Mechelen

Mechelen’s culinary hotspot: De Vleeshalle

De Vleeshalle is the heart of Mechelen’s food scene. What was once a butcher shop, is now a trendy indoor market with different stalls. The interior is just gorgeous, there are fancy velour seats everywhere, and in the back they also have a more “beach vibe”-lounge. There are plenty of secluded areas, too, if you’re looking for a more intimate setting. The food options themselves are also to die for. From delicious burgers and pizza to tapas and croquettes, there’s plenty of choice! Discover everything you need to know about Mechelen’s culinary hotspot: De Vleeshalle.

About De Vleeshalle

De Vleeshalle is located in a beautiful building, with a wonderful interior. This indoor food market used to be a butcher shop, but now you can find several food stalls here, each offering different dishes and cuisines. It is a rather small food market, but there’s certainly plenty of choice here! You’ll find pizza, burgers, tapas, croquettes, and even ice cream, among other things. What we really liked is the diversity of the food. You can find some classics (like pizza), “exotic” cuisines like the Moroccan cuisine, or modern concepts here (like loaded potatoes). You’re bound to find something you like, even though there are only a dozen food stalls. For us, it’s not so much about the quantity, but the quality of the food. And let us tell you, the quality here is top notch. There’s also plenty of seating inside, a big plus!

De Vleeshalle is open every day from 11 AM (except Mondays). For the best experience we recommend arriving before noon. That way you can already look around at your leisure and pick a nice spot! Also good to know is that you can order at the stalls themselves, or by scanning a QR code with your phone. When the food is ready, you’ll get a text message. Very convenient!

Our recommendations

During our weekend getaway to Mechelen, we visited the Vleeshalle twice. Yes, we think it’s that good! It is truly one of the most cozy food markets we have visited, we’ll definitely come back to try out the rest of the stalls!

Bar

In the center of the Vleeshalle you can find the Bar. From delicious cocktails and tasty wines to soft drinks, they have a wide selection of drinks. What we really applauded was how fast they were! Whether we ordered a soft drink or some cocktails, we always had our drinks within 5 minutes. Sometimes we’d order and already head to the bar because we knew it would be waiting for us already! Hats off to the bartenders.

They also have a fun cocktail menu, so we were eager to try that out. Thysia went for the Pornstar Martini (of course) and Kelvin started with the Royal Mojito. First of all, the presentation was beautiful. The Pornstar Martini came on its own plate, with designated sections for the glass, shot glass of prosecco, and passion fruit! We had never seen that before, but it was a nice attention to detail. The Mojito came in its original Mojito glass, of course, and was nicely decorated with a lot of mint. And as far as the taste goes: both cocktails were amazing!

On Sunday, Kelvin also tried the Moscow Mule to see if they really know their cocktails. 😉 The cocktail was, again, beautifully presented in the copper mug that it is so famous for, really cool. And regarding the taste: it was spot on! This is THE place to be for amazing cocktails. We can even go so far as to say that these were the best cocktails we had in Mechelen. Perfect in taste and beautifully presented, what more could you want? 

Bubba Kroketten

We are both really big fans of croquettes. There’s just something so exciting about making something so small and simple, so delicious. Our favorite croquettes are undoubtedly those from Bubba Kroketten: delicious, artisanal croquettes with tons of choice. We were excited to see that Bubba Kroketten had its own stand at the Vleeshalle! It won’t come as a surprise that we decided to try them out here as well.

On Saturday, we ordered the trio melty & cheesy. This is a menu item where you get 3 kinds of croquettes with bread, butter, and sauce(s) to your liking. We got a croquette with 4 cheeses, one with truffle, and one with sundried tomatoes. For sauce, we went for the cocktail sauce because they told us that went best with the sundried tomatoes. The croquettes were delicious, just like we are used to from Bubba Kroketten. The recommendation was also spot on! The cheese croquette and truffle one do not need any sauce, but the sweet cocktail sauce went very well with the tomatoes. When we returned the next day, we ordered another duo of truffle croquettes, our absolute favorite! These truffle croquettes might seem small at first, but they are bursting with flavor.

Bar Patat

Bar Patat offers (sweet) potatoes in skin with different toppings. It’s a really cool, unique concept so we had to try it out! We decided on the “patat deluxe”, a potato topped with lobster sauce and scampis. Although this was very tasty, the sauce didn’t taste like lobster. It was the most expensive item on the menu (almost € 20 🤯), so we definitely expected a little more lobster taste! The scampi’s and potatoes were cooked to perfection, so nothing to complain there, but we lacked some real lobster. We are big fans of the concept, though, so next time we’ll try the “patat chicken coco”. This one is topped with chicken, red curry, coconut milk, feta, and chorizo. Sounds amazing!

Tapas La Qia

Since our city trip to Barcelona, we both love pinchos. Unfortunately, this is not easily available in Belgium. But when we saw that Tapas La Qia offers a variety of pinchos in the weekend, we immediately ordered some! On Saturdays, they have a deal where you get 4 pinchos for € 20. Compared to what we paid in Barcelona, this was quite expensive, but we happily paid it for a trip down memory lane!

We tried one with a serrano ham croquette, one with a tortilla, and two with a cod croquette. The pinchos were delicious and took us back to our time in Barcelona. They were much bigger than in Spain, too, so that justifies the price increase somewhat. The only drawback was that the croquettes were almost cold when we got our pinchos. We do understand that they can’t make them fresh every time for every customer. But we’re sure our pinchos would have been even tastier if the croquettes were warm! So pro tip, try to time your order to get a “fresh batch” of pinchos, especially if they’re (supposed to be) warm.

We also really wanted to try their patatas bravas, but thought € 10 was too expensive for just patatas bravas. Other than that, they also have plenty of other items on their menu, like different types of paella, tapas, bocadillos,… Delicious!

These were our recommendations for Mechelen’s culinary hotspot: De Vleeshalle. If you plan on visiting Mechelen, be sure to put De Vleeshalle on your bucket list!

Where: Huidevettersstraat 7, 2800 Mechelen

Where to stay in Mechelen

Looking for more food recommendations in Belgium?

Food heaven at Gare Maritime Food Market
Our favorite restaurants in Ghent
Discover Brussels’ newest hotspot: Fox Food Market
The best places to eat in Brussels

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