Brandts Former factory turned museum displays big art in a big way. Enter through the gift shop

Culture | Brandts Torv 1, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | Translated by: Bo Jessen | 64 recommendations

In the mid-1980s, a vacant textile factory was converted into an art centre in Odense. Modern visual culture replaced weaving mills and industrial dye in the high-ceilinged rooms, and today Brandts is a showcase for contemporary and classical Danish art. After the Funen Art Academy left the building, Brandts has colonized all floors with big ambitions and tales of a future where Odense welcomes bigger exhibitions and give them the space they deserve. The Media Museum is the only other institution still present in this five storey industrial wonder.

Brandts is a cultural giant, setting the tone for the use of former industrial buildings for shops and cafes in the Latin Quarter. A re-launch of the museum in 2014 provided a new logo as well as a new curatorial direction: Brandts banished the solo shows of contemporary artists, and instead specialises in grand, themed exhibitions addressed to the popular unconscious, with appeal to stomach, hearts and egos. At first the contemporary art was displaced to its little sister, Brandts 13, but after another conceptual tightening Brandts 13 is now also in the past.

Whether exhibitions centered on tattoos, selfies and Disney are expressions of an experimental, post-modern attitude to canon, or rather signs of the institution nursing consumer-guests on their conditions is up for debate. For us, part of the answer is provided by the fact that the once well-stocked art bookstore now has been replaced by glasses, scarfs and pillars with Kandinsky motives. A bookstore is where an art museum greets its visitors - an opportunity to show that you have something to tell and that you take yourself and your guests seriously.

In any case, it surely is healthy that the museum is still able to piss people off. For the more traditionally-minded guest, there is a permanent collection of Danish painting on display in the attractive modern extension of the museum, including a gorgeous, dark Hammershøi that you really ought to revisit every time you stop by for a special exhibition.

You should always attend receptions at Brandts, even if there is no chance of catching as much as glimpse of what they have put on the walls because of the crowds. Instead, sip your complimentary beverage in the outdoor gallery in good company of (almost) the entire city and enjoy the glorious view over Amfipladsen.

Today people tend to take for granted that fine arts belong in industrial settings, but the biggest art centre on Funen was a pioneer in the field of developing outdated industrial building complexes into cultural hotspots. In 1988, the museum received the European Museum of the Year Award; the first of any Scandinavian museum to do so. A quality often taken for granted, but something that should still be applauded for respectful transformation of the built heritage. Let's hope it continues to raise the bar for museum practices and doesn't retreat into the comforts of easy choices.

Admission is free on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. and your grandmother and your maybe-date will both appreciate an invitation (but seperately).

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Wed: 10.00 - 17.00
  • Thu: 10.00 - 21.00
  • Fri - Sun: 10.00 - 17.00
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Nordatlantisk Hus A must-see architectural gem by the harbour, home to an worthwhile restaurant serving New Nordic cuisine with a North Atlantic twist

Nordatlantisk Hus
Eating | Nordatlantisk Promenade 1, Odense C | Written by: Brian Lindskov Larsen | Photo: Hannibal-Bach | 20 recommendations

You can’t say you’ve been to New Odense until you’ve made your way to the harbour. Odense Harbour is not only a pretty sweet spot, it is also home to several major attractions of the city. And Nordatlantisk Hus is one of them. From afar it looks dangerously cool and un-Odensian and once inside you’ll find a remarkable restaurant serving up a slice of the North Atlantic at a reasonable price.

Grey cliffs and luminous icebergs have inspired the shape of this architectural gem, where icy blue glass birds circle above your head. This striking building was built in collaboration between Greenland House and Odense Municipality and houses the city’s finest student accommodation on its upper floors. Below, in an unbeatable setting, you’ll find a very special restaurant serving delicacies from Greenland and the Faroe Islands in the spirit of New Nordic cuisine. It may not be Noma, but it is delicious and affordable.

Go there for their abundant brunch with the best home-made Nutella you’ve ever had and a harbour view. Eat inside, on the terrace or take away.

Apart from the restaurant, Nordatlantisk Hus also offers occasional concerts and exhibitions with a North Atlantic twist. Their gift shop is open Thursdays and Fridays 1 pm – 6 pm, Saturdays 11 am - 2 pm.

  • Mon - Fri: 11.30 - 23.30
  • Sat: 10.00 - 23.30
  • Sun: 11.30 - 16.00
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Gastroteket A kind-hearted French-Nordic deli and eatery with attention to detail

Eating | Nørregade 39, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Francois Picard | Photo: Hannibal-Bach | 1 recommendations

Funen is Denmark's Provence. The best food in the country has always grown in Funen's soil, and in this Funen-French melting pot, you'll be served the best from both worlds, with a twist of classical, French know-how.

At the Gastroteket, you will find both a nordic interior and French-Funen dishes: delicatessens, simmered dishes, pig-based food from nose to tail, local vegetables and subtle wines, served in bright, well-appointed spaces. Mostly organic. And of course, all the delicatessens and cold meat slices, you may dream about, to take away to your home-sweet-home or in one of the town's parks. Delicatessens and cold meat slices that you always can taste, before being prepared and packed for you.

The Gastroteket is located in a street, in which you will as well find an organic bakery, furnitures, a chocolate shop, and an enchanting café, the most natural, Lyonese delicatessen shop and restaurant in all its subdued elegance and simplicity.

If it makes any difference to your visit, then it is entirely positive, as, at the Gastroteket, the service is as informal as the the quality is high.

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  • Tue - Fri: 11:30 - 21:30
  • Sat: 10:00 - 21:30
  • Sun: -
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Svalernes Genbrugsbutik Flea market goodies at old-timey prices

Svalernes Genbrugsbutik
Shopping | Ørstedsgade 20, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | 1 recommendations

A bonafide miscellaneous thrift shop like back in the day. In the country, there are huge flea barns with junk stacked roof-high, where only the most persevering venture in. Meanwhile, in the cities, you are stuck with second-hand stores with rows and rows of easily-surveyed Merkel-style polyester pantsuits and patterned tea service with no cups sold seperately, not to mention those insufferable luxury-thrift dealers, who adjust the price tags when copper and teak come back in style.

Luckily, there is also Svalernes Genbrug; the perfect amalgam of gold and junk; the best of both worlds.

Svalerne are rag pickers with hearts of gold and old-world habits. If you have enough time, you will exactly what you (did not know you) needed under breadmakers, chandeliers, tin soldiers and TV stands. Those easily tempted (such as yours truly) are in imminent danger of finding themselves heading home on their bicycle with a full set of garden furniture slung over their shoulder, even though one has no garden, and even so, could not resist the temptation of this particular set and its candy-stripe bolster and affordable price.

If you gather up a nice variety of things, Svalerne will throw in the spoons for free, and there is almost always cake, and coffee on thermos.

The best garage sale in town is open twice a week; show up early to have time to nose out the good stuff.

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  • Wed: 15.00 - 18.00
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  • Sat: 10.00 - 14.00
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Galleriet Ny Vestergade 13 Independent gallery - a loving home to a wide range of local artists and artisans

Galleriet Ny Vestergade 13
Shopping | Ny Vestergade 13, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | 6 recommendations

On Odense's gallery street, Ny Vestergade, is a small, relatively new gallery. It is charming - and a bit strange, and urban - and right in the middle of Odense.

The gallery is owned by artist Christina James Nielsen, and while you are browsing the current exhibition, you can catch a glimpse of the creative process: the gallery space doubles as a studio for Christina James Nielsen, who works in steel wire sketching. As a visitor to the gallery, you get to peek into the artist's world.

The gallery hosts a number of small, alternating exhibits, several of which have been recommended by This Is Odense, such as Small WondersOn Wings and Vinterstemning.

If you fall head over heels for a piece at the exhibition, a visit to the monthly auction might be in order. Auctions are announced ahead of time via the gallery website.

