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. '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. '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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Hecker

    $$$ | Oude Stad | Contemporary

    Choose one or two bottles of wine out of a selection of 120 and leave it to Danish chef Kasper Kurdahl to serve up a scrumptious concoction...Read More

  • 14. Het Hemelse Gerecht

    $$$ | Oude Stad | Eclectic

    In this cozy nook behind the cathedral, the daily menu is written on a three-panel chalkboard that seems to be bigger than the restaurant itself...Read More

  • 15. In de Schaduw van de Kathedraal

    $$$ | Oude Stad | Belgian

    Cozier and more traditional than the wave of contemporary restaurants dominating the scene, this little place makes good on its name: it has...Read More

  • 16. P. Preud 'Homme

    $$$ | Oude Stad | French

    In a location that has served as a pastry shop and a gun shop, this exquisite restaurant mixes Art Nouveau design, antiques, and a 400-year...Read More

  • 17. Spaghettiworld

    $ | Oude Stad | Italian

    Keith Haring drawings set the mood at this hip joint, where the pasta is good, but the people-watching is even better. The young and the style...Read More

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