11 Cool Places for Lunch in Mechelen

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Author:  Caroline

Mechelen is a small city located between Antwerp and Brussels. A quintessential Flemish town that has managed to keep its local charm, despite a steadily rising number of tourists flocking to the city each year. The city is young, hip, and very dynamic. New places for lunch in Mechelen mushrooming up weekly. Here are a few of my favorite.

For the longest of time Mechelen was a persona non grata on the tourist itinerary, with a reputation for petty crime and run-down architecture it was just about the last place on any Belgium itinerary – that is supposing it even made it there in the first place.

Thanks to a strong shift in policy, with a clear focus on the integration of the various communities living in Mechelen, the city started blossoming. The successful turnaround of the city is heralded across Belgium and as such has ensured more funding for the city.

To cut a long story short, the city is booming and new cool concept shops & high-quality restaurants are mushrooming up every day. All lunch places mentioned in this guide have vegetarian options, some have vegan options on request.

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11 Places to Go for a Good Lunch in Mechelen

Walking around Mechelen will raise your appetite, after all, exploring requires plenty of energy! Fear not, if there is one thing there is no shortage of in Mechelen it is bars and restaurants. Some restaurants are conveniently located off the main shopping streets, while others are well hidden – sometimes even for locals!

Belgian cuisine is known for being fairly rich in calories: Sauces made of cream, mayonnaise richly spread across just about everything and not to mention the extensive dessert menu with ample opportunity to try dishes made from Belgian Chocolate.

Yet the last few years there has been a strong trend to eat healthier with a focus on using local ingredients and plant-based recipes. Mechelen is rapidly catching up to Brussels and Antwerp when it comes to healthy lunch offerings.

Lief Mechelen restaurant
Copyright: Bynoushka

1. Lief

Your go-to place for lunch in Mechelen if you are looking for a spot that works with local ingredients and boasts zero palm oils or refined sugars in their food.  My personal favorite is the quinoa salad or a cheeky green smoothie bowl.

The restaurant offers dine-in or takeaway options. You can also pop in for a coffee, Tumeric late, cold-pressed juices, or Kombucha.

Lief is a big proponent of zero waste. One of their initiatives is providing warm drinks to go in a reusable billie cup that can be used/returned in various restaurants around the city – pay one euro deposit or 2,5 euro if you want a cover and get the money back upon returning the cup.

– Vegetarian & vegan lunch options are available

Address: Count of Egmontstraat 5, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

Bar Marie Mechelen
Copyright: Bar Marie

2. Bar Marie

Bar Marie is one of the best places in Mechelen for lunch if you are looking for a cozy interior combined with delicious salads or a warm soup.  The menu changes seasonally and uses nothing but fresh ingredients cultivated by a local farmer who produces his crops as naturally as possible.

Located a few hundred meters away from the main train station of Mechelen, it is the perfect spot to grab a coffee while you wait for your train.

– Vegetarian & vegan lunch options are available
– Not open during the weekend

Address: Stationsstraat 55, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

3. Frutsi

Frutsi is conveniently located on the main shopping street of Mechelen, the Bruul. They offer a wide variety of different smoothies and juices as well as different types of salads and sandwiches. There is a (small) store in you are in the market for some quality food products.

Frutsi offers either takeaway or dine-in option though the dine-in space is rather limited. My personal preference is to order something to take away and sit on one of the benches lining the Bruul to enjoy my lunch while indulging in some good old people-watching.

– Vegetarian options available, vegan available upon request

Address: Bruul 91, Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

Bar Bib Mechelen

4. Bar Bib

A lovely cafe set in the heart of the library in Mechelen. No need to loan a book to gain access to the bar. Simply walk inside the entrance of the library, make your way through the passageway (on the right) and the sound of laughter and chatter will take you right to Bar Bib. It is a small cafe, so options are relatively limited (vegan & vegetarian options available though).

Address: Goswin de Stassartstraat 90

5. Delicatessen Gina

A no-nonsense butcher shop that serves the best takeaway sandwiches in Mechelen. Do not let the somewhat outdated storefront fool you, on a sunny day locals flock here to grab a quick bite to eat.

