Antwerp Belgium Europe Gastronomy

The 13 best cocktail bars in Antwerp

Looking for a tasty drink a bit more stylish than your average beer? Well today is your day my friend! Trot Op! took off on a mission to find the best cocktail bars in Antwerp, and came back with thirteen entries and a slight hangover. Enjoy!

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Dogma Cocktails

*Last update: December 2023

When I started writing this post in June 2021, we’d just come out of the second covid lockdown, and people in the Antwerp bar scene were finally allowed to work again after crying themselves to sleep for seven months straight. To lend them a hand, I called for a pub crawl of truly epic proportions. After all, a well-coordinated bacchanal would prove to be the only way to help our local businesses get back on their feet. We had to empty those wallets, shove our self-respect aside and go on a patriotic booze fuelled rampage without equal. “Ooohoo say can you seeeeee!?” You know how it goes. And would you look at that: since there are still bars open today, it apparently helped. Another feather in my ever modest hat. You’re welcome everybody!

“Cocktail bars are popping up all over the place in Antwerp. Twenty years ago we had to get by with lukewarm Bacardi Breezers on frat parties, now there are too many bars to count.”

But even with the noblest of intentions, one cannot empty five liters of Stella on a daily basis without eventually ending up a homeless alcoholic. This is why I suggested keeping things a little more civil every now and then, by using this re-found freedom to invite some lockdown crush for a drink at your favourite cocktail bar. This way you could not only pour something actually decent down your pie hole while wearing your first shirt in six months, you could also practice your best James Bond one-liners while you were at it. “I thought Christmas only came once a year!? Hohoho!”. Everybody wins!


The 13 best cocktail bars in Antwerp

As far as cocktail bars in Antwerp are concerned, things have been going swell for a long time now. Twenty years ago we had to get by with lukewarm Bacardi Breezers on frat parties, now there are too many bars to count. The last two years have been no different. In my original article there were seven cocktail bars included, but after this update the number went up to thirteen. A lot of new top entries popped up, but how does one separate the wheat from the chaff? Allow me to help you with that. We’ll ignore the dance bars where you can order your mojito in a bucket, and focus on places where the bartenders actually know what the hell they are doing instead. To achieve this, I put on my hippest outfit and my bravest face, and went for a second round of cocktail testing. It was quite the ordeal, but someone had to do it. Enjoy the 13 best cocktail bars in Antwerp!


1.  Dogma Cocktails

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Dogma Cocktails

Dogma Cocktails in the city centre was already featured in an old article of mine about hidden spots in Antwerp, and is one of my absolute favourites. The interior looks fantastic and seems to have time-travelled straight from the roaring twenties (we’ve actually arrived back into them by the way, so feel free to let your inner beast go). The cocktails are wild and unique. I tried one with bacon in it once and it was surprisingly tasty. While exploring the basement, you might discover a hidden speakeasy behind a book shelf. It’s as big as the bar upstairs and even cosier. Remember though: what happens in the hidden Dogma basement, stays in the hidden Dogma basement.


2.  Tazu

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Tazu

Tazu opened shop only last year and was immediately voted cocktail bar of the year by Gault & Millau. With good reasons too, because this bar’s a winner. Tucked away in a beautiful old building in a famous medieval alley called Vlaeykensgang and sporting an interior designed by Axel Vervoordt, one of the newest cocktail bars in Antwerp is also one of the prettiest. Almost everything here is Asian-inspired. This is reflected in top cocktails with for example Japanese gin, whiskey or matcha tea, but also in a real sushi bar where the chef prepares your fish live. Wonderful place and one where they will definitely see me again. Best to book in advance on weekends by the way: it gets crowdy.


3.  Le Souffleur

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Le Souffleur

Le Souffleur is the only true speakeasy in Antwerp. The address is secret, and you can enter by appointment only. In one of the most popular coffee places in the city centre – where people often drink their cappuccino for years without realizing what’s lurking behind the scenes – one of the most beautiful and intimate cocktail bars in the whole city is hidden behind a fake wall. The bar opens up when the barista’s shift is over and it feels like the lobby of an old theatre. The cocktails are top notch and made with care, but those who want to taste one first have to crack the code on the door through an old phone. Great concept, and the perfect place to impress a first date with your in-depth knowledge of the Antwerp nightlife. There are plenty of hints hidden all over the coffee bar by the way. Keep your eyes open.


4.  Belroy’s Bijou, Belroy’s MAS & Belroy’s at Nine

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Belroy's Bijou

In recent years, the Belroy’s guys started a real putsch in the Antwerp cocktail scene. In addition to their first bar in the south of the city, they opened a second one opposite the MAS Museum a few years ago, in a cozy vaulted basement full of private corners. Even more recently, they took over Cocktails at Nine, one of the biggest names in the area, located in a stylish building with a beautiful courtyard near the cathedral. So now they offer three top cocktail bars for the price of one. Belroy’s Bijou is quiet and intimate, Belroy’s at Nine still oozes the classic atmosphere of the previous place and in Belroy’s MAS you can look out over the Bonaparte dock and some rich people’s pompous yachts – yes, I’m envious of anyone more successful than me.


