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The hungry student guide to Copenhagen's soup kitchens

Low budget food — Copenhagen is a jungle of soup kitchens like no other. This little guide gives you the overview your rumbling stomach longs for. 

It’s cold outside. You’re poor, hungry and lazy. You dream of mom’s warm and simmering dinner, but when you open the fridge a half-empty ketchup bottle and a moldy cheese stare back at you.

But fear not! You live in Copenhagen, the cradle of soup kitchens and community restaurants, and with this guide you’ll be sure to find comforting belly-filling meals in your neighborhood in no time.

Velbekomme!

Valby: Kraftwerket

  • Where: Valgårdsvej 2, 2500 Valby.
  • When: Tuesdays at 18:00 (serving starts at around 18:30.)
  • Price: 20 kr. cash only.
  • Vegetarian/vegan: Always vegan, with occasional non-vegan desserts.

Kraftwerket is definitely worth the trip up the mountain of Copenhagen aka Valby Bakke. This little hygge-house, apart from serving dirt cheap vegan dinners every Tuesday, also houses Copenhagen’s Anime club, offers board game nights and facilitates role playing hang outs. Yeah, it’s a proper nerd mecca.

Coming for dinner, don’t forget cash or cross your fingers that a nice stranger will save you (not unlikely in this friendly crib). Once you’ve got your golden food-stamp, choose between the well-lit upstairs area or the cozy downstairs. Did I mention they sell cheap beers?

 

Frederiksberg: Café Paraplyen

  • Where: Nyelandsvej 66, 2000 Frederiksberg.
  • When: Wednesdays 17:00-19:00.
  • Price: 38 kr. cash only.
  • Vegetarian/vegan: Nope. But do check the menu on their website, sometimes they do soups or fish-dishes.

The ‘oh so posh’ Frederiksberg isn’t the first place to go looking when you’re craving a cheap meal. However, this hut offers delicious, affordable dinners for all hungry souls on Wednesdays.

With the love for traditional Danish cooking, café Paraplyen will make you feel like you’re having dinner at grandma’s. And it smells like her house too! Bring a friend or try to strike up a chat with some of the regulars around the room.

 

Nordvest: Ungeren

  • Where: Dortheavej 61, but the entrance is on the opposite side of the building on Rentemestervej, 2400 Copenhagen NV.
  • When: Thursdays at 19:00.
  • Price: 25 kr. cash only.
  • Vegetarian/vegan: Always vegan.

Ungdomshuset, or Ungeren as it goes by, is the punk haven of the city. With a long history and a no-bullshit vibe, this place is worthy of a drop-inn. The volunteer driven Thursday night kitchen serves up vegan meals with passion, and the graffiti filled rooms are weirdly welcoming.

The portions are large, and in case of leftovers everyone is welcome for a second round. Come early and join the free yoga class in the Sweat Room at 17:00 or stay for a ‘little Friday’-beer and a punk-rock concert in the basement.

 

Vesterbro: Absalon

  • Where: Sønder Boulevard 73, 1720 Copenhagen V.
  • When: Everyday! Food is served around 18.
  • Price: 50 kr. with cash/card/Mobile Pay
  • Vegetarian/vegan: Vegetarian on Mondays and Wednesdays. It is possible to ask for a veggie option on other days, but don’t expect anything fancy.

It’s impossible to overlook Absalon when digging into Copenhagen’s soup kitchen scene. This mastodon of a culture house serves up reasonably priced, all-you-can-eat dinners every single night of the week. Being the hipster hub that it is, the meals are never boring and the setting isn’t either, it being an old church, rebuilt and equipped with everything you’ll ever need to chill (bar, board games, ping pong tables).

The crowd is a healthy mix of local families with kids, old folks sipping Aperol Spritz and hipster-chic youngsters. The place is huge, but do come 15-20 minutes before the official announcement of the menu at 18:00 to get a seat.

 

Amager: Hava Java

  • Where: Søndre Campus Building 14, Karen Blixens Vej 4, 2300 Copenhagen S.
  • When: Last Thursday of every month, 17:00-19:00.
  • Price: Pay-as-you-feel via Mobile Pay or cash.
  • Vegetarian/vegan: Vegetarian.

If you are one of the lucky students of Søndre Campus in Amager, you can enjoy a nice bowl of cheap liquid dinner without ever leaving university ground! The campus café, Hava Java, partners up with a charity last Thursday of every month to serve soup to hungry passer-byers.

The concept is pay-as-you-feel, so if you’re pinching pennies at month’s end, feel free to not give a lot. After a bowl of creamy veggie soup and a slice of homemade bread you can return to the library with a full belly and a good conscience.

 

Still hungry?

Head to Kafa-X (Korsgade 19) on Tuedays at 19:00 for a fine, vegan meal, treat yourself to a more fancy soup kitchen dinner at Den Økologiske Produktionsskole (Ravnsborggade 18) on Thursdays from 17:30, or set out to find Common Ground (Ragnhildgade 1) the refugee-inclusive folkekøkken open every Monday from 17:00.

Ungdomshuset - Maybe you just came for dinner, but you might stay for a concert.
image: Valentina Shapovalova
Kraftwerket - The menu is one hundred per cent plant based at Kraftwerket.
image: Valentina Shapovalova
Absalon - Regard the old church as an extension of your living room, the organizers say.
image: Valentina Shapovalova
Ungdomshuset - Food and atmosphere but no heterosexism and no drugs. But of course!
image: Valentina Shapovalova
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