Central Station

Antwerpen-Centraal Railway Station

After a couple of weeks in the Netherlands, we were ready to explore Belgium. Antwerp, or Antwerpen as the locals call it, was our first stop. We’d planned to stay there for two days but met some really nice people and stuck around for five. We ate at home most days but did manage to venture out and scope out the local vegan food scene.

Lombardia Cafe

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Lombardia Cafe

There aren’t any vegan restaurants in Antwerp but there are a few vegetarian cafes and restaurants with veggie options. The most popular of the bunch seems to be Lombardia Cafe. It’s not entirely vegetarian, there are some chicken and fish dishes on the menu, but they do have vegan options. We went there for lunch with some friends and I’m sad to report we left disappointed. The place was packed and sit down service was nonexistent. After a long wait with no acknowledgment from a server, we decided to go inside and order takeout. We found the takeout menu was much cheaper, almost half the price for some items. A sit down meal is expensive, with their vegan falafel burger priced at €12.73 Euros ($16.83 USD) and daily specials for €13.50 Euros ($17.85 USD). The lady working at the takeout counter was extremely impatient and rude. There were three of us and we left with one veggie burger, which cost about €7.00 Euros ($9.25 USD). There was nothing special about it. It would have been nice to try something more interesting but they were out of the daily specials by the time we arrived. They make chocolate and vanilla vegan soft serve ice cream, which I hear is good, but expensive at €5.70 Euros ($ 7.54 USD).

Lombardia Cafe
www.lombardia.be/
Lombardenvest 78
2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Tel: +32 3 233 68 19

La Pain Quotidien

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Blueberry Oat and Apple Cinnamon Muffins

La Pain Quotidien is a bakery that sells beautiful, organic bread and pastries. Many of their locations also include a casual dining room where they serve salads, sandwiches, soups and daily specials, some of which are vegetarian and vegan. On our first visit, we were eying the bread and noticed some tasty looking muffins with a little “veganistisch” sign adorned with a carrot. They looked a little too good to be true but the staff confirmed the muffins were indeed vegan. They had two choices, blueberry oat and apple cinnamon. We went for one of each. These muffins were some of the best we’ve ever had. Vegan muffins are often made healthy with whole grain flours and sugar-free sweeteners, which 6/7 days a week I’m happy about. But sometimes you just want a good old fashion dessert muffin. Well, now you know where to find them! The nice thing is, you don’t have to travel to Belgium to enjoy one. They have locations in Canada, Europe and the US. I’m not sure if they sell vegan muffins at all locations but it’s worth a visit if you’re nearby one of their shops.

Le Pain Quotidien

La Pain Quotidien, Antwerp, Belgium

Le Pain Quotidien
www.lepainquotidien.com/
Rue des Sablons 11
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 02 513 51 54

Het Natuurhuis Antwerpen

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Vegan Finds at Het Natuurhuis Antwerpen

The biggest health food store in town is Het Natuurhuis Antwerpen and it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for vegan products. They’ve got shelves stocked with granola, milk alternatives, tofu products, vegan frozen desserts, dairy-free spreads, organic produce and more. We spotted some vegan pudding made with rice milk and almond milk. I don’t know how common these are but it was the first time I’d seen anything other than vegan pudding made from soy milk. We picked up a pack of four chocolate almond milk pudding cups for €2.42 Euros ($3.20 USD) and found they had just the right amount of sweetness for our tastes. Another day we returned and bought a Bon Ice rice milk chocolate covered rice ice cream bar for about €1.50 Euros ($1.98 USD). It was nice and creamy, perfect for a sunny afternoon in Belgium. Other interesting vegan sightings included some Hawaiian tofu spread by De Hobbit, a cute Zero Zebra rice milk chocolate bar and Maya Artisanal Seitan croquettes.

Het Natuurhuis

Het Natuurhuis Antwerpen

Het Natuurhuis Antwerpen
www.hetnatuurhuis.be/
Otto Veniusstraat 29
Antwerp, Belgium
Tel: 03 233 23 56

The Food Maker

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The Food Maker

We didn’t eat at The Food Maker but took a look inside to see if they had any vegan options. We were happy to find several vegan offerings, including a quinoa salad, hummus sandwich and setian and rice dish. They were also blending up some yummy looking fruit smoothies. The food and drinks aren’t cheap, about €4.00-€7.00 ($5.29-9.25 USD) Euros depending on what you order, but the prices are reasonable if you’re in a pinch and need something quick for takeout. They have several locations so be sure to visit their website for details.

The Food Maker
www.thefoodmaker.be/
Meir 10
2000 Antwerpen, België
Tel: 03 226 60 69