Danish Food Vocabulary #1 Best Guide

Danish food vocabulary

What do people eat in Denmark? Is Danish food vocabulary similar to English foods? This article hopes to answer all your questions about traditional Danish food and what they call different foods in Denmark.

Danish culture has heavily influenced food choices and there may be a Danish food tradition or two that you find strange, but as the saying goes, don’t judge it until you try it!

From rye bread, to fried bacon, to something called parsley sauce, let’s begin our food journey.

Traditional Danish Cuisine

The Danes enjoy meals that are quite heavy, hearty, and meaty. Many traditional Danish dishes will have:

  • pork (peberen) [Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]peberen[/Speechword]
  • potatoes (svinekødet) [Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]svinekødet[/Speechword]
  • vegetables (kartoflerne) [Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kartoflerne[/Speechword]
  • salt (saltet) [Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]saltet[/Speechword]
  • pepper (grøntsagerne) [Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]grøntsagerne[/Speechword]

You’ll note that nearly all main food dishes contain some form of potato. The potato plays a major role in Danish food culture.

Famous Dishes Of Denmark

Stegt Flæsk Med Persillesovs (Crispy Pork With Parsley Sauce)

This is the national dish of Denmark. The delicious dish is served with crispy fried pork with a side of boiled potatoes. The sauce consists of pickled beetroot and parsley sauce which makes the ingredients pop off the plate.

Brændende Kærlighed (Burning Love)

Do you have mashed potatoes, diced onions, and fried bacon? That’s it, you’re all set! This dish is beloved by the Danes and is meant to be served piping hot, hot, hot. Many people will also garnish it with dill, parsley, or chopped beetroot.

Forlorn Hare (Meatloaf)

This is not your mother’s meatloaf. Referred to as forlorn hare or mock hare because there isn’t actually any hare meat in the meatloaf, rather it’s a mix of half veal and half pork. Then, get this, they wrap the meat in bacon! It’s then baked, smothered in gravy and topped with whipped cream.

Syltede Sild (Pickled Herring)

You simply can’t talk about Nordic cuisine without mentioning pickled herring. It’s served in every restaurant in every which way; smoked, breaded, fried, you name it, they’ve got it! It’s usually served with dark buttered rye bread, a garnish of red onions and dill.

Flæskesteg (Danish Roast Pork)

A traditional Danish Christmas food, Flæskesteg (roast pork), has made its way into the mainstream and can now be enjoyed all year round. It’s served with a side of sweet corn and pickled red cabbage and really, it’s more like fried pork belly than roast pork.

Other Typical Danish Food

There are dozens of delicious dishes available in Denmark. The Danes are famous for their Danish pastries and love sweet goodies. It’s quite common to see locals enjoying a Danish pastry on their break or having what many would consider to be a dessert any point during the day or night.

Here are some other foods the Danish enjoy:

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the rice puddingrisengrøden[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]risengrøden[/Speechword]
the Danish meatballsde danske frikadeller[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]de danske frikadeller[/Speechword]
the breaded pork pattiesde panerede flæskebøffer[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]de panerede flæskebøffer[/Speechword]
the caramelized potatoesde karamelliserede kartofler[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]de karamelliserede kartofler[/Speechword]
the cold buttermilk soupden kolde kærnemælkssuppe[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]den kolde kærnemælkssuppe[/Speechword]
the beer breadøllebrødet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]øllebrødet[/Speechword]
the dark rye breaddet mørke rugbrød[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]det mørke rugbrød[/Speechword]

Meals Of The Day In Danish

Danish food vocabulary meals

Talking about meals is an important part of any culture. Here’s how to say the common meals of the day in Danish.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the breakfastmorgenmaden[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]apageitaucher[/Speechword]
the brunchbrunchen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]brunchen[/Speechword]
the lunchfrokosten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]frokosten[/Speechword]
the dinneraftensmaden[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]aftensmaden[/Speechword]
the dessertdesserten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]desserten[/Speechword]
the snacksnacken[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]snacken[/Speechword]

The Food Pyramid – Danish Food Vocabulary

Now let’s go through the typical staple food groups and have a look at the most common types of fruits, vegetables, meat, desserts, and drinks in Danish.


Fruits in Danish

Fruits cannot be easily grown in Denmark so most fruits are imported from abroad elsewhere in Europe or overseas. You can still get the usual fruits you’re used to at local supermarkets. Here’s what fruits are called in Danish.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the fruitfrugten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]frugten[/Speechword]
the appleæblet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]æblet[/Speechword]
the bananabananen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]bananen[/Speechword]
the cherrykirsebæret[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kirsebæret[/Speechword]
the coconutkokosnødden[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kokosnødden[/Speechword]
the grapedruen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]druen[/Speechword]
the limelimen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]limen[/Speechword]
the mangomangoen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]mangoen[/Speechword]
the orangeappelsinen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]appelsinen[/Speechword]
the papayapapayaen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]papayaen[/Speechword]
the pineappleananassen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]ananassen[/Speechword]
the strawberryjordbæret[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]jordbæret[/Speechword]
the watermelonvandmelonen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]vandmelonen[/Speechword]


