11 Restaurants in Mechelen for dinner that are vegetarian-friendly

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Mechelen is an enchanting city located between Brussels and Antwerp, in the heart of Belgium. It has plenty of historic buildings, great museums and a strong spirit of entrepreneurship. The latter resulted in new restaurants in Mechelen popping up like mushrooms.

The city of Mechelen in Belgium is the place I called home for many years. Intimately knowing the little streets, the local bars and where to find the best coffee are part and parcel of living there.

My favorite part is the authenticity that veils the city, it almost feels like a village. People greet each other in the street, and artisanal stores that have been around for hundreds rub shoulders with new ventures opened by adventurous entrepreneurs. 

 In short, there is plenty to explore in the city of Mechelen including a prolific restaurant scene.


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Visit Mechelen Belgium
Visit Mechelen Belgium

Food tours in Mechelen

Visiting Mechelen but not sure what the local specialties are? Why not try and take a food tour with a local to get a lay of the land, while munching on local goodies.

Do not miss out on the Maneblussertjes (biscuits or chocolates in the shape of a moon) from Vanderbeek bakery and a glass of delicious Gouden Carolus beer from the local brewery Het Anker.

 


Vegetarian & vegan restaurants in Mechelen

Traditionally Belgian cuisine consisted of meat, potatoes and a side of vegetables. Growing up, I often found there was one single vegetarian choice on the menu: Spaghetti with an odd mishmash of vegetables for topping, drenched in a tomato sauce.

Thankfully, Belgian cuisine has evolved significantly and most restaurants now have plenty of vegetarian and even a few vegan options. Mechelen is rapidly catching up to Brussels and Antwerp when it comes to plant-based restaurants (yay!).

Cosma foodhouse Mechelen

Cosma

Tucked away from the bustling shopping streets, Cosma is one of my personal favorite restaurants in Mechelen.  The interior is warm and inviting, with comfortable couches and a sunny patio for those long summer evenings.

The cuisine is based upon the principles of Ottolenghi – plenty of fresh ingredients with vegetables playing a key role in Mediterranean-style cooking. The concept is simple: One main (usually fish/meat) and three side dishes of choice (vegetarian), alternatively as a vegetarian you can stick to three of four side dishes.

– Vegetarian & vegan options available
– Lunch & Dinner
$$

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


Funky Jungle

The first completely vegan restaurant in Mechelen. Located opposite the impressive Saint Rumbolds cathedral, Funky Jungle is a medium-size restaurant that works with fresh and local ingredients to create a fully plant-based menu, at an affordable price.

Great if you are looking for a restaurant that is budget-friendly, located in the center of town and has great service.

– Vegan Restaurant
– Lunch & Dinner
$

Address: Onder-Den-Toren 7, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

Restaurants in Mechelen with an awesome terrace

The city of Mechelen has a few places that combine good food with excellent people watching, most of them are located on the fish market (Vismarkt) or the main square (Grote Markt).

These are the restaurants in Mechelen I like to frequent on days that are sunny and not desperately cold and I urge you to do the same to get a real feel for local life. Do be warned, you will not be alone in your quest for a good restaurant with an awesome terrace so be sure to book in advance or go early.

Restaurants in Mechelen - Ronda

Ronda

Located on one of the most popular and lively squares of the city, the fish market. If you are not in a rush and want a leisurely summer dinner by the water surrounded by the chatter of locals, then this is your restaurant in Mechelen!

Ronda offers traditional Moroccan food (think Tajine and Couscous), served with a big smile! In the winter you can enjoy dinner underneath the lights of hundreds of Moroccan lamps that adorn the ceiling of the restaurant’s ground floor.

Tip: Make sure to get a traditional mint tea after your meal.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Lunch & Dinner
– $

Address: Vismarkt 10, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website


Merad

This Turkish restaurant in Mechelen has been around for 10 years, starting off in the neighborhood of the station. In 2020 the restaurant moved to its current location on the lively fish market.

It took over an iconic bar in the city and turned it into a very swanky-looking restaurant on one of the most popular terraces – locals flock to this terrace in droves when there is the slightest hint of sunshine so be sure to book in advance.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Lunch & Dinner
– $

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


Restaurants in Mechelen
Copyright: Sava Mechelen

SAVA

Located in a historic 15th-century building smack on the Main Square (Grote Markt) of Mechelen lies the Spanish tapas restaurant SAVA. The interior is cozy, the team is friendly and the cava flows freely (at a democratic price too).

Truth be told, I come here for the location and the atmosphere. Personally, I am not a great fan of the food – a bit too greasy – but somehow have ended up many a Friday night here regardless as drinks inadvertently turned into dinner, and tapas with a side of cava do wonders to soothe the soul.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Lunch & Dinner
– $

Address: Grote Markt 13, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

Romantic Restaurants in Mechelen

Though small in size, Mechelen has its fair share of romantic spots. The below selection of restaurants and bars have romance oozing out of every lightbulb, cushion, and a delicious mouthful of food. 

Restaurants in Mechelen
Copyright: Pintxos Mechelen

Pintxos

The concept of Pintxos is world cuisine, served in shareable portions (tapas). Couple that with the striking interior and you have one of the most romantic restaurants in Mechelen. 

