For a long time, Hasselt was mainly about the luxurious fashion shops, then today you can just as well go there for trendy restaurants, beautiful architecture and trendy boutiques. Our favorite newcomers.
In the brand new district Quartier Bleu the teressan along the waterfront are already in vogue. The main attraction there is the cocktail and carnivore paradise Blend by Rauw (Slachthuiskaai 5), of which both the chef and mixologist learned the tricks of the trade from Sergio Herman.
In the city center, we would like to refer you to the brand new Your sister (Schrijnwerktstraat 10), a gastrobar with a playful nun as its mascot. In a beautiful interior you share refined dishes with one of the dozens of bottles on the wine list.
A culinary renaissance came four years ago Osteria Moretti (Aldestraat 20) owned by the couple Alexander Reniers (chef) and Tiana Moretti (room, bread and pastry shop). They have just swapped their five-course menu for a range of gourmet dishes to share, such as crispy pan-fried langoustines or a sublime truffle ravioli.
A little further on, two old friends of the couple, with whom they had once shared the stove, settled in Hof van Cleve. It concerns Glenn Ross and Nicole Schellekens, also chef and pastry chef, who are in Rosch (Dorpsstraat 34) with a minimalist map.
In recent years, the city has emerged as a small paradise for vegetarians and even vegans, although the people of Hasselt like to give it their own Burgundian twist. That’s how the everlasting quinoa salad comes with Lento (Zuivelmarkt 34) has been exchanged for a colorful four-course menu packed with seasonal vegetables.
Bee Peas (Minderbroedersstraat 32), owners Davy and Els focused on creating the perfect vegan cinnamon roll, which you can have loaded with eight different toppings. Vegans come from all over the country, which will soon result in a second location in Antwerp.
You can join from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Maison Mathis (Slachthuiskaai 7C, in Quartier Bleu) for breakfast, lunch, coffee, apero, dinner and cocktails. The concept is based on Belgian cuisine and has previously opened branches in – bizarre but true – Dubai and Bahrain.
There is also always a lot of well-dressed shoppers Marloo’s (Minderbroedersstraat 5), an ‘all day breakfast’ bar based on the American model. From the obligato avocado toast to a colorfully decorated pile of pancakes: instagrammable Brunch is here anyway.
Coffee and vinyl, it’s a proven concept, too Just for the Record (Diesterstraat 18) makes the hang-out for local musicians. For hours you can browse through the boxes full of second-hand records, and then you still have to start working on the CDs and music books.
They will also soon be available on the other side at Boktor Books (this autumn in the Diesterstraat, already online) a new book and antiques store that pushes the hipster level in the street even further upwards. There are also stuffed beetles for sale, for enthusiasts.
After the departure of artist Koen Vanmechelen to Genk, the Hasselt art scene was on the go for a while, but that is where the renewed center for contemporary art, design and architecture brings Z33 (Bonnefantenstraat 1) change in. The new wing, a creation of the Italian architect Francesca Torzo, is already called the ‘most special exhibition building in Flanders’. The high niches and tranquil patios are reminiscent of a kasbah, the soft color palette connects with the underlying beguinage. Good for two architecture awards, and a successful start for the ambitious plans of the center.
On October 4, the new exhibition ‘Cure (the Work)’ opens, which uses original parts from Ford Genk to add to the traumatizing closure of the factory. At the same time also opens ‘Palms Palms Palms’, a retrospective exhibition by the London artist duo Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen.
The design hotel opened in a renovated mansion at the end of 2019 BareFood Giulia (Leopoldplein 26), the passion project of lawyer Marleen Miermans. Together with local artists, she created an eclectic ensemble in the seven rooms on the intersection between art and kitsch. For example, the old front door was used as a bathroom screen, the Genk artist Sonnie Melerowitz made some works especially for the hotel and street artists were allowed to perform on the historic walls. There is also an urban cocktail bar downstairs.
Rooms from 119 euros per night, excluding breakfast.
The high concentration of vintage shops proves that Hasselt is trendy. Except with Heterodoxa (Kapelstraat 12), a new boutique in the iconic Jeurissen store, you can also go to the cozy corner building for second-hand designer fashion. Hallelujah! (Guido Gezellestraat 1).
Young people, on the other hand, throng en masse in the 80’s and 90’s finds in the cool Twenty Second Vintage (Badderijstraat 4/1). Children will find their new second-hand outfit at the newly founded Chou-Fleur (Persoonstraat 24).
The webshop Blush (Doctor Willemsstraat 16) was launched two years ago by makeup artist Kim Maes. She recently opened her first physical store, in a beautiful building with a courtyard and conservatory. The display cabinet contains the natural products of Susanne Kaufmann, Verso Skincare and Grown Alchemist.
Whoever says Limburg says cycling paradise. Duffe electric bicycles usually close the ranks, but that’s outside Bicycle bar (Minderbroedersstraat 54). In the offer: urban cargo bikes and city bikes made from recycled materials, and a cup of black gold for the selection process.
Backed by the flourishing architecture, music and art courses of the PXL Hogeschool and UHasselt, something is bubbling with the young guard in Hasselt. You notice this in the street scene, but especially in the concerts and performances of The Conservatory (Dairy market 33).
On the road yourself? Click on the map below with all our addresses and save it on your smartphone. Or surf to sabato.be/hasselt.
Would you like to discover more trendy addresses in Hasselt? With her company Owsh, Karolien Paulissen organizes original walks such as ‘Sustainable Hasselt’ or the ‘Cultour Hasselt’.