Heightened interest in street food is a burgeoning worldwide phenomenon, with young chefs everywhere exploring, enhancing and perfecting foods that were previously thought of as ordinary and everyday. From tacos to takoyakis and burgers to bougatsas, these are foods that locals adore – and that, these days, foodie travellers look forward to sampling wherever they go. Viewed as culturally authentic and frequently made with skill and dedication, street food now tops many people’s lists when they consider visiting a new country or city.
When you think of eating food in the street, Copenhagen – with its rainy northern European climate – might not be the first city that comes to mind. But mere weather was never going to get in the way of a pair of entrepreneurially minded Danes when they decided to launch a street-food venue in the city a few years ago.
Jesper Møller and Dan Husted had both founded successful restaurants in the past, and for this venture they reached out to a large group of food producers to fill the old industrial building they had discovered on Papirøen (Paper Island), which had previously housed a paper manufacturer’s production and storage facilities – hence the name. Having sent out a call for street-food creators, with strict guidelines that insisted on everything served here being ‘genuine, honest and authentic’, Copenhagen Street Food first opened in May 2014 and currently plays host to 39 different food stalls, food trucks, containers and bars. It has also received a number of local and international awards and commendations.
The island is one of the loveliest spots in the city from which to watch the sun set if the weather is fine, as it sports glorious views of the harbour and Opera House and Royal Playhouse buildings. And right next door is Copenhagen Contemporary where you can take in an art exhibition – on our recent visit, Yoko Ono’s work was on show.
But back to the food: the range at Copenhagen Street Food is huge and the prices very reasonable. You could start with a few fresh oysters from Banzai Street Sushi, say, accompanied by a glass of organic rosé from Drueta (or perhaps one of their designer gin and tonics might be a better bet?). There are fresh juices galore at Juicen, and if you’re a craft beer aficionado, head directly to Stormly for organic local brews.
After the beer, you could enjoy a Danish open-style sandwich (known locally as smørrebrod) topped with fresh seafood from Handmade, a gourmet (organic) hot dog from Pølse Kompagniet, fish and chips from Toldbodens or tacos from Tacos Chucho. Looking for something more unusual? Try the Korean-style fried chicken at Chick Ko, a Moroccan flatbread from Marrakech or vegan-fusion Colombian fare from Latienda. Finish your multicultural street-style feast with something from Sweet Food – traditional Danish flødeboller (like extra-good Sweetie Pies) are a must-try if they’re on the menu when you visit.
For more information about opening hours, bookings and events, visit copenhagenstreetfood.dk.
Sadly, Copenhagen Street Food will close its doors on Paper Island on 31 December 2017. However, its creators already have a brand new location – and a new, still-to-be-revealed concept – planned, which will open at nearby Refshaleøen.