If you are looking for an excuse to visit COPENHAGEN, I can give you at least 13 and they are all food related. After visiting the capital of Nordic Cuisine twice I decided that it was time to share the precious list of food, places and restaurants that you cannot miss during your visit.
After a bite of their famous smørrebrød (a buttered slice of rye bread topped with anything you can think of) or a Danish pastry you will find yourself thinking – maybe I should move to Copenhagen?
I hope you are hungry and if you are not this list of best eats in Copenhagen will make you drool all over your laptop.
The best smørrebrød
Selma: named best lunch in Copenhagen
If you want to experience smørrebrød at its finest Selma is the place. The chef Magnus Peterson put all his creativity into a humble piece of rye bread and turned into an incredible dining experience. The bread becomes a blank canvas to convey an explosion of flavours.
The restaurant partnered up with Mikkeller – best craft beer in Copenhagen – to offer the clients the perfect pairing drink to their smørrebrød.
It is possible to choose from a menu a la carte (2-3 smørrebrød pp should be plenty) or for the hungry ones there is the option of a tasting menu.
I recommend booking a table.
Aamanns Deli & Takeaway: traditional smørrebrød but better
There are 2 reasons why this deli might be the ideal place for a summer brunch, Firstly the smørrebrød (obviously), insanely delicious (obviously), and with the best ingredients that you can find around. Secondly the location: just across Østre Anlæg Park that makes it the perfect place for an impromptu picnic. Actually 3 reasons: lastly they put your smorrebrod in the cutest take out box that people might think it contains something precious and, in fact, it does.
GRØD: the breakfast heaven
I need to tell you something: I am breakfast addict. And, when I say breakfast addict, it means I could have breakfast any time of the day, multiple times a day. It’s my favorite meal ever, I can’t wait to go sleeping to make my wait for breakfast a bit shorter. So if you are like me, or if you are normal people is fine too, you must know that there is a place in Copenhagen that I would describe the mecca for breakfast lovers.
Think of the creamiest porridge (simple, 3 grains and more) with any toppings your heart desires, or granola with yogurt and berry compote and again toppings, toppings, toppings! Great options for vegan, gluten free and non, they have savoury options for lunch like chicken congee, daal and more. Just go and thank me later.
The Corner 108: coffee and wine bar from the famed restaurant 108
The Corner 108 – Copenhagen
Situated – guess where? – yep at the corner of 108, this little gem is the perfect location for a fancy breakfast date or a wine tasting night. I said fancy because we are next door to a Michelin starred restaurant in the building that Noma used to call home.
They know what they are doing and you can find a creative twist in any item of the menu: we had an insanely good Danish pastry glazed with coffee kombucha, yogurt with homemade malty granola, all accompanied with exceptional coffee and a house special “not chocolate” an umami bomb drink made with fermented barley that could remind hot chocolate, mind blowing. During the day they serve a delicious lunch/dinner menu’ that you can pair with one of their 600 wines selection.
Whatever time of the day you will always find a reason to stop at The corner 108.
Hart Bageri: rye sourdough at its finest
Hart Bageri Copenhagen – Sesame roll with butter, whipped cream and cheese
Just 2 words: San Francisco, Tartine. If that doesn’t ring a bell, maybe it’s time to talk about Richard Hart, the master baker whose work is the reason why we are experiencing a new wave of sourdough bread in every corner of the planet. After years spent at Tartine perfecting the art of sourdough and spreading the word loaf after loaf, Richard decided it was time for a new challenge and in partnership with Noma opened a bakery in Copenhagen. The challenge was to bring the Danes a new rye bread and I must say he f***ing nailed it.
I could live eating just Hart’s bread and I would be happy for the rest of my days. Once you are at Hart Bageri it’s hard to pick something, we went for 2 rolls (sesame and mix seeds) with butter, whipped cream and a cheese toastie with kimchi. OH MY GOD! It was my favourite lunch in Copenhagen and the best bread in a looooong time. I don’t know if the Danes fell in love with his bread but you definitely will.
Torvehallerne market: a bite of everything
I think it’s always a good idea to visit the city food market for many reasons: firstly if you are in town for a short time and don’t want to miss any of the local specialties, at the food market you will be able to sample a bite of everything. You can find food stalls of some of the places on this list. Secondly it’s fun.Torvehallerne market matches both my criteria, amazing food, chilled vibe and lots of “wow I want to try that” or “that looks so good” or “do you think I should go for 3 or 4 smørrebrød plates?”. I would go with 4.
