The 5 smartest Cocktail bars

1) Jigger's

Olivier Jacobs started this cocktail bar with his girlfriend in 2012. Keen to create a sense of mystery, he called it The Noble Drugstore and placed a stuffed fox wearing a monocle in the window. It is a tiny place so you have to phone in advance on the day to book a table. But it is worth all the effort. The bar feels like a private club and the cocktails are magnificent.

2) Proof

A relaxed tasting room and shop where you can try a tiny shot of rare Scotch whisky, a premium rum or local Ginderella gin (made using weeds foraged in local wasteland). This inspiring establishment occupies an old house that backs onto the river, with an idyllic hidden terrace down by the waterside.

3) Limonada

Here is a fun cocktail bar with a striking new interior inspired by the cult science fiction film Tron. It attracts a younger crowd with its quirky cocktails.

Bar Limonada

Heilige-Geeststraat 7

4) Café Theatre

This is a stylish cocktail bar on two floors with dark brown chairs and little round tables. It opens in the morning to serve coffee, but mainly exists to shake up exotic cocktails until deep into the night. Don’t miss the toilets in the basement, which are decorated in the style of Turkish baths with marble benches, red cushions and tiled basins. Men use the door marked Gazou.

bar interior of Café Theatre

5) Mosquito Coast

This relaxed bohemian spot sets out to attract global travellers with its exotic interior and sophisticated cocktails. You sit on old armchairs surrounded by maps, travel posters and guidebooks. Or you might manage to find a table outside in the shady back garden.

interior of Mosquito Coast

Suggestions?

Want to share new hidden secrets in your hometown? Are you the author of the next hot city guide? Or do you want to team up in some other way? We look forward to hearing from you!

Contribute