19 May 2019

Vegan in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a beautiful city, filled with breathtaking sights, incredible sunsets, delicious food and plenty to explore. I visited with a couple of friends and over the 4 days we each walked 42 miles; 99,699 steps. Copenhagen is the perfect city to explore on foot, in its full glory when the sun is shining and the weather is a little warmer too. So have a read and virtually explore where you can eat and what you can do in Copenhagen! Everything's listed in the order we visited, which is all pretty close geographically and shown on a map at the bottom of the page, or here

I'd heard great things about the vegan food scene in Copenhagen, with tons of recommendations from friends about where to visit and I certainly wasn't disappointed. We explored fully vegan places as well as those with vegan options; from mixed salads to spaghetti carbonara, pulled mushroom burgers to danish pastries, we had a whole range of delicious food to eat! There's a real emphasis on using local and seasonal produce in many establishments and I really love this focus on sustainability throughout the city, from food to transport, with Tesla taxis and dedicated bike lanes. 

You may have heard that Copenhagen isn't the cheapest place to visit and that certainly held true. For food, you can expect to pay ~£14-18 for a main dish, we found this meant spending about £25 for lunch and £30-35 for dinner, with sides, drinks etc. Hot drinks are about £7-8 and beers etc about the same. We ended up spending ~£100 a day with tourist things included, so as long as you've budgeted a little higher than a typical city break, you'll be just fine! 

We stayed in an Airbnb in the city centre, it was absolutely stunning and I would highly recommend staying at Erland's place if you do visit Copenhagen, there were 3 of us, but the apartment would comfortably sleep 5-6. If you sign up to Airbnb using my referral link here, you can also receive money off your first trip. 

We arrived in the evening so decided to drop our bags and explore a little. We came across a lovely bar on the waterfront - Kayak Bar, accompanied by beautiful views and local drinks, I had an elderflower cider which was a perfect balance of sweet and floral and refreshing. 

From here we strolled back along the river to RizRaz, a Mediterranean restaurant with an all you can eat veggie buffet, with clearly labelled vegan options, they use a lot of local and seasonal produce, so offerings change throughout the year. The buffet was comprised of some hot and cold options from pasta salad to dressed greens, mixed bean salad to crispy falafel, carrot hummus, fluffy pita and the most delicious chili garlic sauce. We piled our plates high and thoroughly enjoyed the food here. It's the type of place you would go back to time and time again if you had one where you live and there were a number of RizRaz restaurants around the city. We were able to walk in here without a booking. 

For breakfast on our first full day we checked out 42 Raw - a raw-centric cafe with a menu of smoothie bowls, sandwiches, burgers and brunch options. We opted for a couple of brunch plates to share between us and a smoothie/juice each. The brunch plate had a mix of sweet and savoury - toast, mashed avo, hummus, yogurt & granola, sweet potato chips and a chocolate pancake. The concept of sweet and savoury on the same plate was a little weird to me at first, but I have to say I really loved the sweet-salty combo and the sweet potato fries went just as well with the hummus as they did with the chocolate sauce! They don't take bookings here, but there was plenty of space available. 

Recommended by a friend as 'not for the faint-hearted' once you begin climbing this tower you'll understand why. As someone who was motivated to reach the top to get the best views and snap a few photos I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this tower, but it's safe to say that my friends didn't quite share my enthusiasm here. The majority of the climb is done inside the tower, following up wooden steps, some a little steeper than others; the main platform then has another set of steps outside, spiralling up to the top. This is definitely on my list of things you must-do in Copenhagen (if towers are your kinda thing), being able to look out over the city is just incredible - I'd recommend visiting on a clear day!

An independent community, described to us by friends as the 'hippy place', with plenty of artists, young people and veggies too. There are a few rules that they encourage tourists to follow, including no photographs (except where there are signs telling you its ok), this place is pretty popular with tourists and that's probably due to the weed on sale at the market. We wandered through the little town and around the lake before going for some lunch. 

