Antwerp has the second largest port of Europe and that’s one of the reasons why there are more than 170 nationalities living in the city. Apparently only New York and Amsterdam do better. In Antwerp North, the Portuguese community is quite important. There are many bars and restaurants on and around Sint-Jansplein and they become very visible on the square when Portugal is playing an important soccer match.
If you like Portuguese food, this is my tip: Estrela Do Mar. Don’t judge this place by its looks from the outside. I guess that 99% of all people just pass by without knowing what a gem this place is. Go inside and ask for a table. You will be led to the back, to a very simple interior, almost cantine-style. The menu is very limited which I believe is a good sign. The gambas (prawns) and the bacalhau (cod) are both extremely tasteful. Have the white house wine and you’re all set for a perfect meal.
That’s not all: if you want to try something very different, move back to the front after dinner and have a Portuguese beer while you wait for the karaoke to begin. Yes, if you’re lucky the owner will grab the microphone and sing some beautiful Portuguese songs. Don’t be shy and sing along in your best Portuguese. This is so much better than the karaoke bars you can find in the tourist part of town.
Estrela Do Mar | Restaurants (Portuguese) | Main meal € 17
Tue – Sun 11:00 – 00:00