Despite having been open for almost three years, Alice has remained a bit of a hidden gem in the Copenhagen food scene. One reason this cozy ice cream shop and bakery has flown under the radar is its location. Alice is nestled in the neighborhood of Amager, a more residential part of town that is less frequented by tourists. However, owner Anders Lorenz is no rookie in the food scene – he previously worked at restaurants like Noma, Taller, and 108 before branching out to open his own spot. A true food nerd, Lorenz will scientifically study a dish until he has perfected it. Originally, his plan was to focus solely on handmade, ingredient-driven ice cream made in small batches.
His passion for coffee led him to add caffeinated beverages to the menu. Then, baked goods came into the picture. Lorenz’s fascination with baking has resulted in some of the most precise pastries we’ve ever tasted. (The croissant is absolutely to die for!) Now, Alice is expanding into the corner space next door. For the past few years, Alice has mostly been a neighborhood spot, but we have a feeling that this expansion is about to bring some well-deserved recognition from locals and tourists alike.
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in the Danish capital? Check out our city map of Copenhagen!
The Expansion of Alice
Those who have visited Alice’s original storefront, were consistently impressed by the high level of pastries and ice cream coming out of such a tiny space. Alice makes some of the best ice cream and croissants we’ve ever had, which (not gonna lie) largely influenced our decision to move into the neighborhood. (That’s right, we are lucky to call Alice our neighbor!) But, due to size restrictions and extremely small batches, the shop rotated seasonally, switching from ice cream scoops in the summer to pastries in the winter.
Now, with the expansion, Alice will be able to offer pastries year-round! The side-by-side storefronts will basically operate like two separate shops. If you want a scoop of ice cream, drop by the original location, but if you want to sit down with a coffee or pastry, head next door. The new space on the corner is much bigger, with lots of seating – benches wrap the periphery of the shop, stools line the L-shaped coffee bar, and two large, communal tables sit in the center. The design is gorgeous and very Scandinavian, with warm wood accents and dried flowers hanging from the ceiling.
Everything from Alice’s old menu will be available for purchase (croissants, cinnamon rolls, sourdough buns, espresso drinks, filter coffee, tea, juice, milk), and local Danish products will also be added. The goal is to operate more as a general store than as a restaurant, so Alice is selling meat and cheese by the gram, at accessible deli prices rather than steep wine bar prices. You can buy cheese and charcuterie to take home, or stay and snack on it in the shop. The “general store” will also sell pints of ice cream, bags of coffee beans from Swedish roaster Koppi. There are plans to add high quality tea and Danish chocolates as well.
A Natural Wine Shop in Amager
Perhaps the biggest news in this expansion is the addition of a bottle shop. This is especially exciting for us as Amager residents, since Alice will be the first shop selling natural wine in the neighborhood! Alice prides itself on having transparent wine prices that are competitive with other wine stores and bars in Copenhagen. We spotted wines from Gabrio Bini, Anders Fredrik Steen, and Marco Buratti on the shelves, along with lots of new bottles we have yet to try. One day, Alice hopes to get a liquor license so that guests can enjoy wine in the shop, but for now we will take advantage of the accessible take-away prices.
Ingredient-Driven Ice Cream
Unlike other Copenhagen shops that churn out gelato or the old-fashioned Danish-style of ice cream, Alice has an ingredient-driven style all its own. When working in restaurants, Lorenz saw the extra care ice cream received, with chefs creating innovative, flavor-filled combinations. He wanted to give people that same experience outside of the restaurant, so he dabbled with unusual flavors like toasted rice, pine, and raspberry rose. However, he realized that his customers preferred familiar flavors, so he shifted his focus to the classics and focused on trying to perfect them – with an explosion of flavor.
Lorenz takes a scientific approach when crafting ice cream; he really likes digging in and analyzing things on a nerdy level. After a lot of experimenting, he came up with a spreadsheet to track the exact nutritional qualities of each ingredient he uses, to make it easier for him to construct new flavors. He never works with an ice cream base; each recipe is developed from scratch. This method requires more work, but it yields a superior product and that is his goal. He likes his ice cream to have a real substance to it, almost stretchy in terms of texture, with less air and more flavor.
His milk ice cream is a signature flavor, made with milk from the small Danish dairy farm, Søtoftes. Alice makes its own nut roasts in house to create pistachio and hazelnut ice creams, two other popular choices. Sea buckthorn, chocolate, koldskål (a Danish buttermilk product), stracciatella, and strawberry are also offered regularly.
“Everything is about purity and simplicity,” Lorenz says when describing his ingredients. “Things can stand for themselves if they’re done really well.”
Another Alice standout is the homemade tonka bean waffle cone. Its deep, buttery, vanilla flavor makes it taste like a cookie cone!
A Self-Taught Pastry Team
“When winter came, I realized we couldn’t sell ice cream. So, we started baking,” Lorenz explained when talking about how the menu evolved to include viennoiserie, with the help of his colleague Cathleen Hall. Although neither had any training or experience with baking, together they managed to craft the most perfect butter croissant we have ever tasted.
“It was a lot of trial and error. We wanted our croissant to be moist on the inside, but have that contrast of a crunchy exterior. We didn’t have a recipe to go off of, so we just tried everything.”
It’s safe to say they succeeded. Last year, Alice won the “City’s Best Croissant” in a blind taste test. It’s no surprise that his products are so good – Lorenz throws himself wholeheartedly into his passions.
“I like to pick one thing and get good at it before I start something else. If I perfect it, I lose interest. Then I’m just making recipes. But the beauty of baking is that every day is different, even if the method is the same. We’re always trying to make the best croissants, but it’s hard to achieve. The results are different every day, because of the weather, humidity, and temperature.”
Alice also makes cinnamon rolls using croissant scraps, and twice-baked almond croissants if there happen to be leftover croissants from the day before. But, we have yet to try the almond croissant – there usually aren’t any leftovers.
Have you been to Alice? Leave a comment below.