The city of Antwerp Belgium is known as a hip and happening place. So it won't surprise you that you can always find a cool coffee bar to get re-energized, take a break, read a book or grab some cake.
Listed below are the best cafés and bars in Antwerp I have discovered in the city.
- Dogma: Dogma is an intimate, prohibition-style cocktail bar known for creative, high-quality drinks and retro-industrial decor.
- Barnini: Barnini is a cozy coffee bar serving breakfast fare like bagels along with coffee, tea, and smoothies in a casual, vintage setting.
- BelRoy’s at Nine: BelRoy’s at Nine is a stylish cocktail lounge crafting unique, complex drinks with premium liquors and fresh ingredients.
- Kaffeenini: Kaffeenini is a spacious, light-filled coffee shop offering specialty coffees, sweets, light meals, and homemade lemonades.
- Jones & Co: Jones & Co is a retro-chic cocktail bar focused on artisanal, seasonal cocktails made with care and precision.
- Cafématic: Cafématic is a relaxed local hangout with a vintage cafeteria aesthetic serving coffee, snacks, sweets, and lunch fare.
- 1. Dogma
- 2. Barnini
- 3. BelRoy’s at Nine
- 4. Kaffeenini
- 5. Jones & Co
- 6. Cafématic
- 7. The Northerner
- 8. Goesting
- 9. Revista
- 10. Philly's Bar Antwerp
- 11. Kolonel Coffee
- 12. BELROY's Bijou
- 13. Normo coffee
- 14. Beerlovers Bar
- What are the best cafés in Antwerp?
- What are the best bars in Antwerp?
- What are the best restaurants in Antwerp?
- What should a traveler know before visiting Antwerp?
- What is the best things to do in Antwerp?
Dogma is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar located in the heart of Antwerpen, Belgium. The address is Wijngaardstraat 5, 2000 Antwerpen. This intimate bar first opened its doors in 2013 and quickly made a name for itself by serving creative, high-quality cocktails in a retro-industrial setting.
Dogma is known for its extensive list of specialty cocktails featuring unique ingredients and flavor combinations. Some signature drinks include the “Tall Dragon” with gin, cucumber, ginger, honey and lemon and the “Bali Bali” made with rum, pineapple and Thai basil. The cocktail menu is handwritten in leather-bound notebooks and often comes with quirky drawings and descriptions. While offering innovative house drinks, Dogma's expert bartenders can also whip up traditional cocktails and customize orders to patrons' tastes.
In addition to cocktails, Dogma provides a selection of craft beers, wines, and spirits. Small plates like charcuterie boards, truffle popcorn and croque monsieurs are available to accompany the drinks. The dim lighting, leather sofas, jazz music and vintage decor transport visitors back to the prohibition era. The relaxed, convivial atmosphere encourages socializing late into the evening.
On Google Maps, Dogma has an excellent rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on 1098 reviews. Visitors consistently praise the excellent service, cozy ambiance and delicious drinks. One reviewer called the bar “Absolutely the top in Antwerp and Europe” while another said “Everything is world class”. The general consensus is that Dogma offers a unique cocktail experience that is creative, high-quality and unmatched in Antwerpen.
It was a friend who introduced me to Barnini on the Oude Vaartplaats, right by the City Theater. It's a small, cozy coffee bar where you can drop by for coffee, tea, breakfast, brunch, lunch, something sweet or smoothie.
Their specialty, is bagels; semi-warm with all kinds of spreads, they make a great light lunch. Delicious! I'm still not sure which one I like best and order a different one each time.
When the weather's nice, you can sit outside on the terrace. That's especially fun at the weekends when there's a market going on at the Oude Vaartplaats, even during the week, a great spot for people watching.
If you're a bit chilly, the vintage interior of Barnini invites you in and makes you feel at home. The furniture seems like a selection of random things put together, which is exactly what makes Barnini so cozy.
It's always crowded here, so you need to get lucky if you want to find a spot at peak times like lunch. Luckily, its popularity doesn't make Barnini a less pleasant place to be. Although it's so small, it never gets really noisy and personnel always stays friendly.
