Oud Arsenaal, Antwerp

Location: Maria Pijpelincxstraat 4, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Year of Inscription: 2022

Venue Type: Belgian Brown Café / Historic / Compact

EBG Rating:8.7/10
Quality of Drinks
Antwerpen classics like De Koninck, a.k.a Bolleke along with a really traditional selection of well known Belgian/Trappist offerings in tap and bottle. Check out the Gueuze/Sour menu in the corner for some special beers. A competent back bar offering some Dutch Jenever too.
A preserved Jewel with original wood fittings, beautiful lights and tiled flooring. A very small space with wooden bench seating facing a dinky bar, with further seats adjacent to it. Decorated with breweriana and some old timer Belgian stuff (think cycling and other sport). 
Characterful all of its own, a pub you could sit happily in on your own. However, due to the central location and its qualities, you will nearly never find yourself alone in this pub. Still jealously guarded by locals, this tourist has a real mix, a bit like some of the best venues in Prague, meaning you’re as likely to find an inebriated following holding court at the bar in dirty overalls as you are a romantic couple in the corner having a chat. Democracy is alive here.
Limited snacks, newspapers, outdoor seating, pub cats
Value For Money❤️❤️❤️
Nothing out of the ordinary for the area, not notably good value either.
DescriptionOne of Antwerp’s jewels, a preserved little brown café with all the cosy/gezellig qualities you’d hope to find from such a venue. The patina of character only grows with the years, and the location of the bar is so out of keeping it looks like it has beamed down from space. Hugely popular with a wide range of people across classes and backgrounds, with locals jealously guarding it, while never making you feel unwelcome. Beer selection is good with a little range of sours and gueuzes for specialist drinkers, and as the sense of institution pervades almost everything about the place, ordering a Bolleke of De Koninck feels appropriate, where it is often said to be among the freshest and best poured in the city. (added July 2022)