9 Best Bars in Oude Stad and Het Eilandje, Antwerp and the Northeast

Billie's Bier Kafétaria

Oude Stad Fodor's choice

A hefty tome of a menu details the brewery, style, and country of a worldly range of craft ales and Belgian favorites. There are up to 11 beers on draft and around 150 bottled, but if you're at a loss, just ask---the staff are extremely knowledgeable. Grab a board game and settle down for the day, or head upstairs for some excellent Flemish home cooking. It's closed on Tuesday.

Bierhuis Kulminator

Oude Stad
This is often cited as one of the world's great beer bars. When open (it closes on Sunday and seemingly shuts its doors on a whim), Kulminator's grouch of an owner pours some 600 brews, with many hailing from little-known or long-since-defunct breweries. Its interior is best described as "old clutter," and as long as you don't expect a warm welcome, you'll leave happy.

Billie's Bier Kafetaria

Oude Stad
It's not often a new beer bar pushes aside Belgium's old stagers, but in the past couple of years this cozy, friendly corner bar has become a firm favorite in Antwerp. The beer choice is vast---11 on draught and about 150 bottled---and there area few you won't find elsewhere in the city. Grab a board game and settle down for the day, or head upstairs for some excellent Flemish home-cooking. It's closed on Tuesdays.
Kammenstraat 12, Antwerp, 2000, Belgium
03-226–3183

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Cargo Club

Het Eilandje
Formerly known as Red & Blue, the biggest gay disco in Benelux has changed its name in recent years and expanded its offerings. Relentless house is still the music du jour on its industrial-style dance floor, though, as the party continues until 7 am. Its famous men-only Saturdays are now slightly more ad hoc.
Lange Schipperskapelstraat 11--13, Antwerp, 2000, Belgium
03-213–0555

Cocktails at Nine

Oude Stad

This modish cocktail bar—all stone floors and leather sofas—lies in a 200-year-old building in the shadow of the Cathedral of Our Lady. Drinks are made with fanciful infusions, homemade bitters, and great skill—though with prices starting at €15, it isn't cheap. When the seats and terrace are full, drinkers are turned away, so get here early.

De Muze

Oude Stad
De Muze has train-station decor and good jazz sounds daily. Check their website for the latest schedule of performers.

Den Engel

Oude Stad
Facing the main square's fountain, Den Engel draws an eclectic and friendly clientele. It's a great place for people-watching and something of a step back in time; chances are that it hasn't changed much since it opened in 1903.

Dogma Cocktails

Oude Stad
Dogma's speakeasy--meets--gentlemen's club vibe—all-leather Chesterfields, jazz, and candlelight—is just set dressing for the real craft that goes into its drinks. The cocktail menu arrives leather bound and covered in scribbles and notes; the drinks themselves are no less schooled, materialising with teapots spouting dry ice or bursting with fruit in an old jam jar, and crafted from homemade bitters. It's like a drink and a show in one! It's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Pelgrom

Oude Stad

The atmospheric Pelgrom is in the vaulted brick cellars of a 16th-century tavern, and it stocks more than 100 different beers.