Copenhagen, A City Tasting Tour
No longer does eating well in Denmark require a visit to Babette—the French chef depicted in Karen Blixen’s novel and then celebrated in a world-famous film. Nordic countries, however, have always looked towards Paris for instruction and inspiration on haute cuisine. But when Spain’s Ferran Adrià came onto the scene, the gaze shifted and young Danish chefs began to create their own culinary revolution with the birth of “New Nordic” Cuisine.
The cuisine’s underlying philosophy is straightforward and clean, much like the Nordic aesthetic: purity, freshness, ethical awareness and simplicity. The use of local products is emphasized—mushrooms, berries, herbs, shellfish, and even lichen—combined with sophisticated techniques and an ecological mindset. The city of Copenhagen boasts Michelin starred restaurants but there are other incredible eateries that should register on the radar of any fine dining lover.
OFF TO THE MARKET
The Copenhagen Cooking Festival is an annual appointment that celebrates Danish cooking in all of its many forms. The opening of a splendid covered market in the city center, in 2011, Torvehallerne is made up of two main buildings, with meat and fish on one end, a deli and bakery on the other, with fresh fruit and vegetables in the middle. This market stocks the absolute best Danish products, like Summerbirdo chocolate and Laesø salt.
Another gastronomic highlight includes Meyer’s Deli, which was the brainchild of chef Claus Meyer who put together a store, deli, café and restaurant. Guests can eat in, take out, or even just enjoy a simple cup of coffee in a delicious atmosphere. Chef Claus has also opened a lovely little bakery in the same Jægersborggade neighborhood, serving organic pasta, Danish pastries and cakes. The cinnamon rolls should not be missed.
While hotdogs may be the most popular and ubiquitous of Copenhagen’s street foods, not all stands are of equal quality. True hotdog fans should check out Døp in Købmagergade right beneath the round Tower (Rundetarn), which makes theirs with organic meat. But no visit to Denmark is complete without snacking on Smørrebrød: a slice of dark rye bread, butter, and then any kind of topping you can imagine—from salmon to ham to herring, to caviar. This is the non plus ultra of Danish dishes, comparable to pizza in Italy or tapas in Spain.
Looking for the best places to enjoy it? We offer you two options, the first one more traditional, the second one more innovative and daring.
In the trendy neighborhood of Nørrebro is full of charming little cafés where you can stop and take a break. Among the best-known is The Coffee Collective, which uses the Marzocco (the Ferrari of coffee makers), and they toast the beans in-shop. Those with an eye towards design should head the Royal Café, located inside the legendary Danish ceramic shop, Royal Copenaghen. Don’t forget to try the “smushi”, a mix of sushi and Smørrebrød.