Danish food vocabulary vegetables

Vegetables are one of the core elements of Danish cuisine. Most Danish dishes have sides of vegetables. Now we know that not all of these are vegetables; some are tubers, herbs, fungi, etc so please accept these all lumped together under the category of vegetables in Danish.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the vegetablegrøntsagen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]grøntsagen[/Speechword]
the asparagusaspargesene[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]aspargesene[/Speechword]
the broccolibroccolien[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]broccolien[/Speechword]
the cabbagekålen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kålen[/Speechword]
the carrotguleroden[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]guleroden[/Speechword]
the cauliflowerblomkålen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]blomkålen[/Speechword]
the cornmajsen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]majsen[/Speechword]
the cucumberagurken[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]agurken[/Speechword]
the eggplantauberginen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]auberginen[/Speechword]
the garlichvidløget[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]hvidløget[/Speechword]
the lettucesalaten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]salaten[/Speechword]
the mushroomsvampen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]svampen[/Speechword]
the onionløget[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]løget[/Speechword]
the potatokartoflen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kartoflen[/Speechword]
the pumpkingræskarret[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]græskarret[/Speechword]
the spinachspinaten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]spinaten[/Speechword]
the sweet potatoden søde kartoffel[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]den søde kartoffel[/Speechword]
the tomatotomaten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]tomaten[/Speechword]


Meat in Danish

One of the main ingredients of Danish cuisine is meat. It is usually the star of the plate and is cooked in various forms. Pork is probably the most popular meat ingredient.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the meatkødet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kødet[/Speechword]
the baconbaconen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]baconen[/Speechword]
the beefoksekødet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]oksekødet[/Speechword]
the chickenKyllingen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]Kyllingen[/Speechword]
the duckanden[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]anden[/Speechword]
the hamskinken[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]skinken[/Speechword]
the meatballfrikadellen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]frikadellen[/Speechword]
the muttonfårekødet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]fårekødet[/Speechword]
the porksvinekødet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]svinekødet[/Speechword]
the sausagepølsen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]pølsen[/Speechword]
the turkeykalkunen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kalkunen[/Speechword]


Being next to the sea the Danes love their seafood, especially fish. Most of the seafood available in Denmark comes fresh from the sea or is imported.

Seafood in Danish
EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the seafoodskaldyrene[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]skaldyrene[/Speechword]
the crabkrabben[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]krabben[/Speechword]
the fishfisken[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]fisken[/Speechword]
the lobsterhummeren[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]hummeren[/Speechword]
the oysterøstersen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]østersen[/Speechword]
the salmonlaksen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]laksen[/Speechword]
the shrimp/prawnrejen/rejen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]rejen/rejen[/Speechword]
the squidblæksprutten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]blæksprutten[/Speechword]
the tunatunen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]tunen[/Speechword]


Danish food vocabulary drinks

In Denmark, cold and iced drinks are not very popular as the weather is typically a bit cool and overcast. You can still expect name brand drinks and usual things such as coffee and tea.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the drinkdrikken[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]drikken[/Speechword]
the beerøllen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]øllen[/Speechword]
the coffeekaffen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kaffen[/Speechword]
the fruit juicefrugtsaften[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]frugtsaften[/Speechword]
the iced teaden iste[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]den iste[/Speechword]
the liquor/spiritsspiritus/spiritus[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]spiritus/spiritus[/Speechword]
the milkmælken[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]mælken[/Speechword]
the poppoppen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]poppen[/Speechword]
the red winerødvinen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]rødvinen[/Speechword]
the smoothiesmoothien[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]smoothien[/Speechword]
the sodasodavandet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]sodavandet[/Speechword]
the teateen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]teen[/Speechword]
the watervandet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]vandet[/Speechword]
the white winehvidvinen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]hvidvinen[/Speechword]
the winevinen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]vinen[/Speechword]

Danish Cooking Terms

Cooking terms in Danish

In this vocabulary list, we gathered the most frequently used Danish cooking terms in the kitchen. These words could be easier to memorize if you think about them or say them aloud while cooking in the kitchen.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
bakedbagt[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]bagt[/Speechword]
friedstegt[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]stegt[/Speechword]
deep friedfriturestegt[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]friturestegt[/Speechword]
grilledgrillet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]grillet[/Speechword]
roastedristede[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]ristede[/Speechword]
steameddampet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]dampet[/Speechword]
hothed[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]hed[/Speechword]
coldkold[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kold[/Speechword]
bitterbitter[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]bitter[/Speechword]
saltysaltet[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]saltet[/Speechword]
spicykrydret[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]krydret[/Speechword]
sweetsød[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]sød[/Speechword]

Useful Dining Phrases In Danish

These casual words and phrases can help you when you go dining out in Denmark or when you’re invited over for the dinner. You could also use the words above to ask about your meal.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
a littleen lille[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]en lille[/Speechword]
a loten masse[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]en masse[/Speechword]
cooklaver mad[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]laver mad[/Speechword]
eatspise[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]spise[/Speechword]
goodgodt[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]godt[/Speechword]
I’m fullJeg er mæt[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]Jeg er mæt[/Speechword]
I’m hungryJeg er sulten[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]Jeg er sulten[/Speechword]
lessmindre[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]mindre[/Speechword]
moremere[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]mere[/Speechword]
noingen[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]ingen[/Speechword]
onlykun[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]kun[/Speechword]
pleaseVær venlig[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]Vær venlig[/Speechword]
thank youtak skal du have[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]tak skal du have[/Speechword]
yesJa[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]Ja[/Speechword]
yummylækkert[Speechword voice=”Danish Female” isinline]lækkert[/Speechword]

Do You Want To Learn The Danish Language?

If you want to explore the Danish Language, improving your knowledge of the most commonly used words and phrases will make a huge difference in speaking Danish. That’s why we advise you to use the Ling App to master your Danish language.

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