Delicious Danish dining in Copenhagen
3 September 2009
The cooking of Denmark and the Nordic region as a whole is growing in stature internationally. Danish chefs are experts in exploiting the wonderful natural resources of their area.
Fresh seasonal vegetables, wild game, locally caught fish and cured or smoked fish and meats are some of the hallmark ingredients that have helped shape a modern local cuisine with strong international appeal.
The Michelin Guide 2009 rates Copenhagen highly. The city currently boasts 11 star-rated restaurants with a total of 12 stars between them. This makes the Danish capital the true centre for first class gourmet experiences in Scandinavia. Noma**, specialising in Nordic dishes, leads the way and is since 2007 maintaining its two Michelin star status. This restaurant has recently also been voted 3rd best restaurant in the world. noma.dk
An important part of the Danish food tradition is the herring. As a speciality, herring is often marinated and served raw. They are accompanied by a delicious sauce made from fresh cream, butter, egg yolks and a variety of herbs including fresh chives and dill. The smooth sauce is the perfect contrast to the sharp flavour of the herring. For meat lovers, nothing beats roast pork served with red cabbage and rich gravy or meatballs ‘frikadeller’ with new potatoes.
Smorrebrod – a bit more than its literary meaning; ‘butter bread’.
For those wishing to taste a truly unique Danish food experience, the best time is lunch when the unique smorrebrod, the open sandwich, is served.
Smorrebrod is a daily staple for many Danes and a truly classic taste of the nation’s traditional cuisine. Invariably based on rye bread, smorrebrod can have a limitless number of different toppings, including fish, beef, seafood and egg. One of the best venues for true Smorrebrod is Aamanns in Oster Farimagsgade street, close to the National Gallery. It also serves other traditional Danish dishes fur lunch and dinner and has recently added a take-away service to their repertoire, handy for a picnic in the nearby parks. Another great place for Smorrebrod is Slotskaelderen hos Gitte Kik, a popular place for politicians, as the building is close to the Parliament.
Mix a visit to the flagship store of Royal Copenhagen, producer of the finest porcelain since 1775, with a visit to their latest invention The Royal Café, located in the pedestrian shopping street Stroget. Here you find old kings on the walls and laid-back waiters on the floor, serving the latest in contemporary foodie fashion; smushis.
As the name sounds, it is a smorrebrod with a Japanese twist. This is all served on Royal Copenhagen porcelain, and as tastes vary, you not just order your choice of smushis you also choose which style of porcelain you wish to eat from! In the Royal Café you can also order other Danish classics such as ‘rodgrod med flode’ a red berry pudding with cream. royalcopenhagen.com, theroyalcafe.dk
And for dessert…
Conditori La Glace is the oldest and by many regarded as the best confectionary in Denmark. It was founded in1870 in the heart of old Copenhagen and has through six generations delivered a wide choice of the finest cakes, all made in the original building. The Sports Cake is the speciality of the house, produced the first time in 1891 for the theatre play "Sports Man". It is indeed an experience to visit the beautiful old rooms in 3 Skoubogade Street. laglace.dk
For many, the word ‘Danish’ conjures up images of the famously delicious sweet pastries. But in Denmark this is often eaten at breakfast. Copen-hageners take their bread seriously and love to pop out in the morning to their local bakery and queue up to buy their fresh, still warm bread for a breakfast treat.
Cakes and Culture
Indulge in both at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum. Its award-winning café serves home made cakes and fruit tarts amid the delightful setting of the Winter Garden, housing palm trees and exotic plants under a welcoming glass cupola. This fascinating museum houses an important collection of French Impressionists work as well as Danish art and an impressive Mediterranean sculpture collection. glyptoteket.se
Probably the best lager in the world…since 1847
In Denmark, there is no doubt of what the best drink is. The Carlsberg brewery is located in Copenhagen and offers an interesting tour of the traditions and history of beer making, ending with a tasting of some of the many different brews produced by Carlsberg. visitcarlsberg.dk
Finally, in keeping with the Danes’ love of beer, it is only fitting that one of the latest arrivals on Copenhagen’s dining scene is a restaurant housed in a brewery. Norrebro Bryghus is an open plan restaurant and micro brewery where you dine beside the vast copper beer vats. The food is simple, modern and creative but of course the variety of home-brewed beers are the real stars. So much so, they won two medals in World Beer Cup in California this year. The area of Norrebro is also great for retro and antique hunting.
If you are into refreshing micro-brews, also try out BrewPub København, an innovative brewery with its own restaurant and bar, right in the heart of Copenhagen and with an atmospheric courtyard to relax in. It is situated in a historic 17th century building just off the main City Hall Square and also serves Danish and French inspired dishes lunchtime and evenings. norrebrobryghus.dk , brewpub.dk
Skal, bon apetit, and welcome to Copenhagen!
BMI flights from both Edinburgh and Glasgow will take you to Copenhagen
in just two hours. bmi.com
Full details on what to see and do in the Danish capital: visitcopenhagen.com
Loads of great information on Denmark in general: visidenmark.com
choice.dk, nphotels.dk, arp-hansen.com, scandichotels.dk, hilton.dk, admiralhotel.dk