These are the best lunch spots in Antwerp

Sometimes you don’t want to reveal your best kept secrets but then again.. we didn’t start this platform for no reason! We travel to Antwerp at least once a month (for work or pleasure) and we found some quirky lunch spots we want to share with you!

These are our top lunch spots in Antwerp.

1. Native

This hidden pearl is by far our favorite lunch spot in Antwerp. This bistro serves fresh, original, and good quality food. It’s organic, locally produced with sustainable ingredients, this is Native! Vegan and organic food lovers will love this place! During the summer they open a very nice terrace.

Native

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Muntstraat 8, 2000 Antwerp
http://www.nativefood.be/

2. De Broers van Julienne

When we need to grab a quick and healthy bite, we go here. In a side street of the Kammenstraat – with lots of boutiques – you will find this small cute little restaurant. You can take away the best quiches, soups,  salads and other warm healthy dishes. Besides that, they sell oil, wine, coffee, juices and other delicatessen. They  also offer catering and cook workshops.

vega_Juliette_Puur_Antwerpen-548x360img-4775
Source; http://www.lusterweb.com/nl/blog/vegatarische-restaurants-in-vlaandere

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Kasteelpleinstraat 45-47, 2000 Antwerp
http://www.debroersvanjulienne.be/

3. Foodbar Cordoba

Cordoba is situated in a dockside area called Het Eilandje (the little island). We love this area in Antwerp, this is where the locals come to eat breakfast and lunch. Don’t forget to stop by Cordoba, a lovely cozy place where you can easily stay for the whole day! Order the homemade ice tea with red fruit, the soup of the day with bread crumbs and their famous toast with hummus and grilled vegetables.

Cordaba

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Napoleonkaai 1, 2000 Antwerp
https://www.facebook.com/foodbarcordoba

4. Chick Pea

This cozy Mediterranean/Israeli restaurant offers a specialty that we really like: hummus. Next to that – they offer hummus in 5 varieties, with chickpeas and mushrooms – they also serve delicious salads, Italian coffees and fresh juices. We definitely recommend this place; The restaurant is situated in a lovely area, the owner is very friendly and the food was damn good!

Checkpea

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Oudaan 4, 2000 Antwerpen
http://www.chickpea.be/

5. Crumbles & Beans

This place, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and pastries in the afternoon, really surprised us. First of all the owners select their product with great care; bio croissants, fresh milk, wood roasted coffee beans van Antica Tostatura etc.  Besides, the vibe is awesome – warm and comfortable –  the restaurant looks great and the owners are so sweet, the food is cooked with love. Try their quiches and home made cakes!

Crumbles & beans

FOOD – COFFEE – JUICES
Lange Dijkstraat 16, 2060 Antwerp
http://crumblesandbeans.blogspot.nl/

Now you know where to find us! Do you want to know more about the city? Check out our complete Antwerp City Guide!

Love,

Sarah

Oostende | The sunniest town in Belgium

When you think of Belgium, you may think of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent or Bruges. But there is a town near the coast we want you to hear about. It’s the place where Marvin Gaye wrote his hit Sexual Healing and people don’t just call it the sunniest town in Belgium for nothing. We’re talking about Oostende.

Oostende is located on the west-coast of Belgium. It may be tiny, but it has more to it than meets the eye. Yearly more than 100.000 people visit the street art festival The Crystal Ship, where international street artists use Oostende as their canvas. And yes, the marvellous Marvin Gaye wrote one of the most iconic love songs of the world while he lived in Oostende many years ago. Oostende must have something special..

Oostende Belgium
Oostende beach

How to get there

The train station in Oostende is easy to reach from Antwerpen central, so no need to travel by car. There are many hotels, restaurants and shops, but the jewel of the city has to be the beach. During summer this results in a vibrant place to sunbathe and relax at one of the beach bars alongside the promenade. 

Where to Stay

There are many hotels to choose from but the most hip hotel in Oostende is by far the Upstairs Hotel. Funky rooms with brick walls, vintage punch bags and a slide in the lobby (yes, really). The location is perfect because it’s in walking distance from everywhere in Oostende. Rooms are available from 57 euro and includes a breakfast buffet.

