For those craving a delicious cocktail and a swinging night out, Antwerp is the place to be. Known for its refreshing Seefbier and its bars regularly playing great live music, this city will not disappoint. Here’s our 10 favorite cafes and bars.
Bar, Cafe, Coffee, Belgian, $$$
Famous throughout Antwerp, this jazz cafe has been hot and happening ever since 1964. De Muze represents everything the city stands for: artists and forgotten writers, wannabe musicians and those who already made it. At least three times a week there is a music gig where up and coming bands test their jazzy rhythms on the public.
The Mechelseplein is one of Antwerp’s most vibrant squares and cafe Korsakov is located right on it’s corner. The ground floor feels like you’re own living room where you can settle in for a cup of coffee on a sunny afternoon. If you’re planning on going wild a weekend night you can move upstairs, where it feels more like old-fashioned Berlin in the ’50s.
The Cargo Zomerbar is something quite special. Only open during spring and summer to take advantage of its location right in the middle of the most beautiful park in Antwerp. Children love this place, not only for the delicious cakes and pies, but even more for the waterbasin closeby, where they can splash around in the fountains. Address: 64-80 Viaduct-Dam (Park Spoor Noord), 2060 Antwerp, Belgium,
Restaurant, Belgian, $$$
Doing your laundry in Antwerp has ceased to be boring and annoying ever since Wasbar opened its doors two years ago. The bar is extremely popular with students and young professionals for its ingenious concept: drop your laundry in the available washing machines and enjoy a salad or a smoothie while you wait the beautiful new-retro décor with fellow laundry-doers.
Once a dark and smoky blues den, today Cabron is a bustling melting pot. Around noon the sunny terrace serves as a perfect break from the busy streets around the cathedral, serving anything between delicious homemade soup and thirst-quenching beer. Once the sun has set Cabron shows its true face as one of Antwerp’s most vibrant music scenes where each week you can enjoy anything from swooning jazz tunes to pumping Latin beats.
Close to Antwerp Grand Place and literally in the shadow of the great Cathedral, you can find Witzli Poetzli, a minuscule cafe known for being a hang-out for artists and writers. It’s a charming bar and an archetype of a true Antwerp cafe.
Café Mombasa is located outside Antwerp’s comfort zone in the city’s most colorful but often overlooked neighborhood, Borgerhout. Though it is just a 15-minute walk from the Central Station, Mombasa remains hidden for most tourists and visitors. This is a real shame, as the café itself is a popular hang-out for locals, a place where multiculturalism is evident and the atmosphere is open-minded. And once you get to know the neighborhood – its Moroccan stores selling marvelous wedding dresses, the Turkish kebab venues and the old Roma theatre – you will love it forever.
Clodette is great for an easy night out with close friends. The colorful lights and homey decor draw you in for a cozy evening. Their homemade iced tea and the cold Senegalese hibiscus flower tea are one of a kind.
A somewhat bohemian cafe which evokes flashbacks to Paris in the 1900s, Chatleroi is the hippest bar on this list. Located on the trendy Zuid, opposite the majestic Museum of Fine Arts, you can’t imagine a more perfect terrace to spend hours and hours. The vintage furniture, charming music and great beers are the icing on the cake.
Café Beveren is the ultimate place to experience the real Antwerp atmosphere. Although the outside looks unremarkable, the interior is filled with colour, music, and locals, creating a very folksy atmosphere . The eye catcher of this cafe, for which it is known in the entire city, is the 75-year-old organ that starts playing for just one euro.