There's not that much space, though. You won't be sitting on each other's laps, but if it gets crowded, it can get a bit “full”. However, it is possible to make a reservation for special events, so I highly recommend doing that.
Barnini is located in Oude Vaartplaats 10, Antwerp. Barnini only accepts cash. Bagels start at €6 and warm drinks at €3, but it's best to go get some cash because I assure you, you'll want to try other things on the menu as well.
3. BelRoy’s at Nine
BelRoy's at Nine is a cocktail bar located in Antwerp, Belgium at Lijnwaadmarkt 9, 2000 Antwerpen. BelRoy's at Nine specializes in creative, high-quality cocktails made with premium spirits and fresh ingredients. Signature drinks include the Lazy Red Cheeks with gin, red pepper syrup, lemon and egg white, and the Hipster's Delight with mezcal, yellow chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime. The menu features about 30 cocktails ranging from reinvented classics like Negronis and Old Fashioneds to unique house creations. The menu is divided into sections like Seasonal Selections, Classics, Long Drinks and BelRoy's Signature Cocktails. Cocktails cost around 15-20 EUR each.
The interior has been described as stylish, cosy and reminiscent of a late 1970s upscale bar. BelRoy's at Nine has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Google Maps based on over 700 reviews. Many visitors rave about the excellent, complex cocktails and friendly, knowledgeable bartenders. The ambiance is frequently described as warm, laid-back and romantic. Some less positive reviews mention the high prices. However, most visitors agree the quality of the cocktails makes the prices worthwhile. Multiple reviewers say BelRoy’s at Nine serves the best cocktails in Antwerp.
The Kaffeenini coffee shop in the Nationalestraat is Barnini's little sister. I'd been a fan of Barnini ever since I tasted a delicious salmon bagel there, so it goes without saying that I had to test whether Kaffeenini lives up to the family standards.
As you might know by now, I'm a big fan of second breakfasts. I often get up around 6.30 – 7 a.m. when I'm in Belgium, which means that by 10 – 11 a.m. at the latest, I need a little snack.
That's no different when I'm out exploring so Kaffeenini was the perfect mid-morning stop between my visits to several museums in Antwerp.
It was crowded, but I found a small table for two and checked the menu for some much-needed caffeine and a bite to eat. I decided to go with a cold latte macchiato and bread pudding. The bread pudding was a nostalgia thing. My mom sometimes bought bread pudding at the baker's when I was little at it was always a treat.
But back to Kaffeenini. I actually like it better there than Barnini; it's more spacious and more natural light comes in through the large windows. Service is just as friendly as at Barnini and I didn't have to wait long for my order to arrive.
Verdict? Approved! I'll definitely drop by Kaffeenini again, for a drink, something sweet or a light lunch.
Kaffeenini is located in Nationalestraat 114, Antwerp. Visitors should check their facebook page for opening times and the menu.
5. Jones & Co
Jones & Co is a cozy cocktail bar located at Pelgrimstraat 7, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium. This bar specializes in artfully crafted cocktails made with premium spirits and fresh ingredients. Some of their specialty drinks include the Strawberry Lemonade with vodka, strawberries, and lemon and the Spicy Margarita made with tequila, lime, and jalapeño. Jones & Co has an extensive cocktail menu featuring many classics like Old Fashions and Manhattans as well as their own unique creations. Their drinks menu is presented on a chalkboard so it can be easily updated to highlight seasonal i ngredients. In addition to cocktails, Jones & Co offers a selection of spirits, wines, beers, and bar bites like olives, cheeses, and charcuterie.
On review sites like Google Maps, Jones & Co is rated 4.7 out of 5. Many visitors rave about the excellent cocktails, cozy atmosphere, and friendly service. One reviewer said “The cocktails were delicious and the attention to detail for the presentation is fantastic.” Another wrote “Very cozy cocktailbar with a very relaxed atmosphere.” With its retro-chic decor, creative cocktails, and warm hospitality, it's no surprise Jones & Co is considered one of the best bars in Antwerp.
