...which is exactly what my friend Claire and I kept repeating to ourselves on our three-day trip to Antwerp, a fashion-forward city in the Flemish part of Belgium.
The only issue was that we were already eating and drinking so many delicious things, that we didn't even have time for a "gaufre de Liège" until we were on our way down to the train station. But we did, in the end, have our waffle: crispy with caramelized sugar on the outside, dense yet airy on the inside. The Belgian waffle isn't your typical waffle--it's much better.
But let's take things from the start. Setting: a Northern European city in November, therefore meaning rain, wind, and low temperatures. The perfect excuse for multiple stops to cafés.
Our first day in Antwerp was a strange one: it was a national holiday, and the streets were eerily empty. We were on our own on the main street, walking against the wind, wondering where everyone had disappeared. We even started to wonder whether Antwerp really existed, or if we were caught in some kind of Truman Show-esque situation where everything was designed around us. It turns out, everyone was hiding out in restaurants. And who wouldn't? The food all around Antwerp was good (homemade soups, dark multigrain bread) and cheap: the aforementioned soup was priced between 3.50 and 5 euros where we went. The restaurants and cafés were cozy and unpretentious, and best of all, they weren't packed like they would be in Paris.
Antwerp is a cultural city: the famed designers collectively called the "Antwerp Six" are representative of the importance the city seems to attach to fashion and design. The museums are diverse and all have something different to offer, and if you're under 26, they're only one euro. If I still haven't managed to convince you, let me add that you can get delicious hot chocolate everywhere. Cheap, delicious hot chocolate.
And like every good tourist, never leave without a souvenir. In my case, it was Belgian chocolate bars from the supermarket. Chocolate...and chocolate sprinkles for toast. And 55% almond paste. And chocolate-covered toffee. I think you get the point.