Scattered across the Belgian city, Antwerp’s independent cafés each have their own distinct identity. Many are nestled within new buildings, while others have a life of their own, animating the neighbourhood around them. We take a look at ten of the best and coolest coffee spots in the city.
Caffénation has been the place to get your daily fix in the city since it opened its doors in 2003. Here you can enjoy your brew while reading a book from the well-stocked shelf or resting on comfy sofas, chatting with friends. The multi-level café has a relaxing atmosphere, where you can while away the hours and even get refills of your coffee and are never rushed out by staff trying to make space for the next customer. In addition to Caffénation’s speciality coffees, tea and delicious homemade tarts are also on the menu.
Caffénation, 16 Mechelsesteenweg, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 689 70 13
Re-opening its doors in 2014 after an eight-year hiatus, Cartoon’s Cinema and Café is located at the heart of Antwerp’s bustling city centre. The cinema plays a big role in the promotion of alternative and European film, screening anything but American blockbusters. A stairway below the cosy theatre is the cinema’s café, where you can enjoy a drink or order one to take in with you into the theatre. The café has a laid-back atmosphere and sometimes hosts small live concerts. Luckily, the soundproofing is excellent and music from the underground café doesn’t affect screenings in the theatre.
Cartoon’s, 4-6 Kaasstraat, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 232 96 32
Grand Café deSingel
Grand Café deSingel is a chic café operating as part of Antwerp’s leading international arts centre deSingel, which hosts theatre, dance, music and architecture in addition to the music conservatory. Housed in a glass box, designed by Belgian architect Stéphane Beel, Grand Café deSingel overlooks a panorama of the highway and railway, connecting it with the urban landscape. The café can be accessed through the deSingel campus should you be attending or rehearsing for a performance, or from the street via a long ascending bridge.
Grand Café deSingel, 155 Jan Van Rijswijcklaan, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 237 71 00
Kiebooms takes you back to dancehall days where live music played and people bopped through the night. Stepping into Kiebooms café is like taking a step back in time to the 1950s. The café’s interior has an authentic vintage feel and is reminiscent of period movies. Kiebooms has a social function on top of being a fun place to spend time as it gives an open podium for KunstenNoord art organisation, dance workshops by Carte Blanche and young artists. Live music champions local jazz acts and also features a lively, rousing programme of folk music.
Kiebooms, 18 De Coninckplein, 2060 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 496 55 03 73
Kubus is a perfect venue for reading and eating, being part of Antwerp’s main city library Permeke. After taking out a stack of good reads, you can crack them open over a hot or cold beverage at Kubus. The café and library are situated in a bustling part of town, behind Chinese supermarkets and restaurants, and it offers a much-needed resting point among the bustle of city life. Kubus also has a computer room on the first floor and wireless internet connection throughout the café.
KUBUS Permeke, 25 De Coninckplein, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 338 38 90
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