One of my closest friends, Sybille, lives in Antwerp, but we don't get to see each other that much as we both have busy schedules and, let's face it, to Belgians like us the one-hour drive or train ride between Leuven and Antwerp is considered looooooong.
But when I do make it to Belgium's fashion city, Sybille always takes me to one of the coffee shops I haven't been to yet. She's been living in and around Antwerp her entire life and knows where to find all the coffee bars. This time she took me to Cafématic.
In a quiet street close to the alternative Kammenstraat and fancy Nationalystraat, Cafématic is a place locals hang out. It has a vintage interior and looks a bit like an old school cafeteria. Luckily, there are only waiters here, no teachers.
Cafématic serves lunch, snacks, and sweets, but is best known for its special hot drinks (ginger coffee, anyone?) and homemade lemonades. The coffee is the Illy brand.
I was a bit hungry (surprise, surprise) so ordered vegetable soup, it was really good and served with a decent amount of bread. I didn't have a coffee, so I can't say if you'll find the best coffee in Antwerp here or not. Cafématic is located in Vleminckveld 4, Antwerp.
Still, a coffee shop to remember!
7. The Northerner
The Northerner is a cozy neighborhood bar located at Wijngaardstraat 7, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium. Known for its relaxed atmosphere and stellar craft beer selection, The Northerner offers patrons a range of specialty brews including local Belgian beers as well as international imports. The drink menu features over 100 different bottled beers along with 8 beers on tap that rotate frequently. Visitors recommend craft beers like the Russian River Pliny the Elder and De Dolle Arabier as standouts. The Northerner also serves wine, spirits, and classic cocktails in an inviting setting reminiscent of an old English pub. Pub food like toasties, croque monsieurs, and sausage plates complement the drinks.
Reviewers on Google Maps rate The Northerner 4.7 out of 5 stars, praising the “amazing atmosphere,” “incredible selection of beers,” and the “friendly owner.” One happy customer called it the “best pub in town,” while another said the “super cosy bar” is run by “a true beer lover.” Multiple visitors compliment the “cozy atmosphere” and note that sports games play on the TVs for fans. With its warm, welcoming vibe and constantly evolving beer selection, The Northerner is a favorite neighborhood hangout for beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike. Visitors recommend stopping by this highly-rated bar to experience the craft beer and relaxed local atmosphere for yourself.
We were on our way to the Red Star Line Museum when we spotted Goesting (which means something like “appetite”, “being in the mood for”), a breakfast and lunch spot at the Falconplein in Antwerp.
We'd only had a light breakfast and surely it wasn't a good idea to step into a museum hungry?! So we decided to check Goesting out.
When we walked in, some people were having a late breakfast, there was a lady sipping her coffee while reading the newspaper. We found a spot and started reading the menu.
So many options!
You could have different kinds of breakfast sandwiches, eggs, an elaborate breakfast, pancakes… and there were the light lunch options, like soup. I have to admit, though, we both immediately made up our minds.
We would order a boke met choco. We knew our choice was a little unhealthy and to keep up appearances we also considered the other options, but not really. Bread, Nutella and coffee it would be!
I've never been much of a coffee drinker, but now coffee shops have become trendy in Belgium and an increasing amount of places are offering coffee with another flavor, like chocolate or hazelnut, I'm starting to grow fond of the liquid that wakes me up better than tea (sorry, cup of tea, you're still my favorite!).
We ended up spending an hour at Goesting, chatting and slowly enjoying our second breakfast, including a Nutella refill. This is one of those places where I could easily spend a morning, with my laptop, a good book or newspaper. Goesting is located in Falconplein 45, Antwerp.
When I was working on my Antwerp City Guide, a friend of mine recommended I check out Revista. A cafe in Antwerp's hip “Het Zuid” or south area where you can also get some snacks and light lunch, but that's not what's special about it (obviously).