Prolog: aggressively trendy small coffee shop
The micro-roastery in the Meatpacking district is Rene’ Redezpi’s favourite spot for a coffee and a pastry. And who am I to not follow a Michelin chef’s recommendation? Minimalist interiors, few seats and tables, everything is about making coffee the protagonist. On a weekend it gets quite busy at breakfast/brunch time and the croissant is to die for. Rene’ was right after all.
You can find Prolog in a cool area of the hipster neighbourhood Vesterbro called Kødbyen, the Meatpacking District, full of restaurants and night clubs.
Coffee Collective: the coffee chain you wish was in London
We tasted Coffee Collective at the Torvehallerne market and it hits all my requirements of a great coffee: hot, balanced acidity, great crema.
The guys behind Coffee Collective want you to experience the best coffee in the most sustainable way: they collaborate directly with the farmers and they are really focused on the process that brings out the best coffee experience. If you want to experience something different I recommend trying the coffee kombucha.
Beer and BBQ
Mikkeller: most famous Danish brewery
You might have heard of Mikkeller for the huge popularity the brewery has reached over the past years. They have now pubs all over the world – the best one in Tokyo imo – and they are famous for collaborations with other breweries.
The company started with 2 people, a Math teacher and a journalist, experimenting with homebrewing and soon realizing that their beer was pretty good, so good that they decided to distribute to the public – the rest is history.
Warpips: traditional Danish style brews and Texas BBQ
Warpigs Copenhagen – Meatpacking district
The best brewpub in Copenhagen, it’s an unmissable stop for beer and meat lovers.
3 Flyods and Mikkeller established this beer heaven in the Meatpacking district, the perfect location for a pre/post tacos beer (check out Hija de Sanchez right below).
Whether you are a hoppy fan or a stout kinda person, the 22 taps got you covered: all the beers are amazing and brewed on the premises. There is a BBQ counter where you can order ribs, sausages or the day special, all accompanied with mac&cheese, coleslaw or 3 different types of pickles. The tiled floors and walls, the long wooden tables and benches, give the pub an authentic and rustic vibe.
Hija de Sanchez: taqueria from previous Noma chef
We are again in Kødbyen, the meatpacking district, where Hija de Sanchez opened a small taqueria to introduce Mexican food to the Danish palate. It is always hard to make good Mexican food: the ingredients are not the same, the weather is not the same and it’s not a Mexican granny rolling the tortillas. Despite all the cons Hija succeeded in recreating the flavours of her Mexican roots and bringing the experience of an authentic taqueria. The corn is imported from Mexico, they use local organic ingredients and produce their own queso. The tortillas are freshly made every single day and the churros are a peckish dessert that you can’t miss.
You can find Hija de Sanchez’s tacos at the other location in Torvehallerne market.
Bæst: awarded one of the best pizza in the world!
I could not visit Copenhagen without stopping at Bæst. The restaurant showcases the best of the local products, they make their own mozzarella and burrata, and they even cure all the meats. I heard so much about their acclaimed pizza that I had to verify with my own taste buds. And it’s true, everything they say it’s true: it is a very special pizza, one that could win over my Italian skepticism. The wooden-oven made in Naples especially for Bæst gives the pizzas the perfect blistered crust to frame simple and perfectly balanced toppings. The charcuterie board is just divine and paired with a Negroni is the best starter to share before the main event.
Noma: 2nd best restaurant in the world
Noma – Copenhagen
There is so much to say about this restaurant that it deserves a special article on its own. All you need to know for now is that Noma is the fulcrum of the new Nordic Cuisine movement and the reason Copenhagen has become such an exciting food destination.
Over the years the Noma team introduced new ideas, ingredients and provocative dishes that made the restaurant a mecca of gastronomy and one of the most advanced food laboratory of new techniques and fermentation. You need a reservation and it’s not that easy to get one but do not despair, I will give you some tips on “how to get a reservation in a Michelin star restaurant” in my next article.
And this is FOOD YOU SHOULD KNOW in Copenhagen.
I would love to hear from you about your EXPERIENCE IN COPENHAGEN? WHAT IS THE BEST SMØRREBRØD YOU HAD? HAVE YOU TRIED OTHER DANISH FOOD? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FOOD SCENE IN THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT? IN WHICH NEIGHBOURHOOD YOU STAYED IN COPENHAGEN? DO YOU HAVE RESTAURANTS TO ADD TO MY LIST OF COPENHAGEN BEST EATS?