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 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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. O'Kontreir

    $$$$ | Middelheim | Contemporary

    This stark, minimalist-style restaurant offers sweet and spicy fare like great garlic spareribs and shrimp scampi. The menu is seasonal, but...Read More

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