I was in Antwerp for almost 3 weeks meeting friends, spending lots of quality time with my family, enjoying the cooler weather as Mumbai is really hot for the moment and eating like a pig!
I always feel so much better after a few weeks as the silence in this little country of mine means that I can reload my batteries again. Sitting in the garden for hours or chilling next to the river in the city while hearing the soft noises of birds in the background is like being in heaven for me.
I tried to go to different restaurants which had glutenfree options every time I went out with friends. There are so many more to discover which will definitely happen over the next few vacations in Antwerp.
Charlie’s, Volkstraat 63
One of the first places I went to was Charlie’s. Its located in Antwerp South, a trendy place with lots of restaurants and terraces. I love this part of Antwerp, its such a cosy part of the city which gives you a warm feeling inside and you can always find people relaxing and laughing.
Charlie’s is a few buildings away from my old Steiner school(you should check out that beautiful Art Nouveau building if you are ever there!).
It has been called the best coffee bar of Flanders and Brussels 2017 so you can imagine how excited I was to go there as they also had glutenfree options. The sun was shining which makes you instantly happy on a colder day so we decided to sit on the terrace outside which was placed on the footpath like most bars and restaurants there.
I got some tea called Scuba Garden to keep myself a bit warm and is made out of green rooibos and spirulina, the taste was quite subtle but nice! They got so many different teas which are too interesting not to try and coffees in all kinds of flavours with kinds of milk like almond, spelt, quinoa cocos, oat, rice etc. The best part is that they give you a glutenfree cookie along with it when they know you are gluten intolerant!
I decided to have a 3 cheese panini and a mozzarella pesto panini with some salad. The bread was just incredible and makes you want to eat it every day! I love cheese so the 3 cheese one was just perfect but the pesto one needed a little more mozzarella even though the taste was still great together with the sun-dried tomatoes.
The staff were very helpful and answered whatever questions I had with a big smile. You should definitely come here if you want to have some tea time with your friends or want to eat some healthy, tasty food in a place with beautiful decor.
Burgers and Booze, Leopold de Waelstraat 7
Another place in Antwerp South that I went to was Burgers and Booze, a trendy restaurant/ cocktail bar with really cool paintings on the wall and like the name says, lots of burgers and booze on the menu! Everything on the menu can be asked gluten free and even dairy free. They bake the gluten free buns in silver paper and the staff is well aware about gluten intolerance. I got a burger called Viva Las Vegan. It’s made out of a mushroom patty with some salad, cheese etc and there is pesto in it too. The cocktails were really good and I can’t wait to have a party in this place as they have a lot of different shots too!
De Biologische Bakkerij, Volkstraat 17
One more place in Antwerp South (I just love this place sorry!). It’s a cute bakery with outdoor seating and right next to it can one find the glutenfree bakery Eugène which is never open when I’m there but which has the best glutenfree breads ever with a lot of other products to be found. Hopefully the next time I’ll time it right and reach there when it is open as I really like their stuff.
Now back to the other bakery. This one also has a glutenfree option for their sandwiches and I chose a simple one with cheese which came with lots(!) of salad. My friend’s sandwiches where made out of big lovely looking buns so I was a bit jealous as I had plain slices of bread, but it tasted really good so I didn’t bother anymore after my first bite. We had a chai latte instead of tea for once and it was not bad! I’m obviously used to the best chai ever in India which has a stronger taste but this one was quite subtle in flavour.
Frites Atelier Amsterdam, Korte Gasthuisstraat 32
I always crave for fries so I went to a new place called Frites Atelier. It’s owned by a really famous chef here called Sergio Herman. They work with only the best products and you can taste it in the fries. They are baked in clean vegetable oil so it is definitely safe to eat. I didn’t have much choice in the menu as their special on top was flemish stew and another one was with seafood. So I took fries only and added lots of truffle mayonnaise. It tasted so good! They worked together with Kamagurka and the napkins had cute comics on top of it which makes you smile instantly. If you eat non-vegetarian, definitely come to this place and try out their yummy fries with stew or seafood as it looked really good!
Chickpea, Melkmarkt 4
16 of May was the International Celiac Awareness Day and I celebrated it by going to a place where they have amazing hummus. I make it often at home and it’s one of my favourite dishes! Someone told me about this new place and I knew I couldn’t go back to India without trying it out. It’s behind the cathedral and Groenplaats and it has a few tables in front of their restaurant which is lovely when it’s a sunny day, so we obviously sat outside again. I had a glutenfree hummus falafel with crackers and my friend had hummus with mushrooms (looked delicious too!). It was really good and I wish that their plates were even bigger than they already are. It came with a plate of pitas (not glutenfree!) and a salsa of tomatoes. I had an ice tea which was not sweet at all which is actually a nice change for once, it was so refreshing. Next time I’ll try the mushroom dish or experiment with the many other glutenfree dishes that are available there. So if you love hummus and pitas, definitely pass by this place. It can be vegetarian, vegan, glutenfree, meaty, fishy etc! Perfect for everyone!
Moderato, Oudevaartplaats 12
This is a cute little Italian restaurant with a nice family vibe and the menu written on the wall. Its run by a lovely couple who are the only ones working in the restaurant making sure it’s a smooth operation. We called them a few days before we went there to check if they had glutenfree options and they told us that they would buy glutenfree pasta for me. I was allowed to choose whatever I wanted with my pasta and I chose asparagus, cherry tomatoes and cheese. I was there with 10 other family members of mine and everyone got their orders at the same time as the chef was excellent in his timing while working all alone in the kitchen. The only thing I didn’t like was that there was hardly any taste in my pasta so I asked for some pesto and then everything was alright. They also had really good white wines.
These are just a handful of restaurants with glutenfree options. I love how the city has changed where there are so many glutenfree options, and the staff at restaurants usually know how to treat and serve people with a gluten intolerance and make sure they enjoy an evening out without coming back sick. Can’t wait to explore more of them!