Feel like you could use a treat in between? Go down to Nationalestraat 88 (only 10 minutes from the historic center) and behold 'Wafelhuis van Hecke - Ijssalon' - the oldest Waffle House in Antwerp!
Not long ago an American guest staying at the Leopold Hotel inquired about this authentic Waffle House where everything was handmade called 'Van Hecke'. Stating, 'as it is featured in National Geographic Magazine, it must be quite good', nodding in agreement, this consequently spawned an interesting chat about taste and tradition. Right there and then it dawned on me, it was time to put pen to paper (figuratively) and share with you our conversation!
Way back in time, before World War I, before mankind took its first steps on the moon and before people even considered skipping a meal with friends & family due to work commitments, our wise ancestors would go down to the Waffle-house to share in a home baked piece of delight on the Nationale Straat! And what better place for the good folk of Antwerp to discuss wedding plans and funeral arrangements, to offer each other lucrative contracts and quarrel over the best seat at the table! Not much has changed since 1905, when talented businessman 'Gustaav Van Hecke' first established his kingdom under the shadow of Sint-Andries Church.
Time it seems has stopped when you first walk in to see the 60' vintage decor. It has been unaltered since 1969. So whenever you visit the Waffle House for a delicious golden Waffle à la mode, the scent will take you right back home!
For the curious souls there are guided tours, starting in the early hours. Smell the coffee and watch the Waffle maker perform his magic!
Read National Geographic's article written by Christopher Hall
Opening hours are from Monday to Saturday from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM. Closed on Sundays.
Nationalestraat 88, 2000 Antwerp
Tel: 0032 3233 1972