Sizzling with design and culinary creativity Copenhagen’s Street Food Market has established itself as an important part of the Danish capital city’s food and arts scene.
With 37 stalls crammed into the old newsprint warehouse on Papirøen Island it is useful to have a strategy. That plan is essential when battling past queues at shipping containers rebirthed as cosmopolitan food stalls. But get down there soon as the market will be cleared in 2018 to make way for yet another housing development on one of Copenhagen’s last raw, undeveloped water-front sites.
Evenings begin early in the land of the 28 hour working week so don’t be disappointed if the few prized bar stools are taken. Better still, grab a Mojito – the house speciality – and liven it up with Raspberry, Passionfruit or Chilli from Cocktailbaren on The Bull Path. Then take it outside, onto the urban beach, to chill in one of the deckchairs looking across the bustling waterway to the Performing Arts Theatre. At weekends there is also a DJ on hand to provide further entertainment.
Named after the lettering on a derelict house in Christiana, from which the salvaged container originates, Stormly is the purveyor of a wide range of organic beers from Denmark’s microbreweries. Topped by the hull of a boat, the sailor bar also dishes out tots of rum and is located on The Straw Road. It is also possible to buy Cow Cash, the market’s very own currency of chunky coins, each worth 25 DKK, and tobacco too, from this nautically themed outlet.
Italian Cindy Romor and Danish Johan Braad-Petersen epitomised the spirit of the street market when they drove their food truck all the way from Italy to join this cosmopolitan food-fest. Now they serve charcuterie, panini, cheeses and sausages at Copenhagen’s vibrant venue that is also home to film-screenings, flea markets and live bands. It even hosts a jazz festival.
Pickled, free-range pork roasted in a smoke oven for 16 hours and served in a bun that was turned and roasted in clarified butter, ensures that there’s always a queue at the stall owned by brothers Rolf and Troels Ringborg. Their yellow habanero mango hot sauce is a deal-clincher. Incongruously pitched on The Bull Path, Oink Oink has the silver Ø-mark for being 60-90% organic. As with many of their competitors the Ringborg brothers pride themselves on sourcing from small farms that focus on animal welfare.
“Genuine, honest and aesthetic,” is Copenhagen Street Food Market’s tag line and this Colombian street food stall, with its tasty fusion cuisine, is right on message. Red bean stew and the Happy Burger, made from vegan meat, are highly popular choices. As with most stalls, dishes are cooked to order, usually taking around five minutes. Latienda is currently working towards an entire vegan menu. It is just one of a number of stalls increasingly catering to the growing vegetarian and vegan demand.
Danes take the full-hour for lunch giving them the time to cycle to Papirøen Island or walk across the new kissing bridge from Nyhaven for a leisurely Smørrebrød-style open sandwich at Handmade. With cold-cuts of fish and meats on homemade ryebread the daily plate of three different open sandwiches for DKK 75 is a bargain lunch for Danes. Every stall is encouraged to offer a meal for 50 DKK but hungry souls may question whether Plantain Chips and Dip is really a meal.
Dishing-up BBQ street food – spicy fried chicken, crispy dumplings and meaty rice dishes – Gangnam Style, Oliver Ko’s trendy tribute to South Korean food is, as the queues suggest, about as cool as it gets. Kimchi, a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables, is a popular and spicy side dish. Or there’s Damugi a side dish of fermented radishes, which is just a part of the express experience from Seoul. And the name? Bulgogi, a South Korean favourite mixing beef and pork, is filleted and combined with the owner’s surname.
For desert make one last dash into the scrum that is the Copenhagen Street Food Market. It is possible to try a slice of the American favourite with a Scandinavian touch of seasonal berries. Alternatively, forgetting the calorie-count, there’s always the Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake with three different kinds of chocolate, or the ever popular Oreo confection. Take your plate outside, for it’s possible to sit at one of the sociable six-seater benches, join-in with the chatter of the day – frequently in immaculate English – and watch the sun set over Copenhagen’s waterways.