5.  Marigold

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Marigold

Marigold is a new cocktail bar on Vrijdagmarkt, with a unique décor reminiscent of the Hollywood of yesteryear. The atmosphere is nostalgic, but the place was designed with style. They offer both classic and signature cocktails, most of which have an Italian touch. This is also the case for the appetizers. Yes, dining is an option here. You can choose from a variety of sharing dishes. More in the mood for a good glass of wine or a decent beer? Don’t be afraid to order one: you won’t get any looks. The music adds to the vibe as well. Everything is played on vinyl, which means you’ll always get to hear a whole album instead of the playlist on the bartender’s phone.


6.  Speakeasy 1833

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Speakeasy 1833

Speakeasy 1833 must be the hardest cocktail bar in Antwerp to actually get into. This is mainly because they only open on Friday evenings and you’ll have to make a group reservation for any other day. If we’re being strict, 1833 is not a real speakeasy, but it exudes the same atmosphere. The bar is hidden in the old maturing cellar of the De Koninck brewery and was tastefully decorated with old sofas, antique lighting and the occasional wall of beer crates. The vibe is quiet and relaxing, the cocktails are delicious and it’s the perfect place to have a drink after your sumptuous dinner in one of the restaurants on the upper floors.


7.  Jones & Co

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Jones & Co

Jones & Co is one of the oldest cocktail bars in Antwerp and is located in a very pretty building in Pelgrimstraat: one of the nicest streets for food and drinks in the city centre. The interior is beautiful, with a cosy old cellar and a mezzanine up top, so you can enjoy your cocktail on three different levels. The drinks by the way are solid, affordable and unpretentious. This used to be a bar almost solely focused on gin. Since the takeover a few years ago, the menu was made more accessible offering a greater variety of flavours. Great place to wind down for a bit.


8.  Bar Burbure

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Bar Burbure

Bar Burbure is another classic with a fancy, cosmopolitan vibe and can be found in the city’s south side. You can get great cocktails here, but there’s more than that. Both the wine and champagne list are put together well, and those who fancy a beer instead can taste the famous Westvleteren (the best in the world, yes). Want to go all in? Order yourself a big fat cigar and smoke it outside with a glass of good rum, while you ponder about the quickest way of becoming a Latin-American dictator and whether or not that shiny military hat comes with the job. Viva la revolución!


9.  Bar Zar

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Bar Zar

Bar Zar – also on the south side – is not a classic cocktail bar. It comes with an exotic, slightly bombastic interior and a lot of crazy, colourful cocktails. They even used to have a fish tank full of piranhas, but after they kept eating each other and two Chinese exchange students disappeared one faithful night – that last part isn’t true – they sold them and got some more peaceful fish instead. After the corona lockdowns, Bar Zar was taken over by a new, much younger team. Since then they’ve been refining the concept. Both the interior and the menu were fine-tuned, making it a tiki bar no longer. Still a great place where you can drink good cocktails at more affordable prices than in most of the other bars in this list.


10.  Bar Tikila

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Bar Tikila

Bar Tikila is a Mexican themed cocktail bar. This means they’re mainly focused on making as many cocktails as possible with Tequila. To some this is a godlike drink, to me – after a night of downing shots at age 16 – it’s a horrible physical trauma I’ve still not recovered from. I’ll never be able to drink it pure again, but I do still enjoy it in a nice cocktail. Bar Tikila is a fun bar for fun people and serves quality drinks. Feeling more like a good glass of wine instead? Go say hello to the people at Bar Brut next door.


11. Henry’s Bar

Cocktailbars in Antwerpen - Henry's Bar

The last entry in our list is one for those who want to get decadent once in a while. Henry’s Bar is not an independent cocktail bar, but is part of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp: the only 5-star superior hotel in Antwerp and one of the fanciest in the country. You don’t need to book a room to enjoy a drink or a bite at the bar however. You can order some top wines here or enjoy a whisky  so exclusive I would serve it with trembling hands. They have a number of great cocktails on offer as well. I went for the whisky sour and it was not only very tasty; the foam was decorated with an actual piece of gold leaf too – because why not? Pleasant experience, but given the average clientele the drinks are of course a bit more expensive than in the other bars on the list.


There, that was all I had to say about cocktail bars in Antwerp. Do you agree with my little list? Did I forget your favourite (aka: De Vuile Was)? Do you work as a bartender somewhere else and want to prove me wrong? Start shaking those drinks and let me know in the comments below.

Looking for some good food in Antwerp? Click here for my articles on the best vegan, Italian, Latin-American, Middle-Eastern and Asian restaurants. Looking for something non alcoholic? Click here for the best coffee bars in Antwerp.



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  • Reply
    July 2, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Leuke tips om op een warme avond eens te gaan genieten van alle vermoemde cocktailbars . Best in combinatie met een overnachting misschien , om het veilig te houden .

    • Reply
      July 2, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Voor mij ist nu ni ver he. 😉

  • Reply
    July 2, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    En? Welke zou je nu aanraden prijs/kwaliteit? Of om het in de stijl van jouw blog te formuleren: waar kan ik voor het minste geld de beste cocktails gaan verzwelgen?

  • Reply
    May 29, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    Recent is er ook TAZU geopend in de Vlaaikensgang, echt een aanrader voor Cocktails!

    • Reply
      May 30, 2022 at 1:11 pm

      Daar zullen we binnenkort eens gaan zien dan. 😉

  • Reply
    Rod James
    July 30, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Henry’s at the Botanic Gardens . Opened last year and very upmarket.
    Mire mature but still hip audience BOBO types.

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