Although Mechelen is not well known among tourists, it is a very beautiful city to visit. On top of that, there are also a number of very good restaurants and places to enjoy a good glass of wine or a coffee.
If you want to enjoy a good glass of wine or cava and combine it with some good tapas, you have to go to Sava at the Grand Place of Mechelen. They serve a wide variety of different wine types by the glass. You can order different kind of tapas or you can do like us, order a hot mix. This is perfect if you want something small to eat with your glass of wine and consists of chicken, meatballs, mushrooms, and some pepper. With this, you also get some bread and olive oil.
Outside, you have a fantastic view of the Market place and the most famous tower of Mechelen. This is the perfect place to go on a sunday afternoon or to start the weekend of right.
A stop during shopping is MLKSHKBR at the entrance of the Kruidtuin in Mechelen. Here you can buy fresh milkshakes in three different sizes. Besides the plain vanille milkshake, you have the choice between a variety of original combination. I went for the blueberry and maple syrup milkshake that was perfect for a hot day. Unfortunately, you can try these milkshakes only during a limited period, because this is a pop-up bar.
Ellis Gourmet Burger is a place in Mechelen where you just stop buy if you want a quick and tasty burger. I only went there once, but it certainly is a place to stop by more often. I ordered the funky chicken burger while by boyfriend ordered the Blue Cheese Madness. Because you can choose your side dishes, you are not obliged to take the french fries (although they are very good). I picked the cole slaw, which was a very good choice to complement my funky chicken burger (which was a piece of chicken breast between a bun). Ellis Gourmet Burger is the ideal place if you want something fast.
Another not-your-normal burger restaurant in Mechelen is Il Cardinale. It is located next to the Sint-Romboutstoren and became very popular in a short time. Although often you have to wait some time to get a table, my friends and I got seated pretty fast. All the burgers have a name with a ´holy´ reference such as The Godfather, Noah and the fish, or sacri monti. I picked the Holy Guacamole: a chicken burger with (ofcourse) guacamole, tomato salsa, sour cream, and … popcorn. A very nice combination and I would definitely recommend this one.
For a very good coffee, you have to go to Beans. This little coffee place does not only serves delicious coffees (such as a Crazy Caramel) but you can also have breakfast or lunch here.
If you like to enjoy some good tea, you have to go to Mona´s toast and Tea. It is located at the beginning of the main shopping street in Mechelen. They also serve homemade ice tea, other hot beverages, lunch and some delicious looking cakes.
Another place to enjoy a good glass of wine, is Unwined. Here you can have a large selections of wines that that can be tasted by the glass. And because a good glass of wine asks for some food, you can have some charcuterie or cheese to go with it.
You can enjoy a good cocktail at Barramundo, not far from the Grand Place. They have a good selection of cocktails and gin tonic. You can enjoy them in some very comfortable seats and in the summer on the little patio outside.
A well known place to have a quick and late night snack, is Merad, near the train station. If you want some good Turkish food, you have to be here. You not only have Turkish specialties, but also shoarma or durum. My to go meal here is a mexicano plate with chicken and lamb with rice. Also try their Turkish yoghurt with honey.
More tasty places in Mechelen will certainly follow ;). If you have some must-try places in Mechelen, you can always share them !!