5 Best traditional Danish dishes you should try

Open face sandwich

The signature open face sandwich. “Smørrebrød” is one of the most common dishes that is associated with Denmark. The open sandwich is based on rye bread, with a layer of butter and covered with many different toppings. There is an unwritten law that the rye bread should be all covered with the toppings, so that it disappears. 

The open sandwich can have an endless amount of toppings, but the most popular among the locals is roast beef and smoked salmon. 

Across Copenhagen are many cafes and restaurants that are serving a variety of “Smørrebrød”, some are offering a quick bite on the go, whilst others offer a full dining experience, but here are some of the favourites:

  • Told & Snaps – Located a few steps away from Nyhavn, Told & Snaps is a breakfast and lunch restaurant, offering many different open sandwiches, made into a beautiful masterpiece, which you can pair with one of their signature homemade schnapps. This is a loved place by locals and tourists, therefore it is best to book a table in advance. Toldbodgade 2, 1253 København
  • Ida Davidsen – With more than 100 years of experience in open face sandwich making, restaurant Ida Davidsen offers a variety of traditional sandwiches, made on top of freshly baked rye bread. This restaurant has been beloved by generations – delicious food and great atmosphere.
    Store Kongensgade 70, 1264 København

Danish dishes

The Danish hot dog

In Denmark, the hot dogs are like no place else, topped with pickles, crispy onions, and most importantly – remoulade. 

The hot dogs came to Denmark in 1921 and at the time they were very extravagant and not many people could afford them. However, now the hotdogs are available for everyone – a quick snack on the way to work or a lunch bite with the colleagues, what could be better than this? 

If you have decided to try one of the Danish hot dogs, do not forget to take “Cocio” chocolate milk with it. Pairing a hot dog and chocolate milk is one of the most popular combinations within the Danes. 

  • Johns Hotdog Deli – Serving the traditional Danish hot dogs with all the signature toppings,  Johns Hotdog Deli  also offers customized hot dogs, choose your favorite bread, sausage, and toppings.If you have arrived at Copenhagen Central Station, Johns Hotdog Deli is just outside the main exit, facing Tivoli Gardens. Bernstorffsgade 5, 1704 København
  • DØP – Not only being 100% organic, DØP offers a range of hot dogs for every preference, starting with pork, beef and chicken options and continuing with tofu and lactose free hot dogs.  Købmagergade 52, 1150 København K

Danish meatballs

When the evening comes and the whole family sits down at the dinner table, one of the most commonly served dinner dishes in Danish families is “Frikadeller”  served with boiled potatoes and red cabbage. One of the reasons this dish is so popular within Denmark is that if there are any leftover meatballs, they can be easily used for open sandwiches for lunch the next day! 

Danish meatballs can be prepared in many different ways, but mostly they are made out of pork meat. However, there are alternatives and this popular dish can also be prepared as a vegetarian or vegan meal.

  • Restaurant Komplet – offering traditional Danish kitchen with all the signature dishes, Restaurant Komplet offers delightful food and a cozy atmosphere, and possibly the best Danish meatballs in Copenhagen.

Krystalgade 9, 9A, 1172 København

Danish pastries

Denmark has many great things about it, but one of them is its pastries. In Denmark the Danish pastry is called “Wienerbrød” which translates as the “Vienna bread”, the name has been retained from the times when Austrian bakers came to Denmark and started baking pastries. 

Within the years, Danish pastries have become an important part of hygge, served together with a warm cup of coffee and great stories with the loved ones.

Enjoy the pastries at one of the cozy Danish bakeries or take them home, light up candles, pour a cup of tea and have hygge!

  • Bageriet BRØD – offering freshly baked traditional Danish pastries and located in the heart of Copenhagen, BRØD is an ecological bakery that uses only natural ingredients and you can read about them on each pastry. The bakery is open from 7AM and serves a variety of warm drinks which makes  it a great breakfast place.

Enghave Pl. 7, 1670 København

Danish pastry


Dare to try the most popular sweet in Denmark –liquorice.

In Denmark liquorice is used in many different products, so if till now you have only tried liquorice candies, then in Denmark you have many other opportunities to try licorice in cakes, ice-cream, chips, tea, alcohol, you name it. 

The locals say that the salted licorice has gained its fame in the whole of Scandinavia due to the long and cold winters and this salty snack helps to get through them.

  • LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW – premium liquorice produced in Denmark, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW offers a variety of liquorice products with many different flavours, for each taste. Every product has been designed and made so that it presents a gourmet experience. In their shop you will find a full range of liquorice – both sweet and salty, coated in chocolate, liquorice syrup, liquorice powder and many others.

Vesterbrogade 3, 1620 København

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