The days when you had to run to speciality shops to buy delicious wines or spirits for cocktails – fortunately – passed us by some time ago. If you’re in Ghent and want to try a fantastic wine or be blown off your feet by an exquisite cocktail, you don’t have far to go. We headed into town ourselves and were won over by the great spots we stopped at.
THE FINEST WINE & COCKTAIL BARS IN GHENT
You've got the style it takes
Wait...what? Give yourself a quick pinch, just to be sure, because once you're inside the décor will have you thinking you've just walked onto the set of Peaky Blinders. Let’s turn back the clock, shall we? Welcome to a beautifully decorated cocktail bar in the old post office building where the cocktail experience lacks for nothing, and where the ‘Prohibition’ ambience still shines through. Discreetly enter through the wrought iron fence, and then let the enchanting creations of Ghent local David Lebeer (Best Belgian Bartender in 2018) knock you off your feet. At the bar, in the armchairs, wherever you are – you’re sure to enjoy yourself in style.
Graslei 16, 9000 Ghent,TheCobblerGhent
Does Jigger's actually need an introduction? It's one of Ghent's cocktail pioneers. When Jigger's opened in Oudburg, a wave of elation rippled through the neighbourhood. It’s already made it a few times onto the ‘100 best bars in the world’ list and was crowned ‘Cocktail bar of the year 2020’ in November 2019, so no need to dream up a reason to visit this speakeasy. It's always 5 o'clock somewhere... encounter, experience, enchanting!
Oudburg 16, 9000 Ghent, jiggers.be
What started out as a (natural) wine and gin bar, has – in just three years – grown into an honest-to-goodness aperitif spot that now also serves beer, cocktails, coffee and cake in the afternoon. These days, Win is one of Ghent's finest wine and aperitif bars. Breakfast there was always an option, but now you can grab a bite for lunch too, with choice from a limited but delicious menu, including yummy soups, toasties, etc.
Burgstraat 8, 9000 Ghent, barwin.be
Let's get geeky
Lagers all around. Tagline countdown. ‘Ghent still needs a bar where you can score both premium beer and sliced cold meats’. That must have been the idea, more or less. And presto chango, Bar Beenhouwer was born. There are always 15 beers on tap, as standard, including Goudenband, Cinderella's Midnight Ride, Pier den Drol, Houblon Chouffe, 13, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Kriek Boon, Cendre, Argus, etc. Somebody left this remark on the site: ‘best place for beer geeks’. Who can argue with that?
Annonciadenstraat 4, 9000 Ghent, barbeenhouwer
La bella Italia!
Will it blend? Well, the YouTube-sensation doesn’t have much to do with it, although it should be said... This wine bar does blend in nicely with the surroundings. It’s run by Luk De Rooze and Kees Dobbelaar, two gentlemen sommeliers who know what they’re doing and are eager to guide you through their fantastic selection. There’s a wine shop right next to bar Blend, that primarily sells Italian cépages. Why? Both gentlemen own a Tuscan vineyard! Salute!
Kuiperskaai 14, 9000 Ghent, blendwijnhandel.be
Relax in Oudburg
Meet this urban style aperitif bar, with a lovely view of the Leie (Lys) River and exotic interior design. From 4 p.m. on, you can enjoy one of their delicious aperitifs for a relaxing start to your evening. It’s right in the middle of Oudburg, which also makes it the perfect base for a night of culinary indulgence.
Oudburg 90, 9000 Ghent, andre.gent
À la Française
Rooted in the French bar à vins, but with a Ghent touch – this spot is hip, trendy, contemporary and classy. The wine list is original and unexpected, with wines from small family wineries that the owners discovered on their quest for quality. That means the houses aren’t as well known, but there’s no loss of quality. France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Italy – bottles from them all are here. Just wine? Nah! There are refreshing coffee and tea preparations and both classic and 'heirloom' aperitifs such as Suze, Punt e Mes and pastis cocktails. Add some great snacks and you’re in heaven!
Steendam 53, 9000 Ghent, baravins.be
The wonderful world of wine
Somm is a cosy wine bistro/wine bar where the seasonal cuisine is a fantastic complement to the delicious wines. Only premium products are sold here, with suppliers such as Dierendonck, Cru, Paté to the People and Cuore di Puglia. Savour a nice glass of wine in the evening from the their selection of 15 wines per glass. The SOMM academy is open to the general public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for workshops and master classes.
