Archive for the 'Cafes and bars' Category

Jolene

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This place used to be a little cafe called Cupcake. I used to go there and eat burgers and drink wine before having to run over to the cashpoint across the road cos they didn’t take Dankort.

Now it’s the latest hangout for the Nørrebro cool kids, complete with sleazy djs and pink neon sign.

I was there Saturday night but to be honest I can’t remember too much about it. I vaguely recall playing Forest of Doom with my friend Russell and his girlfriend Lucy.

Pics by Cordes.

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Bloomsday’s

Easily the best expat bar – and one of Copenhagen’s best bars full stop – Bloomsday’s is an absolute gem of a place.blloms

Tucked away down a little side street linking Stroget and Skindergade, it’s easy to miss. It took me a few months to find when I first got here but I’ve not looked back since.

You can always tell a good bar if the locals make it their own and there’s usually a good smattering of Danes to be found propping up their half of the bar.

As well as all the footy, landlords Jonathan and Phil always show the big rugby and cricket games on one of the many screens. There’s also live traditional Irish music every Sunday.

Oh, and they also have the best pies in town.

Where: Niels Hemmingsens Gade 32, Copenhagen K

Website: http://bloomsdaybar.dk/

Cafe Gavlen

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Given that Cafes and Bars is a category on my blog, I’ve decided that I should actually try and write about some.

To that end I’ve been spending my Sundays wandering around Norrebro in search of some nice places to write about.

For the past few weeks, these walks have taken me down Skt Hans Gade towards Sortedam Dossering and the lakes.

It’s a nice part of town. Antique stores jostle with boutiques while nearby Skt Hans Torv and Elmegade heave with the local trendies.

Cafe Gavlen (which I think means the Gable Cafe) is a cosy neighbourhood place with a French bistro feel.

p1040333.JPG I walked in and was greeted with the customary wall of smoke. It never ceases to amaze me how many Danes smoke.

It is almost as if that in paying so much tax they feel obliged to smoke themselves to death in order to recoup some of their outlay in hospital treatment.

Anyway, my first impressions were good. The clientele was pretty eclectic (well-heeled older ladies, a father and daughter and the obligatory crowd of hungover 20-somethings still with the fug of a Saturday night thick around them). Brunch was in full-flow but it wasn’t hectic.

We found a couple of leather armchairs in the corner and sat back and leafed through the free mags.

I noticed a TV in the corner and I expect they show footy in the evenings.

Sometimes it’s difficult to really tell why one cafe stands out from any other. Copenhagen is blessed with dozens of cosy little places like this, after all.

I guess it’s just a feeling at the end of the day, your personal sensibilities dimly agreeing with the sensory data.

Or something.

Where: Ryesgade 1, Norrebro

Website: Cafe Gavlen

Cafe Front Page – Next to the restaurant

p1040308.JPGDanish cafe society is built around one holy premise – Godawful customer service.

No self-respecting Copenhagen cafe owner would dream of hiring someone actually capable of smiling.

Staff members must be surly to the point of outright rudeness.

Preferably they will be good-looking but not because this might entice customers.

No, their attractiveness simply serves to emphasise the comparative ugliness of the patrons.

They are all possessed of the same disdainful sneer which they bestow upon anyone who dares enter the establishment.

“What the fucking hell do you want you complete cretin?”, they  silently inquire.

“A cup of coffee please.”

“A fucking cup of fucking coffee? Why the hell were you born you inconsequential imbecile? Get the fuck out of my sight before my eyes start bleeding you fart molecule.”

The reason I say this is to emphasise that if you want American-style brown-nosing you are in the wrong city.

Cafe Front Page is no different. After wasting several minutes of my life while several waitresses milled around performing a range of seemingly crucial tasks like texting one another, I was eventually served.

Actually, I should point out here that the Danes are extremely patient.

Despite being sticklers for efficiency, they think little of waiting in line while a solitary waitress takes the orders of the people in front of them.

And then painstakingly prepares said orders.

And then takes the money.

All the while, the other serving staff continue their vital work of polishing the beer taps.

It’s infuriating but you quickly adapt. It is the way of things.

I like to think that this laissez-faire attitude stems from the fact that the Danes are actually time rich.

Their work/life balance is light years ahead of the UK’s and as a result they don’t quibble at the odd queue.

Anyway, Cafe Front Page. I liked it.

It’s neatly and clearly divided between a French-style bar area complete with TV showing football matches and the cafe itself with a traditional but still very enticing menu.

The burgers I saw being served looked mouth-watering as did some of the salads.

I settled for a tasty slice of homemade carrot cake and a cafe au lait. I may have a job but I still can’t afford a Danish brunch.

There is also outdoor seating overlooking one of the four man-made lakes, while, as the name suggests, there is a restaurant next door about which I know absolutely nothing.

Where: Sortedam Dossering 21, Nørrebro

Phone: 35 37 38 27

Tjili Pop

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Lurking in a particularly unpicturesque quarter of Norrebro, rather like a rainbow fish in a heron’s gullet, Tjili Pop is a uniquely ramshackle little cafe you will fall in love with. Much in the same way you fell in love with your first remotely attractive primary school teacher.

It’s the kind of place you’ll casually refer to when you happen to be strolling around Norrebro: ‘Oh yeah, I know this great little place just round here. You’ll love it. They have table football and they do great smoothies.’

Like the best Copenhagen cafes, Tjili Pop is defiantly uncategorisable. Neither out and out foodie nor exclusively boozy, it’s there for whatever you want I guess.

Which for most of the would-be bohos round here means hanging out in tight trousers and waistcoats doing nothing in particular.

Arch comments aside, it’s well worth a look. There’s live music on Wednesdays plus it’s open til 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Where: Norrebro, Rantzausgade

Website: Tjili Pop

Bankeraat

Bankeraat is probably the strangest little cafe I’ve found in Copenhagen.

Stuffed animals abound. Louche artist types lounge around reading the thoughtfully provided array of foreign papers, staff sit at the bar smoking and drinking red wine.

This is boho paradise. I expected an improv poetry reading to begin at any moment.

I had nachos and a cappucino and sat next to a stuffed pelican who leaned over and explained that I hadn’t paid the tithe. When I asked what he meant he regurgitated a kipper onto my lap and flew off through the open window.

Not really. It was a herring.

It’s a lovely little place actually. It’s open til midnight and quite close to the centre of town so it’s a great place to start a night. If I lived any nearer I’d make it my local and probably make loads of annoyingly hip friends and grow a one-sided mullet.

Where: Copenhagen K (corner of Nansensgade and Ahlefeldtsgade)

Website: www.bankeraat.dk