14 August 2018

The hotspots of Anouk and Gilles around Louise Marie

For me the neighbourhood around Louise Marie has no more secrets, as you could read in my first blog post. I know – almost – all of the many restaurants, bars, parks and shops. But not everyone is that familiar with the streets around the Desguinlei and Karel Oomsstraat. Even people who live in Antwerp do not yet know everything about my favourite Antwerp neighbourhood. It was therefore with great pleasure that I guided one of them, Gilles Van Bouwel – a Belgian celeb – around Louise Marie and let him discover some nice addresses.

Coffee stop at Café Lucien,
500 m from Louise Marie

Coffee lovers have a lot of choice in the Louise Marie neighbourhood. Valerie has already taken you to Kofika and Café Kamiel. I chose to go with Gilles to Café Lucien, a cosy coffee bar at 500 meters from Louise Marie. What I especially like about Lukas’ coffee bar is that he really customises your coffee. Do you prefer your latté with soymilk or oat milk? No problem, at Café Lucien they’ll fix it for you with a smile. You can also go there for a nice lunch or a piece of cake. Gilles is a fan!


At Café Lucien they really customise your coffee, with a smile.

Shopping around De Koninck Brewery,
1 km from Louise Marie

For groceries you can of course go to the Albert Heijn supermarket opposite Louise Marie. But if want a little bit more, Brewery De Koninck is the place to be. In addition to visiting the brewery for a tasty beer, you can find there a number of specialty shops. I took Gilles to The Butcher's Store to get meat for my barbecue that evening. In fact, top-class supplier Luc De Laet offers meat of the best quality. If you love cheese, you will adore Only Cheese, the cheese shop of Van Tricht cheese processors who have been ripening cheeses in Antwerp since 1970.

At 'The butcher's store' top-class supplier Luc De Laet offers meat of the best quality.

Cocktails on the rooftop bar of Black Smoke,
1 km from Louise Marie

Gilles and I did end the day in style on the Black Smoke rooftop bar. From the sixth floor, 21 meters above the ground, you imagine yourself in a fancy bar in New York City. On the menu are delicious cocktails from top bartender Donald Simons, who has won several awards. To satisfy your appetite, you can order one of the American barbecue specialties, a burger with meat from The Butcher's Store or my personal favourite: the Overloaded Nacho Sharing Platter. A large dish of tortilla crisps ‘overloaded’ with BBQ madness to lick off with thumbs and fingers, literally! It was a more than successful day. Gilles finished off with the appropriate words: 'It's a wrap, or better, it's a nacho!'

Thanks for the nice day Gilles, and hopefully see you soon ;-).

Anouk Taeymans

Gilles Van Bouwel