Where to eat and drink in Mechelen
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 coffee. Here are some tips on where to eat (and drink) in Mechelen.
Not far from the city hall, you will find De Fortuyne. Here, food sharing is in their DNA. Pick a few dishes from the seasonal menu to share or opt for a 3 or 4-course meal with dishes the kitchen decides (you still can decide if you don’t want fish for example). The dishes are very tasty, beautifully presented and innovative. And the menu changes every 8 weeks. So plenty of reasons to go there very often. And they also serve a high-tea on Saturday, which I still have to try.
The old Mechelen meat market is transformed into a culinary hotspot in the center of Mechelen: De Vleeshalle. There are 12 food stalls with a variety of food and drinks. There is something for everyone: poke bowl, ice cream, tapas, fish & chips, … . Tables and chairs are scattered around the area, so you can sit wherever you want to enjoy your food or a beer.
We had this poke bowl from the Avocado bar: delicious.
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 Marketplace and the most famous tower of Mechelen. This is the perfect place to go on a Sunday afternoon or to start the weekend off right.
Ellis Gourmet Burger
Ellis Gourmet Burger is a place in Mechelen where you just stop by 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 my 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 coleslaw, 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 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 (of course) guacamole, tomato salsa, sour cream, and … popcorn. A very nice combination and I would definitely recommend this one.
In the old brewery Lamot, you will find a cozy restaurant with the appropriate name Lam’eau. The menu consists of seasonal dishes but also classic Belgian dishes. The portions are more then enough, especially if you are having a starter and a main. In summer, try to have a table outside for a beautiful view of the river Dyle.
Cosma is the place to be for not your ordinary Belgian dishes. They serve an amazing steak tartare (if you are into raw meat) AND you can choose your own side dishes. They don’t serve fries but for example roasted vegetables or sweet potato mash. And their desserts are beautifully plated. A must when you are in Mechelen. But don’t forget to book a table.
ViaVia is located in the beautiful Kruidentuin. During the summer, you can enjoy their delicious dishes outside. They serve multicultural dishes and there are a lot of vegetarian options. Very friendly service and good portion sizes make this the perfect place for dinner, not only during summer but also during winter.
We don’t have lunch very often in Mechelen, but when we do, we want something with not your standard ham and cheese sandwiches. At Noen they serve delicious lunch dishes like toast with homemade chicken curry salad or toast with guacamole and eggs. And don’t forget to try their homemade lemonade.
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 specialities but also shoarma or durum. My go-to meal here is a Mexicano plate with chicken and lamb with rice. Also, try their Turkish yoghurt with honey.
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 vanilla 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.
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.
Another place to enjoy a good glass of wine is Unwined. Here you can have a large selection of wines 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.
More tasty places in Mechelen will certainly follow ;). If you have some must-try places in Mechelen, you can always share them !!