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Historically, Denmark’s contribution to world cuisine has been quite limited. More recently, Nordic Cuisine has brought about a modern approach to sourcing produce and cooking, and its tidal wave of success has generated as newfound appreciation for the great and fresh produce Scandinavia has to offer. Here are our top picks to taste when in town.
Looking back through the ages, only one food item can truly claim its origin in Denmark. Rygeost is a fresh cheese made from sour milk, smoked on hay and delicately flavoured with cumin. Many restaurants serve it on their menu, and it’s definitely worth trying when in town. If the weather permits, buy a piece in a cheese shop and go enjoy it with a slice of sourdough bread while sitting out in the sun. Yummy!
Beautiful, bright orange roe of the Lumpfish, served on a Blinis or lightly toasted bread, with Crème Fraiche, chopped red onion and horseradish, sprinkled with pepper and a dash of lemon. Fabulous! When in season between February to late May, Lumpfish roe is a very popular found on many menus around town, both as a lunch classic or a delicate starter on the evening menu. You must try it. A prime place to taste this dish is in one of the city’s oldest and most reputable fish restaurants, Krogh’s. Established in 1910, back when fishmongers were still found in great numbers on the canal just outside its doors, this restaurant boasts beautiful rooms decorated by the best designers and artists of its time.
Seafood dominates Danish and Scandinavian cuisine. The region’s cold waters provide a plethora of fabulous seafood, and in this coastal geography freshness is simply expected. Bistro Boheme is an example of Denmark’s pursuit of excellence when it comes to seafood. This delightfully lavish and opulent bistro is run by award-winning chef Per Thøstesen, who worked in Lyon for years with the late Paul Bocuse before opening in Copenhagen, and the crab salad stands unrivalled. A masterstroke of taste and texture, this dish is a must. On the menu since the bistro opened over ten years ago, the crab salad is available for both lunch and dinner. This very popular establishment has an amazing kitchen altogether and a very impressive wine list. Enjoy!
Denmark’s famous open sandwiches offer variety to suit everyone’s taste. But one certainly stands out: Dyrlægens Natmad (The veterinarian evening snack). This sandwich is said to be a tailor-made concoction invented by a veterinarian named Keilgaard, when visiting Oscar Davidsen’s restaurant in the 1920s. It entails a slice of dark rye bread, spread with pig fat instead of butter, then a light paté of liver, topped with a slice of corned beef, dressed with clear, congealed gravy, sprinkled with Cress. This traditional Danish lunch classic is well worth trying!
One good place to sample the Veterinarian Evening Snack is at Brdr. Price, located in Tivoli Gardens now open in winter, one of several restaurants run by two brothers with a great affinity for classic Danish cuisine. Alternatively, the sandwich can be sampled at its birthplace, Davidsen’s – a very popular lunch place to this day.
Hotdogs are found all over, but Denmark’s love for this simple street food is such that a hotdog stand was set up at the airport arrivals terminal – in the actual baggage claim area – catering to Danes arriving home from their journey. Danes snacking on hotdogs as they await their luggage is not an uncommon sight!
It’s a simple dish: a lightly toasted bun, a sausage dressed with mustard and ketchup, roasted onions and pickled cucumbers, served at an unassuming street stand, regardless of season or weather. You must have a Danish hotdog when visiting town. The DØP hotdog stand is highly recommended, located just next to Rundetårn (round tower). Built by King Christian IV in 1642, the tower, once the highest building the city standing at 42 meters, is worth the visit too. Grab an organic hot dog and walk up its brick path snacking all the way to the top for a view of the old town.