Vegetarianism in Copenhagen

I am a Lactose Intolerant Vegetarian, but I also really enjoy to cook and try new foods.  Before coming to Copenhagen, my knowledge of Danish cuisine was focused on red meat, fish, and pastries. Therefore, I was a bit nervous about what I would eat in Denmark. Coming into the experience I knew that I would be willing to try some fish, but probably not red meat, and that I can have dairy every once in a while, but I would want to save it for things that are worth it!

Panna Cotta with Crem Brulee crust… worth it!

Luckily my apartment has a great kitchen and cooking here is very easy. At most grocery stores there is a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options to choose from, and they are pretty clearly labeled for a non-danish speaker. For most meals, I am cooking at home or bringing my own lunch to class, so I am eating very similarly to the way I eat at home.

Scary yet beautiful

I did have the guts one day and decided to indulge in Smørrebrød, a Danish open-faced sandwich (pictured above).  It had a base of rye adorned with smoked salmon, steamed spinach, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce.  Admittedly, I did not love it – big surprise, the fish was a bit too fishy.  However, it was worth the experience, and although I was a little hungry after lunch, I am still glad that I went for it.

As you can see, my photos are definitely not food Instagram material but I wanted to capture some of the amazing food options there are for vegetarian/vegans in Copenhagen. Above are some meals I have enjoyed here that were vegetarian, and mostly dairy free. I think that it has been good to try new things, but if they don’t work out there is a backup plan. There is a great porridge place down the street from me, as well as a variety of restaurants within a five-minute walk from my apartment.

In the end, I think Copenhagen is a pretty easy place to have dietary restrictions. One of my roommates is gluten-free and has been able to find restaurants and grocery stores with plenty of options. It is not exactly the same as the U.S. but in the end, if you want to stay true to your dietary needs and restrictions, Copenhagen gives plenty of options. I think that coming and continuing my commitment to vegetarianism has made me, and my stomach, very happy.


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