Spontaneous street food and divine dining in Copenhagen
Looking for a place to eat during Copenhagen Fashion Week? Read an extensive city guide of Copenhagen from Morten Sorensen, founder of Copenhagen-based mindful drinking company ISH Spirits.
January 27, 2023
Who are you?
— When I was 17 years old I knew 2 things; I wanted to work in the creative industry, and I wanted to be my own boss. Shortly after I started working at an agency in Copenhagen and after advancing a few times I got the title art director assistant, and soon thereafter I started my own agency and have been my own boss ever since. I love the ideation process and solving a problem that makes a difference for someone. I love conceptualising this idea and making it happen. I have done that numerous times for clients and with my own side projects. In 2017 I decided to take a 100-day break from alcohol and that became one of those eureka moments. I realized that skipping alcohol was easy, it was just saying no, but finding solid alternatives was difficult. That became the inception of ISH where we specialize in non-alcoholic wine, spirits, and cocktails with the purpose of making it easy for anyone to be a mindful drinker. Today ISH offers one of the broadest and most award-winning non-alcoholic ranges in the world.
For someone who hasn’t been to Copenhagen, how’d you describe it?
— Liberal. I have lived a few places around the world and visited many more. One thing that Copenhagen always reminds me of is how liberal it is — in the true meaning of the word. It’s open and welcoming to guests. It’s innovative in its architecture, food, and city landscape. During a warm summer day, you’ll see people jumping in the harbour to cool down, students partying on driving trucks to celebrate their graduation, loud music in the parks and even full-on festivals in the city with closed-off streets to make it safe for everyone attending.
”I feel a certain responsibility to live up to the good reputation Denmark has globally”
My favourite thing that makes me proud of Copenhagen:
— The food scene. Something I believe many Danes are proud of, but especially being part of the industry, I am so proud that as a small country, we can maintain such a high level of food innovation. And honestly, it’s a driver for me personally to show the world that in Denmark we can also be the absolute best when it comes to non-alcoholic products. I feel a certain responsibility to live up to the good reputation Denmark has globally.
My favourite weekend routine:
— Early workout at Barry’s followed by a bike ride to Lille Bakery for a delicious slow breakfast together with my wife. There would definitely be some screen time during the day to catch up on loose ends that I didn’t get around to during the week and at night meet up with friends for a great dinner.
Lille Bakery. Photography: Daniel Rasmussen
My favourite cultural spot:
— There’s a lot of history in Copenhagen making the city feel like one big cultural experience. My absolute favourite spot though is Rundetårn (The Round Tower), built by King Christian IV in the 1600s. This is where I proposed to my wife, on the roof, with a beautiful sunset view of the city. The staff was kind to keep it open just for us so we had it to ourselves.
My favourite place for dining out:
— Anyone visiting Copenhagen is blessed with excellent dining options. I have my favourite spots from Middle Eastern Shawarma to traditional Danish dishes and of course the Michelin star experiences. In that order, Kebabistan on Vesterbro is legendary. For Danish, Frk. Barners Kælder is as real as it gets and for the Michelin experience, Alchemist is out of this world. If you’re fortunate to have a reservation, make sure you try an ISH cocktail…
Fine dining at Alchemist or street food Shawarma at Kebabistan? Both are worth a visit.
My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:
— I’m so glad Soho House finally has a house in Copenhagen. It’s great when travelling but also super convenient when I’m home. The staff is super accommodating and the space allows for both groups and intimate meetings.
My favourite breakfast place:
— Besides Lille Bakery, I love Granola. Super chill vibes that just make you wanna sit there all day and people-watch. It’s located on one of the best streets in Copenhagen, Værnedamsvej, with lots of activity so you can literally spend a full day there.
My favourite excursion or city escape:
— My wife and I just bought a summer house an hour outside Copenhagen. It’s been a dream for a while and this is certainly our favorite escape from the city where we can enjoy the hilly nature, the ocean, and our very long walks.
My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:
— I wanna give a big shoutout to my buddy Christian who owns Banana, a cool, sustainable food brand. They make their banana bread and other delicious treats from upcycled bananas that otherwise would have been tossed — a great example of making a difference and making waste valuable.
My favourite hotel for a staycation:
— Villa Copenhagen is our go-to. It’s literally a 10-minute walk from our apartment which feels a little funny when we pack our bags, leave the front door, walk up the street, and check in 10 minutes later. But once we’ve checked in, we feel like we’re in another world and that’s the whole point really.
My favourite route for a run or walk:
— I love walking and so does my wife. We work quite a bit and are good at reminding each other to get out, get some fresh air, and take long walks. Our favourite spot is Amager Strand any time of the year really. In the summer, it’s busy and bustling and in the winter, it’s freezing and windy. Both scenarios are beautiful to me.
My favourite place for fashion:
— That’s an easy one. I have to give a shout-out to my wife Kat, who’s also the founder of Copenhagen Cartel, a sustainable apparel brand specializing in developing styles made from ocean waste. There is not a week where I’m not wearing something Copenhagen Cartel.
My favourite space for great design:
— There’s a specific place in Copenhagen, the Royal Library, where the old University Library building, from 1482, is adjoined with a new modern structure called The Black Diamond built in 2017. This merger between old and new is amazing to me. It shows respect for the old while not limiting evolution.
My favourite local media:
— Besides the more mainstream media I have my daily laugh scrolling through the @creolbrothers feed on Instagram.
My favourite thing at home:
— We completely redid our apartment and my favourite thing is our art wall, made up of a bunch of pieces collected over the years from around the world. Each piece has a unique story, just ask any guest that has visited us, ever.