From Copenhagen to Odense to Hornbæk to Aarhus
Denmark is an amazing place to visit but sometimes gets a bad rap for being a drain on one’s wallet. It’s true that the cost of living, groceries, goods, and services can be higher here than one might be used to – but there are lots of fun ways to keep your dining expenses lower when traveling. Or just dining out if you live here.
Enter a street food market. This country has several charming street food markets offering up tasty and diverse eats in more casual settings. And bonus? More ways to enjoy yummy menus al fresco. If dining outside is a viable option, I’m always going to try it. So without further ado, here are the top Danish spots to sample some unique and delicious dishes.
Copenhagen’s Street Food Markets
Strandgade 95, 1401 København, Denmark
Need a break from the tourists teeming the streets along Copenhagen’s classic Nyhavn Canal? Cross the main harbor on the Inderhavnsbroen – familiarly known as “the kissing bridge” – over to the Christianshavn neighborhood. Watch out for cyclists as you cross to the fun open food market known as the Bridge Street Kitchen. A brilliant space to soak up the sun and scenery and is easily reachable from the center of the city.
WHAT TO EAT: One of the city’s best burger joints has an outpost at Bridge Street Kitchen – don’t miss the “butter burger” from Gasoline Grill. Local stars (with stand-alone restaurants elsewhere) have carts here as well. Hija de Sanchez tacos and fried chicken sandwiches from Poulette have garnered raves for a while. Hooked serves up fresh poke bowls while Haddocks fresh fish and chips in a paper cone. Per usual around Denmark, cocktails, beer on tap and cold wine are always available.
Refshalevej 167, 1432 København, Denmark
The most current iteration of Copenhagen’s own street food oasis, Reffen is the truly the best of the best. Nicknamed for the industrial warehouse neighborhood known as Refshaleøen, “Reffen” brings all the peeps to its yard. With milkshakes and otherwise. Make your way to the far end of the main Copenhagen harbor via bicycle, harbor bus, or a generous friend’s boat and sidle up to the plethora of food carts and bars.
WHAT TO EAT: (Or drink!) Start your afternoon or evening with a cold glass of dry Frenchy rosé from the Roseline bar with views of the water. Food choices offer something for every taste, but if you want something particularly delicious and Danish – try the grilled mackerel from Grillfisken, served with Danish new potatoes, crisp slaw, and a house-made berry compote. Craft beer lovers will be happy with the options at neighbor – and Copenhagen beer icon – Mikkeler Baghaven.
READ MORE: COPENHAGEN STREET FOOD IS NOW REFFEN
Frederiksborggade 21, 1362 København, Denmark
Directly translated, Torvehallerne means the “square halls.” Two long glass-sided market halls are a foodie’s mecca in the middle of the capital. Steps from central Nørreport station, locals pick up provisions for dinner from the myriad of specialty food purveyors. Or find a (coveted) table to enjoy takeaway eats and cold drinks right in the middle. Mikkeler bottle shop sells cold craft beers by the can and the bottle. Vino Fino wine shop has a few chilled rose or sparkling choices and they’ll cork it for you.
WHAT TO EAT: It’s hard to narrow it down with so many good and diverse choices, but my favorites would probably be the tacos from Hija de Sanchez – don’t miss their yummy Micheladas. Or the duck confit sandwich from frenchy Ma Poule. Fish lovers will enjoy the fresh-as-it-gets fish and chips from Den Grønne Kutter or the “gourmet fish tapas” and seafood salads from Hav2Go. Omegn & Venner will make you a divine charcuterie board sourced with local ingredients. Want an easy place to sample Denmark’s famous open-faced sandwiches – Hallernes Smørrebrød slings beautiful versions of the classics. Visiting in the morning, grab a delicious espresso from Coffee Collective or one of the creative porridges from Copenhagen’s favorite Grød.
Food Markets Around Zealand
Fun street food options aren’t limited to Copenhagen. When touring the country, put one of these on your list. Often situated near waterfronts and harbors and nearby attractions you’ll definitely want to visit. For reference, Zealand (or Sjælland in Danish) is the island where the capital sits.
Elsinore Street Food | Værftets Madmarked
Heading further afield, you can find an all-season situation near the coast in Nordsjælland (North Zealand.) The Elsinore Street Food (or Værftets Madmarked) is situated on the harbor in charming Helsingør, famous as the home of Hamlet’s Castle.
