Stedsans at ØsterGRO is an urban farm and rooftop restaurant in Copenhagen. This is among the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of dining. It’s a unique experience because of the surreal location and the amazing people you meet. Danish chef, food blogger, food writer, and food stylist Mette Helbæk and her husband, chef Flemming Hansen, are the creators of the concept. Last year it was almost impossible to get a booking, and you would most likely have to purchase it from someone else who had to cancel. That’s how I got my two seats, and I planned a week of eating my way through Copenhagen based on this and my Noma booking.
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If you read my bit on Noma you’ll know that Vinstudinen and I had already enjoyed a 15-course lunch there from 12 o’clock, which lasted for six hours. We were pretty full, but we knew we had dinner at Stedsans at ØsterGRO in just two hours and 15 minutes. What to do? You drink more wine, of course. However, to ensure some extra excitement in our day, I managed to lose track of Linn on the way to Jægersborggade. I was on a local SIM-card with no international minutes and she had her Belgian SIM-card with no data traffic. Yet, somehow we managed to communicate to each other that Terroiristen would be our meetup point. It may just have been drunken intuition.
A glass of wine or five later and we were on our bikes again, headed for Østerbro. The next challenge would be to find the entrance to Stedsans at ØsterGRO. It turned out to be the least expected path: up the fire escape stairs. On top of the roof, we experienced a magnificent sunset, with the beautiful urban farm in front of us. People were posing and taking selfies and we couldn’t be less trendy, so we did the same. A glass of bubbly wine awaited before chef Flemming Hansen arrived at the scene and welcomed us. He talked about the project clean, simple, local, and how it came about. Then he invited us to have a seat at the communal table inside the greenhouse for a truly social dining experience.
Before we sat down we greeted all the people around us, just like you would at any party where there are new acquaintances to meet. We were seated all the way into the greenhouse, close to the kitchen, where we could see the action unfold. Next to us was a beautiful Danish couple, who we got to know quite well during the evening. Just like Linn and I, they were also very interested in good food and gave us some local recommendations. I wrote them down! You should always listen to the advice of people who live in the city. They know it well, especially if they are passionate about the topic.
The food at Stedsans at ØsterGRO is clean, simple, and local, just like they promise. It could hardly have been a bigger contrast to the fine dining meal we had just enjoyed at Noma. Everything is presented in a rustic way on big trays and the servings are hearty. It’s fresh produce and pure flavors. You can feel each ingredient. The tomatoes taste of tomato. The carrots are simply perfectly cooked carrots. It’s like you’re back home, visiting your parents. Even though we were relaxed and had a great time at Noma, the atmosphere at Stedsans is what truly made us feel at ease this evening. We found peace here, on the rooftop of an old industrial building at Østerbro, among hipsters and hibiscus flowers.
Stedsans at ØsterGRO is all about the naked nature. Exposed nature growing on top of a rooftop, organic produce right on your plate, and natural wine in your glass. It’s not the most spectacular meal I’ve had in my life, but it’s one of the best experiences. A 5-course meal with wine pairings will cost you DKK 695,- and there are only two seatings each day from Thursday to Sunday. If you want to experience this too, you need to check their website when the bookings open for a new season now in April. Preferably sign up for their newsletter and follow their Facebook page as well if you want to secure those seats. Today Stedsans opens another restaurant in Torvehallerne as well, called Farm to Table Street Cuisine.
Did you go to Stedsans last year? Please share your experience in a comment below.