Antwerp Picks

A concise guide through the city that almost sleeps - had it not been for the Antwerp Six who called this city 'home' and sparked an avantgarde awakening beyond all borders and within the world of fashion.

Best Shop
Ann Demeulemeester
Leopold de Waelplaats

The first floor, a white open space with wooden floors, reminds of an art gallery - long dresses suspended from the ceiling. Following a narrow staircase, the upper level is divided into smaller segments and themes, accented by round black chaiselongues.

Best Restaurant
Nationalestraat 32

An almost clinical, minimalist space dominated by white marble, steel and glass. The kitchen itself is classic with experimental fusion twists and the menue offers a wide range of choices for lunch as well as dinner.

Best Bar
Marnixplaats 14

The triangular space is defined by raw wooden wall panels and an open-plan glass front that allows inside/outside views and nurtures the social atmosphere. A great spot for after-shopping drinks, preferably a glass of Kriek cherry beer.

Best Snack
Haute Frituur
Vlaamse Kaai 66

Fries, croquettes and other deep-fried delicacies are served in this stylish fast food bistro located at Klosterstraat - close to the numerous vintage furniture boutiques. Although the interior looks tasty, a calorie warning is mandatory.

Best Magazine Retail
Melkmarkt 17

For a collector of the monthly printed matter, this magazine shop holds all relevant international titles - shortly after their original release. Practical: a self-scan terminal displays the item price - ideal to synchronize one's budget.

Best Concept Store
Kloosterstraat 13

RA begins where the Rupocalpse has ended. Visually as entertaining as the closet of a drag queen (exploded), the concept store offers a colourful mix of Japanese design, London graduate collections and conceptual accessories.

Best Shoe Boutique
Schuttershofstraat 8

Offering a small but careful selection of designer shoes, it is the first address on the hunt for key pieces from runway collections. Raf Simons, Prada, Balenciaga. The best of the best. Guests are kindly treated with complementary Belgian chocolate.

Best Hotel
Sir Plantin
Plantin en Moretuslei 136

A sinister, postmodern atmosphere with oversized Renaissance portraits printed directly onto the walls. Black hallways, dimmed lightning and bright pop colour rooms call for spending a night in this off-centre but noteworthy location.

Best Café
De Muze
Melkmarkt 15

One of the oldest Jazz cafés in Antwerp, the narrow brick wall building surprises with a multi-storey interior that allows multi-angular views on bar and guests. The outside seating in turn functions as great spot for people watching.

Best Museum
Nationalestraat 28

The Belgian epicentre for fashion exhibitions on Walter van Beirendonck or Yohji Yamaoto that are eleborately enhanced with a strong technical point of view - and thus do not soley focus on the visual or seductive quality of clothing.

Best Book Shop
Nationalestraat 28

Attached to MoMu, the shop offers a wide range of fashion related publications, alongside its strong focus on architecture and art. Here you will come across classic publications on the Belgian and Japanese avantgarde that might be sold out elsewhere.

Best Vintage Furniture
Kloosterstraat 65

Art nouveau and postmodern surrealism - the spacious furniture gallery offers beautiful plexiglass pieces, coffee tables and brass palm tree lamps at affordable prices. Theoretically, one could always leave with one new acquisition.

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