Restaurants & Bars
From the beautiful biking, to the seaside colours and charming hygge–infused hospitality, Denmark is truly a country that knows how to slow down and make the most out of its surroundings. In the last decade, the tenets of New Nordic Cuisine put this capital on the culinary map, and the hype hasn’t cooled down since. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say, and with 28 Michelin-starred restaurants in Denmark, this little country certainly shines bright. Here are a few notable restaurants, bars, cafes, and markets to make your stay in Denmark a well-fed one.
The Best Restaurants in Copenhagen
Rene Redzepi’s 2-star-Michelin Noma surely needs no introduction: this global tour de force of nouveau-Scandi cuisine is truly an institution, with a finely tuned seasonal menu focusing on three distinct seasons: from January to late spring, a seafood-centric menu featuring the freshest finds in the ocean; an emphasis on vegetable dishes in the summer months (no meat or fish), and game and forest season, from early fall to January, highlighting meats and foraged produce. Book your reservations several months in advance of going. Their new ‘permanent’ spot in Christiania is just across from the pedestrian bridge at the foot of Nyhavn.
The vision of Noma alumnus Matt Orlando, Amass combines sustainable sourcing of seasonal local ingredients, including from their own greenhouse, “figuring out which techniques will pay the highest respect to the ingredient as a whole” with a constantly evolving menu. The décor is modern, colourful and iconoclastic. For a more casual dining experience, check out AFC (Amass Fried Chicken) at the same site.
Located in the eclectic Vesterbro neighbourhood, make your way here for fantastic Danish ingredients, cooked with a global twist. The menu changes all the time, but you can find accents from all over the world—a yuzu ice cream, fennel tzatziki, porcini powder, or tarragon oil. You never know what to expect, but everything is executed with panache, and it all comes together on the plate!
Super-hip, this Meatpacking District restaurant has a great vibe. Just beside Vesterbro, it’s unpretentious, understated and casual—the best seats are at the bar! Fish, shellfish, wine—who could ask for more? Lunch is also served here on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The sister restaurant to the rural B&R favourite Sletten, expect Michelin-starred execution of Danish cuisine with classic French techniques. There is no tasting menu—just choose from a selection of dishes, and don’t miss out on the sea buckthorn dessert! Here, the ethos is being ‘free’ of rules (i.e. New Nordic Cuisine), and a more experimental approach to creating food.
It’s about delicious fresh produce prepared with painstaking attention. It’s about the fabulous location in Tivoli Gardens. It’s about the numerous options for dining experiences, whether a light lunch, dinner in the kitchen garden greenhouse, an extensive “garden tour” tasting menu, or a bonfire with marshmallows. You can choose your own path from the many great options at this veggie-forward restaurant!
This three-starred Michelin restaurant, also rated one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the world, is helmed by Rasmus Kofoed, whose terroir-driven approach means a creative and playful take on Scandinavian cuisine. The dining room sits atop Denmark’s national soccer stadium, with sweeping views of the Faelledparken and of the city.
Koan features intriguing tasting menus that are a hybrid of Danish ingredients with Korean cuisine. Its founder, Kristian Joon Hwan Baumann, is the former head chef at 108, Noma’s erstwhile sister restaurant.
For a refreshing taste of something different, Lele’s take on modern Vietnamese food makes great use of fine Danish ingredients (including seafood). A family-owned business that is now a mini-empire, with a restaurant, food trucks, and more casual street food locations, there are many options available, although I loved the nine-course tasting menu on a recent trip.
This cluster of four distinctive eateries is partly owned by Mikkel Borg Bjergso of the renowned Danish craft brewery, Mikkeller, and includes Michelin-starred STUD!O, which features globally influenced dishes with a foundation in Nordic cuisine, while Almanak I Operaen offers a modern take on traditional Danish food.
The Best Bars, Cafes & Markets in Copenhagen
Housed on wharves with a backdrop of warehouses in the port of Copenhagen, Reffen is a creative hub that now includes a diverse streetfood market with over 40 stands. Many seasonal events are hosted throughout the year in this perennially festive atmosphere. Here, you can also visit Werkstatt, an urban bar and nightclub.
For a little bit of France in the middle of Copenhagen, this warm and cozy restaurant and wine bar has a large selection of (mostly) biodynamic wines, although organic and conventional wines make their way on to the list as well. Leaning on French tradition (with a hint of Italian), you may find bouillabaisse, risotto, moules or foie gras on hand if you order from the menu.
This highly innovative distillery produces distillates and cocktails with outlandish ingredients, exotic concepts, and dazzling flavours! The founders honed their skills at the Nordic Food Lab, an experimental space founded by Noma chef René Redzepi. Head to their website to book a tour, or just show up at their location on the artificial island of Refshaleøen (near Reffen street food market, above) for a tasting.
For cutting-edge microbrews, make your way to Mikkeller & Friends, a basement bar with an awesome streetside patio (I swear it’s nicer than I just described it). Join the hipsters of Vesterbro and get into over 30 Mikkeller taps, breweries from around the world, bottled selections, craft sodas, spirits, and snacks. You never know what’s on tap; with wild names and intriguing flavours, it’s always a good time.
This traditional market, located in a vibrant part of town close to the Botanical Gardens, is always a go-to for snacks, lunch, and produce, and is also a great place to engage in the local life of Copenhagen and people-watch!
An excellent café that looks like an old library, located beside the university. It’s also a bookstore and publishing company—the perfect ambience for a relaxing morning or afternoon stop. A full menu from breakfast and brunch to sandwiches, snacks and mains, beer, wine, and cocktails are also served if your morning stretches onwards. A great thing to note about Copenhagen is that every café and bar has outdoor seating and blankets to offer so people can still sit outside during the winter—the Danes are not afraid of the cold!