A veggie restaurant run by volunteers in Christiania for the past 20 years. The restaurant is based on health and sustainability and as it's run by volunteers, there's no set menu, but a few hot options, soup and a range of salads which are constantly changing. I opted for the large veggie plate - a choice of 6 salads - out of 7 for the day. Pictured below: pasta salad, couscous, hummus, carrot salad, lentils & pickles, shiitake mushroom & sesame noodles and fresh herbs. Each salad was packed with flavour and the whole thing was just super fresh and vibrant! There were plenty of tables here, including large ones outside to share. 

Probably the most famous spot in Copenhagen, with colourful houses lining the old port. The whole place is just beautiful, especially on a sunny day and there's plenty of places to stop for a drink. Hans Christian Anderson also wrote the Princess and the Pea at number 20, where he lived for many years. 

Softserve made from rescued 'overripe' bananas and blended up with dates, vanilla and oat milk, this iceream is not only vegan and sustainable, but free from added sugar too. I opted for the raspberry flavour, raspberry toppings and chocolate chips. It was creamy, delicious and healthy too! 

With the motto eat like you give a fork you know that souls care about delivering healthy and delicious vegan food. They have two locations and you'll definitely need to book here to get a table. The menu is comprised of interesting burgers, incredible salads and a range of salads, they serve from brunch to dinner with an American and Asian-inspired menu - I would equate it to our Mildred's in feel and food quality. I ordered the pulled mushroom burger with kale slaw and BBQ mayo and a side of quinoa croquettes with a pesto truffle dressing. I thoroughly enjoyed all I ordered and if I'd have realised how incredible the pesto dressing was, I would've ordered it as an add on for my burger. I had the chocolate bite for dessert, made from chickpeas and topped with a fudgy chocolate sauce. I would love to come back to try the crispy green salad. 

Because you can't go to Denmark without having pastries; Landbageriet is a bakery with plenty of vegan and gluten free options. We picked up a range of pastries for breakfast the next day, along with some fruit, juice and vegan yogurt from the supermarket to have at our airBnB. My favourite was the cinnamon swirl, with the sesame pastry a close second, but they were all really delicious! 

After breakfast we headed to the botanical garden. There was a beautiful outside garden with a pond, multiple greenhouses full of tropical plants, complete with a butterfly house. The botanical garden was so serene and a wonderful place to visit in the heart of Copenhagen!

For lunch we went to the surf shack by souls at Torvenhallerne market. Having noticed the previous day a sign for king oyster mushroom calamari and chips, we were all super excited. Unfortunately, they were out of their salad and thought I had ordered a slider instead, so I received the soul slider and the calamari. The food was tasty, but in true fish and chip fashion, was pretty greasy and I think we all wished we had opted for something fresher and shared a portion between us. The texture of the mushroom calamari was pretty spot on and the slider was tasty too. So if you're in the mood for some junk food, this is your spot! 

One of the most famous tourist attractions in Copenhagen, inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid. The statue is a little bit of a walk from the city and pretty busy, but if you have plenty of time it's a nice thing to go and see. 

Mikkeller exports their beer to 40 countries, but it all began in Denmark. Mikeller Bar is located in the heart of Vesterbro - which felt a lot like Shoreditch. Most beers are vegan, with lactose clearly highlighted in a select few, so you can go and enjoy yourself at this bright and modern interior. They also have wine and yes - I ordered wine at a brewery. 