Upstairs hotel Oostende
Upstairs Hotel

For a stunning view over the beach, check out fancy hotel C-Hotels Andromeda. Prices are a bit higher but it’s perfect for a romantic getaway. If you are on a budget, there is a fancy youth hostel called De Ploate Hostel which offers dorms but also private rooms with ensuite for a smaller price.

Street Art Festival

If you visit Oostende in April, you must check out this street art festival named The Crystal Ship. The festival was founded back in 2011 but kept changing locations until they made a deal with the city of Oostende. Since then Oostende has become a more colourful city because of the many murals. In total there are 59 large murals and 200+ smaller art pieces throughout the city. The cool thing is that most murals stay here permanently and every year new street art is added to the city.

Street art Oostende
Street Art in Oostende

Where to Eat & Drink

Oostende has a lot of little streets where you’ll find several eateries and bars that will fill up your tummy. Also try a bag of shrimps from one of the local seafoodmarket alongside the beach, or their famous prawn croquette.

  • For a fancy dinner head to Marina. Getting there is also fun because you can take the free ferry across the water and walk for about 7 minutes through an industrial area, where housing developments are well on their way. This part is going to become the new & hip Oostende, mark our words.
  • If you are looking for something a bit more relaxed but trendy, have drinks and bites at Mommy’s Bastards. This place used to be infamous for its mussels but they decided to turn things around which resulted in a funky bar/restaurant with delicious comfort food like burgers, salads and yes, they still serve those killer mussels. Also, try the pink mocktail or G&T’s.
  • Check out Lafayette for casual drinks. They play all sorts of music and young and old take the dancefloor. It’s nothing fancy, but very “gezellig”.
  • If you fancy a traditional Oostende lunch, you can choose between Histoires d’O, where they serve the famous shrimp croquette or Passe-Vite, a trendy hotspot where you can also come for breakfast. Is vegan food your thing? Try Sassy’s for instance. You’ll like the retro look here.


Mommy’s Bastards

Boat Oostende

Where to Shop

There is one main shopping street in Oostende where you will find the bigger brands and stores, but there are also quaint little streets where you can also find some cute concept stores. Our favourites are by far; LILY (for women only, but ooh so good), Lolotte (concept store for all ages!), Joyridestreet (for sneakers and skatewear), Ferm (for goodies, clothes, gifts and jewellery).

shopping Oostende
Lily Oostende

So next time you’re heading to Belgium and you think that Antwerp or Ghent are the only places to visit, think again. Oostende should be added to the list. Find out more about Belgiums sunniest city!

Love,

Elke

 

The Avocado Show is coming to Brussels!

We knew it wouldn’t last too long. The popular avocado restaurant that is famous for their instagrammable avo-dishes, is finally expanding abroad. The Avocado Show’s is coming to Brussels!

It’s big news because avocado fans have been waiting for the restaurant to open somewhere else after their two locations in Amsterdam. The Avocado Show’s first Belgium franchise is set to open at the end of November on the Anspachlaan in Brussels. 

Co-Founder Ron Simpson says; “It’s a personal business goal that I am very proud of”.

The Avocado Show in Brussels will serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Are you ready to get in line?

Love,

Elke

Ghent Light Festival

Although I normally write about traveling with kids, this time I’m posting in the category: trip without kids. Time to escape the life of a working mom so me and my hubby went off exploring Ghent. Luckily for me: The Ghent Light Festival just arrived!

The Ghent Light Festival
For 5 days, people can discover 37 light projects through the city centre. It’s a 6.6 km long route and you’ll be  amazed by ‘the museum of the moon’, where visual artist Luke Jerram brings us closer to the moon than ever before. Also the forgotten dragon from multi media specialist Create is quite impressive. 


