Restaurants open in the weekend:
1. Talloor d'Or
Talloor d'Or is situated in Ledeberg, on the main square. Ledeberg is more and more dubbed 'Gent's version of Kreuzberg'. Rightfully so. Every few months a new cool and exciting venue pops in the Ledeberg/Gentbrugge area. Rest assured, when inside Talloor d' Or you can easily imagine yourself being in New York, London, Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam... The place oozes cosmopolitan class and style.
The restaurant is run by a very convivial yet professional couple. Service is perfect. And so is the amazing food. Think of cosmopolitan classics served at a posh place in Paris and then imagine it being served in a cool and swanky restaurant in Berlin. Then you'll get it.
Excellent wine selection.
OK. So if you've been to Public in New York, you'll smile when going to this restaurant. This is my kind of place. No nonsense, no abundance of choices, excellent products, no fuss, but prepared and served to perfection.
Don't expect a classic cuisine, think of seasonable products with a hipster touch. You know hanger steaks, smoked trout, veggies you never heard of...
Oh I always have waaaay to much wine at Publiek. Amazing selection.
Menus goes for 75 €. Absolutely good value. You'll have a blast here.
Yes, yes! This is my favorite hangout in Ghent. Not just because it's right around the corner from my house, which helps obviously, but because it gets everything right. Bassin is a bit like the perfect date: cute, delicious, unexpected pleasant surprises all over the place, a wide range of flavours, good drinks, something unique, abundance of good stories, humour,...
Pedro and Gaia are the perfect hosts. Pedro is a classically schooled chef who brews the awesome Arrogant beer (do try). Gaia pulls the entire world into her kitchen. Mix that up with endless creativity, good taste and exciting mix of vegan, vegetarian and fish/meat dishes, organic wines and micro brews and there's magic happening right in the heart of old Gentbrugge. Bassin allows you to sample Belgian classics mix/mashes with international cuisines such as Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Peruvian, Korean, Spanish and African.
Bassin knocks it right out of the park.
One of my favorite dishes: Chicken Mole (local Mechelse Koekoek chickens used), OMFG!
Bassin is a tiny restaurant. Do make reservations, demand is high! And check their facebook page to learn about last minute availabilities.
Thanks to Corona Bassin now has a decent outside dining area, adjacent to a jeux de boules field. Go early and play a bit while sipping yummie drinks.
Oh and Bassin is cheap. Like really really cheap. And there's take away.
5. Aroy Aroy
Who has been to Asia? Who lived in Asia? So all you guys know how hard it is to find decent real Asian food in Belgium. Most Asian restaurants in Belgium serve the same drab, same Europeanized 'asian' dishes, thick sauces, where the most exotic ingredient is probably msg and the name on the menu next to the number of the dish.
Not Aroy Aroy. No no. Trust me, this place will blow you away. This chef was a michelin star chef. He owned J.E.F. J.E.F. made place for something he and his brother were passionate about. Thailand. You'll know you're in the right place when you inhale through your nose. It smells like real asia.
I think you can also go Tiger beer if you don't like their selection of stunning wines and hipster micro brews, but if you do, you're a sentimental fool.
So go to Aroy Aroy to taste real Thai flavours, think of streetfood, prepared to perfection. The smell, the taste, the textures, they do it right!
6. Amigo Amigo
You might be surprised to find this shared dining and dance club concept so high on this list...
But this is actually one of my favorite places in Ghent, they have a lot of good things going for them:
- music (good music is underrated and they're on soundcloud)
- Amigo cocktail (their version of the naked and famous is so delicious it took me a few days to make a decent copy of their signature cocktail... I simply love it)
- Really really good food!
- It's mexican/middle eastern fusion.
- There are a lot of good looking patrons at Amigo
You want to try new flavours? You like dining with the cool kids? (It's ok if you don't have a beard and bun, the patrons are a wide mix of what society has to offer). You like friendly relaxed staff waiting on you? You like good music?
You'll love it.
I love restaurants where they serve a fixed menu that changes often. Keeps things interesting. You choose you loose, you know? Restaurants serving a lot of tasty vegetables get bonus points. That's why I love Alberte. It's one of my absolutely 'go to' places, dates, friends, business dinners... you name it, it all comes together at Alberte.
These guys cook seriously good food, without being all too serious about it. It's all pretty straight forward, without too much fuss, but with a lot of creative idea. They smoke, burn, ferment... without killing the exquisit local produce they prepare.
The fixed menu is 55 bucks. So it won't hurt your cash flow and the organic wines are to die for.
On top of that, they have a very nice outside dining area.
There really is no reason for you not to go to Alberte, seriously, not one good reason. It's a very very very good place to be.
8. 50 fifty
For some reason not a lot of locals are aware this bistronomy place exists. Which is weird. They're located right in the center of town, they serve very good food and have a very interesting wine selection. 50 fifty serves local seasonal produce. It's a sharing concept where you choose out of 3 menus: meat, fish, veggie. Anyway, I'm aware of their existence and love to be surprised by their chef. By the way, the beer selection is also seasonal.
The food is what you would get at the cool and hip restaurants in Amsterdam. Focus on forgotten veggies, butter milk, brasvar pork belly, beets, funky shrooms,... Think of Choux Amsterdam light. I'm sure you get the jist of it. So let's say it's similar to Alberte but different? Anyway, I love this stuff. Did I mention the chef is seriously good at his job?
No walks in, only reservations. On top of that, it's cheap. 3 course menu for 38 €. Yeah, that's cheap. Amazing value for money. Trust me on that.
So go ahead, go and try.
9. A Food Affair
I recently rediscovered A Food Affair in Ghent. I was very happy I did. I remember the negroni I had was very very good. Always a good start, I was also thirsty because of the bike ride, I was running late, and I overshot the restaurant racing my bike. Whatever.
Let's say it's hard to spot. It's tiny. It's cute. It's very nice. I don't know, I experienced a moment of zen the minute I sat down at my table. That's good right. The staff is very good. Not just friendly, but you know, helpful, in a way they completely calm your nerves. I found that memorable somehow.
The food is really spectacular. I was genuinly surprised.
It's eastern inspired. That's a bit of an understatement. It's actually very very good Asian Cuisine. Aroy Aroy style.
There are peppers on the menu indicating how spicy things can be. Remeber though, you're in Belgium. Belgians don't eat spicy. So I went for the maximum number of chili peppers. I'm a daredevil sure sure. Went for Panang Curry (2 peppers). Next time I might ask for a third pepper. It was soooo delicious. I enjoyed it a lot! Happy times. It was so well prepared. Succulent neck of beef, delicious curry (I find it hard to make a decent curry myself). The Thai squid salad I had as an apetizer was pretty impressive as well. The mere fact I'm still remembering that dish means a lot.
To be honest, I don't even remember the prices. Must have been good value for money. I guess 50 bucks for a 3 course meal?
This is truly a hidden gem in Ghent.
I'll be back (... a lot).
This place is rather high on this list. Not sure why. Possibly because of the potential. But it's also a lot of "nice try, but just a bit off".
On the plus side:
- The food is good
- The venue is big
- It has a very chic cosmopolitan vibe
- There's a back line on stage for (jazz)bands in the weekend.
- They know their cocktails
- Good and affordable wines
On the 'almost but not quite there yet' side:
- The interiour looks very Belgian (usually not a good thing). Check the Avalon Hotel in Los Angeles (https://www.mortarr.com/project/the-avalon-hotel/). Let's do their interior in this venue! I know, I have my moments of brilliance.
- Why only live music on the weekends?
- Menu is a bit on the safe side.
- There is very few staff (service could be faster, more pro active)
But, all in all a good and suave spot to chill, grab some cocktails, people watch and have an excellent dinner. The interior is after all still impressive for a small town like Ghent. And to be honest, the chef is really good. Dishes are prepared to perfection and are presented in a modern fashion.
There is also a seperate dining area behind glass and glass doors for when you have a company dinner for let's say 16 people or so. That is convenient as well.
