Favourite streets in Copenhagen: Jægersborggade
A few years ago, Jægersborggade was best known for its bullet holes, drug dealing and gang wars. Today, the little cobblestone street in Nørrebro transformed itself into one of the city's most trendy streets, which accommodates everything from a Michelin restaurant to a caramel cookery. It is almost impossible to believe that a stretch of approx. 300 meters can house so many exciting eateries, wine bars and deli shops. The transformation of this little street portrays the story of a rapid gentrification from a "pushers paradise" to a gastronomic "gade". Drug and gang violence are out and charming coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants are in. Welcome to Jægersborggade.
A successful cookbook of the same name gave the entrepreneurial cook Claus Meyer the idea of opening the long-awaited Meyers Bakery. This little bakery is offering well-known and beloved Danish classics like freshly baked sourdough bread, cinnamon rolls, raisin buns and butter croissants. If you prefer bread from your own oven, you can also buy ready-to-bake sourdough to take home with you. Meyers Bakery also sells their own apple juice from Fejø and the most delicious chocolate milk from Øllingegaard.
Fuglebjerggaard is Jægersborggade’s very own farm shop with produce from Camilla Plum’s organic farm of the same name, located in Helsinge in the north of Copenhagen. Here you can buy your fruit and vegetables in season, plants and herbs for the balcony and the most delicious home-made spice blends. The shop also sells lamb, organic pig and various sausages, that also come from Fuglebjerggard. If you are missing something for dinner, or if you are looking to buy an exciting and different host gift – this is the place!
DEN SIDSTE DRÅBE
Den Sidste Dråbe/The Last Drop is a small family-run speciality store that focuses on small, handmade, organic regional spirits and carefully selected cocktail gear. This shop is full of beautiful bottles with aesthetic labels that tell a story of uniqueness, and looking closely at the shelves, you will find literature and vinyl. The couple Frederik and Naja are always happy sharing their wide knowledge, no matter if it’s about vodka or tonic water. They opened their business back in 2014 with inspiration from Berlin, where they got blown away by the city’s small liquor stores, specializing in quality spirits from small distilleries. In addition, Frederik and Naja also sell their own produced vodka Den Klodsede Bjørn/The Clumsy Bear, handmade in Denmark at one of the world’s smallest distilleries.
Istid, meaning Ice Age, is Copenhagen’s first nitrogen ice cream shop that opened back in 2016. In the small room at Jægersborggade, they make ice cream with clean, organic ingredients that are frozen with nitrogen. The nitrogen is poured down in the shop, and in this way, you get a freshly made ice cream every time. The consistency is creamy and soft and the ice cream has a lot of clarity on the spoon. There are always four different tastes to choose from that follow the season, and for each of the ice cream variations, they’ve also made a “killer-combo-super-sundae” with three to four homemade toppings for the flavour that you want.
Ro Chocolate is a delicious paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth. The owner and chocolatier Rasmus Olsen is running the store and its production from this little space on the street. He calls his chocolate concept “grandma-meets-Phillip-Starck”, because the taste is traditional with a focus on pure ingredients, while the design of the small delights are more experimental. At Ro Chocolate you literally get fresh chocolate. The chocolate is produced in the back room on a daily basis, giving the product a whole different flavour and consistency than the chocolate you buy in the supermarket. The range of Ro Chocolate contains filled chocolates, Danish cream puffs, hot chocolate in the winter and homemade ice cream in the summer.
The Italian mini market, La Dispensa, opened at Jægersborggade in March and is already a favourite amongst locals. The people behind La Dispensa are also behind the popular La Banchina on Refshaleøen and Il Buco on Islands Brygge, where they make some of the city’s most popular croissants. La Dispensa is selling carefully selected Danish and Italian products with a strong focus on quality, ecology and on the producers. On the shelves, you will find fermented vegetables, ready-to-cook meals, Il Buco Importazione wines, olive oil, rice, flour, nuts, cheeses and other delicacies. The baked goods are of course from Il Buco that besides making delicious croissants and bread also produce fresh pasta sauces and pasta.
In this small caramel factory, you can experience an old, nearly extinct, craftsmanship and follow the handmade caramels all the way from the mixer to the bag. Charlotte Vigel and Tine Ipsen opened Karamelleriet in an old bicycle cellar when Jægersborggade was still a place where gang crime and drugs dominated the street. Their range offers everything from traditional cream caramels with different flavours to fudge, dragées and so-called rocks, which are a reference to Charlotte and Tine’s origins from the Danish island Bornholm. The production takes place in the shop, and the seductive sweet scent of freshly made caramel fills the street every day.
Gonzo is a spacious and cosy café. With large windows and plenty of plants, this café is an airy den. The menu offers plenty of organic and natural options such as craft beer by Herslev Bryghus, natural wines, organic coffee and herbal tea, as well as a host of delicious cakes. Organic breakfast plates are served daily while brunch dishes are available on weekends. What makes the place even more special is its weekly community dinner on Mondays at 100 kroner/adult, 75 kroner/child from the age of 3-7 and complimentary for the little ones under 3. This family-friendly place serves plenty of vegetarian options for those who do not eat meat. The menu changes every Monday.