The incredible blue moon at the Ghent Light Festival

Besides the great Light festival Gent has so much more to offer. In 2011 Ghent was named Europe’s best kept secret and I totally understand why. This city has lots of historical buildings, fun bars & little shops where you can buy typical stuff like: Ghents noses (sweets) en their famous mustard (you can find them at the “groentenmarkt” square). 

Street Art
Did you know that Ghent also has amazing street art and graffiti? Everywhere in Ghent you’ll find walls covered in colors and art. Although graffiti is supposedly banned here, there are still a few places where authorities do allow it. The Werregarenstraat is a fine example of this. Fun fact: There is a graffiti artist who created ‘Kortpaard’. It’s basically a wide spread yellow horse which can be found throughout the whole city. It was first meant to be a symbol towards rules but now it’s known for the feeling of solidarity between people who are a bit disobedient (aren’t we all sometimes?).

Ghent

Hotspots
» Holy food market; inspired by the food halls in Barcelona, Rotterdam and Copenhagen.

» Aroy Aroy (pop-up); A fixt menu inspired by the Thai cuisine
» The Cobler (bar in Hotel 1898 The Post) – In this new hotel you can find lots of special cocktails). Don’t forget to visit the toilet; it’s perfectly decorated.
» De meacht van Ghent – definitely should try the new Gin tonic!
» The Belfort tower; the middle of the famous Ghent tower row and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999
» Gravensteen; a castle that for centuries has determined the view of the city center of Ghent

If you have kids, bring home a cupcake from Julie’s house. They will love it (mine did)!

For more info about the Ghent Light Festival visit Lichtfestival.stad.gent

Love,

Cheryl

*Cheryl is a mother of 2, with a love for travel. Having 2 kids didn’t stop her from traveling the world and she has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to traveling with children. She will write for Wander-Lust once a month where she will provide you with the best traveling tips for and with children! Find out more on her blog: travellingwithkids.nl

The Antwerp City Guide by Wander-Lust

If you live in the Netherlands, Antwerp is the perfect place to escape to for a city break, especially during the wintertime! We’ve been there many times and checked out some of the best spots for you to enjoy food, drinks and more. Here’s our Antwerp City Guide!

How to get there
Well, you have 2 options and they are both as easy. You can take the train or you can go by car. Both options take around the same time (2 hours) but we prefer the train because you can chill, look out of the window and you will arrive at one of the most beautiful and impressive trains stations in Europe. A  return train ticket from Amsterdam to Antwerp will cost around 30 -40 euro. If you go by car, you might arrive earlier but if you are unlucky, you will get caught in slow traffic and your trip might take up to 3 hours plus you will have to pay for parking.

“This Antwerp City Guide is for wanderers who love food, shops and exploring”

Antwerp City Guide

Where To Eat?
The most important question of course! Well, in Antwerp you won’t be short of food choices. Especially lunch! There are so many hotspots around that we can’t mention them all, but these are our favorites!
» Tinsel, some say that you can get the best breakfast in town here. Tinsel is located near the water where you will find tons of other restaurants. www.tinsel.be
» Native Bio Bistro, This hidden pearl is by far our favorite lunch spot in Antwerp. This bistro serves fresh, original, and good quality food. It’s organic, locally produced with sustainable ingredients, this is Native! Vegan and organic food lovers will love this place! During the summer they open a very nice terrace. www.native.bio
» Bubble Waffle, located in the Mercado foodcourt, this tasty waffle stand awesome! Go here if you feel like something sweet. www.bubblewaffle.be
» Divers, a smoothie-bowl bar for your healthy cravings. Great for some Instagram worthy pics, if that’s what your after. They are located in the Volkstraat 9.
»De Broers van Julienne, when we need to grab a quick and healthy bite, we go here. In a side street of the Kammenstraat – with lots of boutiques – you will find this small cute little restaurant. You can take away the best quiches, soups,  salads and other warm healthy dishes. Besides that, they sell oil, wine, coffee, juices and other delicatessen. They  also offer catering and cook workshops.
» Raw Salad Company, unfortunately they’ve closed their doors in Antwerp but they promised to be back soon with a new location. The name gives it away. Raw salads galore. The salads are extremely tasty and fill you up enough to get on with your day. They also sell juices, wraps, cakes and other healthy snacks. We will keep you updated if they open a shop.
» Umami
, fine dining Japanese style. They restyled not long ago and you can eat amazing Dim Sum here. www.umami-antwerp.be

