5 of the Prettiest Cafes in Antwerp

April 4, 2018

Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Barchel Cafe (1)

 

Image: Design Soda

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Antwerp is having a bit of a fashion moment appearing on people’s radars as a ticket destination for design-filled city breaks where one can still discover a city that isn’t already saturated in our minds. And not wanting to fall behind the curve (natch) that’s exactly where we spent a lovely few days last week. So who fancies joining me in some Belgian cafes today (?) Design a must, waffles optional.  As I almost permanently seem to have a camera lens attached to the end of my nose at the moment I have taken a million pictures of my trip, too many I feel for one design guide to the city. So, today I thought I’d share a few of the pretty cafes we found ourselves in (full design guide to follow next week).

Antwerp is a city of cycles, amazing architecture, slow living and design and a fair few pretty cafes, of the five I include here I could happily live in any of them, but perhaps Barchel with its pared back simplicity the most. I have included each cafes Instagram account as it’s what I used for location etc. Enjoy!

Copper Cafe

Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Best Cafes Copper (1)Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Best Cafes Copper (1) Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Best Cafes Copper (1)

Images: Design Soda

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So, first up is this very pretty (and partly pink) Scandinavian style cafe called Copper which is in the Harmonie district of the city. This is a fabulous (and busy) little cafe which has a lovely relaxed vibe and beautiful homemade cakes, soups and light lunches. It would be perfectly possible to while away quite some time people watching in this laid back neighbourhood cafe. It is situated in a really pretty locality (one of our faves from the trip) so combining a visit with a wander around the beautiful neighbourhood is a must. 

Graanmarkt 13

Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Best Cafes Graanmarkt (2) Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Best Cafes Graanmarkt (2)

Images: Design Soda

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Graanmarkt 13 is a townhouse located in Antwerp’s old town and is a part of a three story offering from Ilse Cornelissens and Tim Van Gelovenwhich which includes both a lifestyle store and apartments to rent on the top floor. The cafe here, more of a restaurant, has two Michelin stars. We didn’t eat here (as I tend to prefer to break the back on design items over food!) but I can tell you that the menu is set with the seasonal offerings of the day. I believe that during more clement weather the space that you see in the top image is opened up for a more informal cafe vibe.

Barchel

Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Barchel Cafe (1)

Images: Design Soda

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Ah, Barchel! I can hardly convey how much I loved this cafe. Proving that simple things can be staggeringly beautiful when done well, and that sophisticated trend following can also be homely and inviting. I loved the use of wood and plants to accent a very utilitarian white design. The tiles add just the right note of relief and the white of the space serves to highlight the original features and high ceilings. Food ranges from breakfast and light meals to cakes and coffee served throughout the day, I had a particularly good rhubarb fruit juice in here, but I’d be lying if I said I was doing much other than soaking up the decor in here.

BLT

Antwerp Design Tour Bloggers Travel Guide Best Cafes BLT

Top Image: BLT

Second Image: Design Soda

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BLT is a new resident in the Berchem area of the city, and although I did in fact have a BLT for lunch here, the cafe’s name actually stands for Breakfast-Lunch-Tapas. With its terrazzo style Lino and veneer tables and chairs, the vibe is relaxed and unpretentious in here, cooking is done from a small kitchen that you can see from the dining space which is a really nice touch. I think it may have been an old fashioned hairdressers in a previous life, as the toilet area attests to with its peachy pink walls, mirrors and wall mounted pink hair dryers! It’s busy and serves mainly hearty sandwich-based foods at lunch time. 

 

Maison Dandoy

 

Image: Design Soda

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Final stop on our tour is a new kid in the old town, Maison Dandoy was preparing for its opening when we happened upon it. Whilst  it isn’t a traditional cafe, it serves good coffee and one of the most tempting arrays or sweet treats, bread and chocolate that we saw on our trip. This place has a lot of dash in the style stakes from the beautiful curved brass lighting to the double terrazzo and simple wood and black metal display shelving, this is one store that ticked all the design boxes for me. I’ll have one of every cake and the interior to take home on the side please!

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  1. Pingback: Design guide to Antwerp, architecture, shops, botanical gardens and cafes

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