Désiré de Lille

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Waffles!! Sweet treats aplenty, but you have to try out their Brussels waffles and their original lacquemants!

Down a side street next to Antwerp’s charming vijf-straten shopping district, this tea room is a good spot to relax for a sweet treat after a day of browsing. You’re spoilt for choice here but we strongly recommend either getting a Brussels waffle or a Lacquemant.

What makes Desire de Lille stand out is that they have lacquemants - these waffles were invented at the Antwerp carnival in 1903. They’re a thinner, wafer-like treat! And Désiré Smidts was their creator. Yup, the tearoom is named after him.

The bigger and fluffier waffle is a Brussels waffle. If you want to eat one like a Belgian, get just powdered sugar and/or whipped cream on top. They have many more toppings but to get the true taste of the waffle and experience the fluffiness, go for minimal toppings.

  • It’s a worthwhile visit if you’re in the centre of the city or just want an authentic Belgian waffle. We would recommend going elsewhere for lunch but no one can beat the airiness of the Brussels waffle they make here.
  • The tearoom is quite spacious and there’s plenty of tables outside and in their inner garden. If it’s very busy you can just get takeout, but there’s something nice about eating in rather than trying not to get powdered sugar yourself as you walk.
  • Be warned! The service is usually shit (pardon our language but it’s true) but the waffles (particularly the Brussels and the Lacquemant) make up for it.
  • There’s a surprisingly large pond inside with carp. It’s a cute and interesting feature, but you’ll mostly be looking at the food.
  • Looking for a new shopping spot after enjoying your waffles? Check out PAKT

PS. Désiré is more expensive than the street stalls you’ll find along the way; if you’re just looking to get a Liege waffle (crystal sugar filled waffle) some of these stalls are on par with Desire for this type of waffle. However, if you want the Brussels waffle or a lacquemant, we recommend not buying from the street sall.

What exactly are the different types of Belgian waffles?

There’s two main types! First up is the Brussels waffle. They’re rectangular, light and airy, and soft inside. They’re traditionally served with powdered sugar, hot, and most of the time offered at a sit-down place (though a few street food stalls do offer them). You won’t find many locals piling on the toppings, although street vendors in touristy areas offer up lots because people are used to the Americanised version of the waffle.

The Liege waffle is smaller, rounder, thicker and more chewy. They’re filled with caramelised sugar, so it’s richer than its Brussels cousin. You’re really meant to eat it without any toppings! This waffle is the traditional street food and you’ll find many stalls in busy areas selling these.

Updated on 25 November 2021

Tips and Tricks

  • Just go here for the Brussels waffles and the Lacquement; look up other places for lunch.

Getting There

  • By Car: parking garages Parking Oudaen and Interparking Lombardia are all close by in Antwerp city centre
  • By Tram: trams 3, 5, 9 and 15 all stop at the nearby tram stop Antwerpen Groenplaats Metro

Open everyday, 9:00 to 19:00


All seasons


Prices vary


Only the takeaway is open from 12:00 to 18:00 everyday.

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  • Désiré de Lille
    Check out Désiré's menu to see the range of sweet treats on offer.