Copenhagen: Let's Sing a Song About Smørrebrød!

So, sure, Copenhagen = Noma to a lot of chefs (and I get it.), but there is just so much more. Copenhagen was one of my most pleasantly surprising food destinations because I didn't know a whole lot about their food scene before I arrived. I just sort of let people point me in the right direction and show me what they thought I needed to know. 

Let's talk about smørrebrød: a Danish open-faced sandwich. It's usually dark, dense, rye bread topped with amazing ingredients and a little bit of sauce. Simple things are always the best things. Amazing ingredients, which Denmark really has a handle on, make a simple sandwich the most satisfying meal ever. We were instructed to go to Restaurant Ida Davidsen, which seems to be the most famous place to get smørrebrød in Copenhagen. It was excellent and the perfect introduction, but I was more than happy to get smaller and cheaper versions the rest of the trip. The smørrebrød we had at Ida Davidsen was quite large (you can't even see the bread under all the ingredients).

 Smørrebrød with smoked salmon, greens, and onions

Smørrebrød with smoked salmon, greens, and onions

 Smørrebrød with gravlax and caviar

Smørrebrød with gravlax and caviar

We had an excellent dinner at Restaurant Radio and they, again, focused on perfectly executed local ingredients. Even their bread and butter was pretty amazing - all butter should be whipped with caramelized onions! Restaurants and chefs in Denmark seem to have a real respect for food and keeping the integrity of their region's produce...something I can surely get behind.

 Shaved asparagus salad

Shaved asparagus salad

 Carrots and dill

Carrots and dill

 Scallops with sea foam

Scallops with sea foam

And I just can't forget the Danish. Even though this pastry is of Viennese origin, I had to get a Danish or "spandauer" in Denmark. Holm's Bager was clearly the spot for coffee and pastries. There was a line out the door, but everything else was closed and I was desperate for coffee...so I waited. Little did I know they had the most amazing danishes on the planet:

Copenhagen was so clean and peaceful...I mean, really clean. It was alarming. No wonder all the chefs go out and forage for wild foods, I'd give anything to run around Denmark all day!

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*all photos by Shauna Burke