Located just off the bubbly fish market, at first glance Pintxos looks small and a bit tacky with their flashy sign. Do not let appearances trick you though. Those who brave the first impression and head inside are greeted with plants, quirky trinkets, and significantly better lighting.

The restaurant is a little more expensive, be prepared to spend upwards of €85 for a dinner (two people). Well-loved among locals, the restaurant fills up with bookings quickly so be sure to call in advance to make a reservation.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Lunch & Dinner
– $$$

Address: Nauwstraat 12, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours:
Website


La Vigna

La Vigna is another one of those well-established restaurants in Mechelen. This Italian restaurant has been in Mechelen since I can remember and continues to attract loyal customers.

They are no-frills in terms of presentation, in true Italian style the focus is on the quality of the ingredients and the beautiful wine to accompany your freshly cooked meal.

The restaurant is very small, and popular with the locals perfect for a romantic tête à tête. Book well in advance (at least 2 weeks) to ensure a table is free.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Lunch & Dinner
– $$

Address: Hendrik Consciencestraat 22, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website


Bars in Mechelen The Cellar
Copyright: The Cellar

The Cellar

Although technically more a wine bar than a restaurant, the cellar is one of the most romantic spots in Mechelen to spend a cozy evening. The wine bar is located in…a cellar (surprise surprise). Ring the doorbell and head downstairs to begin your evening.

Snacks come in the form of a cheese board, with cheeses from a famous local cheesemaker who has been around for over 100 years.  Ask your sommelier which one of the 150 bottles of wine (!) will go best with your selection of cheeses.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Snack
– $$

Address: Sint-Romboutskerkhof 2, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website


De Vleeshallen Mechelen
Copyright: De Vleeshalle

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.

If you are visiting Mechelen on a day trip from Brussels be sure to squeeze in de Vleeshalle, even if it is just to have a glass of wine.

– Vegetarian options available, select vegan options available
– Lunch & Dinner
– $($)

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

Upscale Restaurants in Mechelen

There are a lot of medium-range restaurants in Mechelen that offer good dining experiences. But sometimes you want that something extra special. These upscale restaurants are up to the challenge.

Restaurants in Mechelen
Copyright: Magma Mechelen

Magma

Magma describes itself as being a sustainable restaurant. In practice, this means a strong focus on the use of seasonal and local ingredients, of which 95% is organic. 

While the setting of the restaurant is a bit austere, the plates are most definitely not. Rich tastes combined perfectly to create delicate dishes make for a wonderful dining experience. 

– Vegetarian & vegan options are available
– Lunch & Dinner
– $$$

Address: Borzestraat 5, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website


Tinnèl Mechelen - Restaurants in Mechelen
Tinèlle-©-Pieter-DHoop-26kopie

Tinèlle

Located in the former military hospital and cloister of Mechelen, Tinèlle is one of the newest restaurants in Mechelen. Expect a refined French-Belgian fine dining experience with attentive service in a truly exceptionally well-decorated setting. A 3-course menu ranges from €75 and upwards.

The restaurant is very popular amongst locals and tends to fill up quickly on the weekends. Be sure to make a reservation in advance. Next door – in the public library (also part of the former cloister) – the team behind Tinèlle took their expertise and created a small bar (Bar Bib) where you can grab nibbles and some of the city’s best coffee.

– Vegetarian options are available
– Lunch & Dinner
-$$$
(Received 1 star Michelin in 2022)

Address: Goswin De Stadsartstraat 90, 2800 Mechelen
Menu & latest opening hours: Website

Where to stay in Mechelen

Hotels in Mechelen

Find the restaurants in Mechelen near your accommodation, work, or
according to your Mechelen itinerary on the map.


Most romantic hotel in town – ($$) Martin’s Patershof

There is nothing like a hotel with a story to tell and Martin’s Patershof has plenty of them! Housed in a former church, the hotel was converted into a comfortable oasis for travelers. Grab breakfast under the watchful eye of original stained glass in what used to be the old native of the church. It’s quirky, the service is good and the breakfast alone is worth booking for.
Location: 5 min walk from the main square
Parking: Available (subject to additional charges)


Coolest Hotel in town – ($$) Brouwerij het Anker
Talk about the cool kid on the block. Het Anker is the award-winning Brewery of Mechelen. Part of this very brewery was rebuilt and now contains the first brewery hotel in the country.  Wake up with a view over the brewery in a plush bed, treat yourself to a delicious breakfast made with local ingredients before heading out into town. Just around the corner, you will find the most scenic part of Mechelen (the beguinage).
Location: 15 min walk from the main square & the main train station of Mechelen
Parking: Available on-site


Locally run B&B – ($$) Porta Superia

A local charming B&B run by friendly and knowledgeable locals. Inside you will be treated to wonderful service, an impeccably designed interior, and a soft bed! Nestled in the heart of the city, close to the main train station!
Location: 6 min walk from the main square
Parking: Available (subject to additional charges)

MORE TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR BELGIUM

Best places for lunch in Mechelen
Your guide to an awesome city trip in Mechelen
24 Beautiful places in Belgium for your bucket list
16 Romantic castle hotels in Belgium
Spend a weekend in Antwerp like the locals
Get to know Brussels through these hidden gems

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Restaurants in Mechelen
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Caroline Muller

Thanks for dropping in! 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. 

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