A while ago we cycled from our hometown Turnhout to Antwerp, a 50 km ride along the canal. Call it a little bit of training for our 2017 summer trip to Scandinavia. After having spent roughly 2,5 hours in the saddle at near freezing temperatures, a steaming hot bowl of Pho always works miracles to comfort your inner self. So a visit to BÚN, by far one of our favorite places to eat in Antwerp, was an obvious choice.
Upon entering the tiny restaurant – an understatement according to some – we were welcomed by Hoa and Huibrecht with a hearty Xin Chào (Vietnamese for hello). Since we didn’t want to leave our bikes unattended outside, we were allowed to bring them inside, obviously folded. We were seated at the table near the floor-to-ceiling window, a photo opportunity like no other.
The impressive mural of two giant fighting cocks by Antwerp based artist Steve Locatelli most certainly embraces the lively atmosphere of this well praised Vietnamese street food joint. The real eyecatcher however is the glorious food. Out of this world food even, straight from the streets of Vietnam. Whether you’re looking for a quick nibble, or want to indulge in the great food experience BÚN has to offer, you are in for an absolute treat.
We might have had our minds set on the noodle soup with the exquisite WVLR beef (a rare breed of cattle from West Flanders), a quick glance at the menu once again made us decide otherwise. The noodle soup, just like the finger licking good ‘corn on the cob with spicy peanut’ and ‘charcoal grilled dog cockles’ were just a few of our darlings killed in favor of the utterly delicious homemade ‘black pudding with Brasvar pork’ , the obligatory ‘spring rolls with Obsiblue prawn’ (Ann’s favorite) and ‘rice noodles with deep fried rolls of Brasvar pork’.
A funny anecdote is that one of the diners seated at the communal table had noticed the ease with which I transformed my ready to ride bike into a portable package. As it turned out, she was a daily commuter (Rotterdam – Amsterdam) on the lookout to better her ride. Then and there, while munching away a couple of crisp and tasty pork rolls, I just might have convinced her to buy a Brompton.
We love to bring you the flavors, the scents and the freshness of the food you can find in streets of Vietnam.
Hoa Truong & Huibrecht Berends
Next time you visit Antwerp – by bike or not – and you truly want to be blown away by fresh and delicious Vietnamese street food packed with color and great taste, you know where to go. The restaurant is open from 12 o’clock but reservations are only taken from 8 in the evening. Earlier, just walk in if you got the munchies but keep in mind seats (bar side, table or street terrace) are limited and the place is often packed. Then again, all the times we’ve been here, we never had to wait long, and any excuse for an aperitif should be considered an added bonus.
BÚN – Vietnamese Street Food
2000 Antwerpen – Belgium