National food is the cheapest eat. We dish up 14 more typical for the Danes. Not all low-priced
COPENHAGEN FOOD, DENMARK: The local in Denmark means a Dane, not a local pub. The Danes are part of the Nordic population, and they like to be described as the almost nearly perfect people. Generally, they are more chilled than Swedes and the Norwegians, and like to think they are more Europeans than Nordic. From time to time they are the self-proclaimed word´s happiest people. Here follows the traditional danish food. Find out what the Danes eat and drink and what we should try when in Denmark.
#1 The national dish
Let´s begin with the national dish of Denmark, voted by nearly 100,000 Danes. It is basically crispy pork with parsley sauce served with boiled potatoes. If you manage to order the dish in Danish you should say “Stegt flæsk med persillesovs og kartoffler”. It sounds rather difficult, but the dish is far simpler and more delicious. Actually, it is one of the cheapest eats and some restaurants even offer all-you-can-eat pork at affordable prices.
#2 Vienna Bread in Denmark
The famous sticky delights called Vienna Bread normally served for breakfast – or Wienerbrød in Danish – is not really Danish. They were invented in Vienna and then made in Denmark in the 1840s by an Austrian baker. Still, Danish pastries rose to fame and this is a firm favourite of ordinary Danes. Ask for other pastries, such as Cinnamon Snail or Rum Snail and be prepared for sticky fingers.
This is meatballs, normally made from a mix of beef and pork. Frikadeller is super easy to make. You simply mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, and fry the meatballs on a frying pan with oil. For most of the Danes this is a dish they have on a regular basis along with bread or boiled potatoes.
Frikadeller can also be made from fish and served with parsley sauce and potatoes. Or to eat cold with bread and remoulade, a Danish type of dressing.
#4 Burning Love
This dish is presumably from the beginning of the 19th century and from the rural areas in Denmark. It’s basically made of bacon, potatoes, butter, onions, cream or milk, and parsley. And easy to make. Nobody knows exactly why the dish got the quirky name “Brændende kærlighed” – or Burning Love. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with Elvis, more likely because the dish has to be served peeping hot. Bring on Food in Denmark – I feel my temperature rising!
Smørrebrød is open faced sandwiches and a true food classic all over Denmark. It is made of a slice of rye bread with various mix of toppings such as herring, roast beef, and eggs topped with mayo and shrimps. Smørrebrød is a handy lunch dish and had a face lift in recent years.
It used to be a poor-man´s food made from leftovers, but today you can be served luxurious Smørrebrød with the most exclusive toppings.
A study found that eating rye leads to better blood-sugar control compared to wheat. Rye bread is packed with magnesium, which helps control blood pressure and optimize heart health. Its high levels of soluble fibre can also reduce cholesterol. Such Ryebread is the basis for Denmark´s famous smørrebrød and much loved by the Danes. It´s also great topped with cheese and ham – and it´s healthy too.
#7 The Queen of Sandwich
Talking about Smørrebrød, for many Danes Ida Davidsen is the queen of open sandwich. They are pretty crazy about sandwiches in the Davidsen-family. So wild that they have reached the fifth generation. At the age of 82, Ida Davidsen is still around but her son Oscar runs the business. The restaurant opened in 1888 with no less than 177 pieces of sandwiches to choose from. Later it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records with the longest sandwich menu.
All open face sandwiches are served on our homemade rye bread or wheat bread.
Oscar Davidsens Menu
2 open sandwiches of your choice
1 small beer (Carlsberg or Tuborg Classic)
1 Coffee/Tea served with homemade “Kransekage”
Price 425,- dkr.
Address: Restaurant Ida Davidsen, Store Kongensgade 70, Copenhagen
#8 Rød Pølse med brød
What..? In English that means red sausage with bread. Basically, this is hot dog Danish style and they are red. Sausage is served with bread, remoulade, mustard or ketchup, fried onions and pickled cucumber.
This is street food and the soul of Danish culinary culture. Danish always find an occasion to have a red sausage – as a quick lunch or in the late hours. A must try when in Denmark.
Danish liver pate is probably one of the most traditional toppings on rye bread or white bread. Normally, you’d eat it on its own, but many like to top it with either pickled beetroot or fried bacon and mushrooms. You can get liver pate anywhere in Denmark, but the king of leverpostej is the homemade version.
#10 Smoked herring
The picturesque island of Bornholm has a long tradition of smoked fish, particularly herring. Just look for the characteristic chimneys and tempting smoked scent and you are next to a smokehouse. Here they still smoke fish in the traditional style. When on Bornholm, Nordbornholms Røgeri serves a buffet of locally smoked fish and soup at a waterside setting in Allinge. Hasle Røgeri, Søndre Bek in Hasle, is the island’s best smokehouse for delicious herring.
#11 Pickled herring
Danes love pickled herring, and it’s one of the most popular toppings for rye bread. One of the most beloved versions is herring in a creamy curry sauce, but you can also get it marinated or in cognac, just to name a few.
#12 Crabs from Gilleleje
Restaurants offer plenty of fish and seafood, and crabs from the fishing village of Gilleleje are regarded as some of the best. Gilleleje at Sealand´s northernmost point, has succeeded in preserving the charm, the maritime and idyllic atmosphere.
Picking and eating crabs is an earthy, down-home way to enjoy these tasty crustaceans. Crabs don’t give up their treasures lightly. Picking crab meat takes time, but it’s pretty easy when you know how it’s done.
#13 Cold Buffet for Lunch
Det Kolde Bord is a cold buffet served with bread on special occasions. The food is usually brought to the dining table and passed around family-style. Det Kolde Bord is usually served at lunch time, but may well carry on into the evening.
The meal begins with seafood, usually pickled herring (spegesild), or another herring dish. Other seafood dishes may include shrimps, smoked eel, salt-cured salmon, smoked halibut and smoked salmon. The table also consists of meat balls, liver paste, roast pork with red cabbage and beef steak. One or two dishes are served hot.
Beer and snaps are regular drinks served to cold buffet.
#14 Danish dessert
Finally, it`s time for dessert and you order “Rød grød med fløde” – and you don´t expect to be served red berry pudding with cream. This dessert is made with red currant, raspberries, or any red-berry fruit and topped with cream and whipped cream.
“Rød grød med fløde” is also a tongue twister used to harshly screw with non-Danes. If you`re not from Denmark, it´s hard to express it – and impossible to say again.
#15 Danish Beer and Snaps
You might be familiar with Carlsberg and Tuborg, two of many major players in the world of beer. Carlsberg pilsner is often called “Hof” in Denmark, and both Tuborg and Carlsberg pilsners have a moderate alcohol strength.
In Denmark, snaps will almost always be Aquavit and beer and snaps is a typical combination. Snaps are terms for strong spirits distilled from fermented grains or potatoes – and bottled without aging. In Denmark they say “A little one”, often connected with a traditional lunch. That means let’s have snaps.
#16 Nordic price level
Despite the low-price tag on Danish national food, general level on eating at restaurants is pretty much expensive. Sure, you can find cheap food such as hot dog for around 25-35 DKK or 3 euro-
According to EU price level index for 2019, Denmark was the most expensive EU member state for food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear.
The relief is that Danish sausages after all have red skin – and neighbouring Norway even more expensive.