What food is Denmark popular for?

Danish food & specialties


Anyone who spends their vacation in a holiday home doesn't necessarily want to cook every day. A culinary excursion into Danish cuisine is always worthwhile and has something to offer for every taste.

Everyone has heard of the Danish national dish smørrebrød, but there is a lot more to discover. Fresh fish and seasonal vegetables are very important in the restaurants, while sweet pastries and red grits make your mouth water. Nordic Cooking, the new Nordic cuisine, is world-famous and has been awarded several stars.

The range of culinary delights ranges from down-to-earth and inexpensive to refined and sophisticated. Self-caterers will find what they are looking for at numerous market stalls and get fish and vegetables of the best quality - directly from the Danish producer. A holiday in Denmark is ideal to be enchanted by the many pleasures and to try a wide variety of Danish delicacies!


Danish cuisine - local delicacies for all tastes

Sweet temptation:
z. B. liquorice, sweets, cinnamon rolls, warm apple dessert, marzipan pastries, grits, cocoa
Budenzauber - perfect snacks:
z. B. Hot dogs in different variations, smørrebrød and soft ice cream
Treasures of the farms:
z. B. honey, jam, blue liquor, beer, vinegar, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, eggs and meat
BBQ evening:
fresh fish, seafood and farm products at ports and markets
Main courses:
z. B. fish stew, meatballs, potato and mushroom pan, venison and curry dumplings
Star cuisine - Nordic Cooking:
for vegans, meat and fish fans, with local traditional ingredients and lots of love

Danish cake specialties - just eat sweetly!

Danish cuisine is full of dishes that are hearty and hearty. Meat and fresh fish are also typical local specialties, such as potatoes, cabbage, pickled cucumbers and beetroot. The Danes like something sweet with their coffee: pastries, known as Copenhagen or Danish pastries, delight the palate in the afternoon. These particles are often filled with cream or marzipan and are reminiscent of the Viennese art of baking. This is where the name wienerbrød comes from. Cinnamon sticks and cinnamon buns are also typically Danish.

If you are looking for something special, you should not miss the Kransekage. The cake is made up of baked marzipan rings that are stacked on top of each other and decorated with icing sugar. The rings get smaller and smaller towards the tip, resulting in a cone shape. Traditionally, the Kransekage is offered at midnight on New Year's Eve or served on special occasions such as weddings.

Compote - sweet dessert in Denmark

If you want something sweet for dessert after your main meal, you will find red grits with cream (rødgrød med fløde) and fruit compote (sødsuppe) in many places. Here too, mostly fresh fruits from our own cultivation are processed. Danish specialties also include ymer, a milk product similar to yoghurt. Ymer is usually sprinkled with sugared black bread crumbs, the Ymerdrys.

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Danish specialties recipes:
Typical Danish fish and meat dishes

Wienerbrod and hot dogs

The røde Pølser is a popular snack for in between meals and therefore definitely one of the national dishes: These red pork sausages are a Danish specialty and are available at many food stalls. The locals pack the sausages in a bun and turn them into a hot dog with fried onions, cucumber, mustard and ketchup.

As expected, the absolute number 1 among the favorite drinks is beer. After all, Denmark is famous for its large breweries, including Carlsberg and Tuborg. The beer comes from the bottle, it is seldom tapped from the barrel. In recent years, local types of wine have improved in quality and are gradually regaining their place in restaurants.

There are also local spirits: the golden yellow caraway schnapps Aalborg Aquavit (Danish: Akvavit) and the ruby ​​red herbal bitter Gammel Dansk support digestion after a rich meal. After your dinner in a cozy restaurant, just order a bitter Akvavit! During the day, however, the Danes mainly drink one drink: coffee. If you order a cup in a café, you will receive free refills as often as you want.

Smørrebrød - sandwiches for gourmets

Everyone knows it, many love it: Smørrebrød is usually eaten in Denmark at lunchtime as a frokost dish, preferably with a glass of beer. Many restaurants have a separate area for sandwiches on their menu or have specialized entirely in it. If you order a frokost platter, you will receive a variety of different bread creations.

The basis of the world-famous culinary smørrebrøds is a slice of gray or white bread. In a modified form, black bread can also form the basis. Its preparation varies from rustic and simple to extravagant and artistic: the topping ranges from ham to fish fillet, crab and crab meat crown the gourmet variations. Different types of cheese, such as the light yellow Esrom, can also be used as a topping. This is accompanied by capers, onions or radishes and maybe a dollop of mayonnaise.

