by Jenny Miller
Dan Husted used to own several popular restaurants and wine bars in Copenhagen. After selling those and getting involved with the food truck scene, he was inspired to create Copenhagen Street Food, a food vendor market modeled after Brooklyn’s very popular Smorgasburg. Husted set up the indoor food market on Paper Island (or Papirøen in Danish), an island in the city’s Inner Harbor that used to be a newspaper storage facility and is now a multi-use creative hub (and home to Henrik Vibskov‘s coffee shop and studio). Today, the gray metal buildings have been revamped and vendors peddle international street eats from a mix of Airstreams, food trucks and kiosks constructed by Husted (who’s also a designer) out of old shipping containers, doors, windows, and other reclaimed materials, as well as modern Danish lamps donated by a local lighting store.
Husted tells CH, “Some of the inspiration for me came from Burning Man—the leave-no-trace mentality. When we leave, everything can be broken down and removed or sold.” For now, the market has permission to stay until 2018, when the city plans to demolish the building and construct housing. At that point, “We hope to find a permanent home,” Husted says.
Husted’s design ingenuity is evident throughout: tables are fashioned from old paper spools, acoustic padding is constructed from clamshells stacked between chicken wire and a bar created from former paper pallets offers a range of Danish and international beers. The market opened in April 2014 and has been adding new vendors ever since, with 27 stalls expected by October this year. Here are a few of our favorites after a recent visit.
Mexico native Mario Alberto goes so far as to make his own tortillas for the tacos he serves at Tacos Chuco, which are stuffed with delicious fillings like sauteed mushrooms or chipotle chicken.
Hotdogs are kind of a big deal in Copenhagen—they’re “the original street food,” as Husted puts it. Get a taste of the local favorite at Pølse Kompagniet (which means “the sausage company” in Danish), where variations range from North African merguez to chipotle-infused dogs.
My Beautiful Butterfly
Bernard Chesneau built his My Beautiful Butterfly food cart (one of Copenhagen’s first) out of a bicycle. His menu changes all the time, but chances are he will be there serving up offbeat dishes like paella or fishcakes made with garden slugs.
Toldboden’s Fish ‘n’ Chips
Known for their seafood and weekend brunch, Toldboden is also fittingly serving up fish and chips—made with local catch and accompanied by seasonal vegetables—from the confines of an old shipping container.
Owners Cindy Romor and Johan Braad-Petersen drove their food truck all the way from Italy to Copenhagen and now they’re serving simple Italian fare like charcuterie, cheeses, and panini at La Fattoria.
Copenhagen Street Food is open daily year round from 10AM to midnight Monday through Friday, until 2AM on Saturdays and 10PM on Sundays.
Images courtesy of Copenhagen Street Food