4 Antwerp specialties you need to try when visiting Antwerpen

Antwerp is not only a city of art, fashion, and diamonds. It also has a rich culinary heritage that will delight your taste buds. Here are four local delicacies you should not miss when visiting Antwerp.

Antwerpse Handjes

These hand-shaped cookies are more than just a tasty treat. They are also a tribute to a legendary hero who saved Antwerp from a greedy giant. The story goes that a Roman soldier named Silvius Brabo chopped off the giant’s hand and threw it into the river.

The cookies were created in 1934 by a Dutch pastry chef who won an open competition to make a new city delicacy. To ensure their quality, only certified bakers can produce them.

You can find them in many shops in the city center, but we recommend the ones from Philip’s Biscuits. They are simply delicious!


Bolleke is the pride of Antwerp’s brewery, De Koninck. It’s an amber-colored beer with a malty, hoppy, and caramel flavor. It dates back to 1833 when it was born out of necessity to compete with the famous pilsners.

You can find Bolleke in almost every café in Antwerp, in a round-shaped glass that gives it its name. You can also visit the De Koninck brewery and learn more about its history and fine beers. Cheers!

Elixir d’Anvers

Elixir d’Anvers is a yellow herbal liqueur that was concocted in 1863 by François-Xavier de Beukelaer. Elixir d’Anvers consists of 32 different herbs and spices.

People praise it for its digestive and beneficial properties. Whether you have a stomach ache, a cold, or a sweet tooth, a sip of this historic elixir will make you feel better.

You can buy it in supermarkets, specialty stores, and Antwerp’s iconic cookie and chocolate shops.

Caramella Mokatine

If you love coffee, you will love Caramella Mokatine. In 1925, Confiserie Roodthooft created these coffee-flavored candies. They have another name, ‘Arabiereke,’ which means ‘little Arab’ in Dutch because of the Arabian man on the wrapper. He represents the Arabic coffee beans that infuse the candies.

Although the sweets are no longer made on Antwerp territory today, they are still considered an absolute Antwerp delicacy. You can find them in Belgian supermarkets. Enjoy!

If you have reached the end of this blog post, you are a Bon vivant. Want to discover the delights of Antwerp by bike? Then we are ready for you. Choose, for example, a tour through the parks or past the city’s best breweries. Discover all our bike tours here and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.