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  • Tue - Thu: 10.00 - 16.00
  • Fri: 12.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 14.00
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Link to place Directions

RecordPusher Outstanding new and used vinyl records and hang-out

Shopping | Overgade 18, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | 11 recommendations

A small, intimate shop and a wide range of records across genres – both new and used – is what makes RecordPusher one of Denmark’s leading record stores.

After many years working in his brother’s cult record store Moby Disc, Bo opened in 2011 and, three years later, a bricks-and-mortar store opened in Overgade. Bo quickly became an outstanding provider of analogue sound in the city centre, sometimes in (bitter) competition with his brother, who re-opened his white whale on smaller scale shop in 2015.

I have visited record stores in all the big cities in the world and know what I associate with the real vinyl-experience: Buying vinyl records should be a cohesive experience of feeling, touching, and listening your way through the selection. Being present, taking your time, and having the desire to learn something new.

This is possible at RecordPusher. There is coffee on the pot, a small lounge offering wine and beer, and always good music playing. What is it? Bo will tell you, and you can name a genre and get a recommendation you had not expected, and stream music from your tablet before purchasing, just ask. Most importantly, there are always new records on the shelves.

The store focuses on new releases and a wide range of genres with a preponderance of Indie music. Bo also prioritizes having the music from upcoming concerts and festivals in stock, so this is a golden opportunity to listen up on upcoming concert experiences.

Stop by for a present record experience in one of Denmark’s most well-assorted, independent record stores.

Have a seat in the window or on the bench in fron and watch the bustle of the street.

The shop is always open the first sunday of the month as well, from 11 am to 3 pm.

  • Mon - Thu: 09.00 - 17.30
  • Fri: 09.00 - 19.00
  • Sat: 09.00 - 16.00
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Link to place Directions

Antikvariatet Find your next great read in the little antiquarian bookstore

Shopping | Klaregade 27, Odense C | Written by: Anders Skovgaard | 1 recommendations

I’ve always carried books with me, and when I moved to Odense to study at university I found the antiquarian bookseller on Klaregade to be my anchor, my oasis in the desert of real life. And if you consider that Odense is a university town and proportionally there should be quite a few that could benefit from that little shop, I’ve rarely met others on my peregrinations there, though I go there quite often. It’s strange because the prices are fair, the books in good condition, and there’s an ok flow of new (old) books. 

The place is not super big, but it’s crammed with a hell lot of books and a fragrant atmosphere, that only old books can give. Their philosophy, history and anthropology sections are particularly nice. They have a passable section of Danish classics and a nice selection of English masterpieces. The books are categorized by either country or topic, and there’s often a nice selection across the board. The only thing that I’ve always found irritating is that they don’t have a good selection of French literature.

Still, it’s pretty much the only place in town where you can buy poetry and dramas, so that’s really nice. The owners are very sweet and knowledgeable people, who know precisely where to find anything you might be looking for, so you just need to ask them.  

  • Mon - Fri: 12.00 - 17.30
  • Sat: 11.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Moby Disc Good music and good advice from this independent cult shop. New and used vinyl and CD’s

Moby Disc
Shopping | Skt. Knuds Kirkestræde 2A, Odense C | Written by: Jakob Cæsius Krohn | 4 recommendations

For years I’ve said that the day Moby Disc won’t exist anymore, I’ll move to another city. But first of all I’m going to tell a story from the past (but please don’t tell my sweet girlfriend about it):

”Endnu en nat på værtshus” - “Another night at the bar”, as Kim Larsen sings, and possibly even the grimmest of bars in Odense. Ferndale - Vandalen among friends - on Vesterbro, recently the scene of a crime. But through the dense mist of cigarette smoke and liquor appears a young, redheaded girl with the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen. She’s even a Doors fan and her favorite book is “The Catcher in the Rye”. What more can I say… probably not so much. CUT. It’s broad daylight, and we say goodbye on the sidewalk. And although she’s from Aarhus, I say confidently: “See you soon!”. To which she answers: “Maybe!”. But there is more to come, because soon after that ’the Nice Norwegian’ and I are a couple of numbers down Rabalderstrædet, crashing the newly opened Moby Disc.

Per Ellegaard Pedersen, owner of the second-hand record store, is the Nice Norwegian’s neighbor. Before Per even opened the shop, he was the proud owner of a couple thousand LPs in his apartment - which served as a kind of candy shop for us. We borrowed, among others, records by the masterful Warren Zevon, though I can brag about having introduced him to My Bloody Valentine. Downstairs we also met his friends, and went with them to an Iggy Pop concert in Copenhagen. We were just kids and kept ourselves at safe distance, slightly mortified by the stinging comments about our lousy music tastes (I haven’t turned into one those people now that I'm older, have I?). Per was however - and still is - a nice guy. As a poor student, I always got full value for my old-butt records, just like I was granted access to the stalactitic cave of a basement, where all the really precious rarities were kept.

Later on, Moby Disc moved to Skt. Knuds Kirkestræde and became somewhat fancier. I think I got to know all the employees that worked there. I remember Lilian as a musical muse, who knew how to sell up-to-the-minute trendy music; and Martin, who labeled my potential purchases as “mainstream" and I, ashamed, would put them right back in a hurry and leave the place. Yes, the High Fidelity-spirit was a thing there. And then Moby Disc moved to Nørregade a couple of years ago. AC/DC tribute-band “AC/HD” played a show for the event, and they returned the day the shop closed in Nørregade. A day of mourning - an Odense instutition gone forever!

But that was only for a short while. Moby Disc continued as an online shop and was resurrected in the winter of 2015 in a new spot in Skt. Knuds Kirkestræde.

And here it lies today - slightly over-lit and heavy on the merch - but still a sure source of good sound and good advice.

  • Mon - Thu: 10.00 - 17.30
  • Fri: 10.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 15.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Tarup Center Take A Trip - to Tarup!

Tarup Center
Shopping | Rugvang 36, Odense NV | Written by: Jakob Cæsius Krohn | 3 recommendations

”The old world may be dead .. but .. I still love the old world” (The Modern Lovers: “Old World”)

A few days ago, This Is Odense published a longread on the incredible change Odense is currently undergoing. I don’t want to drop as much as a single fly in the ointment; the following comments are merely meant as good-natured ribbing for the fellow TIO writer, who doled out the ultimate punishment (in our circle): writing about Tarup Center!

Sometimes I feel like I am choking on lækkerhed and to give the hipsters and city slickers a change of air I often recommend outings to Odense SV, Odense SØ and Odense NØ, even to Vollsmose, but the northwestern part of the city has always been the stuff of dreams for me – no, I’m serious! At least up until the day my ex and I got lost out there on a bicycle ride among the system-built houses while looking for Galschiøt’s workshop, perhaps the final straw in the meltdown that led to our divorce. I hadn’t visited the area much except for occasional trips to The Iron Age Village – which needs its own commemorative rune another time – but let me take you light years back in time:

I am old enough to have seen agricultural Denmark get its deathblow with the municipals reforms of 1970 and the EF membership in ’72. I hate to sound like a country bumpkin, but one of my very first memories is of traveling to the edge of the known world, ie the vicarage garden, according to a child’s view and looking across the meadow where sheep used to graze and seeing developments sprout like weeds. This marked a definitive change for the small village of my family. I have later learnt from my father, who kept the church records, that not a single one of the newcomers hailed from anywhere but the local area, except for himself and the parish clerk. Even so, these people represented a new kind of population: the surburbians. Many of them rode their cars to work in the neighboring city and did all their shopping there. They get blamed for all kinds of sins, but the fact is that within a few years, our small town of around 500 inhabitants, with a grocer, a market, a butcher, a baker and even a candy store, had been reduced to a ghost town with only a bank left.

Now, you might take me for a nostalgic in the Morten Korch vein, dear reader, but no: I regard that era as a thing of the past. In fact, my fond feelings are directed at the first signs of a society in transition – at the big bad suburbian super market with its cafeteria serving yummy, gross half-thawed burgers with gravy – and via it, at Tarup Center, the oldest mall in Odense and home to a time warp at Café Spisehuset, where they serve steak and peas and Center Pub, where smoking is still allowed and the feel-good mood is still going strong. These places are of a dying breed, and so is the cold, slick era that followed: you’ll currently find a six-figure number of CDs and DVDs in the sale bin – “Everything must go”. I would love to experience this suburbian clash between the old world and the new. Really? Yes!

“Well, listen .. and share the modern world with me” (The Modern Lovers: “Modern World”)

  • Mon - Wed: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Thu - Fri: 10:00 - 19:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 16:00
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Link to place Directions

Det Gode Brød Organic family bakery. Echt. Get there before the bread sells out!

Det Gode Brød
Shopping | Nørregade 35, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik

Nettle rolls, rosmary loaves, rundstykker that are actually filling, and real rye bread. Demeter juice and farm-fresh milk in the fridge, and small rolls on the house for the 3-year old with grubby hands reaching for bread. Everything baked with sourdough and top-notch ingredients, as in TOP-notch: when the custard in your Danish is visibly packed with real vanilla, you know these people are serious about baking.

Pass - don't enter, pass - Lagkagehuset and their de-vitaminised middle-of-the-road bake-off and continue for another three minutes down Nørregade, where you'll find baked goods germinated to the core. There is a revolt taking place in no. 35. A revolt against a Europe exhausting its flour, and thus, its bread: by chasing the formal qualities of flour - rise!rise!rise! - we have purged its flavour and vitamins to such a degree that the continent is slowly malnourishing.

And where other bakers use shady methods and pump up the easy additives - fat & sugars - and leave you with a strange coating on the roof of your mouth after you finish your cinnamon roll, a cinnamon roll from Det Gode Brød (Good Bread) is delicious because the raw material is too. Their flour (freshly ground, organic, biodynamic), their cinnamon, their sugar, their butter (not margarine!) - everything is high quality.

A tip, to avoid frustrated visits: unlike other bakeries, who will display shelves groaning with bread 2 minutes before closing time, this bakery actually becomes sold out towards the end of the day. So if you have your mind set on a particular poppy-seed Danish or that nettle roll (which is spectacular), you will need to get moving.

If you have met the family running the bakery, there will be no doubt in your mind that the reason they know what constitues Good Bread is because they have given The Good Life some thought, too.

In every way a flavourful revolt that comes with the warmest of recommendations.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Thu: 07.00 - 16.00
  • Fri: 07.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 07.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: -
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Vinotek A Fynnis Selections from small wineries from all over Italy and a guaranteed cosy chat with (non-Italian) Bruno behind the counter

Vinotek A Fynnis
Shopping | Klostervej 31, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen

Bruno Jensen is a good-natured locomotive driver from Jutland in a nice cardigan, with an Italian wine shop in Odense. It is as cozy as it sounds, and hidden from everyone else than the ones he lets in.

For almost 2 decades, he has managed Vinotek a Fynnis in Klostergade, and for almost 2 decades, he has introduced special Italian wines to his customers, made of known, and less-known grapes, and often from smaller producers.

And all of that is actually quite a part of the experience at the wine store, as Bruno reminds me most of this good companion during a family birthday in Jutland. Histories flow peacefully like a never-ending stream, and it rarely takes less than half an hour to buy a few bottles of wine.

But don't be mistaken. Bruno knows his wines, which he imports himself, and his producers, who he imports from, and he will with pleasure give to the willing novices a very knowledgeable introduction about the Italian vineyards.

There is always an opportunity to taste, before you buy, and there are as well often thematic wine tastings and good offers under the carpet, especially for the members of the free wine club. Follow Vinotek A Fynnis on Facebook and subscribe to the club and the newsletter on the shop website, so that you won't anything anymore.

  • Mon - Tue: -
  • Wed - Fri: 14.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 15.00
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Link to place Directions

Dr. Adams Independent fashion pusher with well-sourced garments

Dr. Adams
Shopping | Pogestræde 24-28, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen

Contemporary, mainline and street. If you are into APC, AMI, Maison Margiela, Common Projects, Henrik Vibskov, Paul Smith and what is more street, then Dr. Adams is your independent fashion pusher.

A cozy little shop in the ancient “Pogestræde” (Poge street) which has evolved dramatically since its opening in the mid-nineties and is now Odense’s undisputed supplier of clothing to the fashionable city people.

The two owners handpick the styles of the season – always a good starting point for an edgy concept, although the selection and the ambitions can be better still.

The shop owners throw intimate backyard bashes for the store customers on sunny summer nights - follow their social profiles to learn more.

  • Mon - Fri: 10.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 16.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Oktober Bogbutik Specialist bookstore for those who find Rosa Luxemburg and Antonio Gramsci to be a little on the soft side

Oktober Bogbutik
Shopping | Skibhusvej 100, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen

Skibhus is Odense's old working class neighborhood — once rough, sooty, and filled with machine operators and dock workers, now with rising rents and more red wine than beer and caramelized onions. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine that the neighborhood was incorporated in Odense only in 1932, and with the city council's absolute reluctance, as it did not please the conservative majority to let poor people (and their unwelcome social democratic political tendencies) into the city limits. Here, in the hotbed of dissent, Oktober Bogbutik (The October Bookshop) lives on undaunted, as if it was 1848 or 1917 or 1968 again. A red-as-Mao small stain on a still more blue and black city map.

The sign is hand-painted, the logo is a woodcut with solidary worker arm-in-arm on. And if you go by and think that it looks a little sectarian, you're partly right. The bookshop is indeed a physical manifestation of the October movement — not so much a political movement, but rather a critical revival movement that encompasses bookshops in Odense, Aarhus and Copenhagen, a publisher, a net-TV channel, a facebook page, free daily online newspaper and monthly magazines. In addition, Oktober is affiliated with Kommunistisk Politik (Communist Politics), which confusingly enough is not a political party, but rather a union that is committed to something best describable as popular media-activism

But Oktober Bogbutik is also just something as simple and unique as a specialized bookstore, which takes its historical role as social, intellectual, and political meeting point very seriously. Between two shelves with red fiction and scientific literature are a printer and a copying machine, so they can make flyers, and an open door with a couple of stairs up to a backroom with a meeting table. Plaster busts of Lenin and Marx keep watch. Here you can buy partisan kaffiyehs ("Made in Palestine") and posters with "Nuclear power/Fighter planes/Pollution of drinking water? No thanks!".

In reality, the shop's only true counterpart in (the gradually and sadly bookshop-lacking) Odense is Kristent Bogcenter (The Christian Bookshop) in Søndergade, which just as surprisingly survives to the passing of time, and year after year opens its narrow doors to both the initiated and the curious/possible converts.

Even if you find relief in noticing that the left wing's mouth is full of slogans and you consider communisms as a historical curio, it's nice to think that history does not die out so easily, even now that Skibhus' plethora of butchers, bakers, grocers, and snotty children with marbles at every corner has been replaced by studio apartments, café burgers, cheap haircuts, 24/7 candy shops, and to a even higher degree by wealthy families with children, gardens, and walking distance to the harbor, its promises, and the Odense of the future.

  • Mon: 13.00 - 17.00
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  • Wed: 13.00 - 17.00
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  • Fri: 13.00 - 17.00
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Link to place Directions

Odense Chokoladehus Fine chocolate craftmanship with heart and soul. Also try their perfect lemon tart

Odense Chokoladehus
Shopping | Nørregade 32, Odense C | Written by: My Rasmussen | Photo: Hannibal-Bach

Odense Chokoladehus (The Odense Chocolate House) is situated in Nørregade, kind of hidden and without flashy signposting. But as you walk through the door, you step into a fragrant world of crumbly-soft macarons in all the colors of the rainbow packed in beautiful boxes, of filled chocolates, and of voluptuous desserts.

