I planned to spend a morning in Islands Brygge exploring the growing coffee house scene over there after I was asked for some recommendations for coffee shops in this area. I rarely go to Islands Brygge and I think the last time I was there was about four years ago. The area has changed a lot thanks to the development of the University close to the Metro station but I still loved the old style architecture here, which is so different from areas such as Vesterbro and Nørrebro.
I had a list of a few places to check out but as soon as I walked towards the harbourside I came upon a cafe called Tobi’s, which was not on my list but looked like somewhere I would enjoy a coffee and a slice of cake.
The interior was very typically Danish with white walls and large windows to let in the sunshine (or just daylight in the winter), there was original artwork on the wall inspired, it seemed, by travel and backpacking – the vibe was very bright but cosy at the same time. The guy behind the counter told me the owner was the ubiquitous Tobi and that this was a place he had put his heart into. I loved it and it would be on my list of coffee shops to go to if you are in this area. I continued on my walk and checked out the other places on my list, which if I am honest were nice but nothing special, and I wondered again, why some places get all the buzz and hype and others, more deserving get less. At the final stop on my coffee house crawl, and in a somewhat caffeinated state, I stepped over the threshold of the last recommendation, Bryggen 21 .
The chap behind the bar was chatty and I explained what I was up to. He asked which other places I had been and I said I was very excited by one in particular, Tobi’s and began to rave about it. After I had finished he told me he was Tobi! So happy I hadn’t said anything bad about it. Bryggen 21 is a new partnership project between Tobi and two others so the place is a mix of all their ideas, which he enjoys, but Tobi’s is his ‘home’ as he put it.
I loved Bryggen 21 for different reasons but mainly because again it was bright and airy but cosy at the same time. I also loved the little touches here – for example the chairs are old chairs from the University and many customers recall sitting on these exact seats years ago. Also, fascinatingly, there is a stray bullet hole in the wall from 1945 when the Germans attempted to blow up nearby Langebro.
Tobi’s, Leifsgade 3, 2300 Copenhagen (website)
Bryggen 21, Islands Brygge 21, 2300 Copenhagen