Right at the start of the year Tsouni (@yesitsallvegan) txted me to ask if I fancied checking out vegan food in Copenhagen. We'd only be there overnight as we were really there to run a v important Moss Ceramics errand to drop off pottery to Tsouni's first Danish stockist, but hey, wandering around a Scandinavian city for a few hours sounded like a great way to see out January.
So we caught some cheap January flights north and ended up in beautiful Copenhagen for 24 hours. Here're some of the best things we managed to eat in that time:
1. Astrid och Aporna Spiseri, Jægersborgsgade 39
Great for: vegan snacks and hot fast food, pre-drink snacks
Keep in mind: If it's cold outside, inside is small and if you can't get a chair, you may need to eat and run.
Astrid och Aporna was one of the first places I came across through searching on the Instagram hashtag #veganCopenhagen and I could not wait to try their hotdogs and fries. It's essentially a cute vegan fast food joint on Jægersborgsgade, which is a lovely street for spending some time shopping in.
When we stopped by it was about 5pm and dark outside, but the small take-away area was fine to sit in and have a beer while we waited for our food. Now I know on Happy Cow, some people have commented about the decor not being that comfortable or the food taking a while, but I'd say this place doesn't pretend to be anything but a fast food eatery, with benches outside for when it's not as cold. Our food took a little longer to put together, most likely because it was done fresh for us. When it's cold outside and there's an entire menu of vegan junk-food inspired-delights, there's no real need to complain, right?
We ordered two hot dogs with the sweet monkey and höt scharlotte salsa toppings, MozzaRisella (mozzarella-style) bites, an unholy amount of coleslaw, and topped it off with two beers. For so-called junk food, there was still plenty of discernible fresh vegetables in the salsas and coleslaw, and it was the perfect pseudo-lunch to start drinking on after a long day travelling.
2. Express Pizza Nørreport, Mimersgade 102
Great for: Actual vegan pizza toppings when you're on holiday
Keep in mind: But it's still a no-frills pizza takeaway
To the untrained eye, Express Pizza looks like another run-of-the-mill takeaway pizza joint you can find in maybe every city in the world. But thanks to some late-night Happy Cow searching, I also found out it has a semi-secret vegan menu with fake meats, cheeses all the regular toppings. We ended up here late on Thursday night. The owners don't speak great English and Danish isn't as easy to work out as French or Spanish, but you know, if it's an all vegan pizza menu, how wrong can you go?
Tsouni went wild card with ham, pineapple and olives, I went a bit more MOR with chicken, mushroom and spinach. We got beers and talked about Moby vs The Strokes as other vegans slouched in and ordered off the wonderfully incongruous meat-free menu. I don't think I'd rush back to Express Pizza in a hurry, but if you've got more than a few nights planned in Copenhagen or want to come in and collect a vegan pizza to take back to your hostel/ Airbnb, it would be perfect.
3. The Coffee Collective Jægersborggade, Jægersborggade 10
Great for: Starting the day right.
Keep in mind: There's only cow's milk here, so you'll need to like it black
On Friday morning we headed back to Jægersborggade to explore the amazing shops on the street and start the day with some proper coffee. I've been to Copenhagen twice before and the last time we were there, my friend Luke took us to The Coffee Collective where I had my first ever black coffee. TL;DR version is that it was the best coffee I'd ever tasted. So we came back for some caffeine before tracking down brunch. Tsouni chose an aeropress while I went in for an Americano. I've no idea what the other questions we agreed to were, but we sat in the window and talked about punctuation for half an hour with perfect coffee, which is the best way to begin any day, right?
4. Cafe N, Blågårdsgade 17
Great for: Fresh, filling and warming food
Keep in mind: Grab a table when you can
From the endless photos of brunches and burgers on Instagram, I couldn't wait to try Cafe N. Although a lot of reviews online talk about it being vegetarian with vegan options, it seems to have either turned totally vegan now, or perhaps it was always that way…
Cafe N sits on Blågårdsgade, which is a nice place to head to in the evening for beers, although make sure you get dinner at Cafe N first, because the kitchen closes at 9pm and it's difficult to get a seat in there beforehand.
For a late breakfast, both Tsouni and I chose the vegansk brunch- a huge plate of small portions of different vegan items. It included arancini balls, croquettes, tofu omelette, salads, homemade hummus and tzatziki, dates, pineapple, melon, seitan, toast and tofu cutlets. It was absolutely delicious all the perfect amount, nothing too oily or carby, and all slightly sweet- I couldn't put my finger on it but I wish I could eat this once a week. I added a chai soy latte to my order, while Tsouni got free-refills coffee. It was so warm inside, it's the kind of place I can imagine you'd start in there for breakfast and want to stay until dinner.
5. Landbageriet, fka Naturbageriet, Frederiksborggade 29
Great for: Awesome vegan pastries you haven't eaten in years
Keep in mind: These are snacks for the road- there's no eating in here
Finally, before catching our flight home, we headed to Naturbageriet for some airport snacks. To the untrained eye, you'd think that was just another bakery or pastry shop, of which Copenhagen seems to have on every street. But I found a few mentions ofNaturbageriet on Happy Cow and Instagram, and when we asked which items were vegan, the woman in the shop said it was easier to point to the ones that weren't, which is always a great sign! We bought a huge pastry whirl dude, a brownie and a vegan Danish pastry - called Vienna bread- wienerbrød- in Denmark because they were originally made by Viennese chefs. The brownie was my fave- I nibbled on it all day, keeping it until we finally boarded our plane home.
So that's what 24 hours in Copenhagen as a vegan was like! If we'd had longer I would have liked to try Kalaset for brunch, and the burgers at Cafe N- but leave a comment below if you think there's somewhere else worth mentioning here.
Photo of me and pastries taken by Tsouni Cooper.