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Vegan in Copenhagen

December 21, 2010

Well, that was a much longer hiatus than I anticipated. We had a fantastic time in Copenhagen, although I think all of the walking we did (in the cold) may have worn us out. But now we’re getting back into the swing of things, and are readying ourselves for Christmas.

Anyhow, here’s a little food-oriented recap of our trip.

We arrived in downtown Copenhagen in the evening, and were a little hungry since we hadn’t gotten to eat lunch that day. We had about an hour before we were supposed to meet the person from whom we were renting the apartment, so we decided to grab a little snack, and have dinner later.

For our snack, we headed to Naturbageriet, which sells lots of vegan pastries. I got a Danish-style cinnamon roll,

and Graham got a marzipan-filled pastry whose name I won’t be able to reproduce here.

I loved my cinnamon roll–it was much crispier on the outside than an American cinnamon roll, but on the inside it was soft and light. Just wonderful.

We headed to a coffee shop where we had some intense and delicious hot chocolate, which was made by putting dark chocolate chunks on sticks which were then submerged in our cups of steamed soy milk.

That’s the giant chocolate chunk on a stick, covered in foam.

We then went to our apartment, which was nice and cozy (like everything in Copenhagen–they really know how to deal with their cold, dark days!). But eventually we thought it was time for a real dinner, so we went to a nearby restaurant called Kate’s Joint.

Kate’s Joint is an African-Caribbean-Asian fusion restaurant in the Norrebro borough, which serves lots of vegetarian food. I had red lentils and vegetables cooked with coconut milk, lemongrass, and mustard seeds,

and Graham had an eggplant stew with brown rice.

Both were wonderful. I always feel a little bad after getting off a plane, even if it’s a short trip, and I usually end up feeling worse if I then eat something heavy and oily. This was really perfect post-plane food for me: it was extremely filling, hearty, and flavorful without being covered in grease and filled with sugar. It was also nice to have such a warm, slightly spicy meal on a cold night.

The next morning, we started our day by getting some chocolate croissants at Naturbageriet, which blew me away.

Outside: nice and crispy and covered in chocolate.

Inside: light and fluffy and filled with chocolate.

And then we were off to explore the first of three famous Christmas markets. We started by going to the market at Nyhavn (at the docks on the Eastern side of downtown Copenhagen), a small but very scenic market.

You can see the Christmas market stalls on the left.

While there, we were sure to pick up some glogg–red wine stewed with almonds and raisins.

Turns out, Graham likes glogg.

And Amelia likes glogg.

By the time we were finished at Nyhavn, it was time to grab lunch, so we headed over to Kalaset, a small, cozy place very close to the Norreport M stop.

The theme of Kalaset is “old radios,” which provide the wall decor.

Neat.

Anyhow, we each got the vegan brunch plate, which was beautiful.

With the brunch came a tofu scramble filled with grilled vegetables, home-made falafel, home-made catsup, hummus, olive tapenade, fresh whole wheat bread, raw vegetables, a few different kinds of fruit, and a fruit smoothie. Food in Copenhagen may be price-y, but you get what you pay for. I know this sounds silly, but the home-made catsup was amazing–it really tasted like tomatoes! I don’t usually like lots of raw tomatoes, but honestly this was fantastic. Everything else was great too, but it was the catsup that impressed me the most!

That evening (after doubling up on our sweaters), we headed to Tivoli, a very old amusement park in the center of Copenhagen that lights up at Christmas time.

After taking in the lightshow and the little market (and some more glogg), we went to warm up and get some dinner at Green Sushi.

Green Sushi is a restaurant made unique by the fact that it has a separate vegan sushi menu.

We ordered one vegan sushi plate (which included many different sorts of sushi, including a wonderfully smoky cashew-tofu roll), alongside an extra roll of tempura-asparagus, avocado, and dried cranberry, which was phenomenal. This was, I think, the best vegan sushi I’ve ever had (except for Graham’s, of course).

The next day, after stopping at Naturbageriet for breakfast, we made our way over to the infamous Christiania Christmas market, a very large market filled with handmade goods, located in the heart of the Copenhagen anarchist commune.

Unfortunately, no one is supposed to take pictures inside of Christiania, so I had to satisfy myself by taking a picture of the main entrance.

