't Waagstuk

't Waagstuk't Waagstuk
't Waagstuk't Waagstuk
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

Stadswaag 20
Antwerpen, 2000

+32 3 225 02 19 | map

Notes: Re-opened in August 2019.
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stayed in Antwerp during my Belgium visit of Easter 2001. I distinctly remember the night-time walk in the drizzle from where we stayed to the dimly lit, quiet square where the Waagstuk (the Weighing Station) is situated, tucked away into a corner.

Comprises of three rooms, which were all rocking with conversation and laughter when we entered. We sat in the back room, furthest from the "happening" bar - but the service was still sharp and the waiter was extremely helpful. He spied one of our parties Tim Webb Belgium Guide and immediately informed us of some aged beers in the cellar, mainly trappists and lambics. I couldn't resist a 5 year old "teeth-enamel-stripping" Cantillon Gueuze. Superb. The Waagstuk had, if my notes serve me right, about 100 beers on the list, but judging by the fact that they had some aged beers not on the menu - it could well be more now.

Changed ownership some years ago - it's improved and a relative newcomer in Belgium Bar terms - but well worth the walk. Its hard to definitively define the style of the bar, I would say a cool place to hang out with cool people drinking good beer. We had a great night on 4-15-01, with some great beers, in great surroundings.

Note: Try to avoid walking in the nearby red light area after midnight - I was in a group of 6 so OK, but there were some dodgy looking characters very late on (and I don't mean the Women !!!).

Last Visit: 15th April, 2001

Oct 02, 2002
More User Reviews:
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REVZEB from Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Aug 25, 2018
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ccczzz from Virginia

4/5  rDev -4.5%

Jun 16, 2014
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uturn from Florida

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Jan 05, 2014
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baggio from Sweden

4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited this place on 23/3 2010.

The place is separated onto 2 sections of which one is non-smoking and it is only here they are allowed to serve food.

When we got there they had a beersampling-session in progress in the non-smoking section so we had to enjoy our first two beers in the bar. Belgians do smoke alot when they drink, don't they :) House seems old and there is alot of red bricks and wood all around. Cosy!

They had about 6-7 beers on draught among them Chimay Blance, Tripel Karmeliet and Rodenbach Classic. We tried the Chimay and the Rodenbach and they were both execellent. 2.80e per glass. Quite the bargain.

They have a good selection of belgian classics including lambics and food is average but good value. Owners are very friendly and the place is very relaxed and not very infested by tourists as many of the other places.

We had a really good time here and i would definetively recommend people who are in Antwerpen to check this place out.

Apr 05, 2010
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BlackHaddock from England

4.4/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited on the Sunday afternoon of 2010 ZBF weekend.

Three rooms, all completely different, no food allowed to be eaten in the bar area, so we moved into 'The Zeppelin' room (you'll see why I called it that if you go) for our healthy deep fat fried beerfood selection of Cheese Puffs, Bitterballen and mini Lumpia's.

The bar is fairly barron in looks, dusty old steins are in evidence and a large branch clings to the ceiling with a small light at the end of each twig, very effective and adds a rural feel to the bar room.

The third, or back room is darker and more boring than the other two, lets call it 'Odenbach', again you'll know why if you visit this lovelly tucked away place.

Service was friendly and swift, the young lady who served us had very good English and knew her stuff, beer wise.

Stone walls and solid wooden furniture in all the rooms, a typical Belgian ale house, the building dates back to 1548.

Even though it is not easy to find and well away from most of the other 'recommended' beer bars of Antwerp it was fairly full. The customers were both local and beerhunters like my wife and I who were over for the Zythos Beer Festival and staying in Antwerp (mostly Brits).

Mar 24, 2010
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dandeibler from Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Kulminator may have the most impressive cellar but Waagstuk is our favorite beer bar in Antwerp. Co-owners Lucy and Dieter were very knowledgeable and were happy to discuss the local beers. Dieter had just returned from the Drie Fontainen brewery which had recently experienced an explosion which will threaten their continued existence. He shared some one year old lambic he brought back from the brewery in a plastic bottle. When Lucy learned that one of our favorite beers was Chouffe Houblon she insisted that we take some Houblon glasses home! What wonderful owners!

Beer selection was much better than average for a Belgian beer bar, inlcuding their special Zeppelin beer. Food was very good and reasonably priced. I had a croque madame and my wife had the pumpkin soup, both excellent.

I highly recommend the Waagstuk for those exploring the Antwerp beer scene.

Mar 05, 2010
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ministoat from England

4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

We had expected to have trouble finding this place, but it was actually ok for us, maybe through luck!

Our first beer was the Zeppelin, which was a fantastic sweet stout-like beer, and had just come back to the pub after a few months of being unavailable. We also had a XX Bitter, which was recommended in "100 Belgian Beers to try before you die", but this turned out to be one of the worst we ha on the whole trip! Obviously not the pubs fault, but it goes to show how different tastes can be.

