Just before Christmas, I set aside five days to explore the Danish capital with friends, armed with a serious list of recommendations from foodies, beer geeks and locals to keep us busy. I’m going to split this into a few posts so that I can include as many photos as possible – keep an eye out for the others. Flights to Copenhagen from London were super cheap, and getting into the city from the airport is easy – a speedy train into the centre, or even an Uber (perfectly good value) are both good options. I would then recommend staying either somewhere in Vesterbro (Halmtorvet was a great base), or up in Nørrebro near Jægersborggade. Airbnb came up trumps for us as usual. Be warned though, Copenhagen is a very expensive city and the exchange rate isn’t doing us any favours at the moment either.
To kickstart our Danish adventure, we headed straight to Øl & Brød (beer and bread), a restaurant and bar owned by Copenhagen beer-royalty Mikkeller that specialises in smørrebrød, akvavit and snaps. And beer. Smørrebrød are an essential eat when in Denmark – open-faced sandwiches, often on a dense slice of rye bread (rugbrød), piled high with a variety of traditional toppings (pålæg) such as pickled herring, smoked salmon, roast beef, and beef tartare. We opted for a sharing board of their favourites (fried flounder was a winner), plus some warming snaps and a trio of brilliant Mikkeller beers from their ten taps. Being wild/sour beer fans, we went straight for their 2 year old lambic, the drink’in berliner weisse with raspberries, and the x-mas winbic (a blend of spontan ale and saison). Not a bad way to start the trip.
The original Mikkeller bar is a couple doors down, but we saved that for another day, and instead headed to the meatpacking district in search of coffee. We did encounter more smørrebrød on our travels, but none better than at Øl & Brød. Seek it out, and perhaps book in advance for an evening meal. Anyway, on we went to Prolog Coffee Bar, a quirky little café in an old bookshop that we grew rather fond of over the weekend. Not least because they sell giant individual marshmallows complete with a personal camping stove to melt them. Plus the décor is a tad nutty, the baristas come round with free biscuits, the coffee is excellent, and there’s a dollhouse of sorts for charging phones. For the full lowdown, see what Brian’s Coffee Spot had to say.
Prolog is slap bang in the middle of Copenhagen’s Kødbyen or “meat city” which modelled itself on Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Over the last 10 years or so there’s been an influx of bars, galleries, clubs and restaurants, driven by by the city council who own the 1930s warehouse complex previously filled by butchers. As we were staying just over the road, we made several trips to the area over the weekend, so check back for subsequent posts featuring Hija de Sanchez, Warpigs and Fleisch that are all deserving of your time and krone.
After our caffeine hit, it was time to get back on it at nearby Fermentoren – a super cosy, candelit beer bar with 24 taps of the (really) good stuff. Alongside a constantly changing international line-up, Fermentoren also has its own house brand of beer. It’s brewed exclusively for them by Dry & Bitter Brewing who they are closely affiliated with. Incidentally, their beers will be making an appearance at Beavertown’s Extravaganza in London in September 2017 – more info and potentially some tickets here.
Two or three imperial stouts later, we sought out sustenance at Mother, an inviting Italian restaurant in the Kødbyen serving up outstanding sourdough pizzas plus a selection of antipasti and bruschette. They run an awesome brunch buffet at the weekends for 160dkk a head (£19 ish) with unlimited pizza slices, homemade muffins, freshly baked bread, fruit, yoghurt, roasted vegetables, pasta salads, fresh juice and more. Book ahead for one of the first two sittings! The same people have also opened a Mother Wine shop in the Indre By (“inner city”) area where they hold regular free tastings. Rather than trek across town, we dropped in to Paté Paté for some wine after dinner. It’s a buzzing space, but a touch overpriced. If you are looking for a great wine bar, Den Vandrette near Nyhavn is where you should start.
Before bed, we squeezed in a visit to Kihoskh – a modern grocery store (open til 2am at the weekends) that’s hoarding an absurd collection of beers in its basement. Slightly overwhelmed, we bought a couple to take home with the intention of returning for a bigger haul. That didn’t happen in the end, though we did make it to the well-stocked Mikkeller & Friends in Torvehallerne (picture a more organised Borough Market and you won’t be far off). If you don’t fancy leaving the comfort of your home (or country!), the Mikkeller Web Shop is an online treasure trove that even ships to all over Europe including the UK. Anyway, more on Mikkeller next time – yes, I’m aware I’ve already written their name six times. Settle in.