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Less is more ... rather than overwhelming you with volumes of travel tips, here is a specific list of exclusive recommendations with Mr & Mrs Crystal's stamp of approval.

restaurants

De Kleine Zavel

Once a shipping hotel, this modern brasserie-style restaurant close to the dockside quays (but not far from the Grote Market) is one of Antwerp’s most sought after and reliable eateries. The contemporary menu seamlessly fuses French and Belgian flavours with some Mediterranean and Asian influences and the quality is consistently excellent.

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 View Map ... Stoofstraat, 2, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
De Peerdestal

This cosy brasserie is tucked away in a quaint street near Grote Markt, Antwerp’s historic square. Its rustic interior is as comforting as its classic Belgian fare and can be enjoyed either as a romantic night or with a group of friends.

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 View Map ... Wijngaardstraat 8, 2000 Antwerp, Belguim
Flamant Dining

For a simple lunch, a refined dinner or even a special occasion, head to Flamant Dining. The vibe is relaxed but the food is smart, and traditional dishes are translated with ease into exquisite gourmet fair. Linger over the quality wine list and enjoy your drop of choice beside the fire or on the roof terrace. The fact that you can shuffle between Flamant’s home interior concept store and your delectable bowl of tasty linguine with black truffle appeals to those of us with many interests but never enough time.

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 View Map ... 12 Lange Gasthuisstraat, Antwerp, Belguim
Heckers Dinner Wine Bar

If you love food and wine, head to this trendy restaurant for all day drinking and dining. Let the chef tempt you with a meal designed purely based on your wine selection, and during the warmer months, enjoy your meal on the rosemary filled terrace. If you are not rushing off to shop or sightsee, experiment with a “surprise menu” of 15-25 dishes based on the wines you choose.

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 View Map ... Kloosterstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Lux

Lux is an exciting and vibrant gastronomic destination, worthy of a full night of your itinerary. Start with a pre-dinner aperitif in the sleek Lux cocktail bar and end the evening in the stylish basement lounge, but in between, immerse yourself in the luxury of Lux. The large restaurant retains an intimate and romantic ambience, complimented by great views, smooth service and subtle lighting. The sophisticated Belgo-Med cuisine is a treat and the wine list is accomplished. The attention to detail is self evident – even a humble carafe of the house wine comes with a swish tag with the name and vintage.

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 View Map ... Adriaan Brouwerstraat, Antwerp, Belgium
Velvet Lounge

Velvet Lounge is a stylish restaurant located in the reclaimed docklands area, where local trendsetters come for the winning combination of an elegant dining space and a buzzing bar area. The loungey tunes ensure that the vibe remains chilled rather than clubby, and the result is a sophisticated spot where you don’t need to change venues after dinner to continue the fun.

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 View Map ... Luikstraat 6, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

what we think

Head to Antwerp for quirky vintage pieces, avant garde designer labels, slick street wear or even glistening diamonds – it has recently become one of the hottest European shopping destinations. Take a stroll through the charismatic downtown streets, wander through the historic squares and pause only for a pot of fresh moules and frittes, washed down with a perfectly poured Belgian beer. In the winter months, enjoy mulled wine with traditional waffles whilst soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of the Christmas markets. Antwerp claims to have founded house music and a night out at one of its restaurant-cum-clubs certainly supports this theory.