Hello all! will be in Antwerp in under a week and I was wondering if you could help me with some questions!
1)We don't like traditional touristy stuff so what places should I avoid? Any tourist traps? for example stupid restaurants and 20 Euro chocolates?
2)What and where should we eat like Antwerpians (is that correct?) Anything special to the region?
3)Which are the best vintage clothing/design shops?
what do you exactly mean by traditional touristy stuff?
Antwerp has wonderful fabulous musea and places and ofcourse tourists will be there. The old centre is pretty nice. If you want to see something different, visit the University area (if you are there on a week day you can hop in and out there), visit the red light district, the beguinage, the new marina at Het Eilandje, or go to the left bank to Sint Anna beach.
Or go to Het Zuid. There you have a home brewery. If you are around on 20th of April then you are just in time for the open brewery day and you might have a short visit to the local De Konick brewery.
Tourist traps I would call some of the jewelry shops near the station.
20 Euro chocolats? what you mean by that? 20 Euro a kilo? You can buy cheap but you will hardly eat chocolate then. Normally good quality chocolates comes more expensive, sorry varying from + 28 to 58 euro a kilo,m anything less is probably crap, unless you buy some chocolate bars in the supermarkets.
Good brands are Cote d' or; Callebout, Meurisse... and Milka (the suisse), avoid by all means buy any cheap chocolates (mostly looking mixed chocolates with seefood shapes, it is only fat you will buy, no chocolates).
For fair price and really good quality chocolate Antwerp hands (preferable dark chocolate), filled with marsipan and a LOT of Elixir d'Anvers I found the ones of the chocolatier Bastin in the Paardemarkt (side street of the Italielei).
Every bakery or chocolatier have to make them themselves so they can be quite different from one to the other shop. This one is garanteed descently made.
I went to visit them one day.
It is all handmade and they use good chocolate.
Stupid restaurants... well don't go to the pita resto's near central station, except maybe the Roma, which is Italian and good quality italian food... but you wanted Belgian?
mmm I tried rabit lately in De Grote Witte Arend but it was bad and slightly warmed up. the 11th commandment is nice for a drink but I was never satisfied about their kitchen.
if you like spare ribs you can go to the Amadeus or for fondu at their neighbour Mie Katoen, both are very nice places to be at.
other typical food is stew or mossels. Last time I ate mossels was at Het Zolderke near Conscience plein and they were terrific, only I can make them better `-)
If you go for fries, I would recommend the frietkot Max (it is a small house) at the Groenplaats. From Number One's fries my stomach is allways upset but never from those of Max.
Then we have so many pubs and resto's you might want to make a search on the Antwerp pages, but not all will be already on it.
for shopping.. De Keyzerlei and the Meir will have most brands, for real special shopping I would recommend the area around the Wilde Zee, Hop land (all nearby the huge concrete police headquarters building) and between that region and the Nationale Straat.
There is so much to say about Antwerp but I only ahve 10000 characters here and I might reached the maximum.
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