More refined or more pure versions of classic snacks and fast food. It’s definitely one of the latest food trends. Craving a guilty pleasures that comes with a little more finesse? Let me guide you to the best places in Antwerp.
Frites atelier: luxury fries
Discover the luxury fries of Sergio Herman. Sergio Herman is the chef of Pure-C in Cadzand (1 Michelin star) and The Jane in Antwerp (2 Michelin stars). In February 2017, he opened the first Belgian branch of his Frites Atelier Amsterdam.
Frites Atelier aims to serve top quality fries. They’re made exclusively from Zeeland potatoes, bought directly form the farmers. Homemade sauces, designed by Sergio Herman, complete your culinary experience. I was offered the choice between curry, andalouse, truffle, béarnaise or real Belgian mayonnaise. But I am told these options change regularly.
Frites Atelier has ‘special toppings’ too. Flemish beef stew or peanut crunch for example. And seasonal suggestions that are swapped regularly, of course.
At Frites Atelier, it’s not only about the food, by the way. The experience also plays an important role. Frites Atelier wants to make you feel more than welcome. This means that someone will greet you at the entrance. This person will also take your order. I suspect that he or she should also walk you through the menu (that is not legible when your standing at the entrance). However, when I visited Frites Atelier, it was far too busy for the staff to guide us through the menu. A pity, but understandable.
Because I had no idea what exactly were my options, I went for fries with a selection of two homemade sauces (5 euro). Although the place was swarming with people, the fries were ready in a flash. We ate at a standing table outside.
The fries are great. Crunchy, yet soft and seasoned perfectly. You must try theme fries when visiting Antwerp. You will not be disappointed.
Korte Gasthuisstraat 32
Bia Mara: fish ‘n chips deluxe
Fish ‘n chips made with sustainably caught fresh fish. That’s what it’s about at Bia Mara.
At Bia Mara it’s the sustainable fisheries that decide what fish is on the menu. So expect seasonal lesser-known fish such as hake, sea bream or red peony. The waiter or waitress will tell you what fish is served.
Bia Mara has about 3 tempura preparations and about 5 dishes where the fish fillets are covered with panko. What I love most about Bia Mara are the homemade sauces. I’m absolutely in love with the truffle mayonnaise. And I must admit, it’s better than the truffle sauce I had at Frites atelier. Much more intense.
Bia Mara is one of my favorite restaurants in Antwerp. It’s budget-friendly, it has a nice atmosphere and the fish and fries are prepared with a lot of love.
Würst: refined hot dogs
Würst serves ‘haute dogs’, meaning: refined hot dogs. They are created by Jeroen Meus, who is a famous tv-chef in Belgium. The Jamie Oliver of Belgium, let’s say. Wurst opened just recently (July 2017) right next to Bia Mara. But it’s got nothing to prove. It’s the third ‘haute dog’ restaurant that Jeroen Meus opens.
Haute dogs are made with handmade sausages from an established butchery and artisan bio sandwiches of a master baker. Various toppings turn the hot dogs into real taste bombs. All dogs are inspired by international dishes and flavors. There’s the Mexican dog with merguez and jalapeños and the Belucci with prosciutto and parmigiano, for example.
Würst is open from Monday to Saturday, from 11.15 am till 9 pm. The place has a modern interior and upbeat big band tunes guarantee a cheerful, casual atmosphere.