Restaurants in Mechelen for a wonderful dinner
Mechelen is an enchanting city located between Brussels and Antwerp, in the heart of Belgium. The city has 85.000 inhabitants which makes it one of Belgium’s larger cities. The reason the city is so endearing is twofold: On the one hand, the last few years the city has invested heavily in new infrastructure and local entrepreneurship which means new stores and restaurants in Mechelen pop up like mushrooms.
While on the other hand the city has managed to retain a very authentic almost village like feel to it. People greeting each other in the streets, and plenty of artisanal stores that have been around for many hundreds of years. In short there is plenty to explore in the city of Mechelen including a prolific restaurant scene.
This guide will run you through the various restaurants Mechelen has to offer for dinner to help you have a wonderful visit. Some of the restaurants will also offer possibilities for lunch, however for your convenience I have created a separate list for you to check out in case you are having lunch in Mechelen instead.
Restaurants in Mechelen that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans
While all restaurants in this list are suitable for vegetarians , there are a few restaurants dotted around the city which have a more varied vegetarian offer and will also cater to vegans.
Tucked away from the bustling shopping streets, Cosma is one of my personal favorite restaurants in Mechelen. The restaurant is easy to miss, or to mistake for a shop as their entrance hall is in fact also a small shop. Open the door, and walk through the back of the building to access this restaurant. 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 a 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.
This is one of the more expensive restaurants in Mechelen. As a non-vegetarian you will be paying between €50- €75.
Tip: This place is very popular so be sure to make a reservation
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday 12.00 – 15.00 & 18.00 – 22.00
Address: Befferstraat 24, 2800 Mechelen
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.
The location is unbeatable and the food is very decently priced, expect to pay between €20 and €25 euro per person.
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday 12.00 – 14.00 & 17.00 – 21.00
Address: Onder-den-Toren 7, 2800 Mechelen
The only fusion restaurant in Mechelen. The Graspoort is a little hidden gem, that in the heart of the city. This well-established restaurant is located in the street that connects the lively fish market to the emblematic Saint Rumbolds Cathedral. Many a traveller and local will have rushed through the street, without realising there is a little restaurant waiting to be discovered.
The Graspoort is a small restaurant that offers a lovely mix of fusion dishes (from Lebanese, to Japanese and even a few Thai dishes) which caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Graspoort is also one of the few vegan-friendly restaurants in Mechelen.
The restaurant is moderately priced with mains costing upwards of €23 a person.
Tip: When you make a reservation (a must), weather permitting, ask to be seated outside.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 18.00 – 22.00
Address: Begijnenstraat 28, 2800 Mechelen
Restaurants in Mechelen with an awesome terrace
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 a dinner underneath the lights of hundreds of Moroccan lamps that adorn the ceiling of the restaurants ground floor.
The portions are decent and will not break the bank, expect to pay around €17 for a vegetarian tajine or couscous.
Tip: Make sure to get a traditional mint tea after your meal.
Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday 11.30 – 22.00 (closed on Tuesday)
Address: Vismarkt 10, 2800 Mechelen
This Turkish restaurant in Mechelen has been around for 10 years, starting off in the neighbourhood of the station. In 2020 the restaurant moved to their current location on the lively fish market. It took over one of the most iconic bars in the city and turned it into a very swanky looking restaurant with one most popular terraces of the city – locals flock to this terrace is droves when there is the slightest hint of sunshine so be sure to book in advance.
Merad is known to offered some of the best durums and kebabs of the city at very democratic prices (7€ for a durum that will settle any craving after a night on the town)
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 09.00 – 02.00 (Friday and Saturday until 04:00)
Address: Vismarkt 11, 2800 Mechelen
Romantic restaurants in Mechelen
La Vigna is another one of those well-established restaurants in Mechelen. One of the most authentic Italian restaurants in Mechelen. 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.
Conveniently located near the station, about a 10-minute walk from the main square. The restaurant is very small, and popular with the locals perfect for a romantic tête à tête. Main dishes (secondi) are €20 and up and are mainly catered towards non-vegetarians.
Tip: As the restaurant is so small, be sure to make a reservation a few weeks in advance.
Opening hours: Monday 12.00 – 14.30; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 12.00 – 14.30 & 18.00 – 22.00; Saturday 18.00 – 22.00
Address: Hendrik Consciencestraat 22, 2800 Mechelen
Possibly the restaurant in Mechelen with the absolute best interior and most inviting concept to share with a romantic partner. The location of this place is fantastic, right off the fish market. This building has been a number of things before (cocktail bar, tapas restaurant, …) but seems to have finally found its purpose with the Pintxos restaurant.
When you look into the restaurant from the street, it looks small, but do not let appearances trick you. Be sure to walk in and sit at the back of the restaurant where you will be met with a sea of light and many plants. The interior of this place really is half the fun of going! As for the food, Pintxos is a Basque word meaning “skewered food”. The name is slightly confusing, because the dishes served here are not Spanish skewered food.
The owners describe the cuisine as “serving world food, in tapas size portions”. The menu changes with the season as the ingredients that are used are fresh and, you guessed it, seasonal.
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.
Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday 12.00 – 23.00 (beware that on Thursday and Friday the kitchen is closed between 15.00 and 17.00)
Address: Nauwstraat 10, 2800 Mechelen
Upscale restaurants in Mechelen
Magma is a sustainable restaurant in Mechelen which serves the best pizza in town made in a proper woodfire oven. To categorize it as a mere pizzeria would be a grave mistake though. While the menu does have a sizeable offering of pizza, the other parts of the menu (sides) should most definitely not be neglected. The cuisine is Mediterranean inspired, using local and fresh ingredients that are 95% organic.
The restaurants strives to be as sustainable as possible: actively promoting zero-waste, and utilising materials produced in Belgium or other European countries under ethical conditions. Vegetables are the core element of the cuisine making it comfortable for both vegetarian and non-vegetarians to dine.
Pizza starts at €15 and side dishes will set you back anywhere between €15 to €30 – depending on the dish. An average meal consists of a pizza and a few side dishes to share.
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 17.00 – 22.00 &18.30 – 22.00
Address: Borzestraat 5, 2800 Mechelen
Located in the former military hospital and cloister of Mechelen, Tinèlle is one of the newest restaurants in Mechelen. You can expect a traditional French-Belgian fine dining experience with a 3-course menu ranging from €75 and upwards. There are only a select few items on the menu that are suitable for vegetarians.
The restaurant is very popular amongst locals and tends to fill up quickly in the weekends. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 11.45 – 13.30 &18.30 – 22.00
Address: Het Predikheren- Goswin De Stassartstraat 90; 2800 Mechelen
This list of restaurants in Mechelen is updated periodically as new restaurants are opened up in the city. Be sure to check-in periodically.
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