'People will travel anywhere for good food - it's crazy.' - René Redzepi
Denmark has been doing incredibly well over the last few years at attracting an international crowd of food lovers. With Noma named best restaurant in the world several times, Copenhagen has become an international food destination and the world has gone totally mad for Nordic cuisine.
Last November I went to Copenhagen and Aarhus as part of a Fáilte Ireland food champion benchmarking trip. While it was very enjoyable it wasn't a holiday. It was an opportunity for us (21 food champions and 3 Fáilte representatives) to look at what Denmark are doing in terms of food tourism, compare ourselves, learn from them and get some inspiration. Importantly it allowed us to reflect on what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong at the moment in terms of food tourism in Ireland (maybe the subject of a future post).
Now our itinerary was really packed and we pretty much spent all our time in food businesses (all in the name of research I swear) so I thought I'd share the list of places we visited here for anyone who is ever thinking of going on a foodie trip to the Danish capital.
This huge warehouse located by the harbour is a street food market filled with food trucks, stands, long tables and areas where people can enjoy food on site. From burgers to falafels, Italian food to Asian dishes, there is a large choice of cuisines to choose from. The atmosphere is laid-back and if the sun is shining you can enjoy the outdoor area in the front.
We didn't stay there for long but I liked the vibes and the few nibbles we had at this little wine bar. It's casual, they have great natural wines (many French) and they use organic and locally sourced produce, plus the staff were lovely and very knowledgeable.
108 is the sister restaurant to the super famous Noma; it's a casual alternative and a more affordable option. The restaurant itself is beautiful. Nordic design at its best and the menu is all about foraged, seasonal, local and fermented food. To be honest it was my least favourite meal, it was good but very pricey (even if I didn't pay for it). Still, I'm so glad I had the opportunity to check it out.
Torvehallerne is a high-end food market which consists of two glass and steel buildings filled with food vendors. It looks more like a fancy food hall than a classic food market but it certainly a food heaven where you can find chocolates, cheese, craft beer, coffee, organic vegetables and other many other goodies.
Do not visit Torvehallerne without trying Hija de Sanchez' tacos. This little street food stall is the bomb and it was probably my favourite food on the trip, not very Nordic I know, but you have to check it out!
Bæst is Christian Puglisi's pizza restaurant where they make cheese with milk from their own herd of Jersey cows and also make their own charcuterie. They're passionate about their food,with a strong focus on organic produce, it's a place with a great ethos.
Brus is a brewery and craft beer pub located just across from Bæest. You can take a tour of the brewery or join a tasting. They also have Spontan, a restaurant serving seasonal food where you can have a tasting menu paired with craft beers.
Copenhagen is truly a great city for food (I had serious food market envy) but beware, it's an expensive city and drinks especially aren't cheap. I will share my addresses for Aarhus in another post.
Have you been to Copenhagen? Please feel free to share your favourite food spots in the comments