Hej hej! Happy 2017 everybody! I was lucky enough to see in the New Year in beautiful Copenhagen. Having been before I expected to meet fun, relaxed people and see stylish lighting and design everywhere, but – in a country that has more pigs than humans – I didn’t know what to expect when it came to vegan food. I needn’t have worried. Copenhagen was a dream come true.
Lots of the places I’d hoped to go to (Copenhagen Street Food market, Blue Taco and Astrid Och Aporna, for example) were closed between Christmas and new year but there was still a wealth of vegan-only & omni places with outstanding food. I’m already excited to return. Perhaps wearing trousers with an elasticated waistband… you get me?
Here’s where I went and what I ate:
Location: right next to the Rundetårn
Price: 70 kr for 2 dawgs.
Good for: fast, cheap, fun food.
Bad for: you’re not getting (m)any of your 5-a-day with this meal, there’s no loo!
Døp was my first inkling that Copenhagen was super vegan-friendly, as this hot dog van had a clearly marked menu explaining which dawgs were vegan alongside their various meat ones. I had the veggie dog (made with tofu) with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions and was very impressed. Although the dawg didn’t have the same bite you get from a meat hotdog the flavour was great & you needn’t worry about which dubious body-parts had made their way into your sausage. Affordable and friendly, a roaring success.
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Friends & Brgrs
Price: 248 kr for 2 double-patty burger meals.
Good for: Incredible burger, great mayo, friendly staff.
Bad for: if you don’t like fast food.
By the time we got to Friends & Brgrs we’d been up for hours, had a few blisteringly strong cocktails and walked around a lot so we were, to put it lightly, peckish. We both ordered double patty burgers & unlike Josh I managed to demolish every single crumb of my meal. Thank you, thank you very much. And PHWOAR. This was the best vegan burger I’ve ever had. Juicy, a little greasy (but in a good way) and so tasty. The patties were kind of like onion bhajis & the home-made aioli was so thick and creamy I was initially scared it wasn’t legit. Great chips, relaxed venue and friendly staff made this place a cool stop for both vegans & meat-eaters alike. If I lived in Copenhagen I would go here after every drinking session ever.
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Location: Blågårdsgade, Nørrebro
Price: 295kr for 2 bowls of food each special chilli sauce + 3 drinks.
Good for: beautiful dumplings, lovely service, clear menu.
Bad for: tiny bit of a wait.
When we arrived on Blågårdsgade and found the restaurant where we were planning to eat lunch – Blue Taco – closed, we spotted a dumpling place pretty much next door so decided to give it a go. What a stroke of luck as this turned out to be my favourite meal of the whole trip. GAO‘s menu, yet again, clearly displayed which items were vegan (around half of them) & it all looked and smelled so good. After a bit of a wait – it was just one guy cooking and waiting and serving – our food arrived. Ugh. It was exquisite. I had double fried tofu with a chilli Mayo and fried mushroom dumplings with the special GAO chilli sauce. The flavours were knockout, the tofu light and crispy and the dumplings just the best of my life. I’m sad this place isn’t in London as I’d eat here a lot. A lot.
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Ramen to Biiru
Location – Nørrebro and Vesterbro
Price: 225 for 2 bowls of ramen.
Good for: beer and ramen!
Bad for: you might have to queue.
We visited every single Mikkeller joint whilst in Copenhagen (my husband’s a beer nut) and that included Ramen to Biiru. I was a big fan of the weird vending machines for ordering the ramen & dispensing beer. Again, service was efficient and friendly. My ramen was the no-meat one which was heavy on the mushroom and seaweed. The noodles were perfect and the broth pretty good. It didn’t knock my socks off but was a solid, fun and pretty healthy dinner. Washed down with more excellent Danish booze.
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Location: Frederiksborggade and Vesterbrogade
Price: 106kr for 1 meal.
Good for: the best sweet potato fries, nice decor, friendly helpful staff.
Bad for: Coke tasted weirdly chemical-y.
This fully-vegan fast food joint opened in 2016 and saved my (vegan) bacon when I realised that the street food market I’d planned to visit was closed. The guy who worked here was a treasure and took the time to explain – in flawless English (seriously the Danes speak a English better than I do!) – their menu. I went for a Tease Burger and sweet potato fries. The burger – a cheese burger with a juicy patty, loads of gherkins and soft fluffy bread – was really good but the sweet potato fries were EPIC. Also this place also made their own rich, creamy mayo. So good. If I went back to Green Burger I’d try their paprika onion rings and I would go back. In a heartbeat!
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Location: Blågårdsgade, Nørrebro
Price: (free) would’ve been around 150kr-ish each.
Good for: zingy fresh juice, healthy food, their full menu looked interesting.
Bad for: booking mess-up, not the friendliest, very small.
After booking a table at Cafe N for dinner on New Year’s Eve, having several text reminders about the booking and hearing really good things about them, we were a little bit effing miffed when we arrived to see their shutters down and there was no-one answering the phone. We hit up a nearby kebab shop which somehow fumbled a falafel pitta and chips and when I messaged them they said they’d had to shut because there was no staff and to apologise they offered us a free meal the next day.
So at lunch the following day we chose a few dishes that looked ace (seitan, potato croquetttes and a big meze plate) from the chalkboard menu to be told, when we tried to order them that as it was New Year’s Day they were only doing burgers. Truth be told I wasn’t too excited about having my 3rd burger in 3 days but what arrived was more like a stack of falafel, loads of salad and hummus on bread. The veggie chips which accompanied this – potato, parsnip and beetroot – were lovely and they also had a magically thick, creamy garlicky vegan mayonnaise. They served our meals with fritz cola & a really tart zingy juice which blew my New Year’s Day cobwebs away. However, whilst I thought the food was alright and the service was really underwhelming, Josh, who’s not massively in to veggies/healthy food, really hated it, saying “it could have been a lot better in every regard.”So a mixed bag. The cafe itself was really cute but popular and so quickly rammed. I appreciated the gesture of the free meal, but wouldn’t hurry to go back here in all honesty.
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Where we stayed: Hotel Alexandra. Really centrally located – around the corner from Tivoli & the train station. Open for more than a century, the 61-room retro hotel has an incredible collection of Danish furniture. Breakfast options for vegans were so-so. The buffet was centred around hot and cold meats and cheese. They bought in soya milk especially for me and there was fresh fruit & muesli.
Places we liked to drink:
Koelschip was a brilliant lambic and sour bar from the good people at Mikkeller staffed by a truly awesome guy called Dennis.
Mikkeller & Friends next door served lots of incredible international craft beer, was very easy on the eye and played an entire Talking Heads album whilst we were there. Superb.
To Ol Brus was another bar that did great beer and cocktails – I had a lovely Tiki cocktail – played great music and looked beautiful. One of my favourite bars in Copenhagen.
Mikropolis, another Mikkeller bar, served, yes lovely beer, and really strong well-made cocktails. This underground bar was cosy & had an ace soundtrack too.
Video Video an all-vegan cafe that serves great cocktails; from the fruity rum number Josh chose to a banana chocolate one I loved. They did inexplicably play 5ive on a loop (of 3 songs) the whole time we were here but were sweet and I’d go back and eat here next time.
Places we liked to visit:
Rundetårn: a round tower from which you can admire the city but the inside is beautiful too. Whilst we were there the exhibition was about broken relationships which was funny, sad and sweet all at once.
Botanisk Have: the beautiful Botanical Garden is free to enter and includes lovely parkland as well as a Palm house and cactus house. On chilly days, when you’re wearing about 5 layers of clothes prepare for the Palm house to play sheer havoc with your body temperature!
Nyhavn: a tourist magnet but easy to see why. This canal dotted with brightly coloured gabled townhouses is ridiculously pretty and/or instagrammable.
National Museum: was open on New Year’s Day when it provided respite from the rain but we were so happy we ended up going here. A great way to learn more about Danish history and culture, our favourite exhibits were the “bog bodies” – peoples’ remains preserved extraordinarily well from the Iron Age so much so you can see their clothes, jewellery & learn more about how they might have lived and died. Fascinating.
Tivoli: an open-air amusement park consisting of rides, lakes, gardens and, at night, thousands upon thousands of twinkly lights and a firework show.
Walk everywhere. Bike everywhere. This compact city is perfect for exploring under your own steam. I cannot wait to return – maybe in the summer – when I’m sure there will be even more great vegan places to eat, loads of great bars and more new treats to discover.