Looking for the best burgers in Antwerp? Trot Op! explored the city streets for an in-depth investigation and listed the 7 tastiest burger joints for you.
Homer J. Simpson – one of the great philosophers of our age – already said it and he was right: “You don’t win friends with salad.” Dieting and eating lettuce and cauliflower rice all day sure is nice and healthy, but it never made anyone any happier. Every now and then you just have to allow yourself to let it all go. And nothing tastes better in that regard – especially after a wild night out – than a big juicy burger. Fortunately, there are plenty of decent burger restaurants in Antwerp. In for a fancy black angus gourmet burger? Can be arranged. Looking for the Bicky Burger of your dreams? Also a valid option in this town. The choice is yours. After all, your veins can cope for a few more years before they’ll inevitably and fatally clog up. Enjoy it while it lasts friends!
Burgers in Antwerp: discover the 7 best burger restaurants
But where to find the most excellent of burgers in Antwerp? For every good burger joint, there are two others pushing mystery meat through the grinder, and the tasteless grey cardboard they put in the plastic buns at some unnamed fast-food chains, won’t exactly make you dance the table in joy either. Selfless as I am, I put my athletic physique on the line last week, just to be able to guide you to the best spots. This was done with two rules in mind. 1. I have to like the actual burgers. 2. No big multinationals and no Belgian franchises either unless I regularly go there. Beef me up, baby!
*Last updated: January 2024.
Monkeys is the only burger place in this list outside the city centre. It can be found in the district of Deurne, on Turnhoutsebaan near Cogelsplein. This might be a lesser known restaurant for most Antwerp residents, but this hip little place quickly became a local hotspot. This is partly due to its friendly staff, but mainly because of the fantastic burgers (with different types of fries) they serve. You can order beef, chicken or fish varieties, as well as pizzas, delicious mocktails and desserts. Everything is freshly prepared and is completely halal. My more religious readers should thus not worry, and can wildly lose all self-control while they binge-eat themselves into oblivion. Lovely stuff.
2. Burger Boutique
Burger Boutique is the newest burger restaurant in Antwerp and is located on ‘t Eilandje. This is a small and stylish place, opened in December by Renée from Le Steak ’17 across the street: a delicious steak restaurant in its own right, and the new burgers are on the same level. You’ll pay a little more for your burger on average here, but you’ll get bang for your buck. Everything is cooked on a large Green Egg barbecue; the meat comes from Belgian white-blue cows – those massively muscular Mr. Olympia beasts – from one specific farm and the buns come straight from the bakery. It’s mainly the toppings that make the difference for me though. I picked the fairly traditional BBQ burger, but you can also order one with a quail egg and tartare, with goat cheese and honey, in Italian style with mozzarella or even one with bone marrow. And if you really want to go wild, you can ask for a portion of caviar or champagne to go with it. Yolo! (yolo is still a thing right?)
Plump is not only what you’ll become after checking off this whole list in a week, it’s also the new concept by the people behind the popular Burgers & Grapes in Mechelen. They started their venture during the pandemic, but wanted to expand the concept with a restaurant in their own city of Antwerp. In early 2023 they opened this one, in Kronenburgstraat near the Institute of Tropical Medicine. In Plump, you’ll get way more than you expect from an average burger shack as well. Sit down with some friends and enjoy several beautifully presented starters and side dishes to share. Have a nice glass of wine while you’re at it, and then dig in to a tasty smashed burger in a brioche bun. Smashed burgers get flattened on the grill, caramelising the meat and crisping up the edges while everything inside stays nice and juicy. Hard to say no to. www.plump.be
4. Beastie Burgers
Beastie Burgers opened its first restaurant in Nationalestraat a couple of years ago. It’s still there and doing well, and probably has the craziest interior on the list. The burgers are served from the A-Team van, and on the upper floor an entire wall is covered with amplifiers. The chandelier is an actual drum kit bolted on the ceiling. The burgers here are big, tasty and were named after a bunch of rock albums: from the signature Beastie Burger to things like High Voltage or Brown Sugar. The fries are exceptionally good as well, and there is a lot of different meat to choose from: several varieties of beef, chicken, fish and even lamb. Highly recommended, and in the meantime they opened a second store across from the UGC Cinema. They sell smashed burgers there as well.
5. Manhattn’s Burgers
Manhattn’s Burgers can be found on Groenplaats, right across the street from the now-gone Hard Rock Café, and served as its main competitor. This is the only real franchise on the list, which was founded by two Belgians a couple of years ago. Both had a history in New York City, and wanted to bring their own take on the Big Apple burgers to their home country. Now they have five locations in Brussels, one in Paris, one in Ghent one in Leuven and of course this one in Antwerp. Here too, you’ll eat very tasty gourmet burgers in a variety of tastes and shapes, all named after NYC legends or landmarks. Their signature sauce is finger licking good as well. Don’t ask me how it’s called, but it’s tasty.
6. Philly Sandwich Bar
*I couldn’t get hold of the owner for pictures, so I’ll use this Fresh Prince meme instead for now. He’s also from Philadephia, where he was born and raised.
I’m cheating a bit by adding Philly Sandwich Bar to the list. They don’t sell burgers after all, but Philly Cheesesteaks. This is a street food classic from Philadelphia where they throw some thin slices of premium steak, caramelised onion and melted cheese onto a baguette. Not the same as a burger, but in terms of comfort food they hit exactly the same spot. The Philly Sandwich Bar in Kerkstraat on the outskirts of Borgerhout has been serving the original for years as if it was flown here straight from the States. In addition to the cheese steaks, they offer a lot of typical American sides, and they even have a vegan option. A few years ago, a second restaurant opened up near the City Hall.
7. Bicky Burgers in a frituur
Are you in Antwerp or Belgium for the first time? Please ignore the list above for now, go to a frituur (chip shop), order some fries with meat stew and mayonnaise, and get a Bicky Burger to go with it. Forget about the waffles: this is the most authentic introduction to Belgian cuisine you can possibly get. A Bicky Burger is probably one of the unhealthiest fast food snacks you can order anywhere, but goddamn do they taste great. A Bicky is a burger with three unique sauces (no one knows which ones they are) and fried onions. The meat is not grilled but deep-fried. This could potentially sound disgusting, but take it from us as a nation: it’s pretty good bro. Every frituur in Antwerp sells Bicky Burgers, but I’ll give you a few I regularly frequent myself so you’ll get your money’s worth. Frituur ‘t Stad (Melkmarkt), Frituur De Smulpaep (Varkensmarkt), Frituur Arré Patat (Sint-Jansvliet – try one of their dishes here) and Delibox in Sint-Jacobstraat. The latter is pictured above, because Mehrdad is not only the nicest chip shop owner in Antwerp, he also promised he’d put his tasty marinated chicken sandwiches back on the menu if this article goes viral. Make it happen folks!
There you go: these were my favourite burger places in Antwerp. Did I forget any? Please let me know. Have a craving for something else? Read my blog posts on the best Asian, vegan, Italian, Middle-Eastern, African, Latin-American or Dutch restaurants in Antwerp. Care for a drink instead? Discover the best cocktail bars or coffeeshops in Antwerp.