The waitress was very friendly, and recommended that we tried the Triple Karmeliet or Chimay on tap, though we had other places to go we would have done if time had allowed!

A note for the person who mentioned that you get rice here instead of fries, this (ridiculous) rule was explained to us one night by a restaurant owner: If a restaurant/cafe serves fries, then they cannot allow customers to smoke there. Restaurants that do not serve fries or other cooked potato snacks are not classified as 'proper' restaurants, and therefore smokers (like myself!) can enjoy a smoke with their beer.

May 29, 2009
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BeerBelcher from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I realized that the Waagstuk was the right place for me when I met the guy here from the "Antwerp Beer College," who was having their monthly meeting in the back room. I had a great visit here, the only shortcoming being that I wasn't asked to join their tasting in the back room.

This place is not easy to find. It is quite a few turns from the central square in Antwerp, and sort of down a dead-end. It is in a little square, but appeared to be the only place in the square open on the Saturday I visited.

It was quite smokey, so we sat outside in its courtyard. Atmosphere was pretty average - a small bar and a dining room outfitted in some generic wooden paneling without a lot of distinguishing decoration.

Our server was excellent. He was an older gentleman, who spoke excellent English and had an encyclopedic knowledge of beer. He did a great job making recommendations for our group.

Selection was quite good - a few beers on tap and a very high quality bottle list. I had a La Trappe Tripel and the best Saison Dupont I've ever had here.

In terms of beer-geek experiences in Antwerp, this was tops for me; despite the Kulminator's superior reputation.

Oct 24, 2008
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ggaughan from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped here later at night on a recent trip to Antwerp with friends and my wife. There was a nice little crowd at the outside seating. We sat a table inside near the bar. Although this was mainly a trip for dinner, we of course had to enjoy some beer. There was a nice draft selection and a decent bottle selection as well.

For dinner I had basically a Flemish beer stew which was really really good. For a beer pairing a chose a the Waagstuk house beer which was an 11% beer from a local producer. My friend had a Duvel green which is a decent beer but it came in a Duvel green glass which was nice to see, different from the trademark tulip glass.

Overall a good night although we were only there for dinner and 1 or 2 drinks. When we go back to Antwerp, i would definitely visit again for dinner or drinks at the outside seating area.

May 17, 2008
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ballewblake from New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

One of my last brew stops in Antwerp, I managed to hit this place late in the evening when a huge family was having a party/reunion or something. Lots of small kids running around on this night. Not wanting to discredit the place because of this, I think I just got there on an off night. But there were 3 kids whom were fascinated with the 'American' (me) and constantly professing they wanted to move there... and my piercings.

I found a place to sit at the really small bar I found off the entrance, maybe 3 bar stools. Not a whole lot to converse with so it was mainly the manager <?> and the bartender to quiz. Anyway, first thing to sample here was obviously their house beer, which I don't remember being bad at all, though it wasn't my first brew of the night. Atmosphere seemed like a nice 'date' type place other than the family that was packed in there.

My night turned weird from there as this guy set down next to me, Sort of depressed gent, whom seemed to think he needed a woman at the moment. Lots of bar hopping after that looking for that woman, with a strange Dutch man.

Feb 05, 2008
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Goldorak from Canada

3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

While getting nicely toasted at Kulminator, we met a really nice couple, Peter and Cassandra - well, they weren't exactly together, it seemed pretty complicated - and we were hungry so we decided to try out this place and they highly recommended it. Thank goodness they came along, because I would have never found it, much less gotten there in only a few minutes via the tram!

From the outside it looked like an old stable house, inside seemed just as old, but was totally clean and the decor quite sober. We had the solarium section next to the kitchen all to ourselves, the rest of the restaurant was filled by twentysomethings having some kind of private party, so service was really slow, especially since I wanted to go back to Kulminator for a nightcap. The house brew Zeppelin was great and we enjoyed our meals, strangely served with rice rather than the ubiquitous fries. Peter explained that it's some kind of fiscal loophole, if you serve fries you need a special permit or something, so they decided to keep costs down and serve rice instead. Another reason why I love Belgium, they have legislation over fries but you can get Beer out of a vending machine any time you want.

The Beer list was pretty good, not as amazing as some of Antwerps' well known bars, but for a restaurant type place it was fabulous. Prices are dirt cheap, so travellers on a budget who want to eat something other than Doner should take note of this place.

Sep 24, 2007
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Big78CJ from Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Great beer, greater food!

Make sure you try the Zeppelin. It's a fine dark belgian ale, worth the trip for this alone. I thought it was contracted out by the restaurant though I am not so sure anymore. It is definitely a DeKoninck production though who came up with the recipe I am not so sure of. Maybe it's time to read that review. Anyway, on to 't Waagstuck...