And notice:

just in case you had any doubts.

Christiania is a very interesting place and, although it may not be the commune for me, it certainly has wonderful food. Just before going to the Christmas market (at the “Grey Lodge”–does anyone else find that a little eery?), we went to Morgenstedet, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Copenhagen.

We weren’t sure what to expect, since I think that Morgenstedet has a new cook every week or so. But at least when we visited we were given fantastic food (and payed less than we did for any other meal in Copenhagen).

Graham got lime rice and black beans, topped with fresh vegetables and a pumpkin-fennel stew.

I had the vegan burrito, with a side of cilantro pasta salad.

All of this was fantastic–very warm and flavorful. (I don’t usually praise food by calling it “warm,” but you see, it was really quite cold in Copenhagen! Think Chicago in January, with less snow.)

We had a great time at the Christmas market, which was filled with beautiful crafts and fun musicians–we even picked up some tiny hand-made wooden candle-holders to bring back with us.

After our time in Christiania, and after exploring a very interesting contemporary art museum, we had dinner at Kalaset again, because we loved it so much.

I had a falafel burger, which allowed me to get more catsup!

You can’t see this very clearly, since it was dark and the sandwich was huge. Just trust me that it looked and tasted great.

And Graham got some tasty grilled tofu with red curry and vegetables.

The next day, we had to say goodbye (hej hej!) to Copenhagen, but not before having one more great meal at Raw 42. Graham had a slice of raw pizza,

I had a raw sandwich, filled with avocado, tomato, onions, sprouts, and chili mayo.

These may sound simple, but they were spectacular. Raw 42 really seems to shine when it comes to making decadent, creative spreads that make their dishes truly special. Graham also got a blueberry-basil smoothie,

and we had to get dessert. We had to! They were sitting there, looking beautiful, asking to be eaten. By me.

Graham got a slice of chocolate cake,

and I got a chocolate-strawberry nut tart.

So cute! I especially loved the whipped topping, which had actual raw vanilla beans ground up into it.

Now, earlier that morning, I had picked up an extra little something at Naturbageriet just in case we needed a snack before getting on the plane.

I didn’t know what it was–it just looked coconut-y and delicious, and the woman at the bakery told me it was extremely popular. Now I know why.

Getting this may have been a mistake. Because of our giant lunch of sweets, we did not really need a snack before getting on the plane. But I thought I would just eat it anyway before going through security since, you know, I wouldn’t be having dinner until about 10pm, etc. etc. But then I took one bite of my little coconut ball and… whoa. This was the most decadent, chocolate-y, rum-filled ball I’d ever eaten. Did I mention there was rum in it? Not a little bit of rum, but a lot of rum. This is exactly the sort of thing I would love to eat slowly, as a dessert, but not the sort of thing I would want to cram into my mouth at the airport as a second dessert at 2pm in the afternoon. Graham said it was too rummy for him, so it was up to me to finish it (and I have this weird thing where I believe that if I don’t finish my food, then it’s going to waste and I’m violating some obligation even if I make myself sick by eating it all). Well, fortunately, I didn’t feel sick after eating this, but for the entire plane ride home I was in a rum- and sugar-induced haze.

Anyhow, we had a wonderful, food-filled time in Copenhagen, and I hope we can go back again (perhaps when it’s a bit warmer). I loved the city, and all of the people we met–they all seemed very laid back and… humble.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Caroline Brooks permalink
    December 21, 2010 3:39 pm

    Great post, great pics! Really loved hearing about your trip to Copenhagen. I laughed because I too feel I must finish food even if it makes me ill! ha At least the coconut rum ball was tasty! Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you both! (Oh, and I must try that glogg some day!)

    • December 21, 2010 7:06 pm

      Why is that? I mean, if you eat so much that you don’t feel well, then the food is certainly going to waste–so why do I think I’m wasting it by not eating it? It’s not very reasonable of me. I attribute this flaw of mine to a habit I developed when I was eight (but have long since overcome) when I discovered that using up paper unnecessarily was bad for forests: for every piece of paper I used, I would scribble all over any portion of it that I failed to fill up. That way it wasn’t going to waste, right?

