As a first time visitor to Denmark, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the local cuisine. However, as a notoriously cool city, I was optimistic that we’d find some great vegetarian food in Copenhagen and I wasn’t wrong.
Five restaurants barely touches the thousands that Copenhagen has to offer and if we’d had more time in the city, I know this list of veggie-friendly eateries could be way longer. However, I’m not sure we could have physically crammed any more food into our bodies throughout the weekend break – you’d have had to roll me onto the plane if you’d have let me loose anywhere else. And I’ve not even touched on the frequent hot chocolate and waffle breaks…
Paludan Bog & Café
Brunch and books has become somewhat of a tradition on my city breaks. My childhood love of Beauty and the Beast always draws me to walls lined with great reads where my inner five year old can delight in feeling like Belle when she walks into her library for the first time.
Padulan is a sprawling cafe that still feels intimate, thanks to its multi-room layout, walls lined with tomes and cosy lighting you’d expect of any Scandinavian interiors. It’s undoubtedly popular; when we arrived at around 11:00, we were just in time to grab one of the few remaining tables before long queues began to form.
I’d read online that the portions here were massive and they didn’t disappoint. Brunch in Copenhagen combines a variety of dishes, almost like you’ve managed to sensibly and sedately put together a plate of food that works at a buffet, rather than ending up with a plate full of beige, mismatching flavours and a slice of cake just because it’s there.
On my vegetarian brunch, I had a pancake, fruit, yoghurt and granola, avocado topped with cottage cheese, hummus (why not?), various breads, cheese and scrambled eggs, the latter of which I didn’t touch because ew, egg. The price of 110KR (around £13) also includes a tasty breakfast smoothie – perfection.
Everywhere we ate or drank had a perceptible sense of hygge but possibly thanks to the pelting rain outside, Far’s Dreng felt like the cosiest. Thanks to the small plate-style menu, it’s not the cheapest brunch you’ll find in the city but if it was a cafe in Liverpool, it’d be somewhere that I could imagine chatting for hours with friends on weekend winter mornings.
Once again, my photography skills utterly failed me in the dim candlelit setting but if you can suspend your judgement at the dark blur for a few moments, you’ll hopefully be able to appreciate the deliciousness that we enjoyed; two breakfast sandwiches and pancakes to share. The vegetarian options look just as delicious as the meat-based brunches and if you like eggs, you’re particularly well looked after.
Ok, so I know you’d expect a cafe to be perfectly vegetarian friendly – vegan perhaps not – but I just had to give Andersens a special shout out for making our final breakfast so utterly delicious. After two days of fairly hefty brunches, we decided that we couldn’t leave Denmark without trying a single Danish pastry so made a special trip over the bridge to visit Andersen’s on a friend’s recommendation.
With a plate piled high with four or five different pastries to try (I’m writing this a few weeks later so my food coma must have sadly blurred the memory) the huge pain au chocolat caught my eye immediately. In the end, a cinnamon-style danish was my favourite while Jamie adored something stuffed with custard, a real indulgence for first thing in the morning. But hey, it was pretty chilly out so that’s an excuse for plenty of comfort food, right?
Chao Viet Kitchen
I’ve made no secret about how much I love Vietnamese food – my blog post about finding the best vegetarian food in South East Asia makes me drool every time I re-read it. No matter where I am in the world, no matter how great the local cuisine, if I spot a Vietnamese restaurant that looks good, I’ll make a beeline straight for it.
Luckily, we were close to Chao Viet Kitchen as hunger struck after a long day of walking (23,000 steps, yes queen) so it made sense to pop in for dinner when a hot chocolate just wouldn’t have filled the gap. It’s only a tiny place with barely enough seating for 16 people but the food was so delicious that I’d absolutely recommend seeking it out for a quick lunch and even better, they’ve got quite a few veggie/vegan friendly options on the admittedly small menu. But what they do, they do really well.
The noodle dish I ordered was accompanied by Vietnamese spring rolls and as soon as I took my first bite, all the memories of my month in Vietnam came flooding back. They’re genuinely the best spring rolls I’ve tasted since 2017 and now, as I sit on a flight writing this blog first thing in the morning, I’m desperately craving them again. If someone could take me back to Vietnam please, that’d be great.
I’m such a Tripadvisor nerd when it comes to finding food before a trip and Riz Raz came highly recommended for a reason. Now I’m no food snob so when I read the words ‘vegetarian buffet’ I was hesitant but my god, you have got to try this buffet. I do not enjoy salads as a rule and have rarely ordered them in a restaurant but the selection at Riz Raz was out of this world. The indoor garden theme was beautifully excecuted too, no harsh hotel buffet-style lighting here.
As well as the biggest selection of delectable greens, they also had delightful pasta dishes like lasagna, plenty of dips to go with mouth-watering homemade bread and sides that you can order from a menu too. Not knowing what to expect and being a bit of a potato fiend, I’d ordered a side of fries but these were so unnecessary – a statement I don’t make lightly.
It was the most expensive meal we had throughout our time in Copenhagen (2 portions of buffet, a side order and two soft drinks for 371KR or just over £44) but given that you could fill your plate as many times as you liked, it’d have been a great deal if we’d have thought to go on an emptier stomach. Really though, it’s a good thing we only discovered this place on the last evening of our trip otherwise I’d have been tempted to go back for more on a second night.
Looking back over this list now, it’s clear that we ate some incredibly good vegetarian food in Copenhagen and we barely scratched the surface. With a short time to see the sights, we stayed mainly around the inner city centre so who knows what delights the hipster outer districts have to offer. I’d already love to go back and find out already.
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