11. Cochon de luxe (closed until further notice)
Closed indefenitely due to the chef's illness. We wish you well! Hope we get to experience Cochon de luxe in all it's splendor soon.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Finally, Ghent has it's own urban boutique hotel. It's hip, modern, rock 'n roll, rooftop, 92 fashionable rooms, 5 meeting rooms, restaurant, bar... Think world class cocktails, international staff, international food fair, the hotel smell is made by Miglot perfumes, and the coffee they serve is from my favourite coffee maker in Ghent (Vandekerckhove) not boring stuff you find elsewhere in Ghent hotels.
A great place to savour delicious flavours, dress up (guys, put on your jacket and bow tie and wear your best dress and highest heels, ladies), have a good bite to eat and sip world class cocktails.
All in all, thé place to be in Ghent in 2022!
The food is Belgian classics with a twist, but you can also find oysters, ceviche, aquachili, smoked veggies, grilled fish, squid, roasted cauliflower on the menu. They do a very good job. I feel connected with the rest of the world when hanging at Yalo.
You'll often find me here.
13. Gouden Hoofd
Gouden Hoofd is always a good idea. It's a sort of hipster place you can take your grannie to. Excellent beer selection by the way. The wines are ok, but not very spectacular. The food is always a surprise. Last time I had a very good shark on my plate. Prepared to perfection, well presented and tasted awesome.
The cuisine is what your grandmother would've prepared, but not like that. So there are often semi-forgotten classics from the old days on the menu, with a modern twist, without screwing things up with unnecessary details.
Also the atmosphere is great. There's this great French local bistro like convivial vibe I love a lot. You know, your dining room outside of your home, that sort of thing.
Unbeatable value for money by the way.
14. De Buffel
When I moved back to Ghent after 5,5 years in Amsterdam, the Buffel kind of saved my life. It was one of the first modern designed, convivial dining and drinking establishments in Ghent. The Buffel wants to stand out. And they do. I'm very often here, also because it's walking distance from my home.
They recently upgraded the level of their cooking, in my opinion. Without raising prices that much. There's not a lot of choice, but the choices are interesting and often off the beaten path, which can be very refreshing. Think of Bocconcini, salsify, trout, cucumber, rabbit, halloumi, eton mess...
I also go here for the beers. They have an amazing selection of beers. And you can sit outside in a semi covered courtyard.
Now on to something completely different. Pizza. They made it on to some top 50 list of best European pizza places by some Italians. Not a bad thing I presume. But let's elaborate. Kobe Desramaults is a world class 3 michelin star chef, his business partner Sarah Lemke is an American wood fired pizza oven and sour dough guru/wizzard. So the idea is all about baking. There's also an amazing bakery next to the counter inside the restaurant. The sensational type of bread. (and I'm not really a bread fan I must admit.)
Anyways, Kobe and Sarah decided somehow to make pizza in Ghent. For the people who have been to Roberta's in Bushwick, New York... it's that sort of thing, that level of pizza, but there's no punk rock music blaring through an oversized sound system. But I think that's more because of what conservative Belgians prefer, rather than an actual choice. But now I'm just guessing. For the poor bastards amongst you readers who don't know Roberta's: Roberta's is the best pizza restaurant in the world (https://www.instagram.com/robertaspizza/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta%27s). The place looks like shit, but what happens inside on your plate, is divine. So are things that happen on your plate in Superette Edwin.
So back to Superette. It's soooo good. They gotten a bit less creative and funky lately. But still, the pizza remains delicious, and definitely try the side dishes, amazing veggies!!! Superette was once in the eye of a media storm because they served a bbq-ed onion as a dish in their fixed menu. Just a plate, with a grilled onion. Belgians went berserk. I loved that dish! It was amazing. Thanks to Superette, I still slow grill onions when I throw a BBQ party at my place.
So it's quite simple: in the mood for pizza. Hurry your ass to Superette.
Piet is a great chef. He knows how to cook. He prepares the most delicious dishes. He also saved my life during lock downs with his take away menu, within walking distance. Grade is not on this list to prove a point (I don't only eat at trendy hipster joints), Grade is great.
