Hija De Sanchez Taqueria in Copenhagen
When I visit a new city, I seek out local cuisine. In most cities, this is not even a remotely difficult task. In Italy, you would be hard pressed to walk more than ten feet before coming across a pizzeria, gelateria or trattoria - sometimes, you’ll find all three. In the Danish capital, however, it’s a little different.
Copenhagen is a city distinguished by its culinary excellence - it’s the home of Noma, afterall. And while Noma is a testament to René Redzepi’s drive to create innovative Nordic fare, it’s well out of my price range. And it’s not alone. Accessible Danish cuisine is a challenge in Copenhagen, and not one conquered without spending a significant chunk of your savings.
Copenhagen may not be the most multicultural city by population, and yet, its dining circuit features many headline-making restaurants drawing inspiration from near and far.
Among those revered newcomers is Hija De Sanchez. I first became aware of Hija De Sanchez and its owner and passionate head chef, Rosio Sanchez, after watching Netflix’s ‘Ugly Delicious’ episode on tacos.
The episode introduced Rosio, a first generation Mexican-American, who had spent time in Mexico learning about traditional ingredients and cooking techniques. Her passion for Mexican cuisine was palpable, and it was a passion she clearly brings to work at Hija De Sanchez. With a trip booked for Copenhagen in a few months time, I eagerly marked her restaurant on my map.
The restaurant is in Kødbyen (it now has a second location at Torvehallerne - a food and produce market appropriately trendy for its new lodger) - Copenhagen’s meatpacking district filled with low-key restaurants and makeshift seats spilling out into the carpark.
I could see Hija De Sanchez long before I reached the front door - mostly because I couldn’t access the door. The queue snaked out from the shopfront and in between patrons spread out across the carpark, alternately nursing beers or inhaling tacos.
The restaurant is cosy, and it was crammed with taco-enthusiasts awaiting their orders. The menu was simple, a pleasant surprise - it’s not often that you can sample a restaurant’s entire repertoire in one visit. I ordered the taco combo: one of each. The Pastor, Conchita and Zucchini - two meat-filled, one vegetarian and all served on house-made wheat tortillas.
Served up on a paper take-away plate, I carried them across the road to a small patch of grass and another makeshift seat. Within mere minutes the plate was clean, except for a few remaining pieces of chopped coriander and a drizzle of green chilli sauce. It’s hard to single out one star, the entire show was a success. Fresh full-flavoured ingredients are perfectly paired together and laid out on delicious soft tacos for a Mexican dining experience in Copenhagen that is truly authentic.