It was one of those perfect days you always hope for. During an international “MINDevent” planner fam to Copenhagen this winter, hosted by VisitDenmark, we were all seated on a canal boat exploring Copenhagen’s many waterways.
Stromma Denmark operates a fleet of open and covered canal boats year-round. The canals connect almost everywhere you want to go in the urban core, and we loved feeling like a local by using the waterborne transportation.
Our boat pulled up to the funky waterfront Copenhagen Street Food venue, located next to the iconic Copenhagen Opera House. The pop-up dining facility is housed inside an old warehouse filled with food trucks and street food vendors inside a climate controlled environment. One warm days, a huge patio out front overlooks the city’s main Inderhavnen canal.
With space for 500 seated diners, Copenhagen Street Food was the best part of this trip because it’s so unique and it completely aligns with Denmark’s world-leading sustainable meetings mission, as outlined in the DMO’s Meetovation manifesto.
“We created this to make an alternative food court economy based on sustainability,” says Dan Husted, co-founder of Copenhagen Street Food. “We have old containers, old windows, 200-year-old wood materials. We tried to use general things that are not specially fabricated for a purpose, but something that we can resell when we close down. Our goal is to leave no trace that we were here.”
Culinary styles include: Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Colombian, Mexican, Cuban, Italian, French and Danish. The idea is to create a “colorful platform for the people, where you as visitor can get a cheap tasty meal.” During the weekends, music festivals, exhibitions and flea markets are livened up with regularly scheduled DJs.
The overall mission at Copenhagen Street Food is “Genuine, Honest & Aesthetic.” The business goal prioritizes skilled entrepreneurs and chefs to develop food stalls and food that is inexpensive and advances international street food culture. Presently, most of the operators use between 30-60% organic ingredients, but Husted says they’re aiming to increase that to 80% across the board.
For example, beef is sourced from the Original Red Danish Dairy Breed of cows at the biodynamic farm Thorshøjgaard. A percentage of proceeds from Copenhagen Street Food help support the farm, which groups can visit to get a really close look at Denmark’s local food culture.
“We wish to create a place with the same dynamics as one would experience at Borough Market in London or in Portland in America, where food truck culture is widespread,” says Husted. “Our attention is mainly aimed at the smaller entrepreneur, from the man with a burrito truck or a pasta sleigh, to the woman who serves freshly caught oysters. Our mission is to create folksy street cuisine where it is possible to eat good food for about 50 kroners ($7), and where there’s something to everyone’s liking.”