Nestled along the banks of the river Scheldt, Antwerp stands as a vibrant port city that boasts both architectural splendor and a culinary scene worth savoring. While it may be renowned for its stunning architecture, there’s no reason why visitors can’t indulge in its equally remarkable cuisine. From the captivating historic center to the exquisite dining options, Antwerp’s charm extends beyond its facades to tantalize taste buds. Join us as we embark on a culinary adventure, discovering the city’s gastronomic treasures tucked within the Old Town. With a curated list of the finest restaurants, we invite you to savor the perfect fusion of beauty and flavor that Antwerp’s historic heart has to offer.
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Dave De Belder freely admits that his suppliers probably find him a difficult customer, owing to his selective nature demanding only the best ingredients. This attention to detail is evident in De Godevaart’s food, cuisine prepared to precise standards following a modern molecular gastronomic philosophy. The menu will leave you spoiled for choice, but your final decision won’t matter too much, as everything on the menu is of excellent quality.
An Antwerp staple, Grand Café Den Rooden Hoed has been plating up seafood and classic Belgian meals for decades. Flemish painter Quinten Matys lived in the building during the 16th century, and it was used as a coaching inn as long ago as 1750. The restaurant is relatively large, with room for over 150 people. However, due to its popularity, bookings may still be necessary at weekends or on busy holidays.
Café Restaurant Bourla is affiliated with the majestic Bourla Theatre, which is considered by many to be Antwerp’s best entertainment venue. The restaurant maintains a balance between a casual atmosphere and a refined one, with a broad mix of people dining at its tables. Serving up a mix of Belgian and French cuisine, the menu showcases both excellent food and great value for money, with enough options to suit all tastes.
This small, trendy cafe unsurprisingly specialises in falafel. The ethical cafe serves fresh ingredients every day, sourced in eco-friendly ways, and serves all-natural, gluten-free food. Portions are generous, especially considering the low prices, and coupled with the food itself, they make Falafel Tof a near-perfect lunch spot.
Billie’s Bier Kafetaria
This cosy bar and gastropub is named after its resident dog, the eponymous Billie. Any place billing itself as a “Beer Café” is going to have a massive range of beers, and this place is no exception, with a huge variety of choices from all around the world. The building is small, but the portions certainly aren’t, with generous helpings of food made with fresh ingredients. Pick your meal and then consult the staff about which beer to match it with.
Simply Emily is a cosy little cafe doling out warmth and comfort in a selection of nutritious bowls. A small and clean location with a real local business feel, Simply Emily makes a perfect venue to escape the bustle of the city and relax with a bowl of soup, a quiche, or something a little sweeter. For those who can’t stay for long, all dishes can be taken away.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.