Where to eat in Mechelen
This is my absolute favourite restaurant in Mechelen. The food is based on the principles of Ottolenghi, – fresh ingredients and loads of veggies bursting with flavour. What I love about this place the principle of picking a main dish and supplementing with delicious sides. As a vegetarian I stick to the sides, but there are honestly so many of them I always get to try something new.
Also, the interior of this place is absolutely stunning. Warm, inviting, comfy couches and a nice patio for those long summer evenings.
Tip: This place is very popular so be sure to make a reservation
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday 12.00 to 15.00 & 18.00 to 22.00
Address: Befferstraat 24, 2800 Mechelen
When I am craving some delicious pasta, this is my go to place. La Vigna has been around for as long as I can remember and is known for their authentic healthy Italian cuisine. They are no frills in terms of presentation and the fresh ingredients speak for themselves. Also, their wine selection is excellent (if you are into Italian wine).
Conveniently located near the station, about a 10-minute walk from the main square. The restaurant is small, and popular with the locals so be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Opening hours: Monday 12.00 to 14.30; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 12.00 to 14.30 & 18.00 to 22.00; Saturday 18.00 to 22.00
Address: Hendrik Consciencestraat 22, 2800 Mechelen
Traditional Moroccan food, paired with friendly service. My go to dish at this place is a vegetarian tajine. The portions are a decent size and you will pay around 15€ for a tajine. In the winter you can cosy up inside, under the light of hundreds of Moroccan lamps. The summer offers some prime people watching from their terraces as it is location on one of the busiest social squares of the city, the fish market.
Tip: Make sure to get a traditional mint tea after your meal.
Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday 11.30 to 22.00 (closed on Tuesday)
Address: Vismarkt 10, 2800 Mechelen
Fusion restaurant in the heart of the city.
Small restaurant, with a lovely courtyard tucked away in a small street between the fish market and the St Rumbolds Cathedral. The menu is not huge but it contains a good mix of meat dishes, fish dishes and veggie friendly dishes. Keep in mind it is fusion, so be prepared for wok, rice and noodle dishes.
Tip: When you make a reservation (a must) , weather permitting, ask to be seated outside.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 18.00 to 22.00
Address: Begijnenstraat 28, 2800 Mechelen
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. I am a big fan of their hummus, lentil salad and spinach tortilla.
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
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