As one of the happiest countries in Europe, Denmark has many traditions that include merrymaking, food and alcohol. Plus, if you have watched Vikings then you know how much Danes love meat. However, even as a vegetarian in this happy-go-lucky country, you need not despair about finding food.
Denmark has many vegetarian options for you in both restaurants and supermarkets for those who prefer self-serving. Over the years, the list of restaurants serving vegan and vegetarian options has grown significantly. There are also several specialty joints whose menus majorly consist of plant-based food. However, these places are easier to find in large towns than out in coastal and countryside areas.
Danish Popular Meals
As you’d expect, finding a vegetarian joint can be challenging if you are new to Denmark. The standard Danish diet entails a lot of meat and fish so this is the focus of most restaurants in the country. Danes have gained a reputation for their love for sausage so you will find several pølsevogns (sausage stands) in most major towns and cities.
beef and poultry
The stands attract both locals and foreigners alike, which is why they remain a brisk business in Denmark. Furthermore, the traditional Danish cuisine mostly consists of meat and potatoes. Though beef and poultry are also common in the country, pork is the favourite for many. This is not surprising since Denmark is a major exporter of pork.
Another common diet in the country is fish such as pickled herring, or sild. This is also reflected in the traditional Danish lunch, smørebrød (buttered bread). If you thought it is plainly made of bread and butter, then you couldn’t be more wrong. The sandwich mainly consists of cold cuts, fish or leverpostej (liver pate), or a blend of the two.
Smørebrød, dyrlægens natmad
You might also be surprised to learn that the smørebrød, dyrlægens natmad, (veterinarian’s midnight snack), is mostly meat. It consists of a piece of meat and a slice of corned beef on top of liver pate.
Roasted pork, goose and sautéed beef
Evening dishes in the country are mostly meat delicacies, with roasted pork, goose and sautéed beef. This is the popular choice for many when it comes to the main course. Finally Frikadeller, (Danish meatballs), are the Danish national dish and even potato and vegetable dishes are mostly made of bacon or bits of skinke (ham).
Danish Vegetarian Options
The good news is, there are several vegetarian options in the country if you know where to look. If you are in Copenhagen, you can visit BaneGaarden, Copenhagen for a delicious veggie meal. It is located along the tracks from Copenhagen Central Station and has a café and restaurant that serve sustainable vegetarian food.
Another popular vegetarian joint in Copenhagen is Gemyse Tivoli, located in the centre of Tivoli Gardens. Its menu consists of several dishes prepared by herbs from all over the world. Similarly, you can visit SimpleRAW, Copenhagen for preservative and additive free foods. They also serve foods that are free from colorings, dairy and gluten.
Souls, Copenhagen also serves delicious vegan and gluten free food while also focusing on organic food and sustainability. If you are visiting or staying at Østerbro in Copenhagen, you can visit VeVe, for your veggie food. It is located in a rather old but beautiful warehouse and serves world-inspired dishes.
More Vegan for you in Denmark
The national chain of sushi restaurants Sticks’n’Sushi, is also a good spot for vegetarians. You might also love them because they have a separate menu for kids so you can visit with the whole family. As a vegetarian in Aarhus, your best bet would be Restaurant MellemRum. It is located in Fredens Torv in the centre of Aarhus and offers a great vegetarian menu.
Another great vegetarian spot in Aarhus is Café Fika, with everything vegetarian. Whether you are looking for vegetable pies, gluten free cakes or food made from organic ingredients, you will find it here. Furthermore, at We Feat Aalborg, you will find good vegetarian food prepared with organic ingredients. Finally, You can also visit Café Kosmos Vegan & Organic, Odens.
Tricks and Secrets for Vegetarians in Denmark
As a vegetarian, you will find that breakfast is the simplest meal for you in Denmark. In most Danish hotels, breakfast is usually a buffet. So you will have many vegetarian options to choose from. Most buffets offer a wide variety of bread and cheese. You can also find healthier options such as yogurt, muesli, cereal and fruit.
However, if you are staying at a hotel that doesn’t serve breakfast, you can find a nearby bakery. There are several bakeries that sell bread and the famous Danish pastries, or weiner brød. The Danish brown bread is a healthy alternative, and has an impressively heavy texture and flavour. Besides, you can find delicious and strong Danish cheeses.
When it comes to the midday and evening meals, your best bet is to avoid traditional Danish cuisine. Go for something more exotic because even most traditional salads often contain meat or fish. You can also find a variety of vegetarian options at any Turkish shawarma and kebab houses. They are the best places if you are looking to save costs.
Here, you will find freshly made hummus, tzatziki and tabbouleh. Furthermore, the standard menus for these places include falafel kebabs and sandwiches along with a side of hummus or French fries. Alternatively, you can visit pizza houses and select a vegetarian option.