For our fall trip to Copenhagen, we knew that we wanted to go on a food tour – after all, it’s our very favourite way to explore a new city! I knew very little about Danish food prior to the trip, but had read that Copenhagen was well known for its food scene, street food, and café culture. That pretty much checks all the boxes for me!
In my search for an in-depth and informative food tour, I came across Foods of Copenhagen, the brainchild of owner and tour host Cindie. Foods of Copenhagen provides small boutique tours and is committed to personal attention, expertise, professionalism, and sustainability. They partner with small, local businesses in Copenhagen for their tours and support local merchants, shops, farmers, and food producers whenever they can. The tour itinerary promised us some of the best food and drink in the city and we were not disappointed!
We met our friendly Foods of Copenhagen guide Anne-Marie at our meeting point near the city centre. S and I were joined on our tour by guests from Northern Ireland, England, and even a local from Copenhagen who just wanted to explore the city’s culinary scene. After a warm introduction by Anne-Marie, we set off for our first taste of the tour. Along the way, we passed the Gammeltorv (Old Market), the oldest square in Copenhagen, and the beautiful Caritasspringvandet (Caritas Fountain). Anne-Marie told us that they put golden apples inside the well on the Queen’s birthday and they ‘jump’ inside the fountain. Would love to see that!
Our first stop was a traditional Danish restaurant located just off the square. Greeted by cheery Danish flags, we were invited inside for a taste of one of Denmark’s most famous dishes: smørrebrød (an open face sandwich).
On classic white and blue Royal Copenhagen plates, we tucked into herring and Frikadeller (Danish meatball) smørrebrød. Anne-Marie taught us how to build our own smørrebrød by spreading a thin layer of lard on a piece of rye bread before layering on the toppings. As a perfect complement to the smørrebrød, we sipped snaps, a strong alcohol often paired with smørrebrød to cut the fattiness, especially when eating herring. Delicious!
Onward to the oldest bakery in the city dating back to 1652. S and I had to smile when we realized this would be a stop on our tour because that very morning, we had walked by the very same bakery and drooled over the items on display in the window.
This is the place where we tried the Danish food most familiar to visitors – the beloved breakfast pastry, the Danish. But is it really Danish? In fact, Anne-Marie told us the sweet custard-filled pastry hails from Vienna and the Danes adopted it and made it their own. In fact, it doesn’t even go by the name ‘Danish’ in Denmark – it’s called wienerbrød (aka Vienna bread)! Whoever invented it, I tip my hat to you – the wienerbrød (also known as spandauer) we tried was so good, we went back the next day for two more.