If you had to be stranded on an island with just one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Thankfully, the terrifying query is one you'll never have to answer if the island in question is Papirøen (or Paper Island), a former paper storage warehouse that is now home to a mecca for street food lovers in Copenhagen. Packed with over 30 different shipping container food carts, repurposed trucks and even an old green Airstream serving up everything from traditional Danish smørrebrød and British pancakes to Thai summer rolls and vegetarian Colombian, Copenhagen Street Food has been making a name for itself on the international food scene as a purveyor of sustainably served, palate-pleasing plates. I recently had a chance to stop by the island thanks to our friends at INDEX: Design to Improve Life, an organization devoted to bettering the world by spotlighting and furthering sustainable, smart and inspiring design. Read on to take your own virtual tour through the lens of my camera.
Though it’s located right on Copenhagen’s harbor with picturesque views of the city’s famed Royal Playhouse and Opera House, Paper Island lived a pretty mundane life as a paper storage facility for the Procurement Association of the Danish Press until just a few years ago. When its tenants decided to terminate their contract a few years early, the government decided to turn the island into an urban experiment, and invited creative entrepreneurial groups to make the space their home for the next few years until 2018.
We traveled to the island by renting out solar-powered GO Boats made of recycled bottles.
“Our ambition has been to create a street food market in Copenhagen with an atmosphere as one would experience at festivals and markets abroad, where the food truck culture is widespread,” said Copenhagen Street Food co-founder says Jesper Møller. “Our attention is mainly aimed at the smaller entrepreneur, but likewise, chefs with long experience – from the man with a taco truck, or Thai kitchen to the woman who serves Danish food from local produce. Our ambition is that people exchange experiences and create new concepts.”
Marrying two of our favorite repurposed shipping materials together, the venue’s waterfront container pavilions provide shelter for hungry visitors while pallets have been transformed into generously proportioned seats. The tops of the cargotecture structures also function as rooftop dining and viewing platforms.
CSF’s penchant for salvaged materials continues throughout the 24,800-square-foot space, from a central “Greenhouse” seating area constructed out of old windows to a 148-foot-long wall insulated with a thick layer of Danish mussel shells.
In addition to CSF’s creative use of reclaimed materials, the majority of its 35 food stalls serve up eats made of organic or locally sourced ingredients. Visitors are also encouraged to purchase water in order to support Thorshøjgaard, a biodynamic farm located in Dronningmølle, as well as the conservation of The Original Red Danish Dairy Breed. The market donates 5 DKK to the cause for every water sold.
Copenhagen Street Food is located at Warehouse 7 & 8, Trangravsvej 14, 1436 Copenhagen K. Click here for the most current opening hours. We definitely recommend that you stop by and grab a bite next time you’re in Copenhagen!