When you’re traveling outside Brussels, you might think all the good restaurants are behind you. But just north of the Belgian capital lies Antwerp, where you can find delicious local and international food.
The best cheap restaurants in Antwerp are the perfect stop for any busy tourist needing to refuel after a busy day exploring this beautiful city.
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1. Bia Mara
Since it’s almost impossible to find an affordable seafood restaurant in Antwerp, we nominate Bia Mara as the place to go. Fish and chips here are always fresh and you can even have two portions for the price of one meal at an expensive restaurant.
Bia Mara is also known for its selection of dips, which are made fresh every day, and you can ask for them even if you don’t see them on the menu. Their wide variety of fish and dips will have you coming back to Bia Mara more than once to explore a new type of seafood every day you’re in Antwerp.
2. Het Pomphuis
Some historic locations in Antwerp have been turned into commercial premises, and the restaurant Het Pomhuis is no exception. This restaurant was converted from an old dock building that was once used to drain water from the surrounding area. Despite being in such a historic building, Het Pomphuis has surprisingly low prices.
At Het Pomphuis, cheeses are selected by a specialist, and they go great with the local wine. The place is also known for its specialist pastry chef, who might make you rethink your dieting plans. What we like most here, however, is the selection of affordable and premium meals at the restaurant.
If you’re the type of person who asks about the beer first, you need to pay a visit to Clodette on Paardenmarkt street. The food is very cheap here during lunchtime, and while the number of menu items is limited, you can still enjoy pasta and good sandwiches before heading off to visit your next Antwerp attraction.
The beer selection is impressive and is well worth returning for in the evening when the place turns into a real pub with proper music. Locals say the first food you have to try here is the special Clodette hamburger for its memorable and unique taste.
You can’t leave Belgium before trying out a few bagels. Some of the tastiest bagels are found at Barnini, which also happens to be one of the cheapest eateries around Antwerp. These delicious, round pastries are filled with a variety of different cream cheeses and different sandwich fixings, such as lox salmon or veggies.
American-style coffee is also popular at Barnini, and tourists who have a bit of time on their hands can also order a small dessert such as a Belgian brownie to go with their flat white or Americano while they relax before heading back out into the city.
5. De Peerdestal
Some food lovers simply prefer restaurants with a traditional appeal. While Antwerp is steeped in history, most of its restaurants are modern. Things are a bit different at De Peerdestal, however. Founded in what used to be horse stables, it’s characterized by its authentic wooden décor.
Lamb and steak are must-haves here, and if you’re a vegetarian, this is not the restaurant for you. The place is often recommended by locals if you ask around for good oysters, and the fact that it’s right next to the city center means dropping in for a meal has never been more convenient.
6. De Jean
This is one of the cheapest eateries in Antwerp. It stands out with its incredible prices that are very affordable and late hours, and as such, is quite popular with students. If you’re out in Antwerp and you want a place to eat after all other restaurants are closed, De Jean is worth paying a visit.
If you’re looking for a traditional seafood restaurant with a twist, Zuiderterras is the perfect place. Its premises are often confused with a ship, but the restaurant only looks like one due to its distinct façade.
All of the food here is tasty, and since it’s in Belgium, desserts are also in the spotlight. You can’t refuse a fresh chocolate mousse, can you? Our tip is to visit the restaurant at sunset when you really feel like you’re out on the ocean enjoying a fresh seafood meal.
Situated on Sint-Paulusplaats Street, this restaurant is the right choice if you like to eat big. With a classic French design, the location looks better than you’d first expect. The ribs are excellent here, and you can eat as many as you like. However, you will have to pay for drinks as they’re not covered. The best tip is to choose a bitter Belgian beer to go with the sweet, tasty ribs.
9. Super Natural Food
If you’re after cheap Asian food in Antwerp, this restaurant is just the place for you. It serves cheap, healthy food that is all you’ll need for a boost of energy when exploring the city.
The kitchen is small, but customers can still appreciate the wide selection of meals the place has to offer. Our advice is to plan your visit early, as it’s only open from Monday to Friday until 7 PM.
10. Grand Café Horta
This restaurant is right in the middle of the action and is a solid option for those who are already out in the city’s shopping district. Besides its impressive menu, the main appeal of this place is its rich, architectural background (it was made by Victor Horta).
There’s even a famous staircase inside the café, which is the perfect place to take a few Instagram-worthy photos. In terms of the menu, you can find all types of seafood and even breakfast if you’re out exploring the city early in the morning.