Copenhagen Diaries: Food


Large make your own porridge (60 DKK)

1. Grød - When I think of hygge, a steaming bowl of porridge comes to mind, so of course I had to check out Grød which was the world's first porridge bar when it opened in September 2011. We shared a large make your own porridge, which means you can choose 3 toppings. We opted for berry compote, strawberries and granola. The portion was really generous, so it was a good thing we shared. The oats were perfectly cooked and the texture was spot on: rich and creamy but not mushy. The berry compote was the right balance between tangy and sweet, so you don't need any sweetener. The strawberries were fresh and the granola added crunch. Overall, this was a divine bowl of porridge and easily the best I've had thus far in Copenhagen and everywhere else.

2. Mad & Kaffe - This is a very popular café in Copenhagen. We arrived around 9.30 AM on a weekday and it was already 80% full. I like their concept of creating your own breakfast board of small plates. You can choose between 3 (89 DKK), 5 (129 DKK) and 7 (154 DKK). We decided on 2 breakfast boards with 3 small plates each (1 savoury and 1 sweet). The savoury breakfast board had fried bacon, scrambled eggs with chives and fried mushrooms, and fried chorizo sausage with BBQ ketchup. The bacon and chorizo sausage were too salty. The scrambled eggs weren't the light and fluffy type that I prefer, so they weren't to my liking.

In contrast, the sweet breakfast board fared better. There were buttermilk chia pudding with berries and sweet biscuits, blueberry soy yoghurt with muesli and berries, and sweet apple compote with almonds and whipped cream. The chia pudding was too sour (presumably from the buttermilk) and needed some sweetener to balance out the tanginess. The yoghurt was delicious and had a strong blueberry flavour. The apple compote had the perfect amount of sweetness with a little bit of sourness. Although I like Mad & Kaffe's concept, I thought their execution was poor. Out of 6 small plates, I only liked 2: the yoghurt and the apple compote.


Hot dog (50 DKK)

3. John's Hotdog Deli - The Meatpacking District in Vesterbro is a popular place for food with many restaurants in the vicinity. On our first visit, we tried out John's Hotdog Deli. Like Mad & Kaffe, John's Hotdog Deli has a DIY concept. After choosing your sausage (I opted for bacon and onion), you have a wide variety of condiments at your disposal, ranging from homemade sauces and mustards to relishes and pickled vegetables. I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices, so I ended up going for remoulade and tomato and onion chutney. I was happy with my choices as they were tasty. The bun was soft and buttery whereas the sausage was juicy and flavourful. The condiments elevated the flavours of the hot dog. My only gripe is that the skin of the sausage was a bit too tough.

Blue mussels steamed in apple cider with plenty of herbs (105 DKK)

Squid with seared celeriac, black garlic, pine and blueberry (165 DKK)

4. Kødbyens Fiskebar - Also in the Meatpacking District, this is a popular seafood restaurant. The mussels were fresh and went well with the sauce, which was rich and creamy. However, the sauce can be a bit too salty after a while. On the other hand, I found the squid underwhelming. First of all, the portion is minuscule and not worth the significantly higher price. Even though the squid was fresh, the flavours failed to excite me. I thought it was decent but nothing to shout about.

5. Hallernes Smørrebrød at Torvehallerne - Torvehallerne is a busy food hall with over 60 stalls selling meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, alcohol, chocolates, etc. There were so many food stalls that it took us a few rounds around the whole market to finally decide on Hallernes Smørrebrød. Smørrebrød is a Danish open sandwich, which consists of a piece of buttered rye bread with toppings such as cold cuts, meat, seafood, cheese and spreads. As you can see from the above photo, Hallernes Smørrebroød offers a wide variety of smørrebrød.

Shrimps smørrebrød - hand-peeled shrimps, mayonnaise and lemon on white bread (125 DKK)

The portion was massive and they did not skimp on the shrimps and mayo, which justified the relatively high price. The shrimps were fresh and slightly sweet. The combination of bread, butter, shrimps, mayo and lemon was simple but incredibly delicious. I could happily eat this everyday. :)

Salmon salad smørrebrød - smoked salmon, crème fraiche, mayonnaise, onions, capers, roe, lemon, rye bread crisp and pea sprouts (99 DKK)

This was one-third of the size of the shrimps smørrebrød and only 26 DKK cheaper, so I think the latter is better value for money. While all the components of the salmon salad smørrebrød worked well together and I did enjoy eating it, I prefer the shrimps smørrebrød because it was more flavourful and satisfying.