WHAT TO EAT: I’ll admit, I’ve yet to have the chance to visit – so if you’ve been – please share your favorite eats!
Rørvigvej 225, 4500 Nykøbing Sjælland, Denmark
Billing themselves at Denmark’s “hyggeligste” food market, the little garden just along the road to the Rørvig ferry is definitely cute. With a mass of local craft beer taps, enjoy an afternoon at tables in the green space out back. Perfect for the summer house crowd in these parts, everyone is welcome, even if just on a day out. It’s all sorts of cute.
WHAT TO EAT: Neopolitan wood-fired pizzas and Moroccan Street Food or a Croatian-Icelandic burger experiment from The Pope. Follow this market on Instagram for visiting food and drink pop-ups and live music events happening all summer.
RELATED: DANISH SUMMER HOUSE RULES
Øresundsvej 2A, 3100 Hornbæk, Denmark
Come warmer weather, all residents of the capital rush north to enjoy the Danish Riviera beaches, a beautiful respite from the city. An hour outside Copenhagen, the darling village of Hornbæk sports a darn fine swath of sand to visit. And directly across the street from the Blue Flag beach entrance is a sweet little spot to get some eats. Enter Det Fedtede Hjørne, which in Danish means “the greasy corner.”
This is Hornbæk’s street food market and with picnic tables set in the sand – it’s hard to beat. Open seasonally from the end of April (ish) to end of September (ish) it’s a perfect end or beginning to a North Zealand day out.
WHAT TO EAT: Not as big as other markets but with a diverse crop of delicious food options. The fish and chips are authentically British, not the fried flat fish plaice you’ll find in pubs across Denmark. You might also sample Indian curries, Argentinian empanadas, Nordic pitas or burgers or tapas. A fun bar on site hosts live music under twinkly lights as the late summer night dwindles.
Street Food Market on Fyn
Lerchesgade 4, 5000 Odense, Denmark
Visiting the new H.C. Andersen museum in Odense? Save some space for the cool street food scene here in town. Storms Pakhus is probably the coolest warehouse turned food market I’ve experienced in Denmark. There I said it. Don’t agree? Leave a comment. It’s quirky and fun with so many options for seating and eating. I love that you can book times and tables for groups ahead of time. Check their website for live music, fun game nights, and other foodie events – with several bars inside and outside to serve you – it’s a guaranteed good time out.
WHAT TO EAT: So many interesting options inside the big open warehouse – from Vietnamese spring rolls and Thai curry; Tandoori and Masala to Pizza, Tacos, Fish & Chips, and Gyros. Shout out to the Ukranian Cheburuk House serving up specialty meat pies. I can personally recommend the bao buns and dumplings from Mr. Phan House.
Aarhus and Jutland Street Food Markets
Skudehavnsvej 35-37, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark
Situated near Aalborg’s waterfront harbor, this street food setup is one of the newest. Besides tasty dishes, Aalborg Street Food aims to be a cultural center for this northern Jutland city. Plus? An arcade full of 80s classics on site. Tons of tables and space to enjoy the harbor and dine outside, currently there are 14 food vendors to choose from inside. From Greek, sushi, pasta, dosas, and dessert – everyone in your crowd is sure to find something that tickles their fancy.
WHAT TO EAT: My vote is for the duck sandwiches from Duck It! What have you eaten?
Ny Banegårdsgade 46, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
With a choice location right near the Aarhus bus and train station, Aarhus Street Food is so fun and tasty come winter OR summer. Step inside the big warehouse with old shipping containers turned food carts for fun bars and dining options. Plenty of tables to enjoy inside and out to accommodate Denmark’s sometimes unpredictable weather in every season.
WHAT TO EAT: A pulled duck confit sandwich and duck fat fries a super popular choice from long-time favorite “Duck It!” cart. Korean fare like Bi Bim Bap from Bap is hard to beat. Other choices include Nepalese, Greek, Mexican, Turkish, Italian, and of course Danish. You can search the Aarhus Street Food website to find who’s slinging vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free dishes.
So lay it on me – what have you eaten that is worth repeating in one of Denmark’s fresh food markets? Or did I miss a local market outside of Copenhagen? I’m happy to update my list with a visit. Let’s support local makers and small business owners – eat at a street market. Come to Denmark, she said. And I’ll say it again. Cheers from here.