My life has never been the same since I took a bite of a small tart on a base of almond flour with a chilled sweet-sour lemon and white chocolate cream. It's an incredibly little creature.

The Chocolate House is not a chocolate-factory with industrial products, but a chocolate-laboratory, where magnificence is created curiously and cleverly by Tine and Thormar, confectioners, chocolatiers, and owners of the place. This is not the typical place where you buy nougat with nougat on top, or where change and experimentation mean sprinkling licorice powder on everything and nod contentedly. These guys use seared caramel, pink peppercorn and balsamic vinegar as unexpected, but much welcome taste nuances.

If you are a chocolate enthusiast, Chokoladehuset offers also a range of workshops and lectures in their laboratory, where you for instance can learn which whiskies, rums, snaps and beer are a good pairing for your chocolate.

It's also always good to have a serious chocolate-event up one's sleeve, just in case...

Check the full program here and follow Chokoladehuset on facebook:


  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Fri: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 13:30
  • Sun: -
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Naturkost Organic treats, crystal magic, herbal everything: old-school health food and remedies

Shopping | Gravene 8, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik | Photo: Hannibal-Bach

The city's no. 1 go-to place for organic-everything: wool detergent must be bought here, the calendula-cream, the indispensable pot of lanolin, cleaning stuff that doesn't pollute and that smells-just-fine.

The same goes for the big bags of dried fruit, your soy products, raw chocolate, pig-free gummy bears, beetroot juice, spelt and wheat, the good bouillon and buckwheat grain — all that fantastic hippie-food that has been here in Nørregade since the 1970's.

Since then, the city has gotten a couple of similar shops, following the bio-trend. But this is the good old one with classic, slim, makeup-free and exceptionally-healthy-complection staff. Of course, Naturkosten also has a good deal of homeopathic medicines, and if you need a crystal or two, they also have that (which is probably why the place is also affectionately known as Witchkosten).


  • Mon - Thu: 09.00 - 17.30
  • Fri: 09.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 09.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Portugisisk Vinkælder Denmark’s leading specialist in Portuguese wines

Portugisisk Vinkælder
Shopping | Allegade 43, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen

By now, Odense has a lot of really good wine shops and, fortunately, a few of these have yet to succumb to the idea that wine is something you buy online or best enjoyed at a warehouse somewhere along the highway.

But there is no place quite like Portugisisk Vinkælder- the Portuguese wine cellar. It is an institution in Odense, more than 25 years old, yet known only by a few. An informal and outgoing-yet-serious wine merchant with a large assortment, whose owners have spent half a lifetime perusing Portuguese wine cellars to find quality wines at affordable prices.

From Duoro to Vinho Verde, from Barroca to Touriga Nacional. Regardless of your knowledge of wine or Portugal (or perhaps lack thereof), there is always something new to experience when you talk to Henrik in the shop. You can always get him to say a few harsh words about wine snobs, and those who claim to be, but you can't ask a question that he cannot answer. Especially not if your question belongs in the realm of what wine goes well with a certain kind of food.

White - rosé - red - port, olive oil and olives. The basement carries quite a lot of Portugal on the shelves.

Keep an eye out for their events. Sometimes prices are lowered and wine is offered ad libitum. And on top of your afternoon-buzz, you get to experience the vibrant neighborhood clientele at large, with customers from all strata of society.

  • Mon - Thu: 13.00 - 17.30
  • Fri: 13.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 13.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Hilbert Christiansen Eat fish

Hilbert Christiansen
Shopping | Klaregade 20, Odense C | Written by: Anders Skovgaard | Translated by: Laura Malahovska

I think you should eat some fish. Personally, I would like to point at the herring. Damn it's cheap and tastes good.

Danish fishermen catch herring worth about half a billion kroner a year and the quantities of delicious herring in the nets make Denmark the herring country above them all in the EU. I have a hard time believing that some fish in the world's oceans are particularly sustainable, but it is noted in several places that exactly the herring is doing quite well (however, the population in the western Baltic sea is mentioned to be critical). And besides being healthy as hell, it is one of the more sustainable in terms of CO2 emissions. But again, here google must be your friend.

Herring in autumn is called autumn herring and is often larger than in the spring. I'm not a fisherman so I have to trust google here. But if you, like me, lack the ability to do it yourself, then you have to go to Hilbert's fish shop. Well the last fish shop left in the town center.

Hilberts Christiansen's fish shop is one of the oldest shops in Odense. Established over 90 years ago and four generations have been selling fresh fish on Klaregade. That is almost entirely unbelievable. It's a very honest place that does not try or pimp their place to be other than it is. You can buy fish. That's it. And if herring is not exactly your favorite, then you can also go for the season's other fish such as cod or eelpouts.

  • Mon - Thu: 8:00 - 17:30
  • Fri: 8:00 - 18:00
  • Sat: 7:00 - 14:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Producenten Osteforretning This cheese shop has been there since the dawn of time. The cheese changes, though

Producenten Osteforretning
Shopping | Nørregade 52, Odense C | Written by: Jens Krog

The cheese shop in Nørregade has delivered for more than 100 years cheese to the good people of Fyn. It is surviving the current supermarket era, as one of the only retailers in food left, not by using smart branding strategies, but by staying loyal to its core values. The large glass display counters and the big steel tables remind me my grandmother's local butchers from the old days, and the owner is behind the counter, ready to provide you with taste and advice, so you can bring the very right cheese at home just after. Only the raw product is in focus here and the staff knows what they sell, despite the very large cheese selection. Here, there's more than cumin cheese, parmesan and blue cheese!

At Producenten, you will discover, that cheese is much more than the dairy department in your supermarket, and you will get help finding the experience you did not know you wanted. Talk nonsense with the owner himself and beg him to keep the fantastic old sign in front of the shop, when it is going to be renovated.

  • Mon - Thu: 09.00 - 17.30
  • Fri: 09.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 09.00 - 13.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Pen og Papir Pens, letter jumble and love at the paper shop

Pen og Papir
Shopping | Skt. Knuds Kirkestræde 2A, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | Translated by: Francois Picard | 4 recommendations

Tiny and alert! Rikke stands behind the counter. There’s Jonathan as well, modern troubadour, who, once in while, sits outside on a folding chair and plays guitar or rolls cigarettes. And Rikke’s father, Kække Kay, who occasionally takes care of the shop. And loads of other friends and regular customers, who feel at home here, and buy and chat just as much.

Pen & Papir was previously located in Nørregade, in some premises that were 5-6 times larger than the current shop. The shop relocation looked like much more a closing and we were many to be really sad about it, but, at the end, Pen & Papir re-emerged as an even better version of itself: with less and smaller shelves, the selection became sharper and Rikke the Accumulator became an expert in only choosing and moving the most important.

The result is a nice balance between care and coziness: ink in glass bottles from Rohrer & Klingner, handmade leather pen cases, neat pencils, and antique pen nibs in their original cardboard boxes with elastics so brittle that they can snap just by touching them. German school pens, English professional pens, sharp and elegant. New fountain pens from Kaweco, Pilot Küno, Lamy scala. Tombow brushes for calligraphists. And maybe a little something to write in, as well? Notebooks from Rhodia, Leuchtturm 1917 or Sonnenleder.

Jaw-dropping, but just ask Rikke because she will without doubts direct you to the right selection. There is so much love within these few square meters. A hand-painted faience sign is hanging at the window, made with real gold leaves by one of the many Pen & Papir’s friends from the calligraphy and graffiti world. And an oversized Kaweco fountain pen, a mascot that eventually will become as iconic as Franck A’s bulldog. Pen & Papir is not a shop but a whole world in itself; like a favorite bar, where you can say “the usual”, so that Rikke will know that you need unused school books and a 2b pencil.

