Places to eat, drink and read in Belgium for Foodies
1) Cook & Book
The name of this place says it all. Cook & Book is a unique and colourful restaurant where you can sit down to eat in nine different bookshops, each with their own unique ambiance. One of the shopping rooms has an English section and looks like an old-school British library – other sections include fine arts, music, general fiction, children’s literature, cookbooks, travel, graphic novels and lifestyle. Furthermore, there is a terrace (where you can sunbathe during summer) and a playground for the little ones. For the Sunday brunches booking ahead is required.
2) Luddites Books & Wines
Apart from being the bookshop with the largest selection of English books in Antwerp, Luddites is the new place to be for some sophisticated wine sipping. Historically, the Luddites formed a secret society that was opposed to the introduction of machinery into the textile industry in the early 19th century. Owners Richard Bolte and Jorien Caers chose the name for their shop because they identify as people who want to escape the digital world by reading poems and drinking a glass of fine wine. Intrigued? Keep an eye on their calendar for book-and- wine pairings or themed events.
The Belgium for Foodies guide lists the very best places to eat and drink in Belgium. Available in our webshop now.
3) Le Bal Infernal
The walls of Le Bal Infernal are lined with thousands of used books, which can be bought for two euro or swapped for one euro or even for free, if you leave your name and a message in the book. A selection of board games adds to the character and vibe of this used-book cafe. The theme continues in the restrooms, which are decorated from floor to ceiling with sheet music, posters, old postcards... This bar is definitely worth a visit after a day of pounding the cobblestones of Ghent, to unwind with a book and some drinks.
4) Boekenhuis Theoria
Boekenhuis Theoria stocks superb art and photography books, quality children’s and youth fiction, as well as an original mix of contemporary literature with a nod to the classics – all just a few steps from the Grote Markt in Kortrijk. Throughout Theoria there are plenty of comfortable places to read or even to comfortably work on your laptop. If you get thirsty, you don’t have to leave this cosy spot. Their reading cafe caters to your every need: the coffees and teas are supplied by the nearby Viva Sara coffee roasters, and matching sweets are provided by the cake queens at Julie’s House.
5) Le Quatre Quarts
Located opposite the Court-Saint-Etienne train station, Le Quatre Quarts offers a four-level experience: restaurant, bookshop, crafts- and workshop, all in one. In the open kitchen, the chefs prepare the daily meals and weekend brunches, using vegetables sourced from local farms. Simultaneously you have the opportunity to discover the books and the artistic creations by local crafters. We support the values of Le Quatre Quarts and suggest you keep an eye on their line-up of cultural, artistic and culinary events.
6) Stad Leest
The independent bookstore Stad Leest, owned by Wouter Cajot and Sofie Van der Ven, stocks a superb collection of art and lifestyle books, children’s books and contemporary (English-language) fiction. You can also pick up vinyl records, postcards and stationery here. Their attention to quality is reflected in their in-house cafe, which serves organic lunch dishes and delicious homemade scones (with clotted cream and jam!). Your perfect excuse to take a seat and start reading one of your new purchases. Open 7 days a week, a place you can’t afford to miss!
Restaurant Tinèlle is housed in the newly transformed Predikeren monastery in Mechelen, where one of the world’s best libraries is located as well. In their restaurant, chef Ken Verschueren and maître Jenny Callens offer a unique combination of top-notch gastronomy and an experience that’s accessible to a broad audience — whether they’re young or old, seasoned foodies or guests experiencing fine dining for the first time. Ken, famously a chef with a keen focus on products, serves recognisable dishes that have been stripped of everything unnecessary.
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