When visiting Antwerp the other weekend during their gay pride, besides indulging in Antwerp’s nightlife, I also sought out some of the city’s food specialities. Belgium is famous for its foods—from chocolate to fries—but I wanted to see what else the city had to offer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I had more than my fair share of chocolate over the weekend, but there were a few food surprises as well.

On a food & nibbling tour with Visit Antwerp, I discovered some of Antwerp’s food specialities. First up was a butter cookie from Philips Biscuits: the historic Antwerp Hand cookie. Antwerp’s city name derives from an old folklore about a giant’s hand (Ant) being cut off and thrown (werpen) into a river so Philips Biscuits sells the city’s namesake cookie—naturally in the shape of a hand.

Antwerpen cookie
Philip’s Biscuits – Antwerpen cookie
market in antwerp
On Saturdays, the exotic market at Theaterplein features international foods, fruits and vegetables. During our visit, there was everything from churros to African sweets.
antwerp tour
Meat plate with head cheese—a European specialty which is really more like a meat jelly made from way too many parts of the animal
belgian waffle
In Belgium, it’s hard not to try a waffle. This one’s from Desire de Lille – one of the city’s most famous waffle houses
choclates
Assorted chocolate flavors from The Chocolate Line

Belgian Chocolates

Belgium seems to love their chocolatiers and Antwerp was no different than my previous visits to Bruges and Brussels. It seemed like no matter where I went in Antwerp’s old city center, there were chocolate shops on either side of every street. On our nibbling tour, we visited The Chocolate Line. Their chocolates are legendary and besides offering strange-flavored chocolates (fried onions, anyone?), chocolatier Dominique Persoone sells lines of chocolate to rock stars and celebrities. Have you ever snorted chocolate? Didn’t think so.

weird flavored chocolate
Fried Onion flavored chocolate
belgian chocolate
BbyB chocolates in Antwerp – often ranked among the best, and certainly with some of the prettiest packaging
seef bier
Antwerp’s hipster beer!

Seef Beer

Another find on the Antwerp food tour was the city’s newest beer: Seef bier. Apparently made from a recipe that dates back to over 100 years ago, the beer was once the city’s most popular brew. In true hipster fashion, the old has been remade and restyled. Just like PBR has been turned into a venerable beer since its re-emergence, Seef which was once a poor man’s beer, is now one of the trendiest. It was my favorite beer I tasted while in Belgium!

antwerp food tour
Beer and waffles on a food tour – can’t get much more Belgian than that!

 What Belgian foods are you most interested in?

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14 comments

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  1. Wow me likey the food in Antwerp! So exotic yet so classy!

  2. Can’t wait to get to Belgium to try out the food! My husband and I are such food enthusiasts!

  3. Fried onion chocolate? Hmmm, a bit weird I think, haha. And good to see you included beer on the Antwerp list….home to one of the best beer bars in the world!

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  5. Mmmmm…I could eat the Belgian fries and chocolate all day!

  6. Yum! Though I’m not so sure about the onion flavored chocolate…

  7. tell us more about the belgian beer!!!! <3

  8. As a veggie with a savoury tooth, we prefer the classic chips and mayo combo. However, we’d gladly wash that down with a bottle or two of Seef. Thanks for the tip, Adam.

  9. I’ve read about some Australian chocolate maker that’s apparently going to upstage the Belgians if they don’t step up their game. They’ll probably be up to the challenge, though.

  10. Love how you describe headcheese as being made from “way too many parts of the animal.” Yummy?

  11. Chocolate and head cheese. Strange country ;)

  12. I really liked Antwerp’s food scene! There are a lot of great choices there.

  13. Nice post. I’ve been to Brussels, Arlon, Bastogne, and Tongeren but for some reason can’t seem to be impressed by Belgium. This is a great post because I still haven’t visited Bruges or Antwerp and I feel like I would love it. Something keeps compelling me to try places in Belgium even though it’s a small country.

    -Brittany Ruth

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