It's called”Revista” because of the selection of magazines customers can choose to read while they're having a drink or food.
The magazines you find at Revista aren't the typical gossip magazines you find in the newsagent. They're more niche, specialist and themed magazines about interior design, nature and so on.
Everyday you can order freshly made soup for lunch and that's just what I did. I have to admit I forgot what kind of soup it was, but I do remember finishing my bowl, must have been good! Revista is located in Karel Rogierstraat 47, Antwerp.
10. Philly's Bar Antwerp
Philly's Bar Antwerp is a cozy bar located in the heart of Antwerp, Belgium at Grote Pieter Potstraat 7, 2000 Antwerpen. Philly's Bar is known for its wide selection of specialty shots, including the strongest shot in Antwerp. The bar has over 160 different bottles of hard liquor along with a variety of freshly made cocktails. On tap, Philly's offers a rotating selection of Belgian beers. The food menu features pub-style items like nachos, chicken wings and burgers. Philly's has a 4.8 rating on Google based on over 125 reviews.
Visitors consistently praise the friendly staff, chill atmosphere, great music, and impressive drinks menu. One reviewer said “Philly's brings back the tunes you would like to hear! A nice place to have a drink on a summer evening.” Another mentioned “Great Music / Vibe.” Overall, Philly's Bar Antwerp is regarded as a top destination in Antwerp for reasonably priced drinks, late night vibes, and lively conversation in a casual setting. The owner and bartender make an effort to remember regulars and make everyone feel at home. With a cozy, retro interior and eclectic music, Philly's has become a local favorite for nightlife in Antwerp's historic center.
11. Kolonel Coffee
One of the coffee shops who take their beans very seriously; this place has great reviews and is often said to have the best coffee in Antwerp. With the ‘ferrari' of espresso machines behind the bar and coffee beans from their own roastery (which they started in 2016) if you're looking for a high quality cup of coffee, this is the place for you.
All the food on their breakfast and lunch menu is freshly prepared using quality and seasonal ingredients and their homemade cakes and muesli are sure to entice you if you're looking for something sweet. Kolonel Coffee is located in Montignystraat 51, Antwerp.
12. BELROY's Bijou
BELROY's Bijou is a cocktail bar located at Graaf Van Egmontstraat 20, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium. It was opened in March 2016 by renowned bartenders Ben Belmans and Dieter Van Roy. In just under a year after opening, BELROY's Bijou won the title of Best Belgian Cocktail Bar at the 2016 Venuez Hospitality Awards. The bar is known for its craft cocktails made with the highest quality ingredients. Some signature drinks at BELROY's Bijou include the Negroni, Vesper Martini, and El Presidente. These are all bottled aged cocktails that are allowed to mature before being served, creating a more refined flavor profile. The menu features over 30 classic cocktails like old fashioneds and whiskey sours, as well as a selection of bottled aged cocktails, wines, champagne and craft beers. There is also a small food menu with items like charcuterie boards, vegetables and dip, and croquettes.
The interior of BELROY's Bijou has been described as elegant, warm, and cozy, with dim lighting, candles on the tables, and smooth jazz music playing. Many visitors rave about the excellent service, with knowledgeable bartenders who can help craft the perfect cocktail. The bar has been called Antwerp's best cocktail bar with fantastic drinks, a great vibe, and friendly hosts. While some find the prices on the high side, most agree the quality of the cocktails is superb.
13. Normo coffee
Another exceptional coffee roaster and cafe on the Antwerp coffee scene, you won't be disappointed by the quality of their coffee. These caffeine lovers know their stuff, have a direct relationship with the farmers who grow their beans and roast the green coffee beans in Antwerp. It will be a cup of coffee to remember! As well as filter and espresso coffee they serve tea and exceptional hot chocolate made from chocolate drops with steamed milk poured over, perfect for a chilly day. Normo is located in Minderbroedersrui 30, Antwerp. If you don't have a Belgian bank account you can only pay cash here.
