Restaurant Ida Davidsen – Copenhagen, Denmark

Delectable and Artistic Sandwiches in Mind-Boggling Variations

Those who think a sandwich by any other name is still a sandwich should make a quick stop at this Copenhagen institution, a showcase of the national open sandwich called smørrebrød. Ida Davidsen (“the smørrebrød queen of Copenhagen”) runs this fifth-generation family restaurant, now more than a century old.

The menu of 178 variations, said to be the largest in Scandinavia, is the size of the Copenhagen telephone directory. The sandwiches are displayed in a glass case, and like everything in this aesthetically sensitive country, each is carefully and artfully pre­pared.

Quantity is important, but quality and freshness are paramount. The choices are delectable, if somewhat improbable: tongue with fried egg, pigeon with mushrooms, and pureed smoked salmon head the more imagi­native offerings. More pedestrian palates will pick up at the choice of shrimp, liver paté, roast beef, and chicken. Even the Queen of Denmark has her hankerings for the occa­sional takeout and has had royal occasions catered by Ida Davidsen at her residence, Amalienborg Palace.

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