Everything the Danes do oozes cool. Not in some gentrified, hipster or salty (oh so-alty..) way. But more in the way that is genuine, unpretentious but also very cool. Often it’s all about their beautiful designs, simplistic furniture and clean lines, but not long ago in 2004, leading Danish chefs worded a Manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen, which dictates high quality, seasonal ingredients and local produce. This passion and respect for delicious and healthy food has brought Copenhagen to be one the the world’s leading gastronomic destinations. I recently spent four days in Copenhagen and I will admit, most of what we did revolved around food. At times one could have thought we might even make up extra meal-times to fit in another course of what the capital had to offer. Needless to say, we covered some ground.
Meat Packing District (otherwise known as Kødbyen)
Whenever I hear of the Meat Packing District it reminds me of the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha moves to the Meat Packing District in Manhattan. Grungy but safe, edgy but cool. Also, for Copenhagen, it means some really good food. It is a district of the more well known, Vesterbro. We started off at Mother for one of our first meals of the trip. A little bit of a wait for a table, but with the method to their madness we were seated within the hour. Reviews claim Mother has the best Pizza outside of Italy. Considering I haven’t been to Italy yet, I cannot confirm this. But I am a pretty good judge on two things, olives and pizza. Both definitely sealed the deal this time. Some olives, beautiful garlicky bruschetta and two pizzas was more than enough for three people, paired with a deliciously smooth red.
Turns out nothing really opens on Easter Monday, apart from places to eat and drink. After an hour walk across town to reach a recommended brunch spot Mad & Kaffe by 12, we were first, too slow off the mark as brunch only runs from 9 – 12, and then too early for lunch which starts at 12:30. Unfortunately the lunch menu did not fare well under our almost-hangry scrutiny so we headed down a block further to Cafe Dyrhaven. Looking a little like a mid-west American Diner on the inside, one could be initially confused with what country one is in. The menu quickly resolved that confusion including Danish smørrebrød with an array of toppings from the traditional Kartoffelmad, mustard herring and pork with apple.
Nørrebro has now become a rather trendy, multicultural neighbourhood in Copenhagen. We stayed in this area which is also home to a michelin-star restaurant, Manfreds. Started by former NOMA chefs, Christian F. Puglisi and Kim Rossen, it is a vegetarian focused restaurant, that is also famous for its tatar. 90-100% of the produce (including the wine) is organic and biodynamic. Their 7-course tasting menu is designed to feel like a home cooked meal, with an array small dishes from beetroot with olives and parmesan, to salted cod with almonds.
After our brunch slip-up in Vesterbro, an excellent brunch was needed to redeem the situation. Møller Kaffe og Køkken is situated on the main road in Nørrebro on the way into Køobehaven K. The image can speak for itself, and everything was just as delicious as it looks!
Another recommendation from fellow travelling kiwis, was The Union Kitchen. After visiting Christiania and the colourful houses of Nyhavn, it was time for another meal. We headed in with dreams of truffle fries with chili aioli, yet were overwhelmed with waffle and spicy chicken as well as the breakfast marmalade margaritas. We splashed out on this boozy lunch, but it was well worth it.
Torvehallerne København, otherwise known as the food market, is right near the water in København K. Frequented twice on this trip and neither disappointed. From the delicious dark rye bread, to a selection of cheese, olives, cured meats or chocolates and pastries. There was everything to browse and purchase in the food hall. It provided us with all the delectable goods for a large antipasti board, as well as some late-afternoon tapas.
Copenhagen, I will be back shortly for more food. Don’t go changing now, you hear?