COPENHAGEN—I visited Copenhagen for a few days in the summer of 2018. After going to several Denmark-inspired cafés here in Malaysia, I had long dreamt of seeing the city’s world-renowned minimalist interior design in person.
I was generally too preoccupied with window-shopping at art stores and gawking at train stations to think much about the food there, but there were three random snacks/ dishes that I clearly remember eating and loving, and they’re listed below.
Translating to “soft ice-cream” in English, softis is the best ice-cream you’ll ever eat (I mean it). I first had it by total chance in Ålesund, Norway in 2015, and my sister and I were hoping against hope that we’d find it in Copenhagen. We were in luck – there’s a store selling it on practically every street in the city. It’s apparently kind of a Scandinavian staple.
The ice-cream almost always comes in a cone, and it’s essentially a 100x better version of IKEA’s soft serve (which is saying a lot because theirs is good). There are two main reasons why I love softis: a) it’s terrifyingly airy/ fluffy/ creamy/ you-get-the-idea, and b) it’s coated in a magical version of chocolate powder. Not just any cocoa powder or something random like that – this powder literally melts into chocolate fudge in your mouth and while it’s still on the ice-cream. There are countless desserts and dishes that people claim will “melt in your mouth,” but I promise this one actually does.
2. Hotdogs from Steff Houlberg
During our Norway trip, we constantly went to a franchise convenience store called ‘Narvesen.’ Not because we needed sundries or groceries or anything like those, but because my sister and I wanted their hotdogs. And as soon as we claimed our baggage and left the arrivals area of the Copenhagen airport, after months of waiting with bated breath to see if Denmark would offer something similar to Narvesen (neither one of us thought of searching it up on the Internet), we saw Steff Houlberg.
Steff Houlberg is a Danish franchise that specializes in making – you guessed it – hotdogs. They also sell burgers, but I genuinely don’t know of anyone who’s eaten them. If there’s a cart selling softis on every street, then there are two Steff Houlberg stalls on each one too. They have a whole range of different sausages, and the spicy one is the best for sure. There are also tons of toppings like sauerkraut and some sauces, but I stick to wrapping it in bacon and drizzling mayonnaise on top, the same way everyone should. You might be like my mom, though, who puts all the toppings on her hotdogs – even if the toppings include onions.
3. Pizza from Gorm’s
I’ll be honest, even though the pizza here was really, really good, it wasn’t as amazing as the softis and hotdogs were – but it’s definitely still worthy of a spot on this list.
Gorm’s is also a franchise – albeit a much smaller one than Steff Houlberg – and they pretty much focus completely on making pizza. I ate at the outlet in the Tivoli Food Hall, and I loved my (Margherita) pizza. It was everything it should be: hot, paper-thin, and very, very cheesy. I would 100% get it again if I went back to the city, so perhaps I brought it down too much earlier.
My enthusiasm throughout this piece likely makes it clear that the first two items on this list are my favorites, but I swear the pizza was one of the best I’d ever had. And there you go – a dessert, a snack, and a main dish that I loved eating in Copenhagen. (I probably should’ve thought the sequence through more)