Written by Jon Albjerg Ravnholt
Photo by: Semko Balcerski
We start in Allinge, where Kim Pedersen has entered the fourth season at Ølstauan, which serves beer all year round. Here they honour the great selection:
– We are the only place on Bornholm where all three local breweries are represented on tap: Svaneke brewery, Small Batch and Penyllan. We have 18 taps only with local beer, says Kim Pedersen with pride in his voice and continues:
– Ølstauan is a place where adults can go and drink a beer without going to a pub and where they can get a bite to eat without going to a restaurant.
The food is based on classic Danish cuisine, with a quality that surprises people positively.
At Restaurant Vilhelm at Grønbechs Hotel, Signe Bing has almost the same ambitions:
– We want to make good and honest food that everyone can understand. We produce everything from scratch and go after having as much local as possible, vegetables, herbs etc.
This is the second year she leases Restaurant Vilhelm, and besides that, she also runs Kontikibar on Holmen in Copenhagen and the grocery store Bings and Øhotel on Orø.
– We love the Danish islands!
In the twin town Sandvig, you find Pension Langebjerg in a lovely old station building from 1912. The guesthouse has a beautiful garden where you can enjoy the view of some of Bornholm’s cliffs. For 40 years until 1953, the Allinge train line ran from Rønne Nord to Sandvig through Allinge. At Langebjerg, there is no longer hectic travel activity, but many still come by with their suitcase – and stay for a while.
Along the coast through Gudhjem, with a stop in the small fishing villages, we reach Svaneke. Martin Reckensdorff opened Restaurant 1B with a view of the harbour in 2020. Here you can retreat from the harbour crowds and enjoy a four-, five- or six-course menu in peace.
– We only have one seating per night. That is what we believe is the best way to eat. There should be time to enjoy a break between dishes instead of eating fast.
Like several of his colleagues, he emphasizes the importance of using local ingredients.
– When I get potatoes, they are dug up the same day, and I can serve strawberries the same evening as they are picked. Quality and local produce go hand in hand for us. We
also use calves from Mønstergaard for tartar. Once you have seen the calves walk around in nature on the Ølene, you can tell that it automatically gives a better taste.
A few kilometres to the south, the brewery Mikkeller opened a beer bar in the old fishing village Aarsdale a few years ago. Here you can sit overlooking the water or sit out on the terrace and munch on burgers and other food that goes well with beer while the kids play in the sand below.
To experience the authentic, paradisiacal bounty beaches, head down to the southern tip of the island. Just before Dueodde’s kilometres of beaches and dune landscape, you find the fishing village Snogebæk with a very popular harbour in the summer. Here you’ll find plenty of bars, restaurants and small shops.
The restaurant Den Lille Havfrue has been there for 36 years, and for the past 17 years, it has been Randi Bech Hansen who has run it on Bornholm ingredients and safe classics.
– We have a traditional lunch with salt-fried herring, which tourists require. It’s old-fashioned open sandwiches, not the smart new ones and the guests love that. In the evening it is all about the excellent meat and fresh fish. We make our fish soup, a popular tapas dish with three kinds of fish, seafood sauté, confit de canard and veal medallion from Dansk Gastro Kalv.
Den Lille Havfrue opens for Easter and closes in the middle of November with an early Christmas dinner.
From Snogebæk, you can either walk along the coast through Sømarken up to Rønne or can pretend to take the Nexø train line, which ran until 1968. On the old station Rønne H, Jansuk Rømer opened Restaurant ThaiMark in 2021 to give people the opportunity to eat Thai food in a restaurant, and not only as takeaway.
– It was simply missing! The atmosphere should be as if you were at my house. I host and present the food, and then I have the sweetest and happiest waiter in the world, my daughter.
In the pedestrian zone is another restaurant that, like Ølstauan in Allinge, serves local beer, Øl & Tjød is a bar dedicated to meat in all its shapes, cuts and sizes with a bar for cocktails and 12 local brews.
End your trip in the north. In Vang, Le Port has existed since 1976 and has one of the island’s best views from the terrace above the harbour. Le Port is one of Bornholm’s oldest functioning restaurants.
Ten years ago, Gabriela Jantzen took over the restaurant from her mother-in-law, and with her husband, she offers a cuisine characterized by the classic French and Italian with a Nordic touch. Here the guests are always in focus:
– We do not have seatings; if people eat here, they can stay seated until we close. You are out to relax.
She points out that respect for the guests also applies to the youngest:
– Our children’s dishes are half of a standard menu or half a fish of the day. For lunch, they can choose from the lunch menu and get a half size. We think that children like to eat real food.