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Reading a Danish Cafe Menu Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 in Daily Life, Food

…og om lidt er kaffen klar (and soon the coffee is ready). One of Denmark’s most iconic singalong songs ever doesn’t mention kaffe (coffee) for nothing – many Danes just can’t get enough of it, and globally only Finns and Swedes seem to be drinking more coffee. Whether you agree with rapper Per Vers, who praises the hot drink’s ”Black Power”, or du foretrækker te (you prefer tea), Denmark is full of caféer for you to pick from. (The prices might be steeper than in your country, so be prepared and do enjoy every single moment of your visit!)

(Photo courtesy of Susanne Nilsson at Flickr, CC License.)

A Danish café menu [menEE] is often easy to read for English-speakers, as many words are international and almost identical in the two languages. What do you get when you order a dobbelt espresso? Here are some more menu items in Danish:

Varme drikke – Hot beverages

kaffe – coffee

te OR the [teh] – tea (do not confuse the spelling the with the English word the! 🙂  )

mælk/fløde/sukker – milk/cream/sugar

varm chokolade [shockoLATHeh] – hot chocolate

kakao m/ flødeskum – cocoa w/ whipped cream

Kolde drikke – Cold beverages

glas juice – glass of juice

kildevand m/ isterninger – spring water with ice-cubes

kande øl – jug of beer

sodavand  – fizzy lemonade, mineral water (Cola, Fanta etc.)

danskvand (”Danish water”) – sparkling water (without extra taste)

Mad og snacks – Food and snacks

rundstykke m/ pålæg – bread roll w/ filling

smørrebrød – open sandwich (Danish smørrebrød are famous, so give yourself a treat! 🙂  )

bolle – bun

stykke kage – piece of cake

is ice-cream

hotdog – hotdog (even if the word is the same, the experience might be quite different in Denmark – try out all the ”fillings”!)

frugt – fruit

And here’s a bit of dialogue for you to order:

Ekspedient: God dag. (Hello/Good day!)

Du: God dag. Jeg vil gerne be’ om to glas juice, en frøsnapper, en hindbærsnitte og en træstamme! (Hello. I’d like to order two glasses of juice, one ”frog-snapper”, one ”raspberry cut” and one ”tree-trunk” [different kinds of widespread Danish ”mini-cakes” that you find everywhere].)

Ekspedient: Det bliver 80 kroner. Tak. Vil du have kvitteringen med? (That’s 80 Kroner, please. Thank you. Would you like the receipt?)

Du: Nej tak, det er fint. (No, thanks, I’m fine.)

Ekspedient: To glas juice og tre styks kage. Velbekomme! (Two glasses of juice and three pieces of cake. Bon appetit!)

Du: Mange tak! (Thanks a lot!)

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About the Author:Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.


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