We only spent one night in Antwerp and our whole motivation for going was one bar. Antwerp is a beautiful city, that had some very unique shopping. P was such a sport and we actually waited a few hours just for a shop to open so I could buy a green leather purse I had eyed the night before. I wish we had more time there to explore…I always want more time. I would choose Antwerp over Brussels for a return trip.
Kulminator was our sole reason for making Antwerp a destination, and it was well worth it. This bar is pretty much legendary in the beer world and it lived up to expectations. I like to say we conquered “beer” with this trip, because we got to try all three Westvleteren brews. You can click on the link to learn more but basically it’s very rare, it’s technically not sold in bars at all and is not on the menu. To be able to try all three together is a unique experience; that within itself made the visit worth it. The Westvleteren Blonde was hands down was my favorite beer of the whole trip. P tried a vertical tasting of Chimay Blue, which is a bottle from 1993, 2004, and 2013. I of course tried all of these, but was not impressed. The 1993 one was musky tasting, the 2004 better but not good, and the 2013 the best…it is cool to say you got to experience it and the bottles were neat but otherwise, not my thing. I was much more happy enjoying my bootlegged beers.
There is a lot of different opinions on this bar around the internet in reference to the owner. We had no problem but we also did not engage with him at all, the wife was very nice and we got great service. The other patrons were friendly as well. We were even warned while in Ghent of the owner so I was a little worried but again we had no problems and I did not feel uncomfortable. Maybe don’t sit at the table inside covered with all the random crap and you will be ok.
Kartini was great..and way too much food. This was a stumbled upon place that turned out to be a wonderful find. Very reasonably priced for the amount of food you get. It was a nice change up from the primarily french influenced dishes we had been enjoying for the past two weeks. It was the perfect way to close out our very beer filled day.
This little cafe was a recommendation from the concierge at our hotel and it was the cutest. I was in love as soon as we walked in. Great brunch but I do recommend reservations.
I got to experience the famous Belgian fries in Antwerp and fell in love with the curry ketchup…I’m still on the lookout for that stateside. It’s amazing the number of sauces there were to choose from.
Offered a nice lunch outside and great people watching. Primarily pub food; we tried a traditional Belgium dish-cheese croquettes and shrimp croquettes.
Recommended but not tested: t’Hofke was recommended by the concierge of our hotel for traditional Belgium cuisine.