EAT: recommendations for vegetarians and their omnivorous friends.

olivebread

I enjoy eating out and have been vegetarian now for over 30 years. Antwerp has some good places to eat if you are vegetarian. Here’s a pick of some that I enjoy in Antwerp, along with a quick summary of price. I’ve included some where veggies and omnivores can eat together, because most of my friends are not veggies, but we can always find something that suits everyone:

For hardcore Lentil Lovers:
 
Aahaar’s: Indian, informal- wholly vegetarian/ Vegan/ Jain

Ignore the menu and go for the all-you-can-eat buffet for a tenner. It’s excellent.

Lombardia –Cafe, vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten-free etc
This is nice food but it is a bit on the pricey side. It’s OK for lunches and early evening meals. It’s informal and a little cramped inside, so not ideal with wriggly kids and/ or push chairs, but there is space outside during summer, so it’s easier with kids then.
Aviary Photo_131041096545086311
Greenway
Greenway –vegetarian food on Groenplaats. I like this venue, which is part of a small chain. It is the sort of place that normalises vegetarianism, being a regular sort of eaterie that just happens to not have any meat. Light, airy decor. Good for tourists or locals. Perfect for healthy lunches and snack stops.
This is pricier but very nice. Almost totally veggie, it usually offers one or two fish dishes. Good food and good service. You probably need to book
(the one on Kasteelpleinstraat is better for evening meals; the other one has more of a lunch/ cafe vibe).
Not wholly veggie, but with really good veggie choices:
Yazh
Yazh (Sri Lankan and South Indian dishes, Van Arteveldestraat) is a fairly recent arrival and I went there when it had only just open and wasn’t fully organised to offer the full menu yet. However, what we ate was good, simple, tasty and really good value. The service was welcoming and informative. It’s the sort of place where you can feel free to ask a question about the dishes. A colleague of mine has been more recently and she thoroughly enjoyed her meal, so I am keen to go again soon.
 
I love this place. It is not cheap but it has great, fresh food for veggies to eat alongside their omnivorous dining companions. Nice relaxed atmosphere, delicious Greek tapas, down next to the river. You need to book and you get the table for about 90 mins. If you book the later sitting you can stay longer, for post-prandial drinking, because it is the perfect food and venue for sitting and swilling loads of red with…
Originally just near MAS museum, now with branches in Berchem and on Leopold plein; very nice, but not that cheap. Handy for combining with a trip to the museum (for the one at Eilandje).

Nice location, good service, very tasty Nepalese, Thai and Japanese food (including a good choice of veggie Sushi, also to take away). Good service and staff who clearly take pride in what they produce.

Tarbouch (Lebanese)

Tarbouch
Tarbouch

I have only been here once but I am definitely going back. It offers a delicious buffet with the vast majority of choices being vegetarian. Ingredients are fresh and really nicely presented. Check the website and go with carnivorous or vegetarian friends on the buffet night. It’s a good deal.

Falafel

I really like Falafel (which you can get at Tarbouch too, of course) and find that Falafel places are always ideal when there is a group of veggie and non-veggie diners, looking for quick, cheap, informal food.

There is also a great (fairly) new Lebanese place on Hoogstraat: Shami. Here’s my Happy Cow Review.

Also on Hoogstraat is Falafeltof. I have not been there but have heard good things.
FalafelBeni.
Beni Falafel
However, I think most falafel fans will agree that Beni Falafel is pretty much the best choice for falafel in Antwerp. Beni’s has an all-vegetarian menu and is located in the heart of the Jewish quarter on Lange Leemstraat. It is fresh, tasty and cheap. Service is quick and friendly.
oscar
Bar Oscar is a bit of a hidden gem that is well worth finding – just off the Carnot Straat (cross over Astrid Plein) and a very short walk from Central Station. It’s cool, without being pretentious, and the service is friendly and efficient. Most of the food is healthy, tasty, and vegetarian/ vegan with the odd option for omnivores. I like the way children are made welcome, and share the space with the more trendy adult clientèle from the design centre. It’s a great place to stop if you have decided to get away from Meir, and instead head to the shops along Carnot Straat and around that area.
Escobar
Escobar -friendly, tasty, cute venue!

 

…. As is Escobar on Quellinstraat, which has been there for about 5 years now and has built up a steady, busy lunch trade (also does breakfasts) and deservedly so. It’s a very pretty eaterie where everything is fresh and nicely presented. Friendly service, fresh food, great home- baking. Kids are welcome and there is a sunny back garden to sit out during summer time.

Hochan

 

The food on Keyserlei (in front of the station)is largely consumed by tourists. Most of it is OK as pub style food, or for a pizza but on the whole there is nothing there that is worth a really hearty recommendation (although I like stopping at the bars for a drink), with the possible exception of Ho Chan House on the Breydelstraat (just off Keyserlei) which is a Chinese restaurant with an entirely separate vegetarian menu -just ask. It’s often busy and lies in the heart of the tourist area, so if you want to be sure -book.

 

 

soup
delicious seaweed, egg & tomato soup at Bai Wei

Obviously there is a great deal of choice in China Town itself. The Best has a good selection for vegetarians, but my current favourite is Bai Wei. It has fewer choices for vegetarians, but it’s incredibly tasty and fresh. The noodles are hand-pulled on the premises (you can see the chef doing this on the open-plan first floor) and I am assured by my usual dining partner (who lived in Taipei for six years) that as far as taste is concerned, this is the real deal. It’s very reasonably priced, and friendly, so although other places might have more numerous choices for vegetarians, I am more than happy to head to Bai Wei.

Finally, I guess we couldn’t leave a restaurant post without mentioning pizza. There are lots of them in the tourist area of the old town and near central station, of course. But I like La Grappa on Anselmostraat, for a decent pizza in a lively, friendly pizzeria, when we are out with the kids. The desserts went down pretty well too …

tartufoGRAPPA
Tartufo at La Grappa

 

This is just a small (and personal) selection of what is available around Antwerp. Please add recommendations of your own in the comments!

Eet smakelijk!

 

 

 

 

One thought on “EAT: recommendations for vegetarians and their omnivorous friends.

  1. Pingback: The Big Fat Antwerp Summer Post! – nessascityblog

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