Meatless Monday #1: Nicecream and Harbo Bar in Nørrebro

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A couple weeks ago I had a free Sunday and decided to explore Nørrebro for a bit and settle in somewhere to work on some intern applications. Nørrebro is known for its non-Danish populace, which means the streets are lined with shops and restaurants catered towards a variety of cultures. I’ll have to check some of those places out in the future, since both of the places I visited were pretty standard Danish.

My first stop was Nicecream, a company I’ve been following ever since I knew I wanted to study in Denmark.  They’re an entirely vegan company with two locations and, as you can probably guess from the name, specialize in ice cream.  They use a coconut milk base and make some crazy flavors, like a “Naughty Banana” with tahini chocolate swirls and roasted sesame seed.  They also have an incredible looking rotating menu of “warm bowls” (sounds and stews) that they serve from October to March.

I’ll have to go back when it’s warmer to try the ice cream, but I was more than happy with my order.  They have weekly special offers and this week’s 15dkk (~$2.30) hot chocolate with coconut whipped cream is what brought me in.  It was especially good to warm up with on such a cold and rainy day.

While I enjoyed my hot chocolate I scrolled through Happy Cow – a must have app when traveling to find the best vegan offerings around – and found a place to work and have some lunch.  It was a short walk to Harbo Bar, which is down a side street with a bunch of others bars and cafes. Unlike Nicecream, the menu is in Danish, so you’ll likely need some assistance ordering.  Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just point to something labeled “vegansk” and give whatever is served a go!

My blind order turned out great: some marinated and roasted carrots that mimicked a sausage served with some bread, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. The carrots were a bit salty, but easily tamed with a bite of bread and sip of beer.

Side note: every mustard I’ve tried here has been fantastic, especially the one my host fam keeps stocked.  It’s super spicy and makes your eyes water like wasabi. The one at Harbo Bar, as you can see in the picture, was grainy and had a great sharp taste.

This was a great spot for a working lunch, but the atmosphere shifts into a lively bar at night.  The reviews also indicate that it’s got some of the best vegan brunch around, particularly the mushroom spread and rhubarb pancakes.  I’ll definitely be back for that.

Thanks for reading my first Meatless Monday post!  Although meat is a staple in the traditional Danish diet, I’ve found it pretty easy to be vegan here so far. A special shout out to my host family who have been incredibly accommodating and replicated some traditional Danish dishes sans animal products. I’ll touch on some of those next week!

A final word: every cafe seems to have oatmilk, which is way better than almond milk (taste, frothing ability, etc.) and far more sustainable by nearly every measure. It’s recently grown in popularity in the states, but it’s been around in Sweden for nearly three decades.

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