Sandwiches are prepared on the spot. For those that read Dutch, a large panel at the entrance highlights the more than 30 different types of sandwiches you can choose from. Otherwise, simply tell the person behind the counter which ingredients you do/ do not want on your sandwich.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Not open for dinner

Address: Vijfhoek 6, Mechelen

11 Cool Places for Lunch in Mechelen

Weather permitting grab your lunch on the go and head over to one of the many parks in Mechelen for lunch: Kruidtuin, Vrijbroekpark or the Stiltetuin

11 Cool Places for Lunch in Mechelen

6. Foom

This little gem is located on the backside of the St Rumbold’s cathedral. If you are looking for an indulgent lunch in Mechelen, this my friend is the place to be. With the city’s best pancakes and a great view over the cathedral, Foom tends to fill up quickly, especially in the weekends.

If you are a late riser, why not indulge in the special formula of High Tea which is served Wednesday to Saturday between 15.00 and 17.00 and on Sunday between 14.30 and 16.30.

Tip: Foom does a special Sunday brunch. It runs from 09.00 until 14.00 and costs 21€ per person. It includes bread, fruit, granola, wraps, pancakes…enough to feed an army really. They also cater to gluten and lactose intolerance, if you let the team know in advance!

– Vegetarian options are available

Address: Sint – Katelijnestraat 2, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

Coffice Mechelen
Copyright: Coffice Mechelen

7. Coffice

Coffice is a hip coffee bar that serves a good (light) lunch. Their signature flautillas (sandwiches) are tasty albeit small, if you are hungry consider ordering two. Salads and a variety of breakfast items are also available.

Good to know: Coffice is a great place to get some work done: Plenty of tables, fast internet and drinkable coffee. The first floor has a dedicated co-working/meeting space if you are looking for some more peace and quiet. Ask for more details at the bar

– Vegetarian options are available

Address: Ijzerenleen 33, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

8. Kato Gateaux

Kato Gateaux is a plant-based coffee bar in the heart of the city. If you are looking for a light, yet still indulgent lunch in Mechelen this just might be your spot. Kato works together with local producers and will serve you delicious – handmade- (vegan) cakes, cupcakes, and waffles.

Incidentally, this place also serves one of the best espressos in the city. The menu is small, there is ample seating space with a soft cushion that will make you forget the stress of the day. A perfect place for a sneaky little slice of pure indulgence.

– Vegetarian and vegan options are available

Address: Korenmarkt 11, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

Lunch in Mechelen at Noen Mechelen
Credit: Noen Mechelen

9. Noen

One of the coziest places for lunch in Mechelen is a little place called “Noen”. All the food is handmade, and so is the interior!

This place has a more traditional Belgian take on brunch (eggs, bread, yogurt, fruit) with impeccable ingredients and a really fun vibe. The (luxury) brunch offer for 2 people costs around €33 and will leave you filled and ready to go explore the city.

– Vegetarian options are available

Address: Leermarkt 24, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

10. Sister Bean

Sister Bean has been around in Mechelen for a couple of years and is a very popular spot for breakfast or lunch. It has ample seating space and is located on the iconic ever-buzzing fish market. It makes for the perfect place for a long and leisurely catch-up lunch in Mechelen.

Tip: On the weekend they do an all-you-can-eat brunch which is definitely worth getting out of bed for. It runs from 09.00 to 14.30 and costs €25 a person.

– Vegetarian options are available

Address: Vismarkt 26, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

De Vleeshallen Mechelen
Copyright: De Vleeshalle

11. De Vleeshalle

De Vleeshalle is an indoor food court with 13 stalls containing a variety of different cuisines ranging from Italian to Vietnamese. The lighting is moody, the wine selection is excellent and the choice of food is enough to satisfy even the pickiest eater. The perfect restaurant in Mechelen for a first date if you ask me.

– Vegetarian options available, select vegan options available

Address: Huidevettersstraat 7, 2800 Mechelen
Latest opening hours & event page: Website

11 Cool Places for Lunch in Mechelen


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11 Cool Places for Lunch in Mechelen
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Caroline Muller

Thanks for dropping in! My name is Caroline, and I am a full-time writer & photographer. With this blog, I hope to harness the power of travel to do good in the world. Think connecting with local cultures, sustainable tourism, and in-depth guides to known and lesser-known adventures. Adventure awaits!

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