The words “street” and “food” used together always make us perk up. As travellers, or even as locals, these two works usually mean a place where you can go to get really good food, simply made, that is quick and inexpensive but still really interesting. Street food is often the best version of well known dishes or an innovative take on the classics.
Papiroen or Paper Island is Copenhagen’s street food destination. Standing at the end of Nyggen at sunset looking across the waters you see the island jam packed with people eating, drinking beers and enjoying the late afternoon sun. It seems so close, yet it was pretty far. There is a bridge that will eventually connect both sides of the river but the bridge has had countless delays over the years and isn’t yet finished (at one point they had to stop because they realized they had miscalculated the distance across the river and the bridge wouldn’t actually connect in the middle ….. details!). Until then you need to take a pretty long detour around to the next bridge and all the way back.
But it is worth the 20 minute detour and once you arrive you could easily spend the whole afternoon and evening here drinking and eating and drinking and eating.
Papiroen is a large building that is filled with little food stalls. They call them food trucks but they are actually little wooden huts each selling different kinds of foods, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Danish of course and a lot of beer (the Danish like their beer). This is a very sophisticated version of a food truck parking lot. They have regular concerts scheduled here and you can even reserve a table in advance. We took forever to choose what to eat for lunch and finally settled on a Morrocan lamb stew which was absolutely delicious.
Considering the Danish’s love for coffee, it is surprising that there is only one spot to get coffee in the entire space; Silver Streak Coffee. Because of this there was an impossibly long line and because of that we had pretty much given up on attempting a hot chocolate here. But strangely just as we finished our lunch, the line magically disappeared and we were able to order two hot chocolates. Their offering is actually for hot chocolate with whisky but we orders sans. It was quite a sweet hot chocolate, powdered mix, and it reminded me quite a bit of those hot chocolates you get when you are ice skating or skiing.
After having your lunch here I’d recommend just staying around and waiting until it is time for a mid afternoon drink…and then dinner. The island gets full sun from 11am until the sun sets (which can be quite late in the summer) and from here you get a great view of the opera house and the historic area of Copenhagen. You can mingle with and observe the locals. If you love it even more they are still spots for new businesses to start up inside and the place obviously needs another coffee shop…but this time one that serves a fantastic hot chocolate (with and without alcohol and perhaps with a marshmellow or two.)
Verdict: Papiroen is open from noon until 22:00 and later on the weekend. There are a lot of spots to sit so even if it looks packed full you are still likely to find a spot. Silver Streak Coffee Club, Papiroen, Trangravsvej 14, hal 7 & 8