  • Mon: 11:00 - 17:00
  • Tue - Wed: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Thu: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Fri: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 14:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Kanalje Vintage Exquisite big city vintage with small town prices

Kanalje Vintage
Shopping | Vintapperstræde 11, Odense C | Written by: Ane Cornelia Pade

Some people love to go treasure hunting in the strange and often strange-smelling jumble of washed-out H&M shirts and synthetic slacks at thrift stores in the hopes of stumbling upon that one-of-kind blue 80s prom dress or a worn-to-perfection leather jacket. Kanalje is the ideal place for those, who don't have the patience (or the time!) to rustle through every dusty Salvation Army store in search of personal style: the very best of the best is collected on two floors of this cosy store that allows you to dig every style fad of the past with minimal time consumption. Kanalje features a large selection of quality vintage clothes for every gender - overalls and pant suits and snow suits, swimwear and ironic logo tees, shoes in loud colours and plaid shirts.

The clothes has been hand-picked in Berlin by the passionate owner of the store, and has been ironed and displayed in appetising ways in one of the loveliest alleys in Odense. When you're done picking out your Scandinavian-cool black/white/grey staples, you should stop by for a colour boost in Vintapperstræde and avoid the trap of blandness.

The prices reflect the distance from the vintage-hype of the capital, and you can walk away with a morsel of bygone times for very little money. Nichts wie los!

  • Mon - Wed: -
  • Thu - Fri: 11.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 16.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Grønttorvet Marked Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Get veggies directly from the farmer and sausages from the woman who raised the pig

Grønttorvet Marked
Shopping | Sortebrødre Torv 1, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik

Every city has a building, a square, or an event that in some way embodies its very essence. For me, this has always been Grønttorvet, which, on a summer morning in the haze of a slight hangover, makes me buzz in contentment of being a citizen of Odense.

There's the egg-man, with his orange volkswagen-van, his endless trays of eggs, and an impressive number of regular customers. There's the jolly fishmonger, who always gives away a fishball to kids, while mom and dad shop for some good salmon, or for some fish roe, or for some smoked mackerel. There's the family business on the corner, which sells its own vegetables from its own plantations. They have good apples all year round. There's the pork-lady with the French accent, who has a nice camping trailer and meat from genuinely happy pigs. The best bacon. There are the husband and wife further down, with the dirty hands and dog biscuits in the apron, and with the best white spring honey ever. And a little further ahead, there's one more couple: the big white man and the small Asian wife, "Have a good daaay!". After them are the biodynamicists, with hard unwashed carrots and the market's absolute best salad, proper beetroots, nice onions and a bit too expensive fruit. At the end are the Arabs, they are each nicer than the other and serve melons and dates and samples of their tasty oranges.

Once the shopping is over, you can sit down at a legendary pub, such as Lørups’ or Grønttorvet, and have an Albani pilsner with the regulars, who are guaranteed about to get the party started, even if it's just 11 am. 

The square market is every Wednesday and Saturday all year round. Remember to bring cash.


  • Mon - Tue: -
  • Wed: 08:00 - 13:00
  • Thu - Fri: -
  • Sat: 08:00 - 13:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Kaffe & Thehuset When you want to talk to someone who knows about tea

Kaffe & Thehuset
Shopping | Vintapperstræde 25, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik

Tea is just water and leaves. Tea is simple, tea is calm.

Tea has made history. It has been a smuggled good, a taxed product, a way to trade opium, the reason for a Great Race, East/West and anger and rebellion and the witness of the first steps of the United States into their independence.

Tea is a bush on a warm mountain side somewhere in China, with lizard-shaped leaves. Tea is drying, rolling and oxidizing. Tea is caffeine. Herbes are not tea. Herbs are herbs, but not tea. Only leaves from Camellia Sinensis are tea.

Tea can be bought at Mette's in Vintapperstræde, where she mixes, experiments and smells herself sublime and unique blends, blends that she is naming and selling from pots ordered on the wall, which with a routine movement are tilted down from the shelf, so that you can smell this whole forest, she is offering to your nose. Black, green, white, sweet, mild, powerful, summer, winter, spring,  all the way to the other side and in between. She has had her shop for 18 years and it was not at all her goal to make a living by selling 5 tons of tea per year, when she was young and had to go out and to go to school and all of that. But tea is as well excitation, and the customers kept coming and who would rather not own themselves than be bought and paid by someone else?

Kaffe & Thehuset is good entrepreneurship, aromatic professionalism and extremely good service.

  • Mon - Thu: 10:00 - 17:30
  • Fri: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 15:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Cafe Fleuri Francophile ladies' oasis with organic treats and outdoor service in romantic backyard

Cafe Fleuri
Shopping | Nørregade 28, Odense C | Written by: My Rasmussen

The café is Odense’s most darling oasis for ladies, saturated with details in opposition of everything new Nordic and bark-and-white. It is a whimsical universe in a Wes Anderson-ian colour palette. A Francophile nest of estrogen with sweet delicacies and overflowing with flowers. Fleuri is a civilized and lady-like retort to festival camps and a cold one, when you want to fashion high heels and enjoy something exclusive and charming in a special atmosphere.

You used to have to edge past other guest to secure on of only three tables, but a few years back, Fleuri took over the neighbouring store as well, making more room for French soaps, handmade chocolates, bristling herbs, bubling wine, luxury beer, and teas. No to mention their famous organic brunch. It looks great and it smells delightful – a kind of indistinguishable amalgamation of everything you love.

When it is sunny out, you should try the absolutely wonderful patio garden in the back. No one enters it without exclaiming: Oh!, hands a-clasp, head a-tilt. Here are goldfish in the pond, crooked trees offering shade.

The coffee is delicious and strong and organic and served in beautiful blue fluted cups with a soft toffee on the side.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Fri: 10.30 - 17.30
  • Sat: 10.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: 11.00 - 15.00
Link to place Directions

A. Binicki Kunstnerartikler Dedicated art supply hidden away in one of the city’s backyard wonders

A. Binicki Kunstnerartikler
Shopping | Nørregade 39, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | Photo: Hannibal-Bach

In a passageway where Nørregade winds around its own corner is a yellow backyard. In there is a wall covered in posters, behind glass. If that wasn't enough, there hangs an enamel plate behind the glass, telling us that this is the — quite secret — site of the A. Binicki art supply shop. 

I discovered both the backyard and the shop many years ago by mistake, taking a shortcut from Thomas B. Thriges Gade to Nørregade in the rain. The surprise of finding such a hidden treasure made up for all the times I got drenched waiting for a green light at that horrible intersection between Stationsvej and Thomas B. Thriges Gade.

Family businesses are usually handed down from the old founders to the younger & sons or & co. The opposite is true here. Karen and Dusan Binicki overtook the business from their son Andreas (therefore the A. on the plate), who in a mix of juvenile rashness and obsolete precociousness started this no-bullshit art shop in 1999.

The original shop was located in Nørregade, until the family acquired and renovated an old bakery to turn it into an art cave. 'Renovated' in the sense of applying some elbow grease, painting, and doing some cleaning: for the whitewashed space still has quite vivid traces of its bakery past (fortunately, that is).

The shelves in the crammed boutique host everything imaginable for both professional and for those that just want a very nice calligraphy pen to write nicely with. Paper, chalk, crayons, acrylic paint, raw cold-pressed linseed oil in glass bottles and flasks of pure pigment powder — so you can pick and mix your colours just like candy. The large assortment of caoutchouc and varnish and various chemicals make the place look like a laboratory, but that's ok — artists are somehow like alchemists.

This secret backyard spot is in itself a good reason to pay a visit to the art supply shop. Though Karen Binicki feels that the place may be getting too secret: the neighbourhood is a big construction site, and less and less people drop by. I sincerely hope that they will resist until the construction is over. For art supply is one of those things that are fun to buy in the real world and in real shops, so you can look at all the colours on a line in front of you, fondle the graphite, feel the paper, and not least get competent advice from people with a true passion for their goods.

