My first week at my new job, I headed to the south of Sweden for my onboarding – in Malmö! Malmö is the largest city in the southern Skåne County and the third largest in Sweden. It’s so far south that it’s actually just a 30 minute train ride to Copenhagen!
I wish I could share more about the city, but as I was there for work, I didn’t have much of a chance to explore. I did make sure to head downtown to try the falafel at The Orient House of Falafel! If you want to read more about falafel and Malmö, you should read the Vice article: Falafel Is More Than Just Fast Food for Swedes in Malmö. But you can’t visit the city without eating at least one falafel! Koen and I both agree that this is the best falafel we’ve tried!
First up, the Swedish dish raggmunk, or potato pancake. The raggmunk are prepared by making a pancake batter of wheat flour, milk and egg, into which shredded raw potatoes are added then they’re fried in butter. We opted for the traditional serving combination of bacon and lingon berries.
Living in Stockholm, we are so lucky to have so many delicious bakeries within walking distance! One of my favorites is Fabrique – a local chain of traditional wood-fired bakeries. You will find locations throughout Stockholm and it’s so hard to resist the sweet, fresh-baked buns!
One of the most exciting parts about moving to a new city is discovering the shops and restaurants! I was so happy to find Stockholms Aeter & Essencefabrik, a family owned and run spice shop specializing in everything that has to do with seasoning: spices, spice mixes, essential oils, essences for baking – you name it! Opened in 1889, you can’t help but feel like you’ve walked into history!
From their website:
Much has changed in Stockholm since then, but the environment and the interior of the “Spice Shop” have been fully preserved. The assortment of spices has been constantly evolving. We now have about 300 different spices, of which about 60 are mixtures. The Essence factory is Sweden’s oldest company in the industry and has remained a family business that is today run by the fourth generation.
You can buy the spices by weight and now my kitchen is full of tiny spice bags!
On our drive back to Belgium before arriving in our final destination Stockholm, we spent the night in Hamburg. With the opportunity to only eat one meal, we wanted to experience a typical North German meal. Luckily I have ex-colleagues in Hamburg and they recommended Speisewirtschaft Opitz. So we happily made a reservation and enjoyed the vintage atmosphere and delicious Hamburg-style food (aka lots of North Sea shrimp and fish!).
I can’t go to Copenhagen without at least one breakfast at Grød, the world’s first porridge bar on the Jægersborggade, in the Nørrebro-district of Copenhagen. I love their porridge so much, I even order it from time to time to be delivered to Belgium. Since we were about to head to Hamburg, a filling, healthy brunch at Grød was a perfect way to leave the city!
When we were at Bæst, we noticed there was a bar upstairs but we didn’t really pay much attention to it. But then we ate at Relæ and were given two tokens for vermouth at Rudo. Then all the dots connected and we realized Christian Puglisi recently opened a vermouth bar! So of course we had to go with our tokens – we love vermouth after trying so many in Barcelona!
We headed over after dinner at Manfred’s and enjoyed a relaxing evening trying everything. The drinks sounded delicious, so of course we needed to try the cocktails and then the Rudo Experience (just one so we could split them 🙂 ). Really cozy and intimate!
Our very first time in Copenhagen, we celebrated my 29th birthday with dinner at Manfreds! It was such a delicious, impressionable meal. We realized just how delicius sourdough bread can be and tried naturally fermented wines for the first time! Koen and I left very inspired and experimented a lot once back in Antwerp with our cooking. So of course we came back this trip! The food is very reasonably priced and creative (plus local and organic), so definitely worth visiting – especially if you can’t get a table at Relæ.
Inbetween lunch and dinner we needed to kill some time, and what better way than a walk along the famous Nyhavn?
Closeby, just over the bridge is Restaurant 108, currently ranked #98 in the world, opened by Korean-born chef Kristian Baumann (a Noma alum) in 2016 with René Redzepi. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a reservation, but we were able to grab a coffee at The Corner, the Coffee Bar from Restaurant 108. From their website, “We are one of only a handful in Denmark to collaborate with Oslo-based Tim Wendelboe, world champion barista and one of the pre-eminent coffee roasters in Europe. Throughout the different seasons, we work with several different types of Tim Wendelboe’s coffee.”
If you don’t have a lot of time in Copenhagen and want to try a few specialties, TorvehallerneKBH is a great place to visit (but also super busy!!). This is a centrally located food hall where you can eat and buy Danish specialties to sample and/or take home – like the Danish openface rye sandwiches, aka smørrebrød, pastries, fish, cheese, coffee, etc.