Copenhagen: Grød – The revival of porridge

Grød, Copenhagen

Convincing your friends to join you for dinner might not sound too hard, but then try mentioning that the restaurant you have in mind only serves porridge. Suddenly the enthusiasm vanishes and only the most hardcore foodies are still standing. Even though porridge is an integral part of traditional Danish cuisine, it has been hiding in the shadows for decades, suffering the stigma as one of the most untrendy dishes in the country along with cheese sandwiches and canned peas. However, things change and one of the most hyped places in Copenhagen right now is Grød (grød= porridge in Danish), a café that serves nothing else than…Porridge!

I’m not sure how you succeed in getting such an inherently uncool and, to be honest, really ugly dish to be the next big thing, but I was curious to find out. As a matter of fact, I’ve wanted to try Grød for months, but only last week did I manage to talk one of my friends, Stine, into joining me.

Grød is located in vibrant Jægersborggade in the northern part of Copenhagen and the few tables in the tiny dining area cannot be booked in advance. Though, the evening we were visiting, it was pouring down, so getting a table wasn’t a problem.

We placed our order at the counter and waited in excitement for the food to arrive. I had to use the bathroom, which turned out to be in another building quite a walk down the street, but when I got back, our porridge was ready. Making porridge look good is quite a challenge, but the porridge at Grød was dressed to the nines and ready for lights, camera and action.

I had bygotto (a Nordic version of risotto made from pear barley instead of Arborio rice) with oyster mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. The risotto references were imminent, and if I had been blindfolded and served the food, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. It was rich and creamy and the serving so generous that halfway in, I started doubting whether I would be able to finish it. I ate it all, but afterwards, I was so full that I had to skip my initial plan on trying one of the dessert porridges. Stine had congee (Asian rice porridge) with chicken, ginger and peanuts. It was very tasty and so different from anything else, and she really liked it.

Grød doesn’t serve alcohol, so Stine and I purchased each our organic fruit squash instead. Nothing wrong with that, but we couldn’t help thinking, how nice it would have been with a cold beer to accompany the porridge instead. The sweet fruit drink didn’t go very well with the porridge and taste-wise, I guess we would have been better off with plain water.

To be honest, I’ve expected Grød to be one of those funny places that you visit one time just to be able to tell your friends that you’ve been there (kind of like eating locusts in China), but that delicious bygotto convinced me that Grød is more than just a fad. Porridge is tasty and healthy and much more versatile than I could ever imagine, so if you’re visiting Copenhagen, make sure you also visit Grød.

Read more about food and restaurants in Copenhagen on my Copenhagen Blog

Grød, Jægersborggade 50, kld. tv, 2200 København N

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