Bristol vs the world

A travel (and sometimes fashion) blog about exploring Bristol and the rest of the world, one post at a time.

Tag: Vesterbro

Food Friday: Lunch and dinner in Copenhagen

Last week I highlighted some lovely spots for a bit of breakfast in Copenhagen. But woman cannot live by pastries alone (much as I’d love to)! So here are some of the places we enjoyed lunch and dinner.

DOP hotdog Copenhagen

Hot dog stands
Everyone warns you that Copenhagen is expensive, but nothing quite prepares you for just how expensive. Especially when it comes to food and drink. That doesn’t mean there aren’t cheaper options, and a good way to save a few pennies is by grabbing lunch from one of the many hot dog stands around the city. We tried two. The one sat at the top of Nyhavn won on location. We ate in the sun, lounging on some nearby steps overlooking the beautiful, much-photographed harbour. However while those hot dogs were tasty, there’s a reason that readers of Politiken, a Danish broadsheet, voted DOP the best restaurant in Copenhagen (hot dogs pictured above). This might sound a bit odd, but the real stand-out about their offering was the bun – super soft and not chewy at all. So, so good.

Stands cost from around 25DKK, though DOP’s were a bit more expensive (around 36DKK).

Kodbyens Fiskebar dessert
Kodbyens fiskebar mussels

Kodbyens Fiskebar
From the cheapest places we visited on our trip to the most expensive. But oh was it worth it. A fish and seafood restaurant, Kodbyens Fiskebar is located in ‘cool’ Kodbyen. Also known a the ‘meatpacking district’, Kodbyen is next to Vesterbro and, conveniently, less than a five minute walk from our apartment.

As you might expect from its name, this area was – and still is – home to butchers; many now stroll to work as partygoers stagger home from the surrounding bars and clubs. Strict planning laws means that the restaurants and bars who have moved in have to preserve the white-tiled outlets as they were when they were home to butchers. As a result, none of the places in the area look particularly fancy. So despite Kodbyens Fiskebaren seemingly being one of the most-talked restaurants in Copenhagen at the moment, we loved that it was also completed relaxed and welcoming and more suited to jeans than a dress.

More importantly, the staff were friendly and helpful and the food and drink was incredible. Go, go, go and eat as much as you can possibly manage!

‘Raw bar’ plates (almost like ‘samplers’, of which you need more than one dish): DK115-145 for three pieces.
Medium courses (large starters): 105-165DKK
Bigger courses (mains): 165-255DKK
Desserts: 95DKK

Reservations highly recommended (book online)

bangaw

Ban Gaw
Admittedly Thai probably isn’t the natural choice for dinner in Denmark, but Ben Gaw on Sonder Boulevard was conveniently situated and looked full every time we walked past – both big ticks. It’s not the best Thai I’ve ever eaten (that title still goes to Oli’s Thai), and I probably wouldn’t make a special trip to eat here if I wasn’t staying nearby. But the food was flavoursome and and portions were generous. And, by Copenhagen standards, it was reasonably priced too.

Starters: 50-69DKK
Mains: 124-184DKK, but most around 150DKK

Cocks and Cows Copenhagen

Cocks and Cows
You have to ignore the ridiculous name for this one, but it’s – just about – worth it. This burger restaurant has two outlets in Copenhagen, one on Sankt Peders Straese, near the university and Latin Quarter and another on Gammel Strand, just on the other side of the river from Slotsholmen. This is the one we found ourselves in.

There’s 10 burgers to choose from (mostly cow, rather than cock based, and also one veggie option). I can highly recommend the Juicy Lucy, a hunk of meat with cheese oozing out of the middle. You can also pick one of three types of bun: sesame, whole grain or Sweet American (a brioche-style sweet bread). John and I both plumped for the latter. I never normally finish burger buns, preferring to concentrate on meat and chips instead, but I polished off most of this one!

There’s also a number of sides on offer – some fairly typical (fries, curly fries, onion rings) and others less so (BBQ wings and ribs). While the latter were tempting, instead we both chose the chilli fries, which turned out to be a good decision.