  2. December 21, 2010 4:40 pm

    Wow. Seriously wow. I loved reading this post. All of the food looks amazing! I want to say something looks the best, but it’s all too good to pin point one item I’d like to get my hands on. Your story about the rum ball is so cute! I can totally picture the scenario. The chocolate-strawberry nut tart….I wanna eat that! Blueberry and basil smoothie…yum! I keep telling people basil goes well in smoothies but it’s hard to convince most. The brunch plate…gorgeous! The breakfast pastries and marzipan cake…omg!!! Copenhagen looks like a lovely place to visit anytime of the year but especially during the holiday season. I hope I get to see (and eat) it for myself someday 🙂

    • December 21, 2010 7:02 pm

      I agree, basil goes well with just about everything, sweet or savory.

      It really was a lovely place to visit–we were so fortunate to get to go. And although it’s very pretty during the holiday season, I think it would be nice almost any time of year. So, if you get the chance, do visit!

  3. patricia leach permalink
    December 22, 2010 2:55 am

    Copenhagen and the food look wonderful and there could have been no one prettier than Amelia…

  4. Stephanie permalink
    December 22, 2010 7:28 pm

    Though I disrespectfully disagree about basil going well with anything (though I have been told some pestos are worth dying for, so maybe in the end that will be the way to go?) The rest of the food looks so so yummy! And you’re still eating raw, which I love!

    I really want to go eat sushi in Copenhagen now. Smoky cashew? We have a place near here that serves avocado and sundried tomato rolls that area really tasty, I should be experimenting with more interesting fillings than the standard ones I would get at any sushi place in town…

    Glad to have your blog back! i missed you both!

    • December 22, 2010 9:46 pm

      Yes, right; you, Stephanie, should put basil in absolutely nothing. (: I’m not sure any pesto is worth dying for, even if some are quite good.

      If you think of fun sushi fillings, let me know!

  5. December 25, 2010 10:19 pm

    Hiya,

    Fantastic blog:) We enjoyed some really yummy vegan food in Copenhagen this summer.

  6. December 28, 2010 11:08 am

    I’m heading to Copenhagen for a week’s holiday at the end of January, I’ve had a look on Happy Cow and done some Google searches but these photos definitely convince me to go past Raw 42 at least once. 🙂

  7. January 23, 2012 8:23 pm

    A brilliantly informative post – I was on a search for vegan pastries before our trip to Copenhagen in April – so pleased they exist! Your post has increased my excitement levels tenfold, and we’re still over two months away!

  8. March 19, 2013 1:03 pm

    Hi there! I was hoping you could hep me. I am going to Copenhagen in May wih two good friends and I know they will want to go to all the traditional Danish style eateries (where I imagine meat is the main affair!) Can you suggest some things that I can order at these kinds of resteraunts as a vegan? Is there any chance I can eat at least something there? hehehehe, thank you!

    • March 19, 2013 6:07 pm

      Unfortunately, I don’t think there are usually vegan options in very traditional Danish restaurants. My impression is that traditional Danish food is very pork- and fish-heavy. While I was there, I made a point of seeking out the places that obviously had vegetarian food. However, Copenhagen has more vegetarians than many other Danish cities, so it’s possible that some more traditional restaurants might have a few veg-friendly items. But, I’m just not sure. Sorry to not be of more help! Hopefully you can convince your friends to try a couple of the vegan-friendly places. (:

      • March 19, 2013 6:46 pm

        Yes I will definitely try! 🙂 Thank you for your help, I think I’ll just have to be a bit restaurant/menu savvy! Great blog by the way 🙂

  9. Shannon permalink
    November 23, 2013 12:02 am

    Hi-
    Thank you for this post! I’m going to Copenhagen for a month this winter and am very pleased to know that they have a lot of vegan friendly options. I was wondering how expensive each of these restaurants were, if you remember. I know that Copenhagen is an expensive place so I just wanted to get some sort of price range on the vegan restaurants. I live in LA and in general, vegan spots are a bit more expensive than your average meal. Let me know, thank you!

  10. February 8, 2014 5:42 pm

    Just booked a long weekend in Copenhagen later this month and I’m veggie, so thanks for all the restaurant tips – I was a bit worried knowing how much the Danes like their bacon and fish but looks like I’ll be fine for 3/4 days!

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  1. Vegan Tips & Trips: December 2010 - Vegan Backpacker

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