Think of Belgian and French classics, and definitely try:
seared duck liver, lobster, jumbo shrimp, bouillabaise.
Grade is now located on Ledeberg Square, across from Talloor d'Or. Even though it's on a (still) funky and daring location, there is no hipster funkyness here. This is straightforward, top shelf Belgian cuisine. Absolutely Delicious.
17. Je m'en fish
Eating at Je m'en fish is a feast! I only dined outside on the big square in between the tiny restaurant and the old court house. It's one of the first real good seafood bars in Ghent. 3 friends were tired being corporate drones and started a sharing concept based on fish.
They say it's very French. Ok, true, it's all good obviously. The vibe certainly is. But what you get on your plate is actually more eclectic than that. It's mediterranean at least and quite international. Imagine boquerones, cuckles and muscles, eel, salmon gravad lax, ceviche, crab with wonton, pulpo, (decently priced and delicious) lobster, grilled padron peppers, ... I'm sure you get the idea. I love discovering new flavours and dishes, few places in Ghent offer such opportunities. Je m'en fish does.
Service is top of the world, food is delicious, you're right in the middle of town, ... highly recommended!
Ganzerik is a funky place. Somehow it's in the middle of a local dive bar, an osteria and a cocktail bar. (it's actually owned by the guys of the world class Ghent based cocktail bar Jiggers).
Well it's definitely a local joint, it's out of the center of town and on your way when you go to the suburbs of Mariakerke (Mariachurch). For some reason a lot of my friends live there. So I pass Ganzerik quite often. A lot of cargo bikes are parked near Ganzerik, I don't drive a cargo bike. But I make a stop at Ganzerik often.
Well, I feel welcome there.
They serve a good brunch, and the kids love it there.
And Mariachurch is far to bike to. So me and my friends meet sorta in the middle. For good food. Sure, it's hipster food: roasted cauliflower, carrot hummus with dukkah, japanese sticky balls, pulled pork burgers, cheesecakes, ... the whole shabang. But it's yummie.
AND they have interesting international beers on tap. Belgians usually stick to Belgian beer, because they (rightfully so) consider Belgian beer the best beer in the world. But Belgians miss out. There are a lot of interesting breweries all over the world, brewing very delicious beer, often inspired by Belgian beers (Jopen, Mikkeler, Toolbeer, Kromme Haring...). Ganzerik tries to solve that problem. On the other hand, they also have very good hard to find Belgian beer, sold only in New York ('t Verzet, Totem,...)
It's fun to hang out there.
19. Mission Massala
I have never been to India, but I somehow get the Indian street vibe when dining at Mission Massala. It's street food. So don't expect table cloths and such.
I was surprised when I first dined here. The food is really really tasty and the atmosphere is relaxed, cosmopolitan etc... It reminded me a bit of a smaller Indian version of Tacombi (Manhattan). Tacombi is a very good and funky Mexican streetfood place, set in an old garage in Nolita (https://www.tacombi.com/).
Fantastic curries. We had some sort of menus. One veggie, one meat. Both were fantastic.
There is also a Mission Masala in Antwerp.
20. Bichu Malo
Bichu Malo is Mexican food and drinks. It's street food and sort of takes you off the beaten path of burito's and taco's. Tip: try the ribs.
OK the place looks also great. You definitely want to be seen there.
It's the first Mexican restaurant actually serving real Mexican food. Oh, and they have very good mezcal cocktails. Nom nom nom.
Call your friends and go eat Mexican food.
21. Wabi Sabi
Wabi is a bar.
Sabi is a restaurant.
Located right close to the Gravensteen castle. Both are good.
The idea is: world kitchen. I can only applaud that. And quite brave in a small provincial town like Ghent. But the international community in Ghent is obviously expanding. So let's hope Wabi Sabi sees some followers. You can make a world tour having Russian Borsjt, French duck à l'orange, Turkish köfte meatballs, Mexican Chili con carne, Thai Curry, Vietnamese razor shells, ...
It's a good place people.
Food is good, very reasonably priced.
One weird thing though. Desert. Everything is covered with very bitter cacao powder. Which is a shame. It totally overpowers the flavours and is totally unneccessary. The cheesecake was delicious, but it got screwed over by all the cacao powder. Also the tiramisu on the other side of the table was hijacked by the excess powder.
Another weird thing is the heating. It's a rather unusual situation. Not very pleasant and comfortable.
I love new and original concepts. So I applaud what chef Nadine Zimmerman and Michelin star chef Sebastian Sandor are pulling off in the gastronomic Patershol area. The idea is to cook South American food using local products. OK. Good stuff.
Well, it's rather amazing! The Argentinian sommelier has delicious latin american wines on offer. A great discovery.
The vegetarian menu is divine by the way. I had the fish menu, and I can tell you I can still dream the flavours and scents of that meal. The ceviche was very memorable, but the white catch of the day fish (wolffish) main course was absolutely to die for. Absolutely stunning. Piece de résistance was the sweet potato with chipotle. OH MY GODDD! Plates look like a painting, which is nice. Also, the food is seasoned to perfection. Maybe a bit daring for a lot of Belgians (some of my friends thought it was quite adventurous). But hey, it's South American cuisine, it's right. The only thing I didn't love, was the grilled oyster, but that's because I'm not into that.
Oh and try the cocktails and booze (they have their own mezcal of sorts, delicious)!
Treat yourselves, people. Go and discover Heritage. You have deserved it. Highly highly recommended.
Somehow komparto on Nederkouter in Ghent is excluded from most blogs, foodie lists, etc... There's not much buzz about Komparto. I don't know why.
It's a good restaurant.
So yes, it's one of the many many sharing concept restaurants that popped up all over town in the last 5 years. But the quality of the dishes is high, and you get excellent value for money in the center of town. The food is international with Belgian classics present. Asperges à la flamande, thai beef carpaccio, waterzooi, butternut,
24. Clouds in my coffee
You'll also find this place in my coffee post. Clouds is a very pleasant place to have a Sunday brunch, or to chill out in the afternoon after/during a bike ride. It's like a little haven, sort of a shelter for me. Don't know exactly why. The place calms me. And I can walk there, so the walk over can be therapeutic as well.
They serve a good cup of joe (they work with caffenation for their coffees), and the kids love the many cool drinks they have as well. And the courtyard. The vibe is urban, relaxed and chill.
They don't do breakfast like most places in Ghent. I did mention before I'm not a bread fan. Clouds has my back. Did I mention both the place and the menu are rather kids friendly, which is convenient.
.... and there's good cake!
25. Hal 16
Ghent is a city in development. That is a good thing. One of the city's developments is Dok Noord. After an thorough environmental remediation project, od factory buildings have been recycled into music studios, art studios, hip marketing agencies, breweries, design stores, hip meeting rooms, cool coffee joints, cowork spaces, escape rooms... so plenty of hip kids with moustaches, cool dresses, designer sneakers and designer heels, tats, piercings, and 'marcellekes' (= wife beaters)... around.
So obviously Dok Noord hosts Hal 16. The quintessential hipster spot in such a revamped industrial location. You know: micro brews, BBQ smoker, veggie burgers, tuscan gastronomy, beards, tattoos Thruth be told, third time I was there I bumped into our 63 years old warehouse manager who's the opposite of a hipster (allthough he did have a family outing, dinner with his hipster kids)... The point being, everyone's going to Hal 16.
And people who do are right to do so.
The beer is top of the world good (Dok Brewing Company has established quite the name). RØk has gastronomic level meat coming out of their Texan smoker and BØef has delicious burgers.
You know these places you always pass by saying "right, I oughta eat here sometime soon". Janine's was such a place for me. Located at Ghent's South District (SoGo) they're now in the midst of formidable newcomers such as Velvet, Yalo, Fugazi and a new bar I still have to check out.
Janine is bustling. It's crowded, filled with well dressed, probably succesful, people. It could've been the friday evening vibe (VrijMiBo sort of thing) that was going on when I was there last. Anyway, not many places have that bustling, center of the world, sort of vibe, and certainly not in Ghent. I call it a good thing. The fact that Anthony Snoeck (Volta) is involved probably helps as well.
The food is excellent, good value for money. Big plates. Tataki, lackered pork belly, lettuce hearts with ras el hanout, Thai beef salad, pork cheek stew (a true Belgian classic), roasted beets, buratta, Tom Kha Kai cod... Nothing extremely new or unique. But if you don't know what cuisine you're in the mood for. Janine's got you covered.
One of the few good places that are open on Sundays. But now that shopping is allowed on Sunday's, hello 20th century in Ghent, more restaurants might open doors on Sunday, who knows.
Revue is a small bistro facing the old court house in Ghent.
It's very cozy, very small but has a New York kind of flair. They serve a classic cuisine. Very well prepared, have a lovely classic wine menu and service is fantastic.
I never regretted ending up at Revue.
Sometimes, these classic, no risk places can be refreshing as well. When you don't feel like plywood on the walls, micro brews in your jug, fermented veggies in a jar and Father John Misty on the radio.
The you should go to Lof. Gault&Millau gave the Hannes Vandebotermet and his team 13 points. So you'll be very safe and very very happy. There's also a real and very delicious gastronomic vegan menu (eat that Epiphany (see below)), which is really cool. For the Dutchies, Ron Blaauw had something to do with the menu, fortunately not with the prices. (75 € for a 6 course meal is fantastic value for your money).
Lof serves top level cullinary delights, made from best quality ingredients.
You want a real night out? A real food experience? Lof is the place to be. You're in for a treat.
29. Meme Gusta
Meme Gusta (Grannie Gusta) started during a TV-show. VTM had a reality show once where young chef couples could win the restaurant of their dreams. One of the few restaurants that actually emerged from those (3?) seasons and didn't perish is Meme Gusta.
The concept: honest Flemish food from their grandparent's age in a vintage setting. What I remember from the show (yeah, I do watch some TV shows) Nele and Jan were very sympathetic, honest, real and passionate. I also remember Jan's persistance about his butter milk potatoes (they're awesome). Well all those good vibes resulted in a very good restaurant. Right in the heart of town. Meme Gusta does have a vintage interior, but the vibe, iho is not that vintage. But that's not so bad. The food is great. Keep in mind: the portions are huge, HUGE!
Now, read carefully, I'll tell you what to order. Don't screw this up:
0. Rillet (Mackerel) with your apero (= Picon Vin Blanc)
1. Karnemelkstampers (butter milk mashed potatoes with grey shrimp) (OMFG)
2. Stoofvlees Mémé Gusta (pork cheeks) OR Paling in 't groen (Eel stew)
Do not eat the bread! (it's delicious, but your stomach simply can't hold more food, you need to save space)
They do take away as well, and Meme Gusta kept me sane during Covid Lockdowns (home delivery).
Near the church built by Ghent brewers (Sint Michiels) you can find this classic restaurant in an old stately house. Domestica is sort of a safe bet. But the food is really good. It's my guilty pleasure.
They don't usually have it, but I go for the sweatbread. And seared coquilles st. Jacques or the hopshoots with poached egg. Domestica is traditional Belgian fair, nothing crazy or over the top. But very very well done. I mean, the chef is an ace. He cooked at amazing restaurants before. So he knows his stuff, and gets the flavours right.
It's also one of those places where you can drink seriously good wines with your food.
There are also solutions for group dinners.
Perbacco is an Italian Osteria in Ghent. To be honest, I've had a wide range of experiences here. From amazing, to mediocre. But they're on this list because it's a pleasant place to dine. They have a nice courtyard. It has a genuin Italian vibe.
I think last time I had some issues with the value for money aspect. Portions were rather small during our 3 course set menu dinner and the bill was steep. And we, didn't go full monty on the wine.
Food wise, it's Italian classics, the cured meats, eggplant (wich is good), pasta (pici, fussilloni, ...) and saltimboca's and such. But last time I checked their menu, new and more original dishes appeared.
I guess maybe because there aren't many alternatives, I keep going here. Maybe post covid, things will improve. I'll keep you posted. I'll be there again soon.
ENTR is the restaurant of De Centrale. A concert venue in the old Ham power plant. It's a hangout for locals. The patrons are an eclectic and very varied bunch. Long tables, honest food, good drinks, a lot of vegetarian and halal options. As you can imagine, there's a lot of international inspiration on the menu. There's veggie korma, fish curry, koshari, marocan lamb stew, syrian shoarma, lasagne, lomo saltado, burgers...
Kids will love this place, they can run around outside. Don't feel like cooking? ENTR is a good alternative.
Also, it's sort of a social project as well. People with a distance to the job market get a chance here. Always a good thing.
33. Kaffie is Kaffie
Another social project is Kaffie is Kaffie. They are practically my neighbours and a fantastic addition to our neighbourhood.
As you probably have guessed, this is a coffee bar. But it's much more than that. They're based in the Gentbrugge community center and there's a lot of things that go on there. Cultural events, social activities (practicing Dutch for newcomers...).
Your lunch also sponsors the lunch of people with small budgets, allowing them to have a bite to eat at Kaffie is Kaffie as well.
Some servers and cooks in the kitchen are people with dissabilites. There's a play corner for kids, there's books, lounge chairs... outside drinking and dining overlooking Keizerpark.
But most importantly. When I don't feel like working from home, or when I don't feel like cooking, I simply work and grab lunch at Kaffie is Kaffie.
Because the food is tasty, honest and very affordable. They obviously serve seriously good coffee as well.
34. De Roos
Across the mighty river Scheldt, close to my home in Gentbrugge is Sint-Amandsberg. It's an up and coming area as well. And one of the pioneers in Sint-Amandsberg is Slijterij De Roos. I take the walkway over the locks when I walk there. It's a revamped local brown bar. With an interesting mix of patrons. Some have gone to this bar for probably 70 years, others have discovered this bar in the recent years.
It's convenient. It's simple, it's brilliant. You can get tasty local grub, and there is a big selection of really tasty beers on the menu. The wines are decent, and when it gets sunny, there's space on their patio. Did I mention it's convenient?
Restaurants closed in the weekend:
Impossible to get a table. But if you are well connected and manage to land a table, you're in for a treat.
Undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in town. Modern haute cuisine, new flavours and textures.
You get 7 courses, you don't get to choose. You're mind will be blown away.
No doubt this should be the first place you check to make reservations when you plan to visit Gent. Or do it the other way around. Get a reservation at Oak, plan your (long) weekend around that.
This is truly an amazing place in Ghent. You will be submerged in a micro cosmos of elegant flavours, creative and unique dishes. Classic stuff, but you best also expect kimchi, cabbage and smoked trout on your plate, and fennel in your desert. It's true gastronomy and it's excellent value for money.
One of my favorite restaurants in the world.
Closed as a restaurant. Volta won't reopen as a restaurant after the Covid lockdowns. Chefs Olly (Publiek), Davy (Event catering) and Anthony (Janine's) have left the building.
Volta was an amazing restaurant in a very unique setting. Volta was staged inside an old power plant.
I had some of the most amazing tomatoes ever here.
You can have your corporate event or business meeting with dinner/lunch now at Volta.
- Door 73
- De Cluysenaer
- The wan and only
- Een twee vijf
- Pycke Zot
- John Dory
- De kruidtuin
- Kin Khao
- Knol & kool
- Taco Santo
- Astro Boy
- Castor & Pollux
- Mosko (new restaurant/bar by Pedro & Gaia (Bassin) as of April 2022)
To avoid in Gent:
It's a mass production ribhouse restaurant chain for tourists on a low budget.
Cheap mass production.
2. Gekroonde hoofden
Dry meat, very mediocre sides. There's plenty of places in Ghent who don't understand the concept of succulent baby back ribs.
Cheap and lacks taste.
There's actually not that much wrong with Gillis. But when I leave Gillis, I always leave with mixed feelings:
- It was overpriced
- The steak was good
- It wasn't anything special
- I can't remember the overpriced wine I had with the steak
- My grandparents would have loved this place
- Why exactly did I come here for?
- It's not in the same league as: Peter Luger Steak House (Brooklyn), Maven (Antwerp), Officina della Bistecca (Panzano), Black Smoke (Antwerp), Cipriani Dolci (Manhattan), Hanamonya (Tokyo), Jeffrey's (Austin)...
To conclude: there are so many better, more original restaurants (like A Food Affair, Oak, Door 73 and Lof next door) in Ghent, and there are so many other places serving better steak. Don't bother (unless you lack a sense of adventure, creativity and couldn't care less about euros spent).
Very very expensive and not memorable.
4. Epiphany's Kitchen
The short version: they have absolutely no F-ing idea what they're doing. It's bad. Really bad.
Longer version: It's not often I encounter a restaurant I absolutely regret going to. It happened to me twice the last 4 years in Ghent. It was both times at Epiphany's Kitchen.
Epiphany is some sort of influencer daughter of some famous fashion designer. Apparently that inspired the interior design. It's bad. Wrong. It urges me to throw up. And we haven't eating yet. Right, it's a vegan place. Once dubbed the best vegan restaurant in Belgium by the Belgian Vegan Association. I pity those fools. They must be totally unaware of places like Humus x Hortense in Brussels or Camion in Antwerp. So sad.
To conclude: the food is bland, badly prepared, lacks flavour, panache... you can pay more to have fish or meat! Don't do it, they basically prepare one of their - hard to define what it- is vegan dishes open a pack of smoked salmon or cured ham, throw a slice on your plate and serve it like that. Drinks are over priced, staff has no clue what goes on...
My suggestion: do avoid at all costs.
Well it's not that Pakhuis is bad. It's not bad. But it's not that good either. Food is well prepared, sure sure. But that's about all the positive I can mention. Pakhuis is a safe bet if you want to take your conservative grandmother out for dinner. It's safe. It's Belgian classics. It's rather pricy. The wines are safe, the beers are safe. Basically Pakhuis is a decent unadventurous brasserie like 13 in a dozen.
Which is fine if you're into that sort of thing. Not me. I expect more.
6. De Raadkamer
This tiny restaurant next to the old courthouse in Ghent could've been a hidden gem. It's not though.
They serve lobster. That's their specialty.
They should try to go for another specialty. The lobster isn't that good, and F-ing expensive. A tiny 600g lobster will cost you 74 €!
Fair enough, lobster is seriously expensive in Belgium. (Homard Rouge around the corner serves 300g of lobster for 79€). But at least you should be allowed to eat it well prepared.
Such a dissapointment.
For lobster: go around the corner to Je m'en fish (pre-order lobster), Grade, Maison Elza (ex House of Elliot) or go to Amsterdam, go eat at Red, Brut de mer, Het Bosch. Or try the Lobster Shack in Provincetown, Cape Cod (best lobster ever, I promise) if you cross the pond.
7. Faja Lobi
A lot of people rave about Faja Lobi. I don't get it. Really, I don't. And I tried. But the food is just not that great. The idea is to serve Surinam food, but somehow it became Indian and Creole cuisine. But every dish I tried here, was rather bland and not very well prepared. Is it because I've lived in The Netherlands, where they serve amazing surinam food, is it because I spend quite some time in New Orleans and sampled astonishing creole cuisine?
I have no clue.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
8. Toi et Moi
Nice try, but no. I'm always weary when restaurants announce it's a slow food restaurant and it will take some time to produce the dishes mentioned in the fixed menu.
I'm fine taking my time when dining out. But don't exagerate. It only raises my expectiations. Especially when you serve one fixed menu. The restaurant is run and operated by 2 people. One cooks, the other serves. Maybe hire a flexijob waiter and a kitchen aid.
Let's say expectations weren't met. Sometimes things just don't work out. No hard feelings though.
Where to stay:
1898 The Post
Design and Breakfast
La Lys Rooms & Suites
O Lit de l'O
- Ghent: coffee
- Ghent: bars & nightlife
- Rotterdam : Food & drinks
- Antwerp : Food & drinks
- Brussels : Food & drinks
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