Students at art schools, evening schools, and the art academy are eligible for discounts. Every Wednesday, Karen arranges a small book shop outside, with art books and other antiquities. As long as it doesn't rain.

  • Mon - Fri: 11.00 - 17.30
  • Sat: 11.00 - 14:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Winther’s Kaffe & The The sight, smell and sound of over 100 years of coffee and tea expertise

Winther’s Kaffe & The
Shopping | Vestergade 61, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | Translated by: Francois Picard

If you have moved from Odense in the seventies, or in the fifties, or for that matter in the thirties, and are coming back today and walking in the city center, you would still be able to recognize a certain coffee shop, on the pedestrian street’s most prominent corner, even if it has been modernized in recent years.

Winthers has survived both the war years chicory coffee, an explosion in its own roastery in the neighboring building, and, impressively enough, the nineties and the noughties desire and urge for whiteness, plastic and smartness. The merchant Lauritz Theodor Valentin Winther, who opened the coffee shop in 1912, died in 1968, but his successors let time pass by the most discrete manner – until 2017, during which the heirs sold the family business after a long and financially difficult period of time.

Now, the next era has begun – and the new owner have started a major rescue operation.

The first impressions are good. The new renovation has not been ruled by excessive zeal neither for creating a brand new concept nor, on the contrary, for starting a coffee museum over a historical classic in Odense’s shopping life. The new Winther’s is more outgoing, with large window sections and a to-go window with a tiny clock, giving on the street, where coffee is served during many people’s early morning routines before opening hours. The dark façade’s glazed tiles and the sixties sign have been removed, so the overall style and the building mirror the ones from the goldsmith on the other side of the street. We can see that now. They are not switching off the lights after closing time, lighting the corner during dark hours.

Inside, the dark panels and the wood ceiling have been renovated as well with the utmost care, and where one would in the past barely look across the counter through frosted glass panes, the new owners have seized the opportunity to add a tea room in the old office. Today, it is possible to sit and drink a cup under a new and especially designed ceiling wallpaper, where the tea leaves and flowers twine round each other, and some hanging photographs picture the building history.

Everything that could have meaningfully been preserved is preserved: there are still the same brass lamps over the counter, where the oil from hands and Darjeeling first flush is rubbed into wood for decades. However, some things have been permanently relegated to the past: the Chinese tea canisters have been replaced by new plain ones, which match the brass handles. And more significantly: six large coffee grinders stood previously, each with their beans, and gave the shop its solid scent. The renovation supervisor put an end to it – no broken fingers in the 2020 grinding mill! Today, there is just one grinder left, safely lying behind a glass, and the window is filled with chocolate products and tea accessories. Another 100 years?

  • Mon - Wed: 10.00 - 17.30
  • Thu - Fri: 10.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Fyns Antikvariat Pull on your trench coat and get your crime fiction fix at Fyns Antikvariat

Fyns Antikvariat
Shopping | Østre Stationsvej 42, Baghuset | Written by: Christoffer Henneberg | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen | 1 recommendations

You’ll only find two second-hand bookshops in downtown Odense, but it just happens that they complement each other so nicely, that you might suspect them of secretly coordinating to share the market: Akademisk Antikvariat and Fyns Antikvariat.

Where Akademisk Antikvariat has a dusty aura of wisdom about it, Fyens Antikvariat on Østre Stationsvej is a bit more sleazy. A sign out on the road guides you into the back lot, where you flip up the collar on your trench coat and skulk your way down into the back annex. Here, Carsten Bøttcher will greet your eye with a suitably disillusioned expression, not unlike that of a veteran bartender, whose many years of service has made him well-versed in every shade of human vice. An attitude which is totally in keeping with the locale.

Because these depths don’t exactly invite you to delve into academic studies, but rather tempt you with the quick thrill you get from comic books, graphic novels, horror stories, detective fiction and other more or less sordid forms of light reading. If you’re in the mood for more corporeal satisfaction, there’s even a separate room dedicated to porno films and magazines.

In general, there’s more room than in Akademisk Antikvariat, where you can barely squeeze through with a backpack without toppling one of the many unruly Jenga-towers of books.

The house specialty is comic books and according to the website, it is the nation’s most well-stocked second-hand shop in this category. As if that weren’t enough, they also have their own publishing house, Tegneserie Kompagniet, which has produced an array of volumes, as well as another newer publishing line, High Heels Society, which specializes in erotic and pornographic comics.

If you’re not into graphic storytelling, you should take the time to peruse the large selection of crime novels. While chain stores like Arnold Busck only have the newest offerings on their shelves – titles age quickly on the oversaturated market – here, you can find all old the hardboiled American classics in yellowed pulp paperback, sure to earn approving nods from Dan Turéll.

And more besides: Police stories, historical intrigues, counterfactual histories, female-centered crime novels, Southern crime, Scandinavian noir, spy thrillers, lexicons of crime literature, you name it, Karsten’s got it.

A few series that I collect and can recommend are: Raymond Chandler’s unmissable septet about detective Philip Marlow, who was immortalized on film by Humphrey Bogart; Lawrence Block’s New York crime stories about the alcoholic ex-NYPD cop-turned-private-eye, Matt Scudder; Sara Paretsky, the first so-called “Sister in Crime” to be translated into Danish and her female-centered detective novels about Chicago’s V.I. Warschawski – Vic, for short – a cool character who is more than a match for her male colleagues, both when it comes to taking slugs of whiskey and dealing out slugs of lead!


  • Mon - Fri: 12:00 - 17:30
  • Sat: 10:00 - 13:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

DanViet From Vestergade to Hanois narrow alleys. In need of mung bean paste, pak choi or kimchi? Well, then don't just go to the supermarket.

Shopping | Torvegade 1, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen | 1 recommendations

Yellow bricks, granite, light-rail tracks, Odense-grey construction elements, and freshly planted trees. On Torvegade and Vestergade, the urban spaces are nearing completion according to 2021 standards, but there are still a few architectural remnants from back when the four-lane thoroughfare was considered modern.

In one of those buildings you’ll find the little Vietnamese grocery store, Danviet, and let me say from the start that I hope that the gentrification that will inevitably rush through Vestergade-Overgade like a wildfire in the coming years will spare this little gem. It may actually be the last exotic grocery store downtown?

Stepping out of the glossy new urban space into an itty-bitty little parallel world of workaday Vietnam is almost overwhelming. Here you’ll find packed shelves, narrow aisles, an unmistakable, indefinable scent of the far east and Vietnamese chatter from the register, where for some reason you’ll always find a customer engaged in conversation, who will politiely pull to the side to facilitate your purchase, then immediately pick up the discussion again.

In a Vietnamese shop, Vietnamese goods obviously dominate, but there’s also room for other items from the far east. Lots of chili pastes, soy sauces, and food made with dried fish or mushrooms. You’ll find vietnamese oyster sauce, but also Thai sri racha, Japanese noodles, and Korean Kimchi.

There are a couple of refrigerators with greens for your griddle - pak choi, lemon grass, and (gasp!) koriander - and sometimes kalian, which I discovered at just this place and found to be excellent stirfried with garlic, ginger, and chili in the world’s quickest meal.

And frozen goods including meat and fish. 

It’s an impossibly large selection in so few square meters, combined with competent guidance for the confused afternoon shopper.

You can get a similar experience, but with a bit larger inventory at Saigon Market, in the intersection between Nyborgvej and Ørbækvej. But Danviet wins on account of its location, because it’s vital that there is room for variety in the city center.

  • Mon - Fri: 09.30 - 17.45
  • Sat: 09.30 - 16.00
  • Sun: 09.30 - 13.00
Link to place Directions

Harder's Boghandel Books. And tomato plants. They don't have everything, but they will back-order it for you

Harder's Boghandel
Shopping | Nørregade 27, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | Translated by: Francois Picard

Harder is technically the oldest local bookstore in Odense. Not an aging old-timer with wooden panels – a sober and down-to-earth survivor, like the slogan “Books! – Try harder” implies it. Founded in 1935 originally at Hjallesevej 6 and with a short stay in the eighties in the Gråbrødre center (a place that the city has collectively replaced ever since), it has finally moved in a decorative corner in Nørregade. And it may be its final location, as it has become an indispensable place for the pupils of the Henriette Hørlücks school, further down the street, to buy their books. Or maybe it is because Tonni Harder stands himself there and smiles and is always ready to order the books, he doesn’t have on his shelves – no student assistants here.