The most popular combinations of sandwiches include smoked herring with egg yolks, radishes and chives, roast pork with red cabbage, apples and prunes or just roast beef with pickles. Variants with smoked salmon can also be found on almost every menu. So be prepared for an unusual sandwich experience.


Danish cuisine - fish or meat

Fresh ingredients straight from agriculture or fishing are fundamental to Danish culinary art. So it's no wonder that restaurants mainly offer fish dishes with fresh meadow herbs, vegetable side dishes and a sauce. But as simple as the secret recipe sounds: The variety of different delicacies and their preparation options is almost endless. The types of fish and seafood alone make the dishes varied and a taste sensation. Salmon, herrings, eels, flounder, plaice, crabs, oysters - smoked, grilled, pickled or fried, as roasts or sausages, the preparation options are imaginative.

Of course, there are also plenty of meat dishes on the menus: In the interior of Denmark, in particular, people like to eat pork, goose and duck, preferably with potatoes and thick sauce. Meatballs are also part of the menu in different variations.


Denmark for vegetarians and vegans - restaurants and health food stores

Vegetarians and vegans do not go away empty-handed either, numerous cafés offer corresponding delicacies. Many restaurants have vegan and vegetarian dishes, some restaurants have completely specialized in meat and fish-free cuisine. In the greater Copenhagen and Aarhus area in particular, vegetarians are spoiled for choice. In general, Denmark attaches great importance to organic ingredients. You can find health food stores all over the country.


Known worldwide - Nordic Cooking

"Back to the roots" has been the motto in Danish gastronomy for several years. The traditional way of cooking became famous all over the world under the term "Nordic Cooking", also known as New Nordic Kitchen. In their recipes, the chefs use regional and seasonal ingredients that are gathered from the sea, the land and the forests. Freshly caught local fish from the cutter, self-collected forest and meadow herbs and meat from organic farmers form the basis of the simple to extravagant cooking creations.


Eating out in Denmark - from cheap to upscale

The Danes prefer to cook and eat at home. But every now and then it can be a visit to a restaurant with friends - but then gladly long and sociable. The restaurants in the country differ from those in the city. While in the big cities one prefers to visit restaurants of the upper category and be inspired by culinary delights from other countries, in rural areas one prefers to go to the local Kros ("Krug"). There is usually simple home cooking, such as a hearty roast pork, on the menu, but it is extremely tasty. In 2012, for example, Norsminde Kro was named the best eatery in the country.

There are many star chefs at home in Copenhagen who perfect Nordic cooking. In 2020 alone, 15 restaurants in the capital were raised to the starry sky by the "Michelin Guide", most of them again. The internationally best-known restaurant is probably Noma, again honored with two stars, which has already been named the best restaurant in the world by the British "Restaurant Magazine" several times. In 2020, like last year, the Geranium in Copenhagen will be the only Danish restaurant to be awarded three stars. In 2020, a total of 24 restaurants in the small kingdom were awarded 34 stars.

Even holidaymakers on a tight budget will be delighted to be satisfied in Denmark: many restaurants offer three-course menus at a reasonable price. Above all, beef steaks, minced steaks and salmon creations are on the menu almost everywhere. However, if you want to indulge yourself in culinary delights outside the holiday home complex, you should know that the prices in Danish restaurants are higher than in Germany - this also applies to drinks. In Denmark, service is already included in the price at 15%, and sales tax is quite high at 25%.


Breakfast, lunch, dinner - the Danish meals

Morgenmad for breakfast, frokost at lunchtime and middag are only served in the evening - the names of Danish meals often cause confusion among holidaymakers. The habits are not that much different:

At Morgenmad between 7 and 10 o'clock there are rolls, eggs, cheese, sausage, jam and pastries, so similar to the breakfast practice in Germany. Coffee or tea is served with it. However, the Danes also like to start the day hearty with herring in various ways.

As frokost, the locals usually eat cold meals between noon and 2 p.m., especially their typical smørrebrød. If you're feeling peckish in the afternoon, you can get a hot dog with Pølser or eat a Danish pastry. As in many southern countries, the Danes prefer to dine in the evening after work. Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. there is middag, the main meal of the day, which is often richly feasted on, for example, roast pork or minced steak.

As an alternative to this main meal, a less opulent snack with cold dishes can also be served. This supper is called aftensmad. On festive occasions, a midnight snack (natmad) in the form of cake or a cheese platter is often served after dinner.