Sustainable Cuisine and Craft Come Together in Copenhagen
Like a phoenix from the ashes, Copenhagen Street Food has risen again. This time better than before and with a broader concept. More than just food carts in a warehouse, Reffen is striving to “hack the future” and create a space where sustainable cuisine, craft and culture can co-mingle.
Reffen is the reincarnation of the former Papirøen (“Paper Island”) warehouse on the Copenhagen canal chock full of old shipping containers turned food carts. Closed after four years and millions of visitors later, Copenhagen has been missing the unique and creative culinary offerings of the old Papirøen establishment. While other food markets have cropped up, including West Market in Vesterbro, the Tivoli Food Hall and the newly minted Bridge Street Market (Broens Gadekøkken) near the old Noma, none have quite the vibe of the old Copenhagen Street Food. Reffen is a little further afield than the original, but I believe worthy of the effort. Come see why you should check out Reffen in its newest iteration.
Papirøen, or “paper island” was an island on the canal, near the Opera House. Here warehouses used to house the paper stores for the city’s newpaper printers. No longer needed for paper, it became the home of the uber popular Copenhagen Street Food. It was perfectly situated directly across from the inner city and easy to reach, once the bicycle bridge opened across the harbor. Now a pile of rubble in anticipation for the development of a new harbor bath and living, Copenhagen Street Food needed a new home. And you can find it at “Reffen,” the nickname for the industrial area known as Refshaleøen. It’s is a beautiful ride by bike through Christianshavn along the water, only about 10 minutes from Nyhavn Canal.
WHAT TO EAT
All of the food vendors here have been chosen based on their quality and commitment to Reffen’s reduce and reuse sustainability philosophy. Those that earn an organic cuisine certification receive a reduction in their rent. For visitors with special dietary requirements or concerns, you can find something for everyone at Reffen. Search their website and click on the hashtags for #vegan or #lactose-free or #vegetarian vendors. Or you can just consult the maps onsite and look for purveyors that offer options to suit your needs.
And don’t worry, there is plenty to please the meat lover in your party as well. You can find classic Danish cuisine as well as Thai, Indian, African, Italian, Argentinian, Japanese, French, Icelandic, Malaysian, Mexican and more. I will admit that I came for the falafel. If you loved Fala Fala from Papirøen as much as I did, you’ll be happy to know that Benjamin is here at Reffen with his delicious dishes at The Holy Pita. I’m pleasta tell you. It’s better than the original. Happy clapping. Happy me.
We encourage [vendors] to choose environmentally friendly materials and products.
We encourage [vendors] to work with recycling.
We encourage [vendors] to sort out waste.
We encourage [vendors] to use electricity with consideration.
We encourage [vendors] to work with ecology.
We encourage [vendors] to act socially responsible.
WHAT TO DRINK
Craft beer lovers in Copenhagen already know about Mikkeller. Born of two brothers who craft brewed in their kitchen, in 10 years Mikkeller has gained national and international recognition as some of the best brewers in the world. Their newest establishment Mikkeller Baghaven is a cornerstone at Reffen, anchoring this location before any of the street food containers popped up. Grab a pint and enjoy with your food and the views. This is where you’ll find my husband processing the IPA’s. Me? I’m more of a gin girl come summer or a glass of cold rosé. Prefer an aperol spritz? Reffen has you covered. Several bars to serve you.
READ MORE: BEST PLACES TO GET A DRINK OUTSIDE IN COPENHAGEN
WHAT TO EXPERIENCE
Beyond food and drinks, Reffen is hoping to encourage an environment of sustainable culture and creativity. Workshops here sell upcycled jewelry, locally roasted coffee, skateboards, organic soaps and more vendors on the way. With an attached skate park, Afuk Skate offers rental boards and lessons. Listen to live music, explore the art exhibits, do yoga, listen to lectures, play bingo! Stay up to date on latest events via Reffen’s Facebook page.
HOW TO GET TO REFFEN
Refshalevej 167 A, 1432 Copenhagen K
Only about 10 minutes by bicycle from the inner city or take the Harbor Bus 991 or 992 and ride or walk from Refshaleøen (Refshalevej) Ferry Dock. Well-marked signs will direct you where to go. Or you can take the 9A bus to Refshaleøen as well as the Hop On-Hop Off boat.
VI SES OM LIDT ☀ Yes, madboderne er klar, barerne er klar, musikken er klar, Overborgmesteren er klar – vi er SÅ KLAR❣ til at byde jer velkommen til åbningsfesten??☀? Men hvor er Reffen? Du finder os på Refshalevej 167 A, 1432 KBH K. Det tager kun 10 minutter at komme til Reffen fra indre by, så spring op på cyklen eller tag Havnebus 991 og 992, bus 9A, HopOn-HopOff både & busser eller din bil ? ????♂️ ? #copenhagen #streetfood #reffen #refshaleøen #fest
Have you been? Time to pop on your bike! Or bee-line for the harbor bus. What have you tasted? The street polenta or grilled mackerel has piqued my interest for trying next time. Cheers to sunshine and chilled wine and meeting friends for eating outside. Come to Copenhagen she said. Hej hej for now.
Want more ideas for summer fun in the city? Click here for 10 Must-do’s for tried and true fun things to do when visiting the Danish capital.
READ MORE: Tried & True Fun Things to Do This Summer in Copenhagen
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7 thoughts on “Copenhagen Street Food is now Reffen | Where to Eat Outside This Summer”
I am so thankful for your blog. My family and I are moving to Copenhagen at the end of the summer. I have so enjoyed reading your posts and getting a glimpse in to this new life for us!
Congrats on your move! There are great groups on Facebook to help get you oriented and connected as well. Happy to answer any questions you might have, feel free to message me at Oregon Girl on Facebook or via Instagram!
Mikkeller! I wonder if it’s cheaper there than in the states. What an awesome trip!
A little bit – but still no bargain here!
Hi there! I too have been following in anticipation of a move to Denmark – not Copenhagen though. But am definitely archiving this for our first visit to the capital!
Copenhagen ranks highly on our list of potential summer breaks. The suggestions on your site will definitely come in handy. I had never even heard about Reffen before reading this article. It seems like such a cool (yet spicy) place to spend some time. It’s exactly this kind of original finds that give a classic city break an original twist. Thanks for sharing! #FarawayFiles
Oooh yes! Copenhagen is all sorts of cool any time of year, but with the long days in summer, you can do so much. I have more posts on other tried and true fun things to do in the city when you’re ready to read more! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin