DelRey - established in 1949! - an unforgettable experience.’



With more than 15 years of experience working in restaurants, 2 Michelin stars on the façade of The Jane, a team of 50 employees and a capacity to serve up to 220 guests, chef Nick Bril is a hard act to follow. In 2015, The Jane - which is located in the former chapel of the military hospital - was voted the world’s most beautiful restaurant. But that’s not all: Nick Bril recently created the menu for the bar and restaurant of the adjoining August hotel.

Modern natural wines

‘When my wife and I feel like a glass of wine on the go, we always head to Titulus. This wine bar serves home-made pâté en croûte, as well as amazing pickled vegetables and cured meats. I think of myself as more of a wine drinker than a fan of cocktails, so I’m very proud of Belgium’s upcoming status as a wine country.’

Asian cravings

‘I love the typically Asian flavours. Obviously you can head to Antwerp’s China Town for a quick snack but I also like to take my time enjoying food. For example I really enjoy the Vietnamese cuisine of my good friends Huibrecht and Hoa at Bun.

PAKT as a place to connect in the community

‘The PAKT site is amazing. It is home to all kinds of great places such as the Caffènation  coffee bar and the Spéciale Belge taproom, where you can sample more than 18 beers on tap. But the rooftop of PAKT is still my favourite place. It’s no coincidence that this is where you’ll find The Jane Table, my private restaurant where I organise private events, as well as our rooftop gardens. Locals can also rent their own little rooftop garden space here. When I’m at work here, I always enjoy watching kids as they poke around during tours of the rooftop gardens.


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!