No trip to Antwerp is complete without a taste of its stomach-rumbling local fare. The historic city is home to a whole host of restaurants serving up traditional dishes and hearty comfort food, all best washed down with a refreshing beer (or two). Brewhounds will be in their element as they scan the extensive drinks menus on the below eateries, but may be torn between the summery sweetness of a honey beer or the wintery spice of a cinnamon bottled ale.
Before you set off, please note the current COVID regulations, only travel if it is safe to do so and make sure to book ahead if necessary.
This busy beer café and restaurant chain can be found both in Antwerp and Ghent. Specifically offering Belgian beers, you will find popular, quirky and special edition brews from all over the country just a few minutes’ walk from the zoo. More than 30 of these are on tap; if you want to sample the 300 + bottled beers, you’re in for a long night. To keep in with the all-Belgian theme, the food menu mainly offers traditional local fare but has also given in to popular demand and lists a generous selection of pastas, pizzas and veggie choices.
Address: De Keyserlei 25, 2018 Antwerpen
Web link: https://www.biercentral.be
Billie’s Bier Kafeteria
Host of Billie’s Craft Beer Fest which has won the Best Belgian Beer Festival award these past three years, the cafeteria of Billie the dog has become an extremely popular hangout for self-confessed beer geeks. First opening its doors on Friday 13th in December 2013, staff could have simultaneously broken mirrors, walked under ladders and opened umbrellas indoors without this having any effect on its rapid rise in popularity. It’s a shame there’s no website, but you will find plenty of positive reviews online. Open until midnight (2am on Friday and Saturday) and closed on Tuesdays, you can enjoy a well-priced lunch or dinner and a huge choice of short and longer-run microbrewery successes just across from the Groenplaats.
Location/Address: Kammenstraat 12, 2000 Antwerp
HOBS is short for House of Beers and sits happily on the Groenplaats where it stays open from 10am until 11pm every day of the week, longer if it’s busy. A modern, clean bar area that sparkles with bare bulbs and chrome greets every beer lover, and natural tints and wood dining areas give everyone somewhere to enjoy a traditional meal that is extremely well prepared, cooked and presented. Alternatively, sit on the terrace and watch the trams hum by as the bells of the cathedral tell you that time goes by (so slowly) while you sip a beer selected from a long drinks’ menu.
Address: Groenplaats 9, 2000 Antwerpen
Web link: http://www.brasseriehobs.be
At the Elfde Gebod (11th Commandment), the oldest restaurant in the city of Antwerp, thou shalt not ignore the décor. You’ll be surrounded by saints and possibly a few sinners in this café come cathedral that offers plenty of inspiration for social media pictures as well as a great beer list. Under the spire of Our Lady’s cathedral, this café and restaurant is small, cramped, packed with tourists and an absolute must. Elfde Gebod also produces its own beers: make your choice between blond, brown, triple, seasonal, honey, white and even cinnamon bottled ales to go with a menu that might not earn a Michelin star but is more than made up for with the surroundings.
Address: Torfbrug 10, 2000 Antwerpen
Web link: https://elfdegebod.com/