A Danish breakfast, typically eaten at home, includes tea or coffee, and bread or rolls with cheese or jelly.
A packed lunch is the norm, traditionally consisting of smorrebrød: open-faced sandwiches with a choice of cold cuts, salads, fish, tomatoes, potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs. They are eaten with a knife and fork. The Danish word smorrebrød and Swedish smörgås both have the same meaning ("buttered bread").
In Sweden, smörgåsbord implies a lavish spread of cold dishes, served buffet-style. The Danes call this det store kolde bord. It is usually served at lunch time in restaurants, or on special occasions at home.
An early dinner is the main meal of the day. The middag is eaten on returning from work in the late afternoon or early evening. It often begins with herring on bread and an ice-cold shot of akvavit, a strong alcoholic drink whose name means water of life. The French might call this eau de vie; the Germans, schnaps, and it is known as aguardiente ("burning water") in Spanish and Portuguese. This may be followed by a glass of beer.
A typical dinner would be an appetizer of soup, a main meat or fish course, with potatoes and a seasonal vegetable, followed by a dessert of fruit, pudding, or cake.
It is essential to be punctual for appointments in Denmark. If you are invited to a Danish home for a meal, you are expected to bring the host or hostess flowers or a bottle of wine.
After the host says Velkommen til bords ("Welcome to the table"), and Skål ("Cheers"), everyone drinks together. Raise your glass (but do not clink glasses), make contact with everyone at the table, drink, and look again before setting down your glass.
The very next time you see or talk with your host or hostess, remember to say thank you for the occasion with Tak for sidst! ("Thanks for last time").
In the afternoon, Danes may visit a konditori (a coffee and pastry shop) for a cup of coffee and either a wienerbrød (a Danish pastry), an is (ice cream), or one of the small hot dogs called pølser.
Some might have a natmad (a cold snack) later in the evening.