There’s also a good choice of drinks. As this was looking to be our only meal of the day, we went all out and filled ourselves up on milkshakes. They were very good, but next time I think I’d be tempted to splash out on a cocktail.

Good quality burgers in central locations, Cocks and Cows is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for something simple, good-quality and filling when in Copenhagen.

Picture credits
DOP hot dog: DOP’s Facebook page
Kodbyens Fiskebar exterior: Courtesy of Tripadvisor
Kodbyens Fiskebar food: My own, please credit if using
Ban Gaw: Thai Com
Cocks & Cows: Politiken

Food Friday: Breakfasting in Copenhagen

When I’m not gobbling granola (/spilling it on my work clothes) in a rush to get out of the house, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Especially on holiday: waking up slowly with a tea and well-cooked food has to be one of life’s simplest, greatest pleasures.

Although we ate a couple of ‘boring’ breakfasts in our apartment (well, if you can call Coco Pops from a flipping variety pack boring), we made room for a few Danish pastries too. Here’s a round-up of the spots we found.

Granola Interior via Red Matter
Breakfast at Granola, Copenhagen

Granola
Værnedamsvej 5
1819 Frederiksberg C
If someone said ‘imagine a 50’s American-style soda fountain without plastic, and designed by a Dane’, I’d be picturing something a little like the gorgeous Granola. It’s not only pretty, though; Granola wasn’t just my favourite breakfast in Copenhagen – it jostles for a place in my list of best ones of all time. And considering I take the first meal of the day very seriously, that’s no mean feat. Our ‘sweet’ breakfast platter consisted of yoghurt with compote and granola, fresh fruit, a pancake-y/french bread concoction, toast and – best of all – a home-made, Nutella-esque chocolate spread with actual nuts on top. (I later found out you can buy this to take home. Gutted I did not know this earlier.). My fruit smoothie was also excellent. Smaller breakfasts are available, as is a savoury larger breakfast. Or if you’re feeling really hungry you can get a sweet-savoury combination. Also open for lunch and dinner, if you fancy returning for one of their ‘hard’ shakes.

Breakfast from Bagerdygtigt, Istedgade, Copenhagen
Bagerdygtigt, Istedgade, Copenhagen

Bagerdygtigt, Istedgade, Copenhagen

Bagerdygtigt
Istedgade 120
1650 KØBENHAVN V
Did you know Danes don’t call Danish Pastries Danish Pastries? They call them ‘wienerbrød’ (Vienna bread).

Whatever you want to call them, the Danes do make them well and this friendly bakery, 5-10 minutes from ‘our’ apartment, was no exception. The perfect combination of being really tasty without being too sweet or sickly. We chose to take ours back at the flat, but there was also plenty of space to eat in.

 

Breakfast at Andersen Bakery, Copenhagen

Andersen Bakery
Three premises, by Tivoli Gardens (Bernstorffsgade 5), and in Frederiksberg (Gl. Kongevej 148) and Osterbro (Østerbrogade 103)
Continuing the unexpected pastry facts, the original incarnation of this well-known Danish bakery was actually in Hiroshima, Japan, way back in 1962; the founder, Shunsuke Takaki, was inspired by a trip to Denmark a few years before.

But while that’s interesting, what you really need to know is that there’s a reason pretty much every website, blog and guidebook recommends this bakery. The ever-so-flattering-and-cool photo just about sums it up. And I was possibly even more happy once I’d tucked in to the pastries. Not a bad way to start a birthday.

Photo Credits
Granola Interior: Red Matter via Pinterest
Bagerdygtigt interiors Bagerdygtigt’s Facebook page
Granola food, Bagerdygtigt food, Andersen Bakery breakfast: My own, please credit if using.

