(photo by: Krista)
Caption: Yep! A Lagkagehuset snegl really is that good!
Is Denmark the Most Delicious Country in Europe?
Vegetarians be warned: The Danish consume more meat than any other country in the world. Meat and seafood are the primary staples in Denmark cuisine, most likely due to the country’s northern European location and long, harsh winters. This doesn’t mean that the Danish don’t infuse plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into their diets – they do. In fact, Danish chefs are known to infuse locally grown produce into many of their delectable dishes. Denmark is known throughout the world as having superior cuisine sure to please even the fussiest eater. Many people travel to Denmark with the sole purpose of eating and drinking, because Denmark also crafts some incredible akvavit, a spirit native to Scandinavia, beers, and bitters! Is Denmark the most delicious country in Europe? Well, the numerous Michelin-star rated restaurants certainly suggest that it is, but let’s see for ourselves, shall we?
- Lagkagehuset: Let’s begin our day in Copenhagen and eat what is dubbed “the best breakfast in the city.” There is a Danish pastry called snegl, and the Lagkagehuset bakery chain, located throughout Denmark’s capital city, is known for baking the best snegl in the land. What is snegl? It’s like a cinnamon roll, only way better! You can get snegl with other filling and topping options as well, if cinnamon isn’t your thing.
- Café Dyrehaven: Another traditional Danish must-eat is smørrebrød, which is basically an open-faced sandwich, only way better! Are you seeing a theme here? The local Copenhagen lunch crowd filters into Café Dyrehaven daily to enjoy either chicken salad (hønsesalat) or a potato (kartoffelmad) smørrebrød. These sandwiches are sure to please, but when in Denmark, do as the Danes and eat your smørrebrød with utensils.
- Amass: For dinner, let’s begin with one of Copenhagen’s newest eating sensations. Opened in 2013, Amass is run by San Diego native Chef Matt Orlando. Orlando offers patrons such local delights as lumpfish roe with sour pancake and broken crème fraîche; potatoes with green garlic, almond, and pickled lemon; and rhubarb sherbet with rosemary and burnt chocolate for dessert. A sommelier will help you select the best wine with your dinner.
- Geist: Cauliflower with black truffle, Norway lobster tartare with yuzu and hibiscus, mashed potatoes with brown stone crab and butter, turbot with fennel ravioli on gruyere, beef tenderloin with king trumpets… are you hungry yet? I am! These are just some of the amazing offerings Chef Bo Bech offers at Copenhagen’s Geist. And for the record, the desserts are to die for, too! Maple caramel chocolate tart… need I say more?
- Kødbyens Fiskebar: With seafood being such a huge staple in Denmark cuisine, Copenhagen’s Kødbyens Fiskebar offers a ton of fresh raw and cooked fish dishes to satisfy your seafood craving. Kødbyens Fiskebar serves seasonal fare, so the menu changes often depending on the daily catch. Currently, the menu features king crab and hand-dived scallops from Norway, oysters from Ireland, and locally caught cod, among other delicacies.
- RADIO: Another seasonal Danish restaurant is RADIO, also in Copenhagen. The fare at this restaurant is unique and considered to be “New Nordic.” Only fresh, seasonal ingredients are used in RADIO’s dishes, and currently, those ingredients include asparagus, free-range pork, flounder, rhubarb, and squid. RADIO is so particular about its ingredients, in fact, that it sources its own organic produce and herbs for its fine dishes.
- Relae: I warned vegetarians at the beginning of this blog that the Danish are huge carnivores, but hey, you know I never leave out herbivores, and neither does Relae. What will you eat at this fine Copenhagen eatery? Well… I don’t actually know! You see, Relae believes “an element of surprise makes the dining experience more exciting,” and it offers four courses of surprise culinary heaven daily to both veggies and meat eaters.
I could seriously go on into infinity listing more and more Danish eateries that truly are the best in the world. Denmark takes its food very seriously. Many of the restaurants I’ve listed in this post and numerous others raise their own meat and grow their own produce and herbs on or close to the restaurant’s premises. Denmark chefs and the eateries they own take culinary excellence to an entirely new level. Heck – they shoot it out into the stratosphere. So is Denmark the most delicious country in Europe? You bet it is; in fact, it’s probably the most delicious in the world!