1/4 BBQ chicken with chips and chilli mayo

6. Chicks by Chicks at Tivoli Food Hall - Tivoli Food Hall is much smaller compared to Torvehallerne, but it's a decent and convenient place to grab some food if you're at Tivoli Gardens. Chicks by Chicks specialises in organic spit-roasted chicken. I thought the chicken was too dry and salty, which was disappointing as that was supposed to be their speciality. However, the chips were moreish, especially with the chilli mayo which wasn't as spicy as I'd expected.


Kanelsnurre (25 DKK)

7. Meyers Bageri - Denmark is known for cinnamon buns but to be honest, the ones I've tried (Meyers Bageri, Sankt Peders Bageri, Lagkagehuset and Riccos Kaffe) were underwhelming. Meyers Bageri's one was the best out of the lot but it wasn't as good as Valhallabageriet in Stockholm (I'll post my Stockholm diaries soon!). It was pretty soft with a decent crunch and cinnamon flavour.

Spandauer (17 DKK)

8. Sankt Peders Bageri - The Danish is another popular pastry and Sankt Peders Bageri's one was my favourite. It was flaky but not overly so at the top, and soft and doughy at the bottom. However, the winner was the custard: smooth, rich, creamy, slightly runny and with the right amount of sweetness.

Raspberry slice (20.50 DKK), chai latte (39 DKK) and cinnamon pastry (27 DKK)

9. Lagkagehuset is a huge bakery chain with numerous branches across Copenhagen. They have a few in London as well (known as Ole & Steen). Before our Copenhagen trip, Ole & Steen's cinnamon social was my favourite cinnamon bun. I'm not sure why but it's known as cinnamon pastry in Copenhagen and in my opinion, it's not as good as the cinnamon social. The cinnamon pastry wasn't as soft and fluffy as the cinnamon social. It also contained less cinnamon and custard. However, it's much better than the cinnamon swirl that we'd tried previously, which was too flaky and didn't have much of a cinnamon flavour. On the other hand, the raspberry slice was tasty. It's a buttery biscuit with a tangy raspberry center and the icing sugar on top balances out the sourness.

10. Mirabelle (not pictured) - We initially intended to go for breakfast but it was too busy and the staff seemed like they didn't know what to do with the volume of customers. There was no proper queuing system and it was just a mess, so we decided to take away an almond croissant (35 DKK) instead. This turned out to be a good decision because the almond croissant was delicious. It was flaky, buttery and the almond filling/paste was tasty. There was a generous amount of slivered almonds coating the croissant as well, which gave a nice crunch.

11. Café Det Vide Hus - This café sells ice lollies in really interesting flavours (think refined Magnums for adults). The one on the left is the La Vie en Rose, which is rose hip flower ice cream with a raspberry center, organic 80% dark chocolate coating and freeze dried raspberry sprinkles. The subtle sweetness from the rose hip flower ice cream, the tanginess from the raspberry center and the slight bitterness from the dark chocolate coating made for a complex and intriguing combination of flavours that worked well. I can't remember the name of the other ice lolly but it was sea buckthorn ice cream with a white chocolate coating. The sea buckthorn ice cream was sour and refreshing, which was balanced out by the sweetness from the white chocolate coating. The chai latte was delicious: slightly milky and sweet but with a pretty strong chai flavour.

12. Vaffelbageren (not pictured) - The oreo ice cream cone (35 DKK) that we tried was just average, so I'd recommend skipping this place and going straight to Café Det Vide Hus if you're craving ice cream.

Cookie cheesecake (55 DKK) and chai latte (39 DKK)

13. Bertels Salon - They have many different flavours of cheesecake and it was hard choosing just one. The cookie cheesecake was thick, rich, creamy and with a decently substantial biscuit base. The layer of cream on top added some lightness and prevented the cheesecake from becoming too rich or cloying. The biscuit crumbs and chocolate chunks on top gave it a nice crunch too. As for the chai latte, I prefer the one at Café Det Vide Hus.

14. Slice of San Francisco (not pictured) - We also tried their cheesecake (65 DKK) because I'd read a lot of good reviews about it and although it's decent, it pales in comparison to Bertels Salon's one.