When we headed to Papiroen one afternoon to what is known as Copenhagen’s street food heaven, I didn’t have high expectations. really, what could I expect from such a place in Copenhagen?
But when we went there, it was bustling with locals, out to enjoy their day in the summer sunshine. This mat welcomed us and this suspended cow greeted us as we entered the large street food enclosure.
It was a cheery, informal space – lots of benches scattered around, to be shared by people. You can also move from bench to bench, if you wanted to sit close to your vendor.
Till as recently as end 2012, Papiroen – literally ‘Paper Island’ – used to be a newspaper warehouse, a part of the industrial spaces along the harbour. It was then transformed into an open, vibrant space, with a whole corner set aside for street food from all over the world. This opened in early 2014, first initiated on an experimental basis, but increasingly looks like this will stay on for a long time.
The place was made of a mix of stalls and food trucks, all neatly lined up to form narrow lanes. It was particularly interesting to see the way the trucks were parked inside a closed space like that. In all, there are 35 such stalls and trucks, and all the food was reasonably priced (especially by Scandinavian standards) around 40 – 70 Krone. you buy coupons at the beginning and use them at the individual stalls – any remaining coupons can be traded back for cash.
Below, a glimpse of the wide variety on offer there – from gourmet burgers to Moroccan and Turkish food to Korean and Japanese to specialty Danish sausages, there was something for everyone.
Of course, as can be expected, Italian was one of the most popular cuisines there; tantalising pizza, fresh handmade pasta in a stall run by two Neapolitans and an antipasti place (see the truck above).
There was no dearth of vegetarian food here, with options ranging from wraps to pasta to more “exotic” choices – I opted for the latter and got myself this delicious stew and rice, accompanied by plantain fry, from the Colombian place. A bit like rajma chawal, this totally satiated my craving for somewhat familiar, somewhat spiced food.
And in true Copenhagen fashion – after all, it is the home of Carlsberg – visitors are expected to wash it all down with a tall mug of beer, any kind of beer you may be in the mood for. For those non- drinkers or seeking healthier options, there are also plenty of juices on offer.
Of course, we had to end it all with a sweet extravaganza, an Oreo cheesecakes and a lemon cheesecake.
Street food heaven, it certainly was. Apart from the consistent good taste across stalls, one of the best things about the place is that all produce is sourced locally.
If you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, make sure to drop in for a bite – or three.