Antwerp Restaurants

Antwerp cuisine understandably focuses on fish, presented with few frills in even the finest restaurants, often poached or steamed, and reasonably priced. From the chilled whelks and periwinkles (marine snails) picked out of their shells with pins, to piles of tender little grijze garnalen (small shrimp), to the steamy white fle
Antwerp cuisine understandably focuses on fish, presented with few frills in even the finest restaurants, often poached or steamed, and reasonably priced. From the chilled whelks and periwinkles (marine snails) picked out of their shells with pins, to piles of tender li
Antwerp cuisine understandably focuses on fish, presented with few frills in even the finest restaurants, often poached

Antwerp cuisine understandably focuses on fish, presented with few frills in even the finest restaurants, often poached or steamed, and reasonably priced. From the chilled whelks and periwinkles (marine snails) picked out of their shells with pins, to piles of tender little grijze garnalen (small shrimp), to the steamy white flesh of the mammoth tarbot (turbot), the scent of salt air is never far from your table. The ubiquitous mosselen (mussels) and paling (eels), showcased in midpriced restaurants throughout the city center, provide a heavier, heartier version of local fish cuisine. Bought live from wholesalers, the seafood is irreproachably fresh.

Antwerp has a high number of restaurants for a city its size. Many of the traditional places, both formal and casual, are clustered in Oude Stad. There are plenty of tourist-focused restaurants on the Grote Markt, but if you look along the smaller streets around the square you'll find some excellent local favorites. Het Zuid, meanwhile, is known for trendier cafés and restaurants. Peak dining hours are generally from noon until 3 and from 8 pm to 11 or midnight. Since the dining scene is quite busy, it's best to make reservations.

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  • 1. 't Fornuis

    $$$$ | Oude Stad | French

    Burrowed deep in the heart of old Antwerp, there is something likably stubborn about the defiantly traditional t' Fornuis. Stock Flemish surroundings...Read More

  • 2. Fiskebar

    $$ | Het Zuid | Seafood

    This hip Scandinavian-style fish joint won't win awards for its sparse decor, but no matter—you're here for the fresh, though somewhat pricey...Read More

  • The Glorious

    3. The Glorious

    $$$$ | Het Zuid | French

    You probably think beer when you think Belgium, but this tiny French-influenced restaurant is all about the wine; each month focuses on a different...Read More

    The Glorious
  • 4. 't Hofke

    $$ | Oude Stad | Belgian

    It's worth visiting here for the location alone, in the Vlaeykensgang (the oldest alley in the city), where time seems to have stood still....Read More

  • 5. De Godevaart

    $$$$ | Oude Stad | Belgian

    Tradition gets a modern infusion here, where a resolutely old-fashioned atmosphere is enlivened by a smattering of contemporary art, and head...Read More

  • 6. De Kleine Zavel

    $$$$ | Oude Stad | Mediterranean

    What was once a hotel for people in the shipping industry is now one of the more polished restaurants along the banks of the Scheldt (albeit...Read More

  • 7. Grand Cafe Horta

    $$$ | Oude Stad | Contemporary

    The iron framework of the 19th-century Maison du Peuple, a building designed by famed art nouveau architect Victor Horta, supports this brasserie...Read More

  • 8. Het Nieuwe Palinghuis

    $$$$ | Oude Stad | Seafood

    Aptly named, The New Eelhouse specializes in various preparations of sweet-fleshed eel, along with grilled turbot, sole, scallops, and myriad...Read More

  • 9. Het Pomphuis

    $$$ | Het Eilandje | Contemporary

    The name translates to the Pump House, and in its heyday it drained the neighboring dry dock to allow for ship maintenance. It still looks the...Read More

  • 10. Hungry Henrietta

    $$ | Oude Stad | Belgian

    Near the busy shopping stretch of the Meir on a quiet, calm square, this stylish Antwerp institution is a good place to retreat if you're feeling...Read More

  • 11. InVINcible

    $$ | French

    Located in a house on a narrow street, this small French-style bistro has one of the better wine lists in the city, paired expertly with some...Read More

  • 12. K. Zeppos

    $ | Oude Stad | Belgian

    This busy café-bar is found deep in the hipster spawning grounds of Mechelseplein, and while the menu is limited to a half dozen Flemish and...Read More

  • 13. RAS

    $$$ | Oude Stad | Belgian

    Having reopened in 2017 with a new name (formerly Zuidterras), a fresh menu, and a slightly cozier interior, the one thing that thankfully hasn...Read More

  • 14. Sir Anthony Van Dijck

    $$$ | Oude Stad | French

    This fine-dining restaurant has long been a fixture on Antwerp's dining scene, dishing up exquisite cooking in the interior courtyard of its...Read More

  • 15. Super Mercado

    $ | Meir | Fast Food

    In late 2016, Antwerp got its first covered food market—a street food alternative in a city with a thriving, though often pricey, culinary scene...Read More

  • 16. The Jane

    $$$$ | Berchem | European

    Having gained its second Michelin star in 2017, The Jane is the city's shooting star on the Belgian gastronomy scene. Located in the chapel...Read More

  • 17. Dôme

    $$$$ | Zurenborg | French

    Architecture and food aficionados will appreciate the classic French cuisine and somber decor in this splendid art nouveau building. This former...Read More

  • 18. Neuze Neuze

    $$$ | Oude Stad | Belgian

    Five tiny houses have been cobbled together to create this handsome, split-level space with plenty of nooks and crannies on different levels...Read More

  • 19. Flamant Dining

    $$$ | Kruidtuin | Contemporary

    In keeping with the celebrated style of the home design shop of the same name, the freshness and tastefulness of the interior here transfers...Read More

  • 20. Gin Fish

    $$ | Oude Stad | Contemporary

    In a house on a narrow street, this tiny two-level restaurant serves some of the best, most sophisticated fish dishes in the city. Chef Didier...Read More

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