When you are the proud home of the world’s best restaurant and you have racked up 14 Michelin stars in 2012 alone, the same number as Milan, you are a city for foodies by definition. Once food lovers touchdown in Copenhagen, they tend to let their noses and taste buds do the guiding. Even if you aren’t on the wait list for the world’s best restaurant Noma, you can still find plenty of reasons why Denmark’s capital is quickly making a name for itself in terms of cuisine.
The Beer: Carlsberg and Tuborg aren’t the only beers in this town. Copenhagen boasts a laundry list of microbreweries where you can sample a few sips of the city. While there are dozens of options in Copenhagen, Mikkeller is a tried and tested beer bonanza in the Vesterbro neighborhood. The beer bar comes from Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. He began brewing just a few years ago and now appreciates international acclaim for his tasty creations.
Smørrebrød: You can’t go far in Copenhagen or Denmark for that matter without having a smørrebrød. The open-faced sandwiches are classically Danish and a preferred lunch for many locals in Copenhagen. Dating back to the 19th century, these sandwiches come with their own traditions and cultural nuances. Visit Denmark even has an app for the iPhone for the smørrebrød that provides information on the traditions behind the open-faced sandwiches along with some of the best places to consume them in Copenhagen. For a modern take on the smørrebrød, you can head to the Royal Café. The café prides itself on the smushi, a modern version of the smørrebrød in sushi size.
Torvehallerne: Perhaps a testament to just how much of a foodie destination Copenhagen has become, Torvehallerne has turned into a quick fixture in the Copenhagen food scene. The complex of two indoor market halls opened just in September of 2011. Within these heated glass and steel halls, you can troll through over 80 shops and stands selling everything from perfumed soaps to Danish delicacies and local vegetables. If you need an extra jolt just to shop your way through this market space, the Coffee Collective makes for a satisfying caffeinated stop for cups of Joe from the esteemed coffee brewers of Denmark.
Comfort Food: When darkness falls on Copenhagen during the winter months and the cold sets in, most seek out typical Danish comfort food. For those of us not from Denmark’s capital, that comfort food can largely be found at the Madklubben chains around Copenhagen. Meaning “The Food Club”, Madklubben produces the meals a Danish grandmother might prepare but with a bit of twist. On a cold evening in Vesterbro, Madklubben’s desserts warm the heart like the apple compote with chocolate and hazelnuts, a spin on the Danish Granma’s apple cake.
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Photo: Suzy Guese