Ghent and the Leie

Langemunt and Veldstraat are the major shopping streets. Smart fashion boutiques cluster along Voldersstraat, while Brabantdam and Vlaanderenstraat serve up a couture blizzard of designer stores. Plenty of vintage, antiques, and secondhand shopping is to be found in Oudberg and the area around Sint-Jacobskirk, on Serpentstraat, Baudelostraat, and Ottgracht. But for something a little different, there are an increasing number of artisan food shops worth exploring in Ghent, from the Gruut Brewery (see Nightlife) to some local gems that have been perfecting their recipes for hundreds of years.

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  • 1. Fallen Angels & Gallery

    Named after a clutch of abandoned angel statuettes found by Isabelle Steel when she opened the shop in 1980, this remains a treasure trove of...

    Named after a clutch of abandoned angel statuettes found by Isabelle Steel when she opened the shop in 1980, this remains a treasure trove of vintage and eccentric ephemera, including dolls, tin boxes, and religious items. Her daughter, Ganesha, runs the Fallen Angels Gallery next door, which is filled with posters of old Belgian advertisements and movie posters. 

    Jan Breydelstraat 29--31, Ghent, Flanders, 9000, Belgium
    09-223--9415
  • 2. Flower Market

    A daily flower market is held on the Kouter, although it's best to visit on Sunday morning (7 am--1 pm), when the full market kicks...

    A daily flower market is held on the Kouter, although it's best to visit on Sunday morning (7 am--1 pm), when the full market kicks in and there's often a brass band playing (April–September).

    Kouter, Ghent, Flanders, 9000, Belgium
  • 3. Flower Market

    The most colorful of all the city's markets is found on a Sunday morning as florists descend on Gedempte Dender (Kasteelstraat)....

    The most colorful of all the city's markets is found on a Sunday morning as florists descend on Gedempte Dender (Kasteelstraat).

    Kasteelstraat, Dendermonde, Flanders, 9200, Belgium
  • 4. Gallerie Oscar de Vos

    An art dealer with a particular interest in the works of the Latem Schools of the early 20th century and their Flemish predecessors. While this...

    An art dealer with a particular interest in the works of the Latem Schools of the early 20th century and their Flemish predecessors. While this gallery (which only opens on weekends) is primarily a seller to private collectors, it also runs regular exhibitions, featuring artists such as Emile Claus, Constant Permeke, Gustave De Smet, and Albert Servaes. 

    Latemstraat 20, Sint-Martins-Latem, Flanders, 9830, Belgium
    09-281–1170
  • 5. Lousbergmarkt

    A covered market that has expanded to include a collective of bakers, organic grocers, and a rather fine canteen called De Bergen, which uses the...

    A covered market that has expanded to include a collective of bakers, organic grocers, and a rather fine canteen called De Bergen, which uses the produce of its neighbors. But the star remains the cheese makers Het Hinkelspel, which was started 30 years ago by a group of students who were experimenting in making organic cheeses with raw cow's and goat's milk. They are one of only a handful of cheese makers in Belgium to make blue cheese, and the Pas de Bleu comes highly recommended.

    F. Lousbergstaai 33, Ghent, Flanders, 9000, Belgium
    09-224–2096
  • 6. Temmerman

    Part of a family business since 1904, Temmerman eschews Belgium's chocolate obsession for locally made artisanal candy and gingerbread. The family is also credited with...

    Part of a family business since 1904, Temmerman eschews Belgium's chocolate obsession for locally made artisanal candy and gingerbread. The family is also credited with inventing what is now the famous Ghent cuberdons (Ghent noses); raspberry-flavored sweets, the insides of which stretch out like cooked mozzarella when pulled apart. 

    Kranlei 79, Ghent, Flanders, 9000, Belgium
    09-279–5901
  • 7. The Boutique Gallery

    This chic modern-art gallery, opposite the church, is hard to miss. Works by a number of Belgian and South African artists (it has another branch...

    This chic modern-art gallery, opposite the church, is hard to miss. Works by a number of Belgian and South African artists (it has another branch in Cape Town) scatter its exterior, including sculptures by Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, whose playful bronze “swimmers” can also be seen peering out from a nearby bar. Other artists sold in the past include Guy du Toit, Samuel Allerton, and Olivier Pauwels.

    Dorp 6, Sint-Martins-Latem, Flanders, 9830, Belgium
    0470-030–502
  • 8. Theoria

    The second you step through the door of this bookshop and café, you know you're somewhere special. It is set in the site of a...

    The second you step through the door of this bookshop and café, you know you're somewhere special. It is set in the site of a former casino, concert hall, and theater built in 1844, and was one of few old buildings to survive the World War II bombing intact. It's as much a cathedral to literature as a shop. Browse the English-language section, then settle down with a coffee to read awhile. 

    Casino Sq. 10, Kortrijk, Flanders, 8500, Belgium
    056-216--217
  • 9. Tierenteyn-Verlent

    You'll find this revered and strong-tasting mustard served all over the city, but you can only buy it here, along with a dazzling array of...

    You'll find this revered and strong-tasting mustard served all over the city, but you can only buy it here, along with a dazzling array of spices, pickles, honeys, and teas. This family-run shop has been in Ghent since 1790, and no preservatives are used in their products. 

    Groentenmarkt 3, Ghent, Flanders, 9000, Belgium
    09-225–8336
  • 10. Vrijdagmarkt

    The largest market in town is the attractive and historic Vrijdagmarkt, held Friday 7:30–1 and (as a smaller version) Saturday 11–6:30. This huge square is...

    The largest market in town is the attractive and historic Vrijdagmarkt, held Friday 7:30–1 and (as a smaller version) Saturday 11–6:30. This huge square is where leaders have rallied the people of Ghent from the Middle Ages to the present day. It is dominated by a turret that was part of the tanner's guild house, and the statue in the middle is of Jacob van Artevelde, who led a rebellion starting here in 1338, defending the neutrality of the city and Flanders during the Hundred Years' War. These days, you're more likely to march off with a supply of Gentse mokken (syrup-soaked biscuits) or the famously strong Ghent mustard than in anger.

    Vrijdagmarkt, Ghent, Flanders, 9000, Belgium
  • 11. Weekly Market

    Every Monday between 8 am and 1 pm, the traffic-free center of the city plays host to around 150 stalls at one of the largest...

    Every Monday between 8 am and 1 pm, the traffic-free center of the city plays host to around 150 stalls at one of the largest regular markets in Belgium. 

    Oude Vest, Dendermonde, Flanders, 9200, Belgium
  • 12. White Interiors 49

    A chic gallery-cum-interiors shop on the village Dorpsstraat run by an Italian-Belgian husband and wife, Anna and Mike. It has a second shop in Oostend....

    A chic gallery-cum-interiors shop on the village Dorpsstraat run by an Italian-Belgian husband and wife, Anna and Mike. It has a second shop in Oostend.  

    Dorpsstraat 49, Deurle, Flanders, 9831, Belgium
    0479-401--282
  • 13. Yuzu

    Created by archaeologist-turned-chocolatier Nicolas Vanaise, Yuzu reflects its owner's obsession with all things Japanese. Hence, even in the land of chocolate, it stands out for...

    Created by archaeologist-turned-chocolatier Nicolas Vanaise, Yuzu reflects its owner's obsession with all things Japanese. Hence, even in the land of chocolate, it stands out for its strange combinations of ingredients and stark minimalist interior. The selection is constantly changing, but flavors such as wasabi, sake, and Cuban tobacco have been featured in the past.

    Walpoortstraat 11a, Ghent, Flanders, 9000, Belgium
    0473-965--733

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