l’Entrepôt du Congo
L’Entrepôt du Congo has an interesting history. In the early 1900s, it served as a warehouse stocking African coffee, oil and gasoline that transported by boat to Antwerp’s port. Now, it is a charming café-resto that has preserved the building’s old structure, and still retains an old-fashioned feel. The pleasant atmosphere is repleted by the simple but well-made salads, (try the goat cheese salad with honey and pancetta) the delicious ciabatta sandwiches and real Flemish dishes like tomato sauce meatballs with bread.
Address: 42 Vlaamsekaai, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 4 75 52 82 15
Revista Café is the perfect brunch spots for introverts. At Revista you won’t be eyed for eating alone, because everyone comes here for some alone time with a magazine, a sandwiches and one of their refreshing passion fruit iced teas. The huge wall-to-wall rack with magazines, ranging from shameless gossip to international news will keep you occupied.
Address: 47 Karel Rogierstraat, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 4 88 62 74 67
Tucked away in a small fairytale-like house surrounded by the peace and quiet of Antwerp’s beautiful botanical garden, is this chic brunch spot. The undeniable artistry of chef and master-patissier Roger Vandamme always results in something special on your plate. The beef tartare is delightfully presented and tastes magnificent, and the chocolate desserts are delicate pieces of art. Het Gebaar is unquestionably the top of the bill.
Address: 24 Leopoldstraat, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 232 37 10
Although the name might be Lunchbox, this café’s Big Apple Brunch will be remembered as one of the best. Freshly baked bread, smoked salmon, a perfectly cooked egg and pancakes for dessert is a perfect way to spend a sunny morning in Antwerp’s city center. For those who want a healthy energy boost, Lunchbox’s freshly squeezed juices and smoothies are the best in town. Inside, or outside on the cozy terrace, this place will steal your heart.
Address: 8 Nieuwstad, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 231 04 79
Esco*Bar is the best place to get a caffeine hit before starting the day. Classic coffees served in flowery vintage cups, or delicious inventions like chocomaccino (with maltesers and caramel) or latte with speculoos paste and almond flakes ensure an excellent start to the day. The salads and burgers, especially the veggie ones, are finger-lickin’ good and make for the best brunch. The light, open space of the bar is attractive, the vintage decorating style is well done and the garden is a little haven in the middle of the city’s buzz.
Address: 32 Quellinstraat, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 336 18 11
Mampoko is an authentic Antwerp café-bistro. It is a marvelous venue with a homely atmosphere thanks to the abundant use of wood in the interior, the red velvet couches against the wall and the tinkering sounds coming from the kitchen. The brunch menu may not be that extensive, but every baguette, croque or salad is perfectly prepared. As practically every Belgian is just crazy about cheese croquettes, they’re not to be missed if you visit Mampoko.
Address: 8 Amerikalei, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 257 77 10
This is the place to be for modern and sophisticated folk. An enormous ancient warehouse with a dazzling interior design and located on ‘t Eilandje, the trendiest quartier in Antwerp, the Felixpakhuis serves great breakfasts for early birds and magnificent brunches for sleepy heads. From 12.30pm up to 2.30pm you can feast on the buffet à volonté (several sorts of cheese, eggs, bacon, salads, smoked salmon, and croissants) and indulge in a selection of creamy, fruity or chocolaty desserts. With a brunch like that, there’s reason to sleep in.
Address: 30 Godefriduskaai, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 203 03 30
Café Camino serves delicious food on a delicious spot, particularly as from the café’s colorful terrace you can watch the antiques auction market taking place every Friday. It’s a picturesque venue known throughout Antwerp, and has been going on since 1549. Brunching in Café Camino on a Friday is a real treat, not least because of the fresh sandwiches with an Asian touch. The Kimchi BBQ sandwich with chicken, Asian pear and kimchi cabbage is a wonderful find, and goes perfectly with the sparkling ginger-mint iced tea. If you’re a second hand and brocanterie fan, you definitely have to pay the cozy shops on the square a visit after brunch.
Address: 5 Vrijdagmarkt, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 289 91 97
“Homemade with love is Caravan’s motto, and you can feel it when you step inside and taste it when you eat. This is probably the coziest restaurant in town. Legendary is the ‘hangover-brunch’, consisting of fried eggs with bacon, tomato and baked mushrooms, combined with either a beer or a dafalgan pain killer. Even more charming about Caravan is their picnic baskets to go. Packed with fresh lemonade, quinoa salad, Italian salami, stuffed French bread, and a sweet desert, they make for a romantic déjeuner sur l’herbe in the nearby Park Spoor Noord (only available in spring and summer with a reservation).
Address: 17 Damplein, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 297 68 52
Around the corner from one of the most impressive and beautiful churches in Antwerp, Lojola serves the most luscious sweet and savory pies you’ve ever tasted, and has recently established breakfast and brunch as well. This minuscule coffee and cake house’s interior is decked out with kitsch, but the concept works wonderfully. Pink, turquoise, and golden ornaments and girly paintings adorn the walls, plus vintage chairs and tables makes it the perfect place to enjoy a delicious piece of banoffee pie or a hot chocolate with maltesers and whip cream.
Address: 14 Hendrik Conscienceplein, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, +32 4 72 22 92 86