Manfreds and Wine is the more casual, laid-back concept from the team behind the restaurant Relæ (see below) and it’s literally right across the street. Manfreds has the same commitment to sustainability, high-quality ingredients and natural wines but with a cosier, everyday vibe. Try the chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings. (And if you’re feeling adventurous give your waiter free reign to get extra funky with the wines). Although the menu is primarily vegetable-focused, you’ll want to order a beef tartare for the table. As they’ll tell you on their website: ”Manfreds is the world’s only veggie-focused restaurant famous for their raw meat.”
Relæ is one of the oldest stars on Jægersborrgade. The restaurant was established by Christian Puglisi in 2010, at a time when the street was still known for its active drug scene. In 2012, with great surprise, the restaurant received a Michelin star. Their set up of small wooden tables, cutlery in little table draws and casual service were not usually honoured by Michelin. Puglisi was never striving for the Michelin star. He only wanted to spread the message that simple ingredients, primarily vegetables, could be a world-class dining experience and a catalyst for creativity in the kitchen. For that reason, the restaurant’s golden organic label means a lot to Puglisi. The style of food is mostly vegetable-based, and lots of interesting natural wines are served alongside the dishes. Christian Puglisi’s ‘Farm of Ideas’ is the main supplier of the ingredients for both Relæ, Manfreds and Bæst on Guldbergsgade, and this makes the experience even more special. By the way, Relæ is one of the city’s cheapest Michelin experiences. You can get four dishes with a wine menu for 870 kroner or a Relæ Experience for only 1580 kroner.
For a quick, casual, well-made meal, try Copenhagen’s first porridge-only restaurant that Lasse Skjønning opened back in 2011 on Jægersborggade. Grød now has five locations spread around Copenhagen. In the morning, you’ll find steaming bowls filled with toppings like apple and vanilla compote, nuts, homemade caramel, and organic freeze-dried berries. Later in the day, savoury porridges take over with offerings like a seasonal risotto, Indian-inspired daal and the Asian rice porridge called congee.
View some of the recipes from Grød here.
Storytelling is always a big part of the experience when owner Stefan Jensen is serving wine and knowledge to wine experts and curious beginners alike. The Terroirist is a wine bar and shop that focuses on authentic, terroir wine. The wines that are sold here are naturally produced from either organic or biodynamically grown grapes, without the use of cultural yeast, enzymes or other chemical additives. Stefan Jensen is especially fond of Italian wine, and they take up a good amount of space on the menu. More exotic wines from Georgia, Slovenia, Serbia, Czech Republic and Hungary also play a large role in the identity of The Terroirist. In addition to wine, Stefan offers light dishes that compliment the wines and the season. If you want to drink your wine at home or in a nearby park, you can also buy a bottle to go.
Antidote is one of the most popular weekend and summer evening hangout spots. The man behind Antidote is the wine enthusiast Kenn Husted. He is behind the wine bars and eateries such as Bibendum in Nansensgade, Paté Paté in the Meatpacking District and Falernum on Værnedamsvej. The trademark of Kenn Husted’s wine bars is a relaxed atmosphere, a fondness for the Mediterranean cuisine and interesting wines that are affordable. Antidote has become a place focused on pure ingredients, as well as wines from producers who have a more holistic approach to their produce. The menu changes daily at Antidote as they are working closely with a nearby farm. Therefore it is the farmer who sets the agenda, and the chefs respond creatively. This focus has not made the place less popular, so be sure to book a table – especially on the weekend.
THE COFFEE COLLECTIVE
The Coffee Collective moved into Jægersborggade back in 2008 with a large coffee roaster and big dreams. Here they opened what turned out to be one of the city’s most popular coffee bars and one of the world’s most recognized coffee roasteries. The Coffee Collective aims to inform the general coffee drinker about quality coffee as well as communicating how quality coffee is produced on the long journey from bean to cup. They have developed the Direct Trade model to ensure the traceability of the coffee from the farmer to the finished cup. It’s not certain if this ideal reaches the awareness of the general consumer, however, those that care can feel secure about the ethics that lie in the bottom of their cup. Drink your coffee here with a good conscience the next time you have a caffeine craving. It is highly addictive. Try their black coffee or a silky cappuccino.
Plantepølsen is Jægersborggade’s newest eatery, and the focus is on hot dogs – but not the classic kind. Plantepølsen aims to spread the plant-based lifestyle through a classic Danish past-time. At Plantepølsen, they serve vegan gourmet sausages, inspired by tastes from different regions and parts of the world. Their hot dogs are based on plant proteins, and they are topped with homemade relishes, slaws, kimchi and pickles, plus their own spicy, sweet and salty sauces. In 2017, Plantepølsen were selling their vegan hot dogs from a repurposed cargo bike in and around Copenhagen. The dream of getting their vision and their food out to the public inspired the guys to sign up for a Kickstarter campaign, which resulted in them obtaining a physical shop in their dream location.