Bia Mara (Antwerp)

You may be asking yourself – who goes to Antwerp? Business people? Anarchists? The Dutch? While all of these may be true, we stopped through here on our way to Bruges, and in an attempt to avoid Brussels. We also had a friend who’d been living in the city for the months prior and was able to give us invaluable dining tips… such as sustainable Fish & Chip restaurant Bia Mara.

With a respectable outlook onto the Grote Markt – a novelty traditionally reserved for crap restaurants with high prices – Bia Mara takes the panko by the crumbs, with crispy fried anything-from-the-ocean. Antwerp is a port city after all.

Starters of Deep Fried Mussels make popcorn chicken look like… well, popcorn.

Prawns here are masked as strategically as everything else on the menu, to blend in.

We shared two stellar dishes of the classic Panko Breadcrumb fish (amazing);

And the Lemon & Basil Tempura. The Japanese influence here makes immediate and perfect sense. Everything has its own angle, and is well proportioned to not leave you feeling bloated.

Yes, the hipsters have well and truly conquered Antwerp. What else can you expect of a town that’s so close to major cities and boasts cheap monthly rent?

First the second hand clothes shops come, then the art galleries, and before you know it… the sustainable fish & chips.

Jolly good show. 5 stars.

Bia Mara

Maalderijstraat 1

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