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Move over San Sebastian! The hottest food city in the world right now is Copenhagen, and lucky me had the chance to go there on a whirlwind design trip a few weeks ago. An hour after I landed we had lunch at the very pretty Royal Café in downtown Copenhagen; the wee restaurant and bakery is situated in the back of the Royal Copenhagen china flagship shop and next to Illum Department Store. Handy!

The house specialty is smushies, which are delicate open-faced Danish-style sandwiches — only half the size and twice as delicious.

Dinner at Nimb in the famous Tivoli complex and gardens that night was also great, especially dessert. The Danish love their edible "dirt". The savoury type, often served with crudité and dip, is actually buttery toasted rye bread crumbs, and on this sweet, creamy and crisp dessert, it was crumbled chocolate cookie crumbs. More dirt, please!

What a beautiful city, from the riverfront cafes with the historic buildings painted in a rainbow of colours, to the thousands of bicycles, to the gorgeous blonde Nordic people. (I had to drink a few local Carlsberg beers just to feel better about myself.)

An architectural sightseeing trip through the city ended at the world famous Scandinavian Restaurant Jacobsen, named after iconic designer Arne Jacobsen. It features modern Danish designs and place settings topped with fresh Scandinavian cuisine like amazing herring salad and seared beef. To go along with the main course, they served sweet little baby potatoes in glass jars — an idea I plan to steal.

While we were drinking and dining, a sudden rain-shower swept across the sky, leaving in its path a bold, full arch double rainbow, like a giant bow wrapping up this gift of a city.

Feel inspired to do some Scandinavian cooking of your own? Check out these recipes from Noma Restaurant, and from our January 2011 feast.

Photo credits:
1-9. Amy Rosen

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