For dinner we visited Madenitaly - a completely vegan restaurant. As someone who loves creamy sauces I enjoyed my carbonara, it was super creamy and indulgent, with a light peppery flavour, cheesiness from the vegan parmesan and a little smokiness from the seitan pieces, however, I can appreciate my friends' comments about wanting bolder flavours like more garlic, lemon or a little more pepper in our food. I've found that Italian cuisine can be lacking in veg, it's typically served up as a side, however, I was definitely left longing for a side of broccoli or grilled veg to round off the meal. I enjoyed Madenitaly, but it wasn't the best vegan Italian food I've eaten and there were definitely other more exciting options in copenhagen I'd prioritise going back to, in favour of bolder flavours and a variety of veg, but I am glad I tried it! We also shared a few things, including their artisan cheese plate and unfortunately, due to the till system, it made it quite complicated to just split the bill 3 ways. You'll definitely need to book a table here as it was really busy!

I would compare Torvenhalle market to borough market; a mix of street food and incredible fresh produce. Banana and Surf Shack were located here, you can also buy wine by the bottle which works out a little cheaper. Should you wish to buy some food for later, they have salad stalls, bakeries, tea shops and a fresh market. We bought some vanilla rooibos tea as well as some supplies for breakfast, including chantarelle, oyster and portobello mushrooms, purple asparagus, avocado and fresh rolls. 

Just down from Torvenhallerne this unsuspecting supermarket actually had some great vegan options. Naturli Foods, known for their incredible plant-based and palm-oil free butter were established in Denmark, so perhaps it's not so surprising that this supermarket had a great range - including vegan hotdogs. 

We decided to cook breakfast on our last day, with those incredible mushrooms from the market, the Naturli hotdogs, avo, purple asparagus, ciabatta rolls, fresh mint tea and mimosas. If I'm going to cook on holiday it's definitely about using ingredients I wouldn't find at home or normally use and we all thoroughly enjoyed it! 

By Friday it was raining cats and dogs, so outside ventures were off the table; we bought some ponchos and ventured to the castle. It's full of beautiful furniture, paintings and history, despite appearing busy it was only a short queue to get in and you're asked to put bags in lockers before you enter. 

Our last meal in Copenhagen was a true favourite cuisine of mine, Vietnamese food. We all opted for the same thing; summer rolls with vegan nuoc cham and a crispy tofu curry with creamy coconut sauce, fresh veg and sticky rice. This was honestly a perfect meal, we were a little cold and soaked from the rain and it was just so warming, comforting and well balanced. This little place wasn't completely vegan, but had a few options clearly marked on the menu and is worth a visit if you're into Vietnamese food. 

Closer to the centre than the previous tower and not quite as high, this is probably the tower to opt for if you're not so keen on heights. The inside is a spiralling slope, with just a few steps to the very top. You get some great views and despite the weather not being amazing it was still really enjoyable! There's also a little art exhibition and gift shop as you go up.

Espresso house was the coffee shop I saw the most of during our visit. We went in on our last day and I ordered an Oatly matcha latte with vanilla. They had a few vegan sandwiches and 1 or 2 sweet options. It felt a little like starbucks, but it did the trick! 

Just like the Borris bikes in London, Copenhagen has many bikes and electric scooters to rent. Having not been on a bike in a good 10 or so years I thought I'd be a lower liability to my friends with an electric scooter (this definitely wasn't the case!). We rented them through Lime and I would say if you do go on them: 1. make sure you're confident on the road (cycle lanes are still right next to the traffic and can get pretty busy) and 2. Make sure you know where you're going, you'll then be able to focus more on what you're doing, rather than where you're going. Once you download the app you can add credit and locate a scooter near you (they're dotted around the city), it was about £15 for an hour of credit and you can unlock them for free with my Lime code R5RB6AF.

Copenhagen was a stunning city, one we all thoroughly enjoyed exploring and trying our fair share of vegan food over the 4 days. My favourite thing to do on a trip is to explore on foot and Copenhagen is perfect for that - what's your favourite thing about a city break? Have you ever visited or are you planning a visit to Copenhagen? Let me know in the comments below!

Other recommended places:

A few other food places we were recommended that we didn't get a chance to check out were:

Below in blue you can see all the places we visited on a map. In yellow are the places we didn't get time to visit but that were recommended to us.