Beer Cuisine!!!!
The chef and bartender is really cool and can always recommend fantastic meals and beer pairings. When they ran out of one of the meals I ordered he gave me the rest of what they had plus a few other samples of beer cuisine. On top of it he brought us some nice Oude Kriek's on the house because he felt bad for running out of one meal.

I definitely recommend going here instead of Gouden Ecu. I am not knocking Gouden Ecu, I just couldn't get in to try any food. They are reservation only and there is a pretty forbidding sign on the door emphasizing that point. Regardless, if you are in Antwerp head here for some food and then on to De Kulminator for a nice aged brew!

Jan 25, 2007
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msubulldog25 from Oregon

4.15/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited early evening, 7 September 2006.

Tucked in the corner of a quiet square north of central Antwerp, 't Waagstuk is located in a quaint and historic multi-roomed building -formerly a carriage house/inn dating from the mid-16th century. One enters the restaurant through a tiled open courtyard with a few tables; I chose to sit in the bar area to the immediate right of the main door, bypassing a couple small dining rooms. Pulling up a chair at the first table I came to, I had a good view onto the courtyard and of the cozy room. Yellowing plaster walls covered tastefully with artwork prints and some beer-related advertising, a red-orange tile floor with a number of wooden tables and chairs, and a rustic wood-beamed ceiling with hundreds of suspended ceramic mugs exude a comfortable, homey ambience.

The welcome from the server was polite and efficient, though not particularly warm. In need of food, I ordered a 'Krok Monsieur met groetenkrans' and a bottle of the tasty house special 'Zeppelin' beer. I jotted a few notes and soaked in some of the feel of the place. As it was nearing dinner time, the crowds were beginning to build and the energy and noise levels were on the rise. In the nick of time, my sandwich arrived and was sufficiently tasty and satisfying.

The beer menu lists nearly 100 bottles and there also are a half dozen taps. My notetaking lapsed so I failed to copy down what they were, but I'd venture a guess that local favorites like De Koninck were on it. Consumption of beer temporarily obstructed my journalistic duties, I guess. Based on some of the prior reviews, there are typically some high quality brews on-tap, as well as some excellent hidden gems in the cellar. When in Antwerp next time, my vow is to better explore these possibilities...

A second beer choice was upon me and a delicious Saison Dupont was what I chose. When settled, the tab for the stay was under 12 euro.

Worth the trip to find this pub - recommended when in Antwerp.

Sep 22, 2006
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Bierschenker from Belgium

3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Het Waagstuk

On the stadswaag, a square in the north of the historical city. Within the city’s second expansion. The square itself was the created in the 16th century. Since, it was inhabited by merchants who had their warehouses here. Even until the 20th century. Then it became part of Antwerp’s night life when most of the historical cellars where turned into bars and discothèques. With the natural allocation of the partiers, the square died. This changed again during the last 20 to 30 years, when bars slowly started to return.
It has the doubtful honour of being the first neighbourhood that was bombed by German Zeppelins during World War 1. It was the first deliberate attack on civilians in this war. This is symbolised in the bar by the zeppelin shaped chandeliers.

6 beers on tap: Maes, De Koninck (Bolleke [pale ale] and Winterkoninck [called Winterzeppelin]), Rodenbach, Chimay and Waagstuk (re-labbeled Piraat).
Around 90 bottled beers on the menu. All trappists and Lambic products included. The offer expands and decreases because of “Beer(s) of the month” actions and aged bottles.

The establishment spans 4 historical buildings around a central square. The square has a gate that gives access to the Stadswaag. When you enter the complex, the building to your right contains the counter. There are a few tables here. The ceiling is decorated with steins. The walls are covered with beer memorabilia. The counter itself is a salvaged piece in kitsch Art Deco / Art Nouveau. Very common during the first decennia of this century. Derived from the model I would presume it’s from a village bar. The floor is tilled.
The second room has no window are door that accesses the inner square. It’s the largest room. It has a wooden floor. In the corner is a fireplace installed. The decoration is very plain here, but the zeppelins are hard to miss. Beyond this room is a small terrace that is roofed now. The two main points are the gas stove and the huge plants against the wall. Adjunct is the kitchen. This room is the smoke free area.
Right from the largest room is another cosy area. Intimately lit, chocolate paint, reproductions of old pictures of the city against the wall and a big wooden dresser cupboard. Adjunct from this room is the beer and glassware stockage.
The bar also offers two caved cellars. They are rented to students, used for beer tasting sessions or party’s.

Other offerings:
They bar also caters for beer sessions and Breugheltafels.
You can order beer tasting sessions. They have different combinations and prices. You can choose to have food during these sessions.
For groups, receptions or meetings they also prepare Breughel meals. A large assortment of warm and cold dishes all-you-can-eat. Here too you can choose from four arrangements.
The food in general is decent with a healthy variety of dishes. From little snacks like crisps, tapa’s, cheese, … A bit heartier are the small range of typical Flemish and small lunch dishes. Also salads, pasta and desserts.
At my second visit I had the Loze vinkjes met gebakken ui from the Flemish selection. The quality is acceptable, the portions not. OK I’m not in a restaurant and I didn’t pay a lot. But looking at the kind of people they want to attract… I would find it more then reasonable to pay more, but to really get more.

All in all this is a more than satisfying establishment.

Jul 07, 2006
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UncleJimbo from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Afspanning 't Waagstuk is located north of the Cathedral area, and was a bit of a hike, but worth the walk. It is also tucked away in the corner of a small square, and does not really stand out, so keep your eyes open as you are searching for it. You enter from a small square into a small courtyard, and then enter the bar proper. There is a cafe/restaurant directly ahead, and a bar room on the right, forming sort of an L-shaped place overall. The bar has ~6 bar stools and there are ~5 tables for seating in the bar area. The ceiling of this room is covered with hanging beer steins from many places. (Not sure what the story behind these hanging steins is.) The floor is read tile, and there are large windows looking out onto the inner courtyard.

There were 6 beers on-tap, including: Maes Pils, Dekoninck, DeKoninck Winter (which they labeled as Winter Zeppelin), Rodenbach, Chimay White (Blond), and "Waagstuk" (which was in fact Piraat). In addition to the taps, they offered ~75 bottled beers, including Westvleteren 12. A good selection, though not out-of-the-ordinary for Antwerp.

The food menu looked good, though I only sampled a cheese and olive plate, which was tasty and complimented the beers nicely. The service was OK, though not overly friendly, but the bar was quiet on my late afternoon visit. This place, like most others in Antwerp, probably gets more busy later in the night.

Worth a walk to this somewhat out of the way pub.

First visit November 2005
Most recent visit Nov. 2008

May 29, 2006
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francisweizen from Alaska

4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This is a nice little pub in Antwerpen. Located in an interesting neighberhood that is not very close, nor very far from the Grand Palace. The atmosphere is awesome as you have to enter this place via a huge, heavy wooden door in a sort of gated garden. Inside is two small-ish rooms with old mugs all over the ceilings and tons of old breweriania to look at. This pub is all old wood, and it definately has the feel of an old, nicely worn drinking place. The quality of the beer was very good, but I found the range a bit dissapointing when compared to other Antwerp bars such as the Kulminator. Never-the-less they had an awesome selection of authentic lambics, and I tried the de troch unfiltered gueuze which was quite nice indeed. Service was laid back and friendly. I'll definately come back when in Antwerp.

Dec 07, 2004
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Popsinc from Canada

4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I ended up here somewhat buzzed after a very lengthy stay at the Kulminator. A nice multi-room bar with a casual and pleasant atmosphere. A great collection of ceramic beer mugs hang all over the ceiling....some Belgian, some not.

On this particular day in Oct/03 the impossible to find De Troch unfiltered gueze was NOT available. Damn nation! I did have a bottle of Zepplin however, which was a 9%, dark-black-licorice flavoured beer. Not too bad. The rest of the beer menu was very good. Plenty of gueze and a few imports as well.

We also stayed for dinner here where they offered some traditional Belgian dishes and cuisine a la biere. I had a lovely chicken & Chimay sauce and my wife had a rather interesting choice of pork-meatballs w/cherries. Excellent meal!

Worth a visit. Another highly recommended bar.

Oct 29, 2003
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saltydog from New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Fairly large bar with brick walls, wagon wheel chandelier, several rooms off a main bar, front one with wood & brick bar with stools. Other larger room and area off the other side with sklight. Wooden beams and mugs hanging from ceiling, Tile floor. During a visit during 24 hours weekend, there was wonderful live folk music: bagpipe and accordion. Outdoor beer garden with picnic tables. Had Cantillon on draft. Soup of the day was Leak. The very impressive beer list includes a few vintage items.

Oct 20, 2003
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rastaman from England

4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

If you're Antwerp, go to this place!!!! They have a fantastic selection of beer. They've got Westvleteren, Rodenbach, Cantillon, Chimay, Rochefort etc, etc. I had some Chimay White on tap, Westy 12, some aged Drie Fonteinen Kriek, Boon Mariage parfait Kriek (wow what an awesome brew!!!), Vlaamse Bourgogne (yummy!). The staff were very friendly and poured the beers with great care and precision. Very cosy, friendly atmosphere. Its refreshing to know places like this exist in the world, i will be back here one day, you can count on that!!!!!

Feb 07, 2003
't Waagstuk in Antwerpen, Belgium
Place rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 20 ratings