Looking for the best vegan restaurants in Antwerp? Not aching for some bacon, but for delicious plant based dishes? Trot Op! will take you by the hand for a tour of its magnificent seven.
If you want to stay fit and sexy like me, you simply can’t eat burgers and fries every day, kids. Which is why I decided to keep my gastronomic adventures on the healthy side this time. And what better way is there to do just that, than going full vegan for the week? After all: veggies have an undeniable reputation for being awfully nutritious and beneficial to the body. And because a myriad of decent vegan restaurants popped up in Antwerp in recent years, it promised to be a tasty seven days as well. To ensure some quality control, I asked a couple of my herbivore friends for their favourite places. They gave me a whole list of them in no time.
The best vegan restaurants in Antwerp
Some meat eaters truly believe vegans are mythical creatures, roaming the forests with flowers woven through their wild hippy hairdos, wearing self-made hemp clothes and surviving solely on gathered mushrooms and by grazing the odd clearing. This of course, is not completely true. A plant based diet can be surprisingly rich, varied and tasty. I quickly discovered this when I started booking tables at some of the best vegan restaurants in Antwerp. I ate a lot and I ate well, and I didn’t have to go and lie down for two hours afterwards, due to the standard overworked stomach. A pleasant change indeed. Shall we take a look at the list?
1. De Rosenobel
De Rosenobel is a nice restaurant on a prime spot in the shadow of our fabulous cathedral. Some time ago they changed the menu from vegetarian to full vegan. Normally there’s a large buffet to enjoy. You can pick whatever and as much as you want, and the plate is then weighed to figure out the cost. In corona times things are of course slightly different. Now they work with a menu with lots of dishes to share. You can eat everything here, from delicious pizzas and lasagnas to spicy curries and amazing desserts. Perfect for people who still need some convincing on the variety of vegan cuisine. www.rosenobel.be
Aahaar is probably the best Indian restaurant in Antwerp, and it’s completely vegetarian as well – with a lot of vegan options available. The interior is quite basic, but is actually a perfect representation of the average New Delhi restaurants I visited back in the day. The quality and the price of the food here are simply unbeatable. For just €10 – yes, ten euros – you can already get in line for the all you can eat buffet. This said, I would firmly suggest that you go for some à la carte dishes instead, and share them with the rest of your table. Aahaar offers culinary classics from all over India. No tikka masala here, but they have just about everything else. Absolute gem for when you want to eat like a king on a small budget. www.aahaar.com
Right before I finished this article, someone told me to check out a brand new restaurant in Borgerhout, run by a young lady. Clo – in Kroonstraat right next door from Kringwinkel – just opened this February. Two weeks later the corona lockdown started and she had to close down again. Not the best way to start a new business. Luckily the restaurant reopened last month, and seems to be doing well. On weekdays, you can have lunch here until 4pm. In the weekend you can go for dinner as well. If you go, try the sweet potato waffles: very tasty. Go on, support your locals! www.facebook.com/clo.antwerp/
4. Wild Project
The Wild Project is a hip vegan restaurant in the city centre. It’s decorated in a homely way, and gives off a bit of a Mediterranean vibe – as does the food. The owners work with local farmers exclusively, which makes the menu completely seasonal. If you want to try a whole number of different dishes, go for the colourful sharing menu offering four or six courses. You can dig down for just €20/30 per person. Thirsty? Order a fresh cocktail or a fun little microbrewery beer to go with the meal. www.wild-antwerp.com
5. Starfish & Coffee
When Starfish & Coffee – in the south of the city near Den Bell – opened more than 12 years ago, it offered sandwiches with bacon or cheese like so many other businesses did. But after moving to the countryside and falling in love with the neighbouring cows, the owner decided to gradually turn it into one of the true vegan pioneers in Antwerp. She is sticking to takeaway for now, due to the inevitable corona crisis. On Monday, Thursday and Saturday you can order sandwiches with vegan salmon or preparé. On Saturdays you can order a number of more elaborate dishes as well. Salads and lovely desserts are always available when open. Order your food on the website. www.starfishantwerpen.be
Fella is located on the beautiful Vrijdagmarkt in the city centre. This is a vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options. Here too everything is produced locally, which makes for another completely seasonal menu. Perfect for healthy but satisfying lunches, are the thick slices of farmer’s bread topped with different spreads and vegetables. It’s ideal for brunches as well, especially on Friday when the antique market is set up on the square. It’s been there for almost 500 years, which effectively makes it antique as well. www.facebook.com/fellaantwerp/
7. Bar d’Henri
Do you think vegan tapas are hip, but want to take it up a notch? Book a table in Bar d’Henri on a Thursday evening then. There’s a live jazz band playing at that time. Tapas are not the only dishes on offer here. They also offer vegan burgers, wraps and lasagnas. A tapas menu will cost you €25 per person including dessert. Jazzy cocktails are sold as well. Don’t order the Beefeater Gin though – hadn’t made a dumb joke in a while, sorry. Getting a reservation is advisable, take it from me. www.dhenri.be
“The last few years a surprising number of vegan restaurants opened in Antwerp. A couple of years ago, there were just a few places; now you can have a delicious vegan meal all over the city.”
There: seven vegan restaurants in Antwerp for you to enjoy some healthy, tasty and sustainable meals in. Got some more tips for potential vegans? Is your absolute favourite not on the list? Are you still aching for some bacon? Let it all loose in the comments below.
Vegan restaurants in Antwerp: more tips
Several restaurants in my past culinary articles on Antwerp offer vegan meals as well. Read all about the best Asian, Middle-Eastern or burger restaurants in Antwerp (even they often have vegan options). Want to use your next feeding frenzy to help out a good cause? Read this article instead (vegan options included in this one too). Looking for some hidden gems in Antwerp? Two more articles for you to check out here and here. Want to discover the rest of the country: read my posts on Leuven, Gaume, Spa, Koksijde, Charleroi, Bruges or Liège. That should keep you busy.