Antwerp is always great for a day trip or weekend break in Belgium. The city has a beautiful history and you can shop and enjoy life to the fullest. It is also sometimes seen as the culinary capital of Flanders. The multicultural character makes it possible to taste every kind of cuisine. From typical Belgian food to Japanese, Chinese or African, you’ll find all kinds of dishes. In addition to the numerous restaurants, Antwerp also has regional products to offer. We have brought together for you the most famous Antwerp regional products in a culinary guide.
Antwerp Hands are the most famous biscuits from the city of the Scheldt since 1934. The biscuits or chocolates, with or without filling, are made in the shape of a hand and refer to the legend of Silvius Brabo and the giant Druoon Antigoon. You can find the biscuits in all kinds of shops, the chocolate version filled with marzipan and Elixir d’Anvers you buy at Chocolatier Goossens, inventor of the specialty. The legend about a mythical Roman soldier Brabo who killed the giant Druon Antigoon and threw the severed hand into the river Scheldt has become the city symbol of Antwerp. The statue of Brabo can be found on the Grote Markt.
Delicious Belgian Fries
French fries are an inseparable part of Belgian gastronomy and are also an integral part of Antwerp’s street scene. Traditionally the fryers sell them in a paper cone or a cardboard container with a large scoop of sauce on top. Fritkot Max is perhaps the best-known fryer on the Groenplaats. Besides that, Frituur n°1 has also been a well-known name in Antwerp for a long time. Just a few steps away from the Grote Markt, in the Hoogstraat, this place is a real attraction for tourists.
Would you rather try some luxury French fries? Then you have to go to Sergio Herman’s Frites Atelier in the Korte Gasthuisstraat. Top quality frites with fresh home made sauces and seasonal specials at a slightly higher price.
Belgian chocolate is world famous. Some well-known chocolatiers have settled in Antwerp: Burie, Goossens, Günther Watté, Pierre Marcolini, Dominique Persoone (The Chocolate Line), Del Rey … One of the most special chocolatiers can be found in the Palace on the Meir by Dominique Persoone. He is one of the three chocolatiers mentioned in the Michelin guide and if you taste his chocolate you will understand this immediately. He works with very special flavour combinations and is not afraid to experiment. The most bizarre fillings can be found in The Chocolate Line chocolates.
A registered trademark since 1870 and the company survived the two world wars. For the people of Antwerp, Elixir d’Anvers or the ‘water of life’ is known as something truly Antwerp. Made by a medical and pharmaceutical student, the drink contains no less than 32 different herbs mixed with pure alcohol, water and sugar. In 2011 it was officially recognised as a traditional regional product.
Antwerp is the perfect place to get a taste of the Bollekes van De Koninck and the Bootjes van Seef. The city is not only known as a fashion city and for its chocolate, but also for its beer. Brewery De Koninck brews the famous Bolleke, De Koninck Triple d’Anvers and Wild Jo. Since October 2012, the brewery has been part of the group of breweries around Duvel Moortgat and cheese master Van Tricht (voted best cheese shop in Europe by the Wall Street Journal) has accommodated a cheese maturing facility in the brewery. The brewery has a visitor centre. This innovative beer experience centre focuses on the brewing process, Belgian beer glass culture and tasting sessions.
The ginger tea Gingerlove originated in the vegetarian restaurant Lombardia. They wanted to offer their customers more choice than standard coffee or tea, so they developed a new hot drink: GingerLove. A tea without caffeine or theine, but with ginger and fresh fruit. A ginger wood with a foam collar. Soon this became a world-famous drink that was even drunk at the World Expo in Shanghai.