Given the Danes’ love of pork, Copenhagen might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think “good vegan food”, but as in many capital cities, this culinary lifestyle has been making inroads here, too. If you’re one of the growing number of people who can say “Jeg er veganer” (I am a vegan), you’ll be happy to know that Copenhagen has a comfortable variety of shops and restaurants to keep life varied and interesting.
Approximately 5% of the Danish population follows a mainly plant-based diet (although not necessarily a vegan one), but the proportion of people who are trying vegetarian and vegan options has been increasing. In May 2017, some members of parliament even undertook a vegan challenge to highlight the diet’s environmental benefits. Veganism isn’t unknown in Denmark, it’s just less popular than in some countries.
While as a whole, Copenhagen doesn’t skimp on vegan produce, it’s rarely concentrated in one place. Shopping around is an unfortunate necessity, especially if you’re not looking to fork out too much. However, the area around Nørreport Station is worth a trip, no matter where you’re living or staying in the city.
Behind the station is The Vegan Shop, which stocks a wide selection of meat and dairy substitutes (including ice cream), organic wine, toiletries, and even t-shirts. It’s great if you want to pick up a variety of items all at once, but it doesn’t stock everything.
To the west of it is Torvehallerne, an indoor market. It’s upscale, but caters to a variety of dietary restrictions alongside its specialty ingredients and cooking products. The deli and street food stalls are ideal for a quick snack. Next door is Helsam City, a health food shop. It’s not exclusively vegan, but like most health food shops it does have soy products, vitamins, and some fresh produce.
If you go further down Frederiksborggade from Torvehallerne, you’ll find Naturbageriet, an organic bakery that’s vegan heaven. There are vegan breads, cakes and pastries, some of which are also gluten-free. This store also has a small deli which sells items such as dairy substitutes, chocolate and houmous; the prices are decent, too.
The Nørrebro area is also rich in Middle Eastern stores, which have economically-priced grains and pulses, nuts, herbs and spices, often available in bulk. For smaller, locally-based amounts of grains and pulses, you can usually find a decent selection at the nearest greengrocers.
The best place to buy reasonably-priced tofu is an Asian specialty shop or supermarket, which are concentrated around central Copenhagen and Nørrebro.
When you can’t get to Nørrebro, most large supermarkets stock the basics like soy milk and tofu, although they’re more expensive. Two of the best are Superbrugsen and Irma. The former has vegan cheese, sausages and ice cream, and the latter is great for houmous, and vegan crème fraiche and cream.
Even with all these options, there are still a few things that you might not find. Fortunately, items like pasta and cereal can be taken with you into the country. Pack them in your luggage if you’re going to miss them.
Restaurants and cafes
There are many fantastic eateries in Copenhagen to whet the appetite, including several that are exclusively vegan. Take a look at our previous article on vegetarian restaurants for more information about the eateries below:
Vegan-friendly (multiple menu items)
- Café N
- Video Video
- Astrid och Apornas Spiseri
That’s not all though – here are a few more reviews. If you aren’t hungry already, you will be soon!
Grød (Jægersborggade 50 / Torvehallerne / Guldbergsgade 7a)
The name means porridge, but they also occasionally serve other treats such as daal, or risotto, many of which can be made vegan. The porridge comes with a choice of three seasonal toppings.
Atlas Bar/Urten (Larsbjørnsstræde 18)
While the former is ostensibly vegetarian, a good proportion of the dishes are also vegan, or had vegan alternatives. Urten, upstairs, is exclusively vegan, but it’s only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The menu is an intriguing mixture of French, Italian and Nordic cuisine.
Kalaset (Vendersgade 16)
Another popular haunt (expect queues) not far from Torvehallerne. It’s loved for its brunch, but also serves various mains, from salad to burgers, using seasonal ingredients. The atmosphere is created by an eclectic mix of vintage furniture.
Harbo Bar (Blågårdsgade 2D)
If you’re too early for brunch, this café has great opening hours and serves a mean breakfast. It’s also great for its sweet treats and live music, usually in the evening when you can make full use of the bar.
Nicecream (Enghave Plads 10, and Elmegade 30 in summer)
Here’s a treat that you don’t get very often: an all vegan ice-cream shop. The menu includes organic popsicles, shakes, ice-cream sandwiches, and acai and peanut butter bowls. The most popular items appear to be the sandwiches and the ice-cream bowls, a decadent and filling choice. Expect anything from fruit to chocolate to nuts decorating your ice-cream, which is creamy and delicious, made from a blend of plant milks.
There might not be a large number of vegans in Denmark, but Copenhagen has just about everything that you could possibly need. Whether you’re visiting or planning a longer stay, looking for ingredients, a snack, or a whole meal, there’s a delicious array of choices waiting for you in the capital.
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