Next Food Friday: Lunches and Dinners

Where to stay Wednesday: Air B&B in Copenhagen

livingroomcopenhagenairbnb

Walking down the cobbled street we assumed lead to Mette’s apartment, we felt a little nervous. Mette had been nothing but friendly and helpful so far, and there were plenty of very positive reviews on her Air B&B page. But what if the reviews were fake, and the apartment wasn’t anything like it was described? What if Mette didn’t really exist? What if we’d managed to get our dates mixed up and we were only due to stay for two nights and then we’d be accomodation-less and forced to stay in either a dump or fork out over the odds for somewhere more salubrious? What if, what if…

As it turns out, it wasn’t Mette that greeted us that night. But only because she was on a plane to London when we arrived. Instead her sister had kindly agreed to let us into the apartment instead (all of which we knew about). Once she’d showed us around and handed us the keys, that was it: the apartment – which looked exactly like it did in the photos (ie. stunning) – was ours for five days.

bedroomcopenhagenairbnb

Despite our trepidation, we chose Air B&B for two main reasons. Firstly because our trip was five days and nights, and having a kitchen/dining area meant we wouldn’t have to eat every meal in Copenhagen’s infamously expensive restaurants. Secondly, city breaks are exhausting. All that walking and exploring and unfamiliarity is wonderful, yes, but also, sometimes, draining. I know that some nights the last thing I want to do is spend it trying not to look knackered in a restaurant or bar. Yet most city hotel rooms (or at least, city hotel rooms in a sensible price bracket) are really just somewhere to sleep. Functional and perfectly pleasant, but small and claustrophobic if you spend too long in them. Choosing an apartment would give us the space we’d like to really relax on the evenings where our feet and brains were kaputt!

We chose Mette’s apartment partly because it was beautiful and spacious, but mainly for its location in Vesterbro. It was within easy walking distance of the main train station and most tourist attractions, but residential enough to feel like you were seeing the ‘real’ Copenhagen (and so we could avoid dodgy tourist trap bars and restaurants!). I’ll write more on the area in a separate post, but I’d highly recommend staying around here if you can. As many will say, Istedgade is still ‘interesting’ at the end closest to the main station but it’s nothing to really worry about; while I’m not sure how comfortable I’d have felt walking along it alone in the dark, during the day, and with John, I never felt unsafe. There are also other route options if you really didn’t like it. Otherwise, the area is wonderful: full of interesting, independent restaurants, bars and shops just waiting to be explored.

kitchencopenhagenairbnb

I couldn’t recommend Air B&B highly enough to anyone considering whether to make their first booking. The booking system is more long-winded than your standard hotel ones (you have to get in touch with a host first to see if their apartment is free, and many would – understandably – prefer not to take bookings too far in advance as they don’t know their plans. That said, Mette took our booking in October, six months before our stay, so you can still plan reasonably far ahead). However, for us, it was absolutely worth the effort. Just make sure you do your research so you know what you’re booking. Key things to take note of: is it a whole apartment or just a room? Where is it in relation to the city centre/places you want to see on your stay? What have previous guests said? Any other rules or important information to note? All of this should be clear and easy to find on the listing. Having to make contact with the host before booking also has its benefits, as it gives you a ‘sense’ of them (are they fast to respond? Friendly? Helpful?) before you commit.

copenhagenmetteapartmentbreakfast

The only people I wouldn’t recommend Air B&B to are those who enjoy the extra comforts a hotel offers: room service, bed made, no cleaning up after yourself or cups of tea to wash up. Personally we didn’t miss these, preferring the independence and freedom self-catering gave us (picking up pastries from a local bakery for breakfast, a quiet evening in with pizza and reading on the sofa, not having to worry about fixed breakfast times or when a maid will come to clean the room), but I know that wouldn’t be the same for everyone.

But for the right people and at the right apartment, Air B&B is brilliant. I’d highly recommend it and will definitely look into using it again next time we’re on an extended city break.

bedroomcopenhagenairbnb2

Post not in association with Air B&B – I know I had my doubts beforehand, so wanted to share my positive experience with others in case anyone feels the same way and is wondering about booking. Do it!

Photos
All photos except one featuring breakfast from Air B&B listing
Breakfast photo my own, please credit if using.