Over coffee at the revered Coffee Collective in Copenhagen's über-hip Nørrebro neighbourhood, a former lawyer turned green energy broker explains to me and my American-Icelandic travel buddy that only a few years prior to this 2014 visit, Nørrebro was known for shootings and drug pushers. Some of the seedy underbelly is still visible in the neighbourhood around the crux street Jægersborggade in which we are sitting in the perfect afternoon sun.
While all of Copenhagen is an absolute delight, this small several block enclave is the perfect mix of shabby chic, Danish design, hipster coffee, and great eats and drinks. In fact, I found myself here several times over my stay in Copenhagen, and would a recommend a trip to this neighbourhood to anyone.
Lunch at Grød is a must do. Their morning porridge fare is amazing, but the seasonally inspired risottos are to die for. Eat at this little hole in the wall porridge restaurant for the great food, friendly service, and simple atmosphere. Who knew porridge could be gourmet.
There is much to see on this small street. Antique vendors, chocolates and treats, ceramic pottery in Danish minimalist style, the best coffee in Copenhagen, and some of the best dining in the city. Check out all the shops at your leisure, and then take a walk straight out the bottom of Jægersborggade and into Assistens Kirkegård (Assistens Cemetery) where Hans Christian Andersen is buried amongst other notable Danes. This is probably one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever been in, and one should find themselves fortunate to call this a final resting ground...or just a place to sit and read a book for an hour.
A little further south and you can reach the shopping street Elmegade, another great place to spend some time admiring Danish design and fashion sensibility.
Coffee Collective is the defacto coffee of choice amongst caffeine addicts in the city. Enjoy an espresso drink, or experiment outside the box with unique roasts prepared via Aeropress. If you want to curl up and read a book, the Retro Cafe is next door.
Walk to Superkilen, an ecelectic outdoor playground for adults and kids alike, built from random artifacts from around the world, and all sorts of industry. Industrial signage, a boxing ring, and strange swings adorn the park that meanders through the neighbourhood and is comprised of three distinct colour areas: Red, Green, and Black.
Enjoy a glass of wine with the knowledgable and friendly folk at Terroiristen back on Jægersborggade. They specialize mostly in organic and unfined / unfiltered wines. A typically green approach suitable to your Copenhagen visit.
Finish off the evening with a wide assortment of local and world craft beers at Mikkeller and Friends, but keep your wits about you enought to ride your city bike home to bed.
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.