You have to love the Danes for coming up with fika which is cake drank with coffee or tea in the late afternoon. Although the concept is not exclusive to them by any means it is a widely spread and as you walk around the city you will find that cafés start to fill up at around four o’clock with groups of friends, couples and even people on their own working on their laptop as they enjoy the afternoon.
The winters in these Scandinavian countries are long and hard with very few hours of sunlight and low temperatures so needless to say, they spend countless hours indoors therefore the feeling they perceive inside their homes or restaurants need to feel right. It needs to be a place where you don’t mind hibernating during the winter solstice. Danes put in great time and effort into their decoration and they have a word in their vocabulary which I love, “hygge” pronounced hoo-ga which means cozy. It means green plants and flowers on your window sill, drinking coffee wrapped up in a warm blanket on your sofa or sipping wine with friends in a candle lit living room among other things. Since I have come back I am always trying to have a hygge feeling at home.
We were in Copenhague during spring break but the temperature and the weather felt like winter to a gal used to spending her winters in Madrid so I was very eager to have fika every day. These are some of the places that we went to:
As I have previously confessed in other posts, I love pizza. Actually pizza is our little secret to a happy marriage. My husband makes home made pizza every Sunday and I am blissfully happy as I eat it. Although I eat the best pizza in the world in my house, we do like to try other people’s pizza to see what else is out there. When we were in Copenhagen we went to Baest, a pizzeria run by the owners of Relae and Mirabelle Bakery. Baest is right next door to Mirabelle.
The pizza is made with local flour and then baked in those fabulous ovens where the magic is done producing an incredible crust and melting/roasting all the organic ingredients to perfection. The wood-fire ovens are custom made in Napoles and I was thinking about how great it wood be to have one of those in my terrace.
Baest is a laid back restaurant with an open kitchen where you see all the pizzas being assembled and you get to drool as they come out of the oven.
We found Baest pizzas to be fantastic and we were sad that we couldn’t find another moment to go back again since they only open for dinner. Be sure to book ahead of time since they tend to be full.
Noma, which was ranked the best restaurant in world several times, has closed its doors and is currently changing location. The new NOMA will be in Christiania but meanwhile not to fret, René Redzepi has opened a second restaurant a few meters away from where NOMA once reigned, 108. Lead by Kristian Baumann who strives to make 108 stand apart from NOMA and is succeeding. 108 is much more accessible but don’t let that fool you, tables are scarce. Baumann is working with different Nordic techniques such as smoking, pickling and fermentation to products that are all local so that you can really grasp the area’s cuisine. The restaurant serves a la carte so that you can design your own menu.
I was there during Spring Break and I have to say that it was my favorite meal in Copenhagen. It flew to the top of the list. On the one hand 108 is laid back and informal. The service is easy going and know how to guide you through the menu and the wine parring. The decoration has a sort of swanky nordic feel and the food is delicious. The flavors are well-balanced with a kick.
Leeks with algae, I love it when restaurants use algae because it is suppose to be so healthy and I still haven’t managed to incorporate it into our home meals.
Scallop with sea urchin
We had the classic Glazed Pork Belly to finish off our meal.
I strongly recommend keeping an eye on 108 and Christian Baumann!