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Eating on a shoestring: possible in Ghent for less than you'd think!

Eating on a shoestring: possible in Ghent for less than you'd think!

6 okt 2014Macarons

Ghent can be an expensive—a foodie—city. But it's not all Michelin stars and hundred-euro menus: you can eat well here for much less than you might think.

Chips/French fries

Example: ‘frietkot’! My favorite's on the Groentenmarkt: a large (huge) fry with sauce runs about €3 (fried meats add €2-4). If the line is long, walk down to Ketchup (Volderstraat, just off the Veldstraat). A burger and fries are about €7, if you resist the fancy options.


Not into fried food? Try Soep+ (Lammerstraat 33), where soup with bread is just €5, salads are €7-9 and sandwiches are €5-8. Take away ‘belegde broodjes’ (filled baguettes) cost less than €5 most places. I like the ones at ‘t Stookbroodje (Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat), where a ham or cheese sandwich (with tomatoes, lettuce, hard-boiled egg, shaved carrot, cucumber) runs €1.90 for a small or €3.20 for a large one. Down the hill, the Central Library café (upstairs) serves sandwiches, soup, cakes and drinks from 10 a.m. till about 6 p.m. most days. A filling lunch is about €7. The café is worth a visit just to see its incredible constellation-ceiling!


Dinner? My recommendations are De Lieve (Sint Margrietstraat), an ‘eetkaffee’ with a daily menu that makes decisions difficult, and Viva la Puglia (Sint-Lievenspoortstraat), a family-friendly Italian restaurant near Zuid transit center. Dinner at De Lieve runs €15-30 per person—a large shoestring, but if you've been saving up, splurge here. At the lively, low-ambience but high-quality Viva la Puglia, a pizza to eat in the park is €8.50 (for a margarita) to €14 (seafood). Simple pasta dishes to eat in are as little as €11, and meat and fish dishes run €17-€25.


And don't forget sweets! A hot waffle on the Groentenmarkt costs €2. Walk to Gwenola (Donkersteeg or Volderstraat) for a pancake (€3-5). A macaron at Joost Arijs (Vlaanderenstraat) is also a delicate treat (about €1.25).