Not all restaurants around the Cathedral of Our Lady are absolute tourist traps. This is especially true for Brasserie Appelmans, a nice Belgian bistro with a great cocktail bar.
You wouldn’t expect it from the outside, but Brasserie Appelmans is a huge. And although they can seat people on three floors, you’ll need to make reservations (T +32 3 226 20 22) if you want to dine here on weekends or other popular restaurant nights. Tourist as well as locals find their way to this restaurant, that serves Belgian classics, often with a modern twist.
I’d start my meal at Brasserie Appelmans with a cocktail. Although cocktails are slightly overpriced, I love their use of fresh fruit, for example in the Kiwi Caipirinha (10 euro).
If it’s your first time in Belgium and you’d like to fully immerse yourself in local cuisine, you should definitely try their ‘stoofvlees’, served with French fries (18,5 euro). Stoofvlees is a traditional Belgian sweet-and-sour beef and onion stew made with beer, and seasoned with thyme, bay leaves and mustard. At Brasserie Appelmans, the chefs prepare it with beer from De Koninck, which is the only brewery left in the city of Antwerp today. If you crave a lighter option, the salad with fresh tune, sesame seeds, mango, peanuts and sweet-and-sour sauce (24 euro) is an excellent choice.
The staff at Brasserie Appelmans is generally very friendly and gives attention to detail. But when the restaurant is crowded, they might not be able to make you feel like a VIP.
Monday to Friday: 12:00 – 14.30 and 17.30 – 22.00
Saturday to Sunday: 12:00 – 22.00
Monday to Friday: 12:00 – 1.00
Saturday to Sunday: 12:00 – 3.00
Price of a glass of prosecco: 7 euro