» Il Famosi, this is by far the best Italian restaurant in Antwerp. Go here for a romantic dinner and if you want more than just pizza.

food-antwerp
From left till right: Raw, Umamian and Il Famosi

Antwerp City Guide where-to-eat-in-antwerp
Bubble Waffle from Mecado (source) and Divers (photo’s by David Plas)

Where To Drink Coffee?
» Mirlo’s, the coffee is great and the location is cute. They also serve breakfast and lunch and it’s all homemade. www.mirlos.be
» Buchbar, surrounded by literature and stories, this coffee bar is different than others. Owned by actress Kim Hertogs, you can feel the passion for books, women empowerment and people. Find more info about this special spot on their website.
» Butchers Coffee, located in a former butcher, this trendy coffee bar takes the coffee business serious and are planning to create their own coffee blend. If the sun is out, you can sit outside on the benches. You can find it on the Kasteelstraat 57.
» Caffenation, self blended coffee and probably the oldest one in Belgium as they started more than 13 years ago. Besides the coffee it’s also a shop and a great place to hang out. www.caffenation.be
» Texas Coffee, for pink latte’s and coffee served in an ice-cream cone! 

Antwerp City Guide -mirlos
Coffee and brunch at Mirlo’s

texas-coffee-antwerp
Pink latte at Texas Coffee

Antwerp City Guide. The Buchbar
The Buchbar

Where to Shop & Stroll?
You have many options in Antwerp when it comes to shopping. No matter what type of person you are, there will be a shopping district that will suit your needs. We have selected 3 area’s that we love.
» Kammenstraat & Kloosterstraat, these 2 streets in South Antwerp offer vintage, exclusive boutiques, living and alternative shops. While most shops are closed on Sunday, the kloosterstraat is one of the only streets open from around 12pm.
» Het Eilandje, this is especially great during summer because you can find a lot of outside patio’s here. Worth mentioning is the MAS Museum where they have many exhibitions on display. The museum is set next to the little harbor and owns a large rooftop which has free entrance.
» De Volkstraat, go here for boutiques, concept stores, perfume and coffee.

» The Meir, this is Antwerp’s highstreet. Although it’s not our favorite place to shop, we need to mention it because here you will find all the shops you need. From Zara, Mango, Levi’s, it’s all here. The street is beautiful but always busy. Watch your purse and don’t stay too long!

MAS Antwerp
The MAS Museum at “Het Eilandje”. Source

Where To Sleep?
Somehow we always end up in the same hotels. Never change a winning team! These are our 3 favorite places to stay.

» Hotel Franq, is a new kid on the block and super cool! Just recently opened in October, the building used to be a bank and you can still find the big safe intact which is now being converted into a gym. When you enter the impressive foyer, you almost forget you set foot in a hotel. The rooms are stylish and have a large bathroom with rain showers. When it’s nice weather, you can sit outside in the garden overlooking an old victorian house. www.hotelfranq.com

hotel-franq
Hotel Franq

» Hotel Les Nuits, we love boutique hotels and this hotel is one of the cutest ones out there! All 21 rooms are designed a bit different but have the same style and feature impressive en-suites. They have recently changed their reception area and removed their suites rooms which is a shame because I really loved those but this way the hotel is more compact and fits better together. Breakfast is great and the location is great! Book a room here!

Antwerp City Guide. Elke in Hotel Les Nuits
Breakfast in bed at Hotel Les Nuits

» Banks, another great hotel at a very central location. It’s modern and a great place to meet people downstairs. Oh, and they also have a rooftop terrace so this is a great option during the summer. Then again, you will be out exploring Antwerp..;-) Book your stay here.

So are you planning your next tip to Antwerp yet? 😉 

Love,

Wander-Lust

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