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.
#1 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
#2 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.
#3 Croquettenbar Smaeck
Croquettenbar Smaeck serves one thing and one thing only: croquettes. Croquettes, or kroketten as we call them, are very popular snacks in The Netherlands. They are sold in Dutch fast food restaurants, so called ‘snackbars’ and are also a very popular snack in Belgium. In a lot of local restaurants, you’ll find croquettes on the menu as a starter. Usually it will be cheese croquettes or shrimp croquettes. But croquettes come in a whole range of varieties. Croquettenbar Smaeck is where you can try almost all of tgem. They serve a multitude of big and small croquettes, with filling such as lobster, chicken, veal or prawns.
Croquettenbar Smaeck is a great place to eat! Tasty croquettes, delicious sauces, a nice salad and above all a very friendly service!
Lange Koepoortstraat 32