Copenhagen Cheap Eat: Street food, coffee, and Danish national cuisine

Photo of smorrebrod courtesy of ilmungo
Photo of smorrebrod courtesy of ilmungo

Copenhagen has for years been a top-notch gourmet capital in Northern Europe with high priced, multi-Michelin starred restaurants rising up as fast as you can say, “The Little Mermaid.” But, the bills at these places can be staggering, often more than €150-200 for a meal.

Cheapo-gourmets have no fear. Here are a few local secrets – and budget eats – to keep you satiated:

Hit the streets!

A new concept has literally ‘hit the streets’ of Copenhagen: mobile street food. Several bikes and mopeds today circuit the busiest thoroughfares offering affordable and satisfying food. A local favorite is “fish-to-go,” run by French chef Bernard Chesneau. Here you’ll find delicious and homemade seafood dishes, served and prepared out of his own camper.

If you get it to-go: Try the tasty fish cakes with tartar sauce  (1 for €2.75, €3 for €6.75) or the fish of the day (€8). Fish to-go is open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM.

National cuisine – for less!

While you’re eating your way through Copenhagen why not stop for some Danish national cuisine? Small businesses are scattered around Copenhagen selling smørrebrød (open-faced rye-bread sandwiches), at varying prices. Expect to spend  12 to 30 kroners (€.60 to €4), depending on which take-away joint you pick.

For good value, I recommend the traditional Frederiksberg Smørrebrød, on Gl. Kongevej. Ask for a ”stjerneskud”: two fried fish topped with lettuce, mayo, shrimp and caviar (€5) or the “tatar”: raw minced beef with capers, onions, horseradish, and a raw egg yolk (€7).

Coffee on-the-go!

The Danes are among the most coffee-coveting people in the world, and wandering around our pretty streets you’ll notice one café after the other. Though prices in City (Midtown) can get as high as 52 kroner (€7) for a latte, cheap gourmet coffee is available nearby.

Try Ole Skram, or “the espressoman,” as he calls himself. He has equipped his personal bicycle with a gas-driven espresso machine and rides the streets of City each day selling low-priced gourmet coffee. You can typically track him down around Nørreport station, Østerport Station, and along Strøget. He charges around 20 kroners (€2.50) for a latte.

About the author

Meredith Franco Meyers
About the author: Meredith earned an MFA in fiction writing at The New School in New York City. Her feature stories and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, American Baby, Self, Bridal Guide, Time Out New York, Fitness and more. She joined EuroCheapo in summer 2007.
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