Veggie & green Mechelen (Belgium), cityguide

For us it became kind of a tradition to not spend New Years Eve at home: we love going to the UK for example. But last time we decided to visit Belgium, Mechelen to be more precise. We heard it is a lovely town and it had been on our list for quite some time. Janet already showed you Mechelen through her eyes: Small and Great Beguinage, beautiful façades and ‘this thing with doors’ of course. In this article we share lots of veggie and green places to go. Stores, coffee bars, restaurants and more!

Hotel Elisabeth was the 4 star hotel with the best price offer on Expedia, so that’s where we checked in. It’s a modern hotel and is located in the centre of the city. We arrived pretty late in Mechelen and could only think about pie and coffee. So off we went, to explore Mechelen and on the look out for a nice coffee bar. Sister Bean was closed already unfortunately, so we ended up at Beans, located at IJzerenleen. All the pies and cakes looked scrumptiously good and wow, so many interesting coffee options too. After some deliberating we choose a pumpkin cake with creamy topping, an enormous piece of tiramisu pie and 2 yummy coffees. All sinfully delicious :-)! That, combined with the Coffee Company feel and vibe, makes this place definately worthwhile visiting. Confession: we forgot to ask about vegan options.

On top of Janet’s list was fair & eco store Supergoods of course. This is a great shop if you are looking for sustainable clothes, gift items, postcards, make-up and more! We loved the choice of brands here (Armed Angels, Miss Green, Wunderwerk, Lanius and more). Also items for kids available.
“It’s already been 5 years ago since we opened our doors. A shop like this needs quite some time to build a clientele. Luckily sustainable brands are starting to lose their stuffy image more and more!”, according to the owner of Supergoods.

Il Cardinale serves a mean burger and some pretty good fries!”, that’s what the locals told us. So even though there were veggie restaurants to go to, we decided to try this burgerbar first. We ordered the 2 veggie burger options on the menu. Janet is a real mushroom lover so she had the ‘Saintly Shrooms’: a portobello mushroom with roasted veggies, tomato tapenade and herb butter. The ‘You must be nuts’ burger was perfect for me: a hazelnut burger, with roasted veggies and some other toppings. And of course we shared some fries. The burgers: fabulous! The fries: not that good, overbaked brown fries you usually find at the bottom of a bowl of fries. All in all we liked Il Cardinale: a decent burger, nice industrial interior and within our budget (€ 30,- for 2 drinks, 2 burgers and fries).

Saturday: Nothing better to start your day with having a stack of delicious pancakes, right?! The menu of Foom, a cute breakfast (and coffee and lunch) place, lured us from our comfy beds quite early. And with reason! Their American pancakes with Greek yoghurt, banana, salted caramel and speculoos crumbs were absolutely delicous! Not to speak of the yoghurt parfait with lemon curd, passion fruit, mango and coconut oat crumble. Yummy! Some fresh orange juice on the side and we were 2 happy girls. And check out my beautiful green Klean Kanteen (I’m so in love with this thermos bottle), perfect for Fooms chai latte to go. It looked like there are no vegan breakfast options, but they do have a vegan sandwich for lunch on the menu.

When we arrived at Sister Bean around noon, it was just about to close. Oh no. The waitress told us it was ok for us to have a drink but they were all out of cakes. That’s why they were closing up even earlier than it said on the door and they were also preparing for a week long holiday break. The staff was friendly and because they still had a lot of fresh juice left from breakfast that morning they gave it away to the last customers of 2016. We will definately try their breafkfast buffet if we are ever in Mechelen again because we heared it’s good.

A simple lunch you’ll find at Frutsi (Bruul 91, in the main shopping street of Mechelen): healthy, yummy and affordable. The menu is written on the chalk board: soups, juices, wraps, sandwiches and more. Also lots of vegetarian and vegan options, yay!

Looking for vegan food in Mechelen? You might like to give Funky Jungle restaurant a try (lunch and dinner). We loved their winter menu, with veggies from the season. We had a delicious 3 course dinner, a chat with the nice owner and the chef. She even shared her recipe for the ‘steak’ Janet had!

Starter: filled zucchini rolls

Janet’s favourite: a ‘steak’ with parsnip salad and roasted potatoes.

My main course: stuffed squash, cranberry compote and parsnip lentil salad.

Coconut cream with cranberries and a slice of delicious tiramisu

Do you like to go to bars? Then you should definately check out this cute little place The Borrel-Babbel in Mechelen. It’s the smallest bar in the city: with 20 people it’s full house already. The nice bartender can serve a cold beer and other alcoholic drinks. But he can also whip up a hot chocolate with cream or some tea. Cosy and the perfect place to warm up a bit on colder days. We liked it!

Some shopping tips:
– HUT: it’s located at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwenstraat 88. This shop has a concept store feel and vibe and there’s a nice collection of mugs, calendars, modern interior items and other a accessories.
– The owner of Supergoods adviced us to check out pop-up store Vertelles: this place sells a small collection of vintage (and second-hand) clothes, homemade clothes and plants (there’s a plant shelter too: we like!).
My Ex-boyfriend is a great shop to visit if you are into interior design items, stationery and gift items. And, Janet found her ideal guy, check out the picture below ;-).

Cute, right? ;-)

– At bookstore De Zondvloed you can find lots and lots of second-hand books, sale items and new collection books. Upstairs you can check out your latest purchase accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee.
– Interior and design store Simple is located nearby Sister Bean. Simple offers a wide range of lamps, furniture, mugs, money boxes and other items to brighten up your home interior.

Do you have any tips for Mechelen you want to share? Please leave them in the comments!

Beans, IJzerenleen 37
Supergoods, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 116
Il Cardinale, Sint-Romboutskerkhof 1
Foom, Sint-Katelijnestraat 2
Sister Bean, Vismarkt 26
Frutsi, Bruul 91
Funky Jungle, Onder-Den-Toren 7
cafeetje de Borrel-Babbel, Nieuwwerk 7
HUT, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 88
Vertelles, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 74
My Ex-boyfriend, Guldenstraat 21
Boekenwinkel De Zondvloed, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 70
Simple, Vismarkt 4


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