For the past few days I have become an incubus of viral plague, and my room a disgusting cesspool of used teabags and kleenex. But before my bacteria attack, I managed to fit in a wonderful after-gym brunch at one of my favorite spots in Copenhagen.
Kalaset was actually the first restaurant I went to in Copenhagen. Of course, I had researched the Copenhagen food scene months before I actually set foot in Denmark, but it wasn’t until I arrived in the city that Kalaset registered on my radar.
I recall a familiar grumbling in my stomach as I sat in our hotel room on a Wednesday morning. It was a glorious radiant morning, and having just landed from less-than-sunny Oslo, I was determined spend as much time outside as humanly possible. But our bellies were yearning for food, and my boyfriend suggested that we grab lunch somewhere close – for fear of chronic starvation. So after a quick Google, Tripadvisor, and AOK search – I settled on Kalaset – which was described as “a cozy swedish cafe”. Cozy AND Swedish? What’s not to love?
Evidently that was a question to be asked, because once we got there, it was clear that this place was a favorite among savvy locals. It’s quaint and quirky without being overtly kitschy. The furniture is a hodgepodge of random pieces that you’d find at a flea market. The plates don’t match and light tubes outline the rooms. Antique radios decorate the walls and the ambient sounds of Beach House float through the air. If you come for the weekend brunch, then you’re in for a real treat – they actually hire a dj to spin feel-good tunes to accompany your eggs and toast.
But of course, you don’t just go to a cafe for the atmosphere. The focus of a cafe should always be on the food. And Kalaset definitely doesn’t skimp in that department. They take the idea of a homey brunch to a whole new level. Everything they serve is made in-house. Even the bread – and it’s delicious as ever.
I always go for lunch or brunch, but they’re open for dinner as well. And if you’re there after 3pm, I would highly suggest that you try one of their daily specials. They usually have an off-menu soup, salad, and main course. So read that blackboard before you make any decisions!
As a seasoned Kalaset customer (I think I’ve been here 5 times within the last 2 months), I most certainly have some great recommendations for brunch. First, if you’re planning on going for brunch on a weekend – get there early. And I mean, EARLY. The place is absolutely packed after 11, and you’d have no hope of getting a table without an arduous 45 minute wait.
As a rule of thumb, no matter what meal you settle on – get the pancakes. They’re the greatest pancakes I’ve ever tasted outside the US. I would put them only second to the banana walnut pancakes at Clinton St. Baking in NYC. Each one is so delicately airy yet deliciously moist at the same time. They’re not too hard nor too soft. They’re just the perfect consistency, you can effortlessly cut them with a knife, but they won’t fall apart when you put a fork to them. I must say that these pancakes are going to be my comfort food when I get homesick.
Next, Kalaset does the brunch plate with three different variations. First you have your standard plate with scrambled eggs, sausage, and bread. Then, you have both a vegetarian and a vegan option. As a vegetarian, I’ve never tried the meaty brunch, but my boyfriend tells me its divine. (He’s kind of a foodie too, so you can trust his seal of approval). If you’re feeling a bit funky, I would definitely recommend the vegan brunch plate which comes with falafel, homemade hummus, olive tapenade, and a bit of a lentil stew to make up for the lack of eggs. I could honestly eat this all day everyday.
For something lighter, try the scrambled eggs on their homemade rye bread with grilled vegetables and homemade ketchup. It’s a perfect snack if you’re on the go or – like me – coming from the gym and in desperate need of some protein.
So brunch-lovers, if you’re in the neighborhood, definitely check out this place: