Copenhagen Street Food, an organisation launched in 2013 at Papirøen, became the arbiter of what is delicious, cool, and readily available on the Copenhagen food stall scene. Papirøen’s strength was in its curation and grungy-meets-gourmet vibe, which brought in unprecedented numbers of both locals and visitors; the space welcomed 16 million visitors in its final year. Papirøen closed in 2017, and in 2018 Copenhagen Street Food re-opened at Reffen.
An open industrial space right along the water, Reffen has fast become the go-to spot for casual, international eating in the city. Even though the space is slightly further outside of the centre of the city than Papirøen, it has seen consistent visitor growth, with over 150.000 people visiting in July 2018 alone.
“We started with a totally clean slate,” Creative Director and co-founder of Copenhagen Street Food Dan Husted notes. “None of the stalls from Papirøen moved here. We knew that our lease there was coming to an end – we only had it for four years – and so two years before closing we were already planning the next move.”
While the planning may have been long-term, the actual implementation was shockingly short. “We made this 1:100 scale model of the space and moved things around for about two months,” Dan explains, “Once we had everything in place, we launched right into building. It took us three months to get this place up and functional.”
Seeing the sheer size and emptiness of the area, three months seems almost superhuman. But that’s the way Copenhagen Street Food likes to work – fast, confident, and always changing. “We want people to feel surprised every time they visit,” says Dan, “Creating this space is something that is never truly complete, because it’s always changing.”
There are just over 30 food and drink stalls on Reffen representing food from all over the world, including Thrilla in Manilla, serving Filipino barbecue, The Real Greek, serving souvlaki and gyros, and Dosa Corner, serving South Indian dosas. If there’s a type of food you’re craving, it’s likely that Reffen has it for you. “We’re very strict about what people serve,” Dan tells us, noting that all menu changes have to be approved by the administration. “We want to make sure that the stalls aren’t in conflict with each other. So although there is some overlap, we try to keep it as minimal as possible.”
The result is an array of food, drink, and creative spaces that you can’t find anywhere else in Copenhagen, and that each have something unique to offer. There’s nothing like it in summer; the sunshine, delicious food, water front, and positive atmosphere make it the perfect choice for a day of adventuring. As winter approaches, Reffen will be adding more covered spaces to make sure that people can enjoy the area regardless of temperature.
Here are our top recommendations of the Copenhagen Street Food stalls and workshops to visit at Reffen:
Make sure you try this gem, serving tasty, flavorful Gambian peanut stew. It’s hard to find almost any type of West African food in Copenhagen, so Baobab is a double treat: a rare spot serving totally delicious and freshly-made bowls of the good stuff.
Blue Taco, which also has a storefront in Nørrebro, serves tacos made on blue corn tortillas, meaning they’re gluten free. The flavors combinations are delicious and they offer everything from meat to vegetarian to vegan options. Make sure to get yourself a big cup of the aqua fresca!
Reffen Coffee Roastery
With coffee from super-sustainable coffee roasters Nordhavn Coffee Roasters, this coffee stall has a range of espresso and drip coffee drinks (including iced options). It’s fresh and delicious, just as coffee should be. They occasionally host coffee tastings, so check in with them to see when their next one is happening.
Interested in sustainable fashion? ADP Planet prints on shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, and bags. All items are made from recycled materials and printed with high quality rubber. Stop in and meet Jesper, the man behind the brand, and learn more about sustainability in the clothes industry.
Love cheesecake? Then you need to try skyrcake! Skyr is Icelandic yoghurt that’s a little less thick than Greek yoghurt but still deliciously creamy and packed with protein. This cute little stall makes skyrcake as well as “skryimisu,” a less-sugary and fresh take on tiramisu.
If you’re in the mood for something packed with fruits and veggies, head to Gro. They have items like smoothies, chia porridge, avocado toast, and overnight oats. Everything is organic.
Find out more about Reffen
1432 København K
May – September: Open Daily
Food stalls: Every day 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Creative workshops: 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Bars: Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Friday – Saturday: 10:00 am – midnight
October – March: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays Only
Food stalls: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Creative workshops: 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Bars: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm