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Aamanns 1921, Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s king of smørrebrød

Copenhagen’s king of smørrebrød

Emily Spencer

Copenhagen is a unique capital, made up of small yet distinctive areas which together form a cool, forward thinking city in many ways. Some of the better known areas include the Meatpacking District which is in part still in use as a meatpacking area, alongside a social scene of art, food and nightlife, Christiania; a green, car-free hippy island where residents have developed their own set of society rules, completely independent to the Danish government, and the city centre; offering an eclectic mix of shopping, bars and restaurants, intertwined with rich history and fascinating cultural sites.

The city has a strong food culture which felt evident in the restaurants I visited, each with a palpable focus on the produce and sourcing of their dishes, Aamanns 1921 was a prime example. 

Set on a discreet side road, located in the heart of the capital, the restaurant is renowned in Copenhagen for it’s smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), a dish rooted in traditional Danish cuisine.

The restaurant didn’t disappoint, the interior is modern with accents of cream, warm wood and gold finishes, with rustic stone pillars and tiled floors. Behind the bar is a collection of homemade aquavit, and the shelves in the dining area showcase the various jars of pickled/cured fruit and vegetables used within their dishes. They don’t stop there, even the divine hand wash in the bathroom (which give off aromas similar to that of Aesop) are produced in house, reemphasizing the efforts gone in to producing a unique experience amongst Copenhagen’s vast culinary offering.

We arrive at lunchtime and the place is packed with locals and tourists alike, and almost every patron is drinking a beer and shot of aquavit alongside their smørrebrød, so of course it felt only right to do the same! The lunch menu offers a selection of open-faced sandwiches, with a section dedicated to herring (Copenhagen’s native fish), alongside meat, other fish/seafood and vegetarian options. The food is simple yet beautifully presented, allowing you to appreciate the detail and technique that has gone into each plate. Their offering of heritage perfectly entwined with modern twists effortlessly captures Copenhagen’s vibrant culinary culture.