I read on the Internet that Copenhagen has the highest candy consumption per capita in the world. I also read that Copenhagen is the happiest city on earth. During the four days of my stay in this happiest of cities, I’ve come across more licorice than in any other place I’ve been. Licorice is clearly the key to happiness. Or if not the licorice, it’s probably the biking. I had heard that Copenhagen was a bike-friendly city, but wow—I had truly never seen anything like this; bike lanes packed with work commuters in skirts and suits, hundreds upon hundreds of bikes on racks at the train station. Perhaps it’s the combination of the licorice and then the biking to burn off the extra energy. In any case, being in Copenhagen made me feel extremely happy, and I sampled some delicious local foods (including licorice of course, which you’ve gathered by now that I love). Some highlights:
- Grainy, chewy rye breads
- Pâté (for breakfast even!)
- Licorice lattes
- Smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwiches) of all varieties
- Crispy pork slices with beet relish, boiled potatoes, and a creamy parsley sauce (Denmark’s national dish) Stegt Flæsk
- The traditional red-skinned hotdog with pickles and fried onions
- Local craft beers
- Chocolate-covered licorice
- Croissants, Danishes, and pastries of all kinds
We came to Copenhagen after a three-day stay in Oslo, so of course I was comparing the food and trying to find the distinctive aspects of both types of cuisine as well as the overarching Scandinavian flavors. From my limited (but delicious) observations, it seemed that food in Denmark tends more toward pork than wild meats, the country is completely crazy for licorice, and snack foods like crèpes and hotdogs are more abundant than Norway’s heart waffles.
Like the food in Oslo, Copenhagen’s food seems perfect for autumn and winter, the hearty rye breads, meats, and root vegetables exactly what I’d want to eat after coming in to my cozy apartment from the crisp outdoors.
Here are a few things I ate and loved in Copenhagen:
Street food hot dogs!
Mmm, breakfast with charcuterie
Licorice latte, pain au chocolat, cinnamon snegl, custard danishes, and cappuccinos at Andersen’s Bakery.
The most delicious Moroccan street food in the works at the Papirøen (Paper Island) food hall.
Chili-sauced fried chicken bites over fries at Papirøen.
Creamy potato soup with bacon, chives, and croutons
Fisk (which literally means fish) is a menthol-y digestif liquor often done as a shot. It was refreshing!
Crèpe with Nutella and banana—mmmmmm street food!
Not pictured: Delicious local craft beers and American Southern barbecue [?!!?!?!] at War Pigs, lovely ambiance and Scotch at the Library Bar, salted licorice milk chocolate.
There was a bit of time outside of the eating. Here are some things we did!
It was the weekend of Copenhagen’s pride celebration, so we soaked in the rainbows and enjoyed the energy.
I’ve always dreamed of having a library in my future house, and this one at the Christianborg castle gave me some serious inspiration.
Climbing to the top of the Church of Our Savior was actually terrifying—but what a great selfie setting. Worth it. Just kidding. We were totally in the moment and the pictures were completely secondary!
Iconic Nyhavn houses on the water
There she is! The little mermaid
An elephant at Carlsberg Brewery
We tasted some delicious beers there, but we most enjoyed this Carlberg imperial stout, drunk in our hotel lobby.
Frederiksborg Castle was beautiful!
In the manicured Frederiksborg gardens
Louisiana Museum of modern art was really special and maybe my favorite part of the trip. The museum itself felt so intertwined with nature and so much like a living space that I felt very much at home there. Here are some pieces I enjoyed:
Not pictured: a trip to Tivoli, which served as Walt Disney’s inspiration for Disney World.
Running to Fredericksberg Castle (not to be confused with Frederiksborg) on the first day of our trip and catching our first glimpses of the city at a good clip.
A walk through Christiania, the community that is governed by its own rules and sells all kinds of marijuana in all different forms. Very interesting!
Viewing the Crown Jewels at Rosenborg Castle.
Strolling through the Torvehallern market for culinary inspiration.
All in all, I had a great time, but I still feel like there’s so much more to do. Another trip is definitely in order soon!