Stationery is the keyword here – books are paper, and there are as well lottery tickets and printer paper. There are office supplies behind the counter, and Yahtzee and jigsaw puzzles on sale in boxes outside the shop, and HCA magnets and postcards behind the façade display glass, directed to the tourists walking past Hans Jensen alley. But there are also more specialized books and poetry collections and picture books and translated literature.

The corner store has found its roots in another era, where the owl sign outside indicates that books are sold here, but the hardware supply store spirit of that time has led Harder to add print cartridges to its selection, if the customers ask for it. The books are utility products and I am always reading what I buy here on the same day. During the summer months, there is a tray filled with tomato pickles next to the other boxes lying outside. “The tomatoes are not that important”, says Tonni, but yes, actually, they are.

  • Mon - Sat: 09:00 - 17:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Allestedlund Much more than just a flower shop. Quietly greening the alleys of the old textile factory

Shopping | Brandts Passage 2, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | Translated by: Francois Picard

Some people are peacefully greening the old factory complex around Brandts all year long: French anemone, elephant grass, boxwood shrubs, or flowering branches - all flowing from the lovely couple Joo and Nikolaj Valentin, ex-sailors, newly settled on Fyn, and their farm Allestedlund. The business stamp shows Allestedlund in handwriting, a Fyn-typical fantasy about living in the countryside and making all the good choices. The plants are picked up in botanic gardens in Holland and on Fyn.

On sunny days, the couple creates an urban jungle by exhibiting plants in the yellow yard beside the shop, and even during the cold season, there is so much more to get than the usual thirsty and sad bouquets. The varieties change according to the seasons, as well as the couple's special selection: shaped-cut plants in jars, giant artichoke flowers, fragrant fat roses in unusual colors, moss and grass and trees to grow in the right soil.

They are the best thing that has happened to Brandts Passage for years: Everything is carefully and intentionally selected, everything is vital, durable. You really have to try exceptionally hard in order to kill the plants you buy here. 

Since 2019, Allestedlund has expanded to the neighboring shop as well; a temporary takeover turned permanent as there seems no limit to the jungle’s growth and our need for quality greenery. They now stock some furniture, luxury vases, jars and pots in glass, metal and ceramics, too. Yes, it is a fancy garden, but as well a garden, done with care and a sense of quality. Nobody in town can tie bouquets like this. The price may be high, but the result is always worth (at least!) double the price.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Thu: 10:00 - 17:30
  • Fri: 10:00 - 19:00
  • Sat: 09:00 - 16:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Faraos Cigarer Whether you're into American or European comics, Faraos Cigarer have enough albums on their shelves to kickstart your much needed escape from reality

Faraos Cigarer
Shopping | Klostervej 3, Odense C | Written by: Christoffer Henneberg | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen | 1 recommendations

Faraos Cigarer is a lot of things, but first and foremost, it is about comic books and most of all, Tintin. Also when it comes to merchandise. And so I remember that an absolutely essential part of any of my childhood trips to Copenhagen was a quick stop by the shop in the Latin Quarter, to stand and stare with provincial amazement at the large plastic model of the iconic red-and-white rocket from Destination Moon in the window.

Which is why my inner child was overjoyed when Faraos Cigarer - through a fusion with the roleplaying and model-painting shop, Dragons Lair – opened a store in Odense last June. And what a shop! Where the Copenhagen branches are split into several divisions with comic books, merchandise, board games, and RPG’s, Odense has collected it all in one storefront. Covering 650m2 of space! Be still my heart, what more could you desire?

Stepping into this temple of magic and adventure is like falling through the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. The laws of reality are suspended and a world of magic portents and mystical elixirs unfurls. And who couldn’t use a little flight from reality in these times when we’re constantly inundated with prognoses of doom and an accompanying glossary of terms like incubation period, infodemic, and super spreader?

The first thing that greets your eye is a glass menagerie of figurines on your left, most of them from the world of Tintin. How about a model of the pain-in-the-ass insurance agent Jolyon Wagg? The one who was the center of a controversy here in Denmark when the publisher wanted to change his name from Max Bjævermose to Constantin Strøm for the new editions in 2005? In the end, they bowed to public pressure and retained the name fans had become fond of – or maybe it was all just a publicity stunt to hype the new translation?

When you ascend the stairs, you can continue straight ahead into to the game area at the back. Most of the time I hang a left down to the comics; perhaps cracking an issue of Hugo Pratt’s popular Corto Maltese, if only to conclude for the seventeenth time that black-and-white comics just aren’t my thing. So I go over to Tintin and admire the beautifully retro red canvas spines of the new releases. Good Stuff!

Right now, my quarantine binge is Pierre Chrisin and Jean-Claude Méziéres’ French sci-fi saga about the space agents, Laureline and Valérian, which the publishing house Cobolt has begun to re-release in a seven-part series under the name Linda og Valentin’s Samlede Eventyr (published in English as Valérian – The Complete Collection in 2018.)

Don’t be fooled by the childish title: This is graphic storytelling for adults with philosophical weight and honest-to-goodness social consciousness. And like all great sci-fi, it inevitably points right back to the present day. I could wax on about Laureline and Valérian, but will suffice by presenting the trio of issues from 1967-1971:

It all started a bit rambling and funny book-ish with Bad Dreams. But already in the next album, The City of Shifting Waters, the series takes a quantum leap and becomes worth a read due to the climate-crisis predicting setting alone: A post-apocalyptic drowned New York. But the plot isn’t lacking either, with its wealth of gangsters, swampsy and zeitgeist-y elements, including a colorful character named after the cosmic jazz musician Sun Ra!

But most readers agree that Christin and Méziéres really hit their stride with the third issue: Empire of a Thousand Planets, whose interstellar story is the first voyage into what later came to be known as space opera. Visually, it is one of the most extravagant issues, with Méziéres really coming into his own as an illustrator. At some times almost psychedelic in his wealth of color and detail.

Naturally, Faraos Cigarer has these volumes stocked on its shelves, including a bound special edition with eight pages of introductory bonus material on the series’ back story. New intergalactic travelers could fittingly start their journey right here.

If you’re not in the mood for philosophical flights of fantasy, but want to tackle the current Corona-reality head-on, a new boardgame has just made its return. In Pandemic Legacy, you can join your friends in seeing if you can handle an epidemic better than Brostrøm and co. are doing it right now. Not just for a single evening, but over the course of an array of gaming sessions, where each decision may have fatal consequences. If you’re in the mood to unleash your inner virologist, this undoubtedly sounds like the perfect reason to stay indoors for the rest of the quarantine. Remember the hand sanitizer!

And I never even got around to mentioning the phosphorescent statue of the cephalopoid horror, Cthulhu, from the H.P. Lovecraft mythos...

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  • Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 16:00
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Mortens Chokolade The playground of a master of chocolate

Mortens Chokolade
Shopping | Kongensgade 45, Odense C | Written by: Anna Skau Tolstrup | Translated by: Francois Picard

The first smell that thrills your nostrils when entering the narrow shop of Morten Chokolade is of course the smell of chocolate. The second smell – well, that’s harder to pinpoint: Saffron? Rosemary? Mint?

There is no doubt that Morten has an enormous passion for chocolate and his great journey of finding the essential complimenting flavors of each of his pieces. The stories and the joy is almost blinding, when he tells you about the seasonal pieces of chocolate and chosen ones, who is voted to stay in shop throughout: naturally, he makes every single piece of chocolate, every chocolate bar himself.

