Hidden in the greenery near Westerpark, the perfect hideaway from street noise can be found if you know where to look: a little farm called "De Buurtboerderij". Surrounded by a bunch of sheep and a happily decorated garden, the restaurant inside serves one fixed menu a week for a low price. The farm serves as community center as well and is run by volunteers — and you when you eat there! — and there are plenty of sweet people and animals to hang out with.
Ever wondered what "patatje oorlog" (War Fries) would taste like if it were ice cream? Me neither, but ice cream store Ludo & Hedo did and offered an answer to this question anyway, and it tasted much better than I could ever have imagined. The conceptual founder, Ola Lanko, composes new combinations from seasonal ingredients every so many weeks.
Each flavour has a dreamy, poetic name and compose a wide variety together, that ranges from plain vanilla (Sweet Survivor) to gorgonzola with pear and walnut (Blue Marble), or even burned milk (In Love).
A must-try for Dare Devils and Sicilian Rebels.
Open air sculpture museum with an impressive collection of sculptures and trees. Entrance to the park is free of charge, but they have a café and a small book shop if you do want to keep your money moving.
Right next to the art academy of Antwerp, this small café is a terrific place to sit down and enjoy the view of people passing by. Their coffee is very good and they also have a variety of ways to prepare it, if you're into that stuff.
My favourite second-hand clothing store ever. FREE'P'STAR has an entire floor where everything goes for 1€, which makes my Dutch heart beat as fast as the rock music that they blast over the speakers. The 1€ floor is like a Russian roulette: one day it's mostly leather bike suits, the other day it's seventies ball gowns, the next one glitter pants and sports shirts.
Not just luck, but perseverance is key to succeed here. The conditions are feeble: the infamous 1€ floor has a low ceiling and is exclusively lit by blue neon, all clothes are dumped in big crates, and the small surface holds a big competition of moms/influencers/homeless that are equally looking for some game. For those who wish to spend more and don't like challenge, the ground floor is just a normal second-hand shop. But for those with the strength to survive, the 1€ floor is worth it.
When I was living in Paris, I went to FREE'P'STAR every week, and I still visit every time I am around. Still in my wardrobe after years: a silk kimono with dragons, a reflective biking jumpsuit, a white blouse with a little house embroidered on it, a lined leather jacket and my favourite black dress. 5€.