14. Beerlovers Bar
Beerlovers Bar is a craft beer bar located at Rotterdamstraat 105, 2060 Antwerpen, Belgium. The bar has 12 rotating taps that always feature the best beers from Belgium and around the world. Beerlovers Bar also has an extensive bottle list with over 150 specialty beers, including many hard-to-find Belgian vintage beers. The menu focuses on unique craft beers that beer lovers may not find elsewhere in Antwerp. Popular options include sour beers, IPAs, stouts, lambics, and specialty Belgian styles. Reviews mention the “huge variety” and constant rotation of beers on tap.
The knowledgeable bartenders help customers select the perfect beer and provide samples to help them decide. The bar has a modern, inviting interior with a large bar and lounge seating. It gets crowded on weekends but has an energetic yet laidback vibe. Beerlovers Bar is rated 4.6 out of 5 on Google based on about 1000 reviews. Customers call it one of the top craft beer bars in Antwerp and love the passionate owner and staff. They say it's a must-visit spot for beer aficionados, with hard-to-find beers and great recommendations. Some reviews describe it as “beer heaven” and the “best beer bar in town.” Visitors recommend getting to Beerlovers Bar early on busy nights.
What are the best cafés in Antwerp?
Listed below are the best cafés in Antwerp.
- Barnini. Barnini is a welcoming coffeehouse brewing high-quality espressos and serving breakfast items like fresh bagels and smoothies in a cozy, retro setting.
- Kaffeenini. Kaffeenini is a spacious coffee bar using premium beans to prepare specialty coffees, homemade lemonades, and sweet treats in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Cafématic. Cafématic is a neighborhood coffee shop crafting hot and iced coffee drinks alongside quick breakfasts and light lunches in a casual, vintage-inspired space.
What are the best bars in Antwerp?
Listed below are the best bars in Antwerp.
- Dogma. Dogma is an intimate speakeasy cocktail lounge crafting imaginative, handmade cocktails using rare liquors and fresh ingredients in a retro-chic setting.
- BelRoy’s at Nine. BelRoy’s at Nine is a refined craft cocktail bar led by expert mixologists preparing unique, aged cocktails with premium spirits and fresh seasonal produce.
- Jones & Co. Jones & Co is a harming, neighborhood cocktail den focused on carefully prepared seasonal and classic cocktails using the finest liquors and freshest ingredients.
What are the best restaurants in Antwerp?
Listed below are the best restaurants in Antwerp.
- The Jane. The Jane is a Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant in Antwerp is celebrated for its modern Belgian cuisine like roasted duck, langoustine, and truffles artfully presented in a historic chapel setting.
- Mojo. Mojo is a popular seafood restaurant located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is known for serving high quality, fresh seafood like oysters, lobster, sole, and cod. Reviewers on TripAdvisor rate Mojo highly, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5 and a Traveler’s Choice award in 2022 for its tasty dishes and fresh seafood.
- SELSation. SELSation is a cosy bistro in Hemiksem village near Antwerp charms guests with its seasonal bistro fare like classic steak frites and daily seafood specials.
- Hoffy's Restaurant. Hoffy's Restaurant is a casual Antwerp eatery is a local favourite for its generous portions of Belgian classics like meatballs, schnitzel, and beef stews.
- Zilte. Zilte is a contemporary Michelin-starred restaurant excels at artful seafood tasting menus combining the freshest catches like scallops, crab, and monkfish.
Is tipping required in Antwerp and Belgium?
No, tipping in Belgium and Antwerp is not required. A 10 to 15% service charge is usually added to the bill at restaurants, so leaving an additional tip is not necessary. However, you are free to leave a couple of Euros if you wish. In cafes, you can leave some change on the table or counter. Taxis do not expect tips, but you can round up the fare or tip up to 5% if the driver provided extra assistance. Hotel accommodations already include a service charge, but you may tip the bellman with a few Euros if you'd like. Tipping the housekeeping staff is not customary.
What should a traveler know before visiting Antwerp?
Before visiting Antwerp, there are a few things that a traveler should know.
