Discover the best of Denmark
A dynamic, innovative country: the evolution of the food scene since the “Noma Effect” has turned Denmark into a true culinary destination. Ever since René Redzepi’s Noma restaurant put Copenhagen on the fine dining map, winning four times in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List sponsored by S.Pellegrino between 2010 and 2014, the city has been named Europe’s gastronomic capital.
Some might call the latest Copenhagen’s cooking style post-Nordic: a more relaxed version of the New Nordic food revolution inspired by Redzepi. One thing is sure: there is always a focus on seasonal local products and originality. Copenhagen’s tourist office counts 18 Michelin stars across 15 restaurants, but what gets people really excited there is diversity: street food, pop-up trucks, street gigs by the world’s best chefs. Talented street chefs love to apply their knowledge to simpler offerings, be it the perfect avocado bread or twisting classics like smørrebrod (open sandwiches).
The hotspots in Copenhagen, the city of 600.000 bicycles, are in Kødbyen (the meatpacking district), in the centre around the Torvehallerne food halls, or to the north in Nørrebro, where the first glimpse of creativity gave a boost to the streetscape.
Classics are revisited in so many ways: let’s take rye bread for instance. The Vikings were early adopters, and since then people from Copenhagen love to have their rye bread sandwiches stuffed with any kind of food, always with creative twists: fish, meat, cheese and eggs enriched with so many toppings of choice.
Another delicious obsession are herrings, often served smoked or either marinated. The miniscule island of Christianø that lies off Bornholm is said to make the best marinated herring that you could find (… They often feature in the nation’s Michelin-starred restaurants!). The original recipe for the spice mix was brought back to Denmark from Asia by a sailor and is thought to include cloves allspice and cinnamon. Still today, the marinade is a closely guarded secret!
A tour of Copenhagen and Denmark can’t be complete without a look into the world of Hans Christian Andersen. The legendary creator of The Little Mermaid and The Princess and the Pea was a foodie and had a sweet tooth too: he suffered from tootaches throughout all his life.
Discover more on Itineraries of Taste.