By Lauren Jade Hill
The Belgian city of Antwerp is renowned for its architecture, arts and design, but it’s also a hub for dining with a bounty of fresh ingredients in the surrounding landscape and Michelin starred chefs who embrace this prime produce. This cuisine can then be savored in locations that exhibit the city’s wealth of unique architecture, from a former vicarage to a renovated church. Read on to discover our pick of the best restaurants in Antwerp.
One of ‘t Zilte’s great appeals is its setting, which affords 360-degree views over Antwerp, from the river and port to the city’s cathedral, the Boerentoren and Sportpaleis. But with two Michelin stars the food naturally takes center stage. Premium produce is used to create refined dishes that deliver surprising taste experiences. Six and eight-course tasting menus include dishes that focus on one key ingredient, such as blue lobster, caviar or veal. These come with the option of wine pairing.
This two Michelin star restaurant is atmospherically set in a renovated church, with the open kitchen located on the altar to reflect its philosophy that food is its religion. The gastronomic restaurant gives diners the choice between an eight or nine-course tasting menu, which can be tailored to suite the individual diner’s needs and featured alongside a wine list of the latest biological discoveries as well as classic varieties .
Located within a 19th-century former vicarage in the village of Reep, Pastorale is a short diversion from the city. Here, it’s the founder and chef Bart de Pooter that’s behind the restaurant’s two Michelin stars. Within the seven or nine-course Biotope menu, five-course Aqua menu, seven or nine-course Flora menu and four-course Mini Dinner Menu, diners can expect specialties like suckling lamb Axuria and carrot, candied with malt, herbs and mustard, and asparagus Werchter by Cas with leek, ramson and smoked butter.
Thierry Theys is the chef behind two Michelin starred restaurant Nuance, which is based on his love for good food, wine and company, while paying attention to quality and atmosphere; chef Theys describes the restaurant as ‘a little bit of Paris with a personal touch’. Wines are then chosen by the award-winning sommelier Steven Wullaert. The five and six-course Flavor Nuances menus incorporate two decadent desserts and come with accompanying wines.
Hofke van Bazel
This Michelin star dining spot places the focus on authenticity in both gastronomy and hospitality. Here, the chef Kris De Roy creates what he calls Cuisine de Coeur, while using fresh local ingredients of the season. The current tasting menu includes plates like green asparagus with black olive, fermented radish, ricotta, rye and passion fruit vinaigrette.
For more inspiration on where to eat on your travels, take a look at the world’s Top 100 Restaurants.