Ostend is known as the queen of coastal cities in Belgium. Not only is Ostend the largest city by the Belgian coast, it is also a city with great restaurants, amazing culture and beautiful beaches. But when you are on a trip to Ostend, where should you eat? What restaurants are worth your while? Well, I have made a list of the 10 best restaurants in Ostend!
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Apero Fish Palace
If you’re looking for something healthy, fresh, and also representing Ostend, a Belgian seafood restaurant may be what hits the spot. You will be greeted with fresh fish and crunchy crustaceans ready to be picked for your meal, priced by the kilo, so you know ahead of time what you get into. The atmosphere is relaxed and trendy, with comfortable seating to accommodate you while you dig into voluminous platters of seafood, made to order and to satisfy every palate. Be it fresh and simple, or more elaborate and dressed up, the dishes come in all shapes and sizes, from soups to crumbed mains, from small starters to large towers made to share.
De Mangerie Restaurant Ostend
With a beautiful view of the Ostend harbour, De Mangerie invites you to a tasteful environment in which to enjoy the briny air, friendly chatter, and sweet smell of fresh seafood being prepared. The dishes vary from classic recipes to more contemporary trademarks, you will find the famous shellfish dishes paired with crustaceans and clams, and for the carnivores, a selection of supreme meat dishes. These authentic dishes will be a sight for both the tongue and the eyes, giving you memories, you can revisit over and over. You can pair this culinary bliss with a stroll along the beach of Ostend’s coast or visit the city centre for some leisurely window shopping.
Located on the Albert I promenade, this elegant restaurant is ideal for a romantic date or celebration, where you will be surrounded by a cosy finesse. The interiors are kept simple and elegant, ensuring the main attractions on your plates are not distracted from. The carefully prepared dishes come in a variety of colours and flavours, from succulent meats to freshly caught fish resting carefully on a bed of herbs to new age desserts. You will have a sommelier to pair your meals with the perfect wine and be able to enjoy the sun going down over the ocean. You will find that the entire experience is gourmet, and think it worth the price.
Pot Mami Restaurant Ostend
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to indulge in some Asian flavours, this casual joint serves up Filipino dishes in a myriad of forms and sizes. The platters even come in authentic serving baskets covered in banana leaves to ensure a real experience. You will find the presentation of each dish to be as enticing as the dishes themselves, ranging from transparent noodles entangled with bright vegetables, crumb fried goodies paired with exotic fruits and steamy, soft rice paired with rich curries. You will be spoilt for choice and tempted to try everything on the menu.
De Foyer Restaurant Ostend
De Foyer has been around since 1994 and specializes in treating their customers like royalty and ensuring you will be spoiled rotten. Not only will you be in the heart of Ostend, with stunning views of the ocean and changing colours of the sunset, the restaurant also takes the extra step to take you on a journey of perfectly paired, unique wines. The chef is open to replacing ingredients in accordance to what would suit you better, making the experience at De Foyer almost personalised, as if you were to bring a chef home because whatever dietary requirement you may have, it will be tastefully accommodated.
Restaurant Valentino Ostend
At Valentino, you will get nothing short of an affectionate feast. Not only will you be greeted with open arms and friendly words, but the dishes are an experience you will completely submerge yourself in. The atmosphere is friendly, with solid timber recalling the essence of an elegant pub. You will find yourself cushioned between the sophistication of deliciously prepared dishes and the comfort of home. The fresh seafood, paired with briny air and a chilled glass of wine, will give you memories to treasure for a lifetime. You will be able to choose from colourful pasta, fresh, saucy shellfish, flavour-packed starters and the simple pleasures of a well-prepared tartar sauce.
Immerse yourself in the Scandinavian way of life, a blend between the earthy hues of timber settings and freshly made, aromatic dishes. The atmosphere here boasts the hygge way of life, each plate resonating and bringing this to life. You can choose between mouthwatering dishes such as the typical “Norwegian Hygge dish”, comprising Scandinavian salmon, herring and halibut, or the delectable Camembert baked and accompanied with thyme and honey. You will find the famed Rye bread paired with other essences as starters and worldly dishes such as the “Moose Burger” or the Swedish classic “Köttbullar”. It is most definitely a treat of a culture.
Restaurant Othello Ostend
Overlooking the pier and Nordic sea, this restaurant serves dishes that one would have to take in with their eyes before digging in. The specialities circle around French cuisine, with an addition of the chef’s favourites such as “Bouillabaisse of the North Sea”, lobsters prepared in several ways and mussels to be savoured one by one. The plates are hearty both to the eyes and the tongue, from starters to mains to dessert all catered to complement each ingredient and bring out the best of Ostend.
Resto Marina Ostend
This is a restaurant that has been serving exquisite Italian dishes for 45 years and has been constantly excelling at what they do. Nothing short of elegant and refined, the chef, the staff and the atmosphere makes it difficult to not feel like royalty. With direct views of the sea and the promenade, the elegant furniture only complements the equally delicate dishes. It is the place to go if you want to splurge and treat yourself and your family, for an elegant function or event or simply to journey to Italy through delectable plates.
Bistrot de la Mer
This homey little bistro is the epitome of everything that a bistro should be. Cosy, a blend of elegance with the comfort of home and the polish brought to life by well-prepared food. The environment sets the tone and compliments the dishes, welcoming, hearty and fulfilling, both to the tongue and the eyes. You will find everything from classic meat dishes such as Carpaccios to Croquettes, to fresh fish and tantalizing desserts. The place is also run by friendly staff that will enhance your experience.
Bistro Mathilda Ostend
Located in the heart of Ostend, along the edge of Leopoldpark, Bistro Mathilda promises to take you waltzing through a culinary journey of comfort food. It is amongst the city’s best brasseries and has been around since 1995. It creates creative, innovative and delicious dishes made of first-class ingredients. Apart from the regular items, they also serve weekly specials, and will undoubtedly make the list for best meals ever had.
Passe-Vite Restaurant Ostend
You would go here for a healthy, modern twist to Belgian cuisine. Specializing in breakfast, brunch and lunch, it serves up new age cuisines comprising vegetarian-friendly, vegan options and gluten-free options. The dishes are inviting and colourful, and knowing they are healthy makes them so much easier to take in. the interiors are as contemporary as their dishes. You will find options such as zoodles, lavender lattes, and a smoked salmon twist to the caesar salad. You have the option of dining in or out on the good weather days and enjoy a cold beer with your meal if you fancy.
A refined, classy nook, serving polished dishes with exquisite ingredients. You will find a range of options, from Thai specialities such as Tom Kha Kai and an assortment of steamed Dim Sum to classic options such as oysters served on ice, smoked salmon dishes and other fresh seafood options. It is a great place if you have a crowd to please, as everyone is bound to find something they like. You can even experiment with “Wild Burgers with Apple and Cranberries” or “Wild Duck Pie with Crispy Pastry”. They also serve a lunch special at a fixed price.
Nothing can beat the unique view of the tarmac at the airport, surrounded by eager people going somewhere. While it is unusual to find good eateries with such a view, this is a definite exception, so much so that it is advised you get to the airport early just to experience this. You can find classic Belgian dishes to welcome you or to bid adieu to Ostend with. You will find perfectly seared steaks as well as delicately made fish as good as the ones found along the coast.
Cafe Botteltje Restaurant Ostend
This unique cafe will serve up the perfect Belgian pub atmosphere. From delicious, reasonably priced food, tall steaks to a bed of soft potatoes made in classic Belgian style to crunchy croquettes. Apart from the almost home-cooked meals served, what makes this eatery unique is their bottled beers, as the name suggests, they specialize in bottled beers and you can find any beer imaginable. It is a great place for a casual dine out and some exploring of different beers.
Lieze Neven is a globetrotting travel writer and expat currently based in Nepal. With a passion for exploration, she has lived in Dubai, the UK, and Belgium, alongside her international teacher husband. Her parents live in France and she tries to visit Paris at least once a year. Together, they travel the world looking for the best hotels, experiences and food locations have to offer!