The city of
The list below consists of the Antwerp coffee bars I’ve already been to. Whenever I visit a new one, I’ll add it here, so make sure to check back!
Antwerp coffee shops
It was a friend who introduced me to Barnini on the Oude Vaartplaats, right by the City Theater. It’s a small, cozy place where you can drop by for breakfast, brunch, lunch, something sweet or a wide range of smoothies and hot drinks.
Their specialty, though, is their bagels. Semi-warm with all kinds of spreads, they make a great light lunch or afternoon crunch. 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 in the weekends when there’s a market going on at the Oude Vaartplaats, but even during the week, this is a good spot to do some 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.
Oude Vaartplaats 10
Important: you can only pay cash here. 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.
Kaffeenini in the Nationalestraat is Barnini’s little sister (although the place is bigger). I’d been a fan of Barnini ever since I tastec 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 know, 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. the latest, I need a little snack.
That’s no different when I’m out exploring and 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 at Barnini because it’s more spacious and because 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.
Check the Facebook page for opening times and the menu.
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 is considered looooooong.
But when I do make it to Belgium’s fashion city, Sybille always takes me to a place I hadn’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 where you’ll most likely only spot locals (or friends of locals, like me). It has a rather vintage interior. In fact, it 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 brand served here is Illy.
I went for the vegetable soup as I was a bit hungry (surprise, surprise) and it was really good. I liked how they served it with a decent amount of bread.
A place to remember!
We were actually 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. The growling of our stomachs would prevent us from paying our full attention to the exhibition. And so we decided to check Goesting out.
When we walked in, some people were having a late breakfast, but there was also a lady sipping her coffee while reading the newspaper. We found us a spot and started reading the menu.
So many options!
You could have different kinds of breakfast sandwiches, eggs, an elaborate breakfast, pancakes… and then there were also the light lunch options, like soup. I have to admit, though, that both my friend Sybille and I had immediately made up our minds.
We would order a boke met choco (or: slices of bread with Nutella spread). Because we knew our choice was a little unhealthy and to keep up appearances we also considered the other options, but not really. A boke met choco and a coffee it would be.
I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but now that coffee bars have become trendy in Belgium as well and an increasing amount of places is offering coffee with another flavor, like chocolate or hazelnut, I’m starting to grow fond of the liquid that does wake me up better than tea does (Sorry, cup of tea, but 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 the newspaper.
When I was working on my Antwerp City Guide, a friend of mine recommended that I check out Revista. Revista is a coffee bar where you can also get some snacks and light lunch, but that’s not what’s special about it (obviously).
Revista is called “Revista” because it has a selection of magazines that customers can choose from and read in while they’re having a drink or food.
That’s a cool concept as is, but I particularly liked it because the magazines you find at Revista aren’t the typical gossip magazines you find in the newspaper store. They’re more niche, more specialist and more themed magazines about interior design, nature and so on.
Each day you can order freshly made soup for lunch and that’s what I did when I was there. I have to admit I forgot what kind of soup it was, but I do remember finishing my bowl, so it must have been good.
Karel Rogierstraat 47
Where to stay in Antwerp
Check Booking.com for an extensive list of options for all budgets and needs.
If you’re looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I would recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first stay!
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