Our guide to the best of Copenhagen's food scene
Copenhagen is a true food mecca and has something for every taste, whether you're an indulgent foodie with special interests or simply like to eat well. Here are our top picks for the 7 best ways to dig into Copenhagen's scrumptious food scene.
1. Sink your teeth into our world-renowned pastry
We Danes tend to be known for being rather humble - at least until you get us talking about pastries. Because even though what is now known as Danish pastry around the world actually originated from Austria (hence the Danish word "wienerbrød"), we sure have the perfected the artistry of making mouth-watering pastries.
Good news is that you'll never be far away from a bakery in Copenhagen, and you definitely ought to treat yourself to a pastry - or three (we don't judge) - while you're here. Some of the most popular places to queue for these treats are Juno the bakery in Østerbro, Hart Bageri in Frederiksberg, Sankt Peders Bageri in the old Latin Quarter, Mirabelle in Nørrebro, or Lille Bakery & Eatery on Refshaleøen.
2. Learn how to make smørrebrød
Our traditional Danish lunch the open-faced sandwiches known as smørrebrød are as delicious and varied as the word is difficult to pronounce. Smørrebrød are slices of rye bread heaped with different kinds of toppings, such as pickled herring, potato slices, or roast beef.
Many restaurants throughout Copenhagen have some kind of smørrebrød on their lunch menus, and you can also buy smørrebrød in places like Torvehallerne (often referred to as "the glass markets"). But if you want to really understand smørrebrød - and our obsession with this beloved dish - you ought to sign up for a cooking class at Hahnemanns Køkken.
Photo:Columbus Leth - Copenhagen Media Center
3. Dine at our organic restaurants
Did you know that we Danes are some of the people buying the most organic produce in the world? We even have an annual Økodag festival where organic produce is celebrated up and down the country. (You ought to check it out - it even has dancing cows!)
This love of local and organic produce has spread to restaurants across Copenhagen, and has become a key ingredient (literally) to their business. If you're looking for a few suggestions on where to eat organically, you might want to check out the rooftop farm/restaurant Gro Spiseri, the hotdog stand DØP, the house boat turned floating restaurant Vandvid, or the Italian restaurant Bæst (whose pizza has been ranked third best in Europe).
4. Do as the locals and eat at a street food market
Copenhagen has acquired a booming street food scene the past couple of years, and the street food markets have become popular places for locals and visitors alike meet up and have a hyggelig time. At these markets, you'll find a wide variety of carefully selected food options, ranging from burger, pizza to Japanese street food as well as hot dogs (the original Danish street food) and craft beer.
You can explore a range of different areas of Copenhagen if you use the street food markets as your guiding star. In city center, you can combine a visit to the iconic amusement park Tivoli Gardens with a meal at Tivoli Food Hall. Or you can explore the area around the Royal Palace while quenching your thirst at Boltens Food Court.
If you head to the Reffen market you'll discover the up-and-coming district of Refshaleøen that seems to change on a daily basis. But if you need a snack on the way to or from Refshaleøen, make a quick stop by Broens Gadekøkken in the charming old neighbourhood of Christianshavn.
Photo:© Abdellah Ihadian
5. Hunt for our liquid treasure
When you think of Danish beer, what do you think of? Carlsberg? Tuborg? These classic pilsner brands are no doubt part of the Danish cultural fabric, but in the last decade the Danish craft beer scene has grown faster than a strain of wild yeast in a hoppy IPA. Nowhere in Denmark is that more true than in Copenhagen.
Just look at Mikkeller for proof: What started as a home-brewing project in Mikkel Borg Bjergsø’s kitchen is today a veritable craft beer empire with a dozen bars and restaurants in Copenhagen and around the world. And Mikkeller’s not the only Danish brewery garnering international praise, To Øl, Dry & Bitter, Beer Here, and Gamma have all earned acclaim in recent years.
But where to try all these delicious beers? Thankfully, Copenhagen has more than a few options for every taste. From brewery outposts like Mikkeller and Friends, BRUS, Nørrebro Bryghus and Dial’legd, to the classic American-style craft beer bars like Fermentoren, to stylish bars like Mikropolis, there are more great place to try craft beer in Copenhagen than ever.
6. Get a taste of the stars
Michelin stars, that is, because Copenhagen is the city with both the highest number of Michelin stars and the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the Nordics. Our capital city is a true gourmet powerhouse which has taken its place among the world's best - especially since the New Nordic cuisine became renowned and known around the world.
At the moment, two of the world's top 5 best restaurants are located in Copenhagen. They are the Michelin-starred restaurants noma (2* and four-time world's best restaurant) and Geranium (3* and run by one of the world's best chefs, Rasmus Kofoed), respectively.
If your wallet, however, isn't too keen for you to travel to a galaxy far, far away, you can also opt for the more affordable gourmet experience (which still has the Michelin stamp of approval) by booking a table at one of our Bib Gourmand restaurants.
7. Sleep, eat, explore, repeat
If you're looking for the complete 24/7 foodie experience, you might want to consider booking some accommodation that ensures you're never far away from your next snack. And while that does pretty much include every hotel and hostel in Copenhagen, there are some places where you'