Antwerp is a city with a rich history and a strong arts scene. It is known for its fashion, diamonds, and delicious cuisine. The official language is Dutch, but English is widely spoken. The currency used is the Euro. Antwerp is a safe city, but it's always a good idea to take normal precautions and be aware of your surroundings. The weather in Antwerp can be unpredictable, so it's advisable to pack layers and be prepared for rain. Public transportation is efficient and easy to navigate, with options such as trams and buses available. Walking is also a great way to explore the city. Antwerp has a variety of accommodations to suit different budgets, ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly options. It's recommended to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Antwerp is a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity, making it a fascinating destination for travelers.
What is the best things to do in Antwerp?
Listed below find the best things to do in Antwerp:
- Gawp at Antwerp Central Station: For a true taste of grandeur, there’s no better place to spend time than Antwerp Central Station. A great big structure of glass, steel, and marble, the central station is one of the city’s most treasured sites.
- Visit Museum Vleeshuis: Explore the Museum Vleeshuis, a music museum inside the Butchers' Hall building. Learn about the rich musical history of Antwerp and enjoy the exhibits showcasing instruments and artefacts.
- See Diamond-cutters at Work: Head to the Diamond District and witness the skilled diamond-cutters in action. Marvel at the precision and craftsmanship involved in creating these precious gems.
- Taste Local Beer: Don't miss the opportunity to sample some of the local beer in Antwerp. With a rich brewing tradition, the city offers a variety of delicious and unique brews to try.
- Go Bargain-hunting at Markets: Explore the vibrant markets of Antwerp and hunt for bargains. From vintage finds to fresh produce, the markets offer a lively atmosphere and a chance to discover local treasures.
These are just a few of the most important things to do in Antwerp. The city offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences, ensuring that visitors can find something to suit their interests and preferences.
What are the best museums in Antwerp?
Listed below find the best museums in Antwerp:
- The Plantin Moretus Museum: The Plantin Moretus Museum is a must-visit for book and typography enthusiasts. It showcases the fascinating world of old books and typography, offering insights into the pre-print era and the invention of book printing.
- FOMU Antwerp: FOMU Antwerp is a photography museum that features various exhibitions and collections. Some notable exhibitions include “Shooting Stars” by Jan Hoek, “Masterpieces and Discoveries” by August Sander, and “Photography Inc.” The museum also celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special exhibition.
- The Red Star Line Museum: The Red Star Line Museum tells the story of the Red Star Line, a shipping company that transported millions of immigrants from Antwerp to America. It offers a captivating and immersive experience, shedding light on the journey and experiences of these immigrants.
These museums offer unique and enriching experiences, allowing visitors to delve into the world of books, photography, history, contemporary art, and classical art.
Is there a Christmas Market in Antwerp?
Yes, there is a Christmas market in Antwerp. The Antwerp Christmas market takes place every year. It is located across various squares, including the Groenplaats, Handschoenmarkt, Grote Markt, Suikerrui, and Steenplein. At the Antwerp Christmas market, you can find around 100 stalls selling foods, drinks, Christmas items, warm winter accessories, and crafts. It's a festive and lively event where visitors can indulge in delicious treats, shop for unique gifts, and enjoy the holiday atmosphere.
Is Belgium expensive to visit?
No, Belgium is not considered to be an expensive country. While it may not be the cheapest destination in Europe, it is not as expensive as some other countries like the UK. The cost of living in Belgium can vary depending on your lifestyle and location within the country. It's important to note that expenses such as housing and dining out can be higher in certain areas, but overall, Belgium offers a reasonable cost of living compared to other European countries.
Is Belgium worth visiting?
Yes, Belgium is definitely worth visiting. Whether you're interested in exploring medieval castles, tasting world-famous chocolates, or experiencing the lively atmosphere of Brussels, Belgium offers a unique and memorable travel experience. With its abundance of castles, rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and renowned art museums, Belgium has tons of things to offer for every traveler. So, if you're looking for a destination that combines history, culture, and culinary delights, Belgium should definitely be on your list.
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