There's a new place in town: Mercado. Antwerp's (and Belgium's) first indoor food market. Not just like the mediterranean mercado's you know from your trips to Spain or Portugal. Antwerp's Mercado is much more: it's a venue for live music events, there's a cocktailbar and a diner and a bunch of pop-up stores on the first floor.
We all have them, those nights when you can't decide on what to eat. To make matters worse, you are with a friend who can't choose either. But, when you're in Antwerp, there's no need to despair anymore. There is a great new place in town where all flavours come together: Mercado. Mercado is a food markt located in the old post office at Antwerp's Groenplaats. Not only nice for your tummy, but also great on the eyes.
When you enter Mercado, you feel the great vibe right away. The place is buzzing with people, smells and sounds. you can choose from lots of different kinds of food, from Mexican street food to haute cuisine. After going through the whole food market twice (because we didn't want to miss out on anything good) we finally chose something to eat.
We each chose a different food stall, but we ended up sharing our dishes, because they both looked delicious. We had a flatbread with falafel from Yalla Yalla and a sushi wrap at Spoon & Co. Of course we needed something sweet after dinner, so we got dessert at the already infamous Bubble Waffle bar. Trying not to end up in a food coma, we chose a simple bubble waffle with whipped cream and an ice cream.
When circling the food market we did not only spot delicious food, we also noticed the cute little flower shop Flowers by Madam Toertjes ("Miss Lil' Pies"). Also, we got very greedy when we saw all the pretty plates and glasses by Serax at MerKado, a little shop inside Mercado. After all the circling, our legs got tired and as soon as we got our food, we really wanted to sit down. But finding a seat was next to impossible. The only downside that evening.
But then again, we should have known that this new place in town would be crowded, definitely on the opening night. It would be great if Mercado stays a busy place place for locals and tourists. But a little less crowded would be nice, so it would get a bit easier to eat your delicious meals or to enjoy a nice cocktail at a table.
Anyway! A visit to Mercado should be included in a visit to Antwerp. This is foodie heaven, and you don't want to miss out on that.
Open at 11am, from Wednesday until Monday.
Text by Hanne Van Looveren & Marian Van Sprakelaar
Pics by Text by Hanne Van Looveren, Marian Van Sprakelaar & Visit Antwerpen