The chocolates are beautifully decorated. Most of the patterns could easily be copied by designers of wallpapers, wanting to make a bestseller print. When you bite into your chocolate (after appreciating the aesthetics of course), you taste buds are welcomed on a journey through flavors you never knew would go with chocolate as well as they actually do. If you are not much of a chocolate-explorer – don’t worry, Morten still got your back. The shop is always filled with new chocolate adventures, but also the classic pieces of chocolate made with incomparable quality.

Morten also offers classes in making ‘flødeboller’ and tastings and presentations of his choosing of seasonal chocolates. You will find the events plus book your tickets at his website.  

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Fri: 13 - 18
  • Sat: 10 - 15
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Holy Fridge Initiation to the mysteries of modern beer

Holy Fridge
Shopping | Vesterbro 3, st. th., Odense C | Written by: Christoffer Henneberg | 1 recommendations

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  • Wed - Thu: 12:00 - 18:00
  • Fri: 12:00 - 20:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 17:00
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Mango Bazar Fyn Bazar Fyn transplanted to Bolbronx

Mango Bazar Fyn
Shopping | Middelfartvej 123, Odense V | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen | 1 recommendations

The last remaining piece of Bazar Fyn can now be found in Bolbro. In the same charcoal grey building as Føtex, nestled into an area speckled with improvements, new and coming planter boxes, a new light installation by Chaos Engine, you'll find Mango Bazar Fyn.

Named after the greengrocer’s that - in enterprising Arab style - swallowed all the competitors in the Thrige square, until it was the only one remaining. Its rise was due to several factors: On account of Amer and the other employee’s winning characters, good recipies and tips on the perfect ripeness of vegetable X, an impressively large selection of greens, and at times surprisingly cheap or - seemingly - random pricing.

Now Mango Bazar Fyn has expanded to encompass other parts of the late bazar. If Eurodeli is a greengrocer’s, then this is closer to a supermarket; and a notably better varied one than the ones you most often shop at. And it is colored with heavy Arabian scents and sweet Arabian music from all the children running around between shelves and adults.

When you enter, there’s a shawarma stand to your right and straight ahead a decidedly lush selection of fruits and vegetables (but unfortunately still no organics), in the corner a little oasis where you can buy, grind, and taste coffee and tea, and beyond, meters and meters of shelves with olives, nuts, spices, dried gourds, dairy, oils, and a well stocked butcher, where you can finally end your quest for lamb and other cuts and animals that - in Danish eyes - aren’t in popular demand. And of course, breads, too.

The inventory is based in Middle Eastern cuisine and can provide you with just the crunchy, sweet, and spicy christmas salad you’ve always dreamed of. But it can also supply a dinner from India, the far east, and eastern Europe.

Mango Bazar Fyn is an experience rich in variety.

  • Mon - Sun: -
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EuroDeli A Balkans journey to Bolbro

Shopping | Juelsmindevej 11, Odense V | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen | 1 recommendations

In the middle of Bolbro’s red brick welfare architecture, Odinsparken, lies Eurodeli. Close to memorials to the detonated Odin’s Tower and the fire fight on Bolbro Bakke er you’ll find cheap grocery store square meters overflowing with Eastern European delights.

When I’m standing outside the shop, I’m instantly transported to Sarajevo’s suburbs. German cars with a bit of mileage on them. A melodious Bosnian telephone conversation with the motherland. Windows cut out of lights from the store’s fluorescent bulbs.  

Inside, you’re overwhelmed by the scent of a Bosnian supermarket (apologies to the peoples of all other Eastern European nations - it’s my clearest point of reference.) Is it the silky liver paté, a couple of subtly leaking glasses of pickled vegetables, or perhaps the sudžuk-sausage from the deli counter? Perhaps the flower honey?

The floors are worn. The ceiling spartan. The polished metal shelving bends under the weight of Eastern Europe condensed in mason jars. For me, these are the perfect parameters for hunting for just the right ajvar from Macedonia, a couple of bright green peppers, Serbian beer, frozen burek and cevapcici for the lazy. Goat cheese from Travnik in the north of Bosnia. Wine from Hercegovina.

Is all of the former gobbledy gook to you? Then that’s just one more reason to head west, away from the pretty supermarkets with endless rows of uniformity - to Eastern Europe in Odense

PS. There are rumors of a Multi Food Balkan in Hjallese, where I’ve never been. Does it actually exist?

  • Mon - Sun: -
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Albert Contemporary The new gallery for young contemporary art

Albert Contemporary
Culture | Brandts Passage 34, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen | 2 recommendations

To curate is a virtue. Curation is the opposite of YouTube and the internet’s interminable, mindless stream of pictures, video, words. Curating is like a real print newspaper, a season of theater, the program of a cinema; it consists of selection, the choice of what is to be shown because it is better than something else; because it is the best and the most relevant. This is what an art gallery is. And this is the kind of art gallery that Jonathan Kvium runs.

And it excites him. The fun and fascination of it. He wants it to be an awesome space. A free space. A regular playdate. A place where artists can make things happen, and things can happen for the artists. “My criteria for what to put in the gallery is goosebumps. Nothing else. I’m the one who decides, I’m the one who chooses, I’m the one looking for something extraordinary in a sea of the ordinary. And this is the place where my perspective as a curator will be tested; this is where I have to prove myself.”

“I see myself as a servant of the artists. Curation is a thing that happens constantly and spontaneously inside me; I’ve grown up in and been completely galvanized by art, so I really can’t help it. For me, making the perfect display is magical – whether it be a single artist I’m showing, or a group like, for example, ‘quadruple vernissage’, where four artists have to be presented so that they complement and challenge each other, and together create an atmosphere which is fantastic for audience, buyers, and friends to enter into.”

We’ve gotten a new place to meet; new coordinates for art; beauty has a new address.

Come without expectations, or find @albertcontemporary on Instagram and read a presentation of the artists ahead of time.  

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  • Tue - Fri: 11:00 - 17:00
  • Sat: 11:00 - 15:00
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Klingenberg Ost Eat Cheese! Meet Ol' Crunchy

Klingenberg Ost
Shopping | Vestergade 97, Odense C | Written by: Anna Skau Tolstrup | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Havarti cheese. A full-fat white cheese so mild and soft that even your cheese-hating older brother snags a slice every once in a while. It has stood watch over many a breakfast spread and nurtured more chubby kid cheeks than could ever be counted. The kind of innocent child-cheeks that take up most of the face, resembling something like a cross between an allergic reaction and a chipmunk’s jam-packed face. A Havarti Cheek. Now the years have passed and the cream-fed curves have been tightened over cheekbones sharp enough to cut through the mercilessly necessary realities of adult life. The face’s lived decades have taken shape, gained an edge – and the Havarti cheese has matured along side it, although the edge mostly appears in the form of crystals, giving it the character of a real old cruncher.

Gammel Knas is the Danish name for an aged Havarti. We’ll call it Ol’ Crunchy and it will show you who you are now, you wonderfully matured human being. The cream dream of childhood has gained depth and gotten a bit funky, though without denying its roots. It’s gained a charming patina – or to speak the language of cheese: Protein crystals – and how the sparkle suits it! I can’t share it with my older brother – it’s got too much kick – yet it isn’t quite sharp enough for all those who prefer their cheese blue. But it’s a cheese that hit’s me right where life has placed me: With fresh memories of creamy cheeks, but a lived depth that has left its mark, whether I will or no.

You can find Ol’ Crunchy in one of Odense’s cheese paradises, Klingenberg. My crunchy curd-incarnation can be found right up by the register in the wonderful long cheese display. At Klingeberg’s you’ll naturally also be tempted to buy lots of other things – how could you resist (and why would you?!) Duck rillette. Their pickled walnuts. Iberico ham. And a thousand other cheeses.

  • Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 17:30
  • Sat: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sun: 10:00 - 15:00
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This Is Odense