Steendam 39, 9000 Ghent, somm.gent
PAROLE WINEBAR & CO
From wine to sweet dreams
It only opened in September and is already a trending spot in the cosy Bennesteeg. There's a wonderful selection of wines, accompanied by delicious snacks in an especially charming interior. Feel like listening to some tunes? Every third Thursday of the month you can enjoy live jazz piano music! Even better, right next to the wine bar there’s a place you’re sure to have sweet dreams. Guesthouse Maison Margo welcomes you with open arms and decadently soft sheets ...
Bennesteeg 9, 9000 Ghent, parole.gent
GRAPES OF GLORY
A voyage of discovery!
Glorious grapes make glorious wines. Let this inspiring wine bar win you over with wines from traditional wine countries such as France, Italy, Spain and lesser-known wine countries like Croatia – fFrom organic wines to exclusive bottles from first-class wineries. The wine list has been composed with the utmost care, with a superb selection of 20 excellent and, where possible, organic or biodynamic wines, all of which can be ordered by the glass.
Seriously, what are you waiting for?
Kortrijksesteenweg 104, 9000 Ghent, grapesofglory
Cocktails and ambience
This is a great place right next to the theatre, where you can whet your appetite all day long, starting with a refreshing breakfast (with the best of renowned pastry chef Bloch), a (quick) lunch or a more elaborate dinner. Eat the (officially awarded) very best steak tartare in Flanders and Brussels, or something à la carte, and top off your evening with a cocktail or another great drink. Fantastic location!
Schouwburgstraat 7, 9000 Ghent cafetheatre.com
Shaken, stirred, served!
Founded in 1992 and now a reference – the story begins in an old historic building on the Veerleplein, which moved to the former Veneziana and has called the Hoogpoort home for a few years now. The location is superb with its medieval cellar and gorgeous vaults. You can find it opposite Mosquito Coast and Café Central. Great location! It comes highly recommended if you feel like a hint of exoticism and a little peace and quiet in the middle of the busy Ghent city centre.
Hoogpoort 19, 9000 Ghent, cocktailsalon-the-mix.be
This is the place to be for wine on the Ajuinlei. It stands out for wines on the menu that may sound quite exotic. Exotic, as in Russian. Not only does the enthusiastic owner, Victor Sorokin, pour wine, he also sells it. The story behind Vinogradoff is a fascinating one. Sorokin is the son of a diplomat, who ended up extending his stay in Belgium indefinitely. He took wine tasting courses, landed at an Australian winery – De Bortoli – and decided to become his ‘own boss’. What came next? He acquired the wine and books from the previous owner – the perfect combo, if you ask us.
Ajuinlei 15, 9000 Ghent, vinogradoff.gent
EVÍN WINE STORE & BAR
New discoveries every month
There's no shortage of wine in Ghent, or people with the requisite expertise, either. The proper term for a wine connoisseur is ‘oenologist’, and they're the ones who show you the way through the fine selection of quality wines. This wine bar in the historic centre of Ghent is well worth the visit. There are 15 new wines to be discovered every month. That’s what we call enticing! So, why wait? Turn your weekend in Ghent into a wine discovery weekend.
Sint-Margrietstraat 16, 9000 Ghent, evingent.be
A must visit!
This wine bar's got character. Visit the site and you'll immediately feel like a glass. Check it out. Or, as they put it so nicely themselves: ‘It’s a place to come home to, where you can enjoy the good life with an authentic glass of wine, full of character.’. Visitors praise the place for its no-nonsense approach and organic, ‘fair’ selection, it’s a: ‘Fantastic place to unwind or have an aperitif, with an extensive selection of wines by the glass. You won’t just find the usual suspects, but also wines from Romania, Hungary, and Germany. The wines are divine. The quality is so high that it’s an absolute must when you visit Ghent.’
Nederkouter 71, 9000 Ghent, ona.gent
Cocktails and ambience
This cocktail bar may be tucked away in a ‘hidden’ corner, but that doesn’t make it any less famous. Limonada is a household name, if only because of the futuristic TRON lounge interior. It’s a unique combination of fun and experimentation, sophisticated cocktails and delicious finger food. In the long run, it's all about fun! And fun is found in every glass: Mojo Melon Ballz, Pimped out Zombie Blood or Megalo Bombastic, and more... join the LimoLab!
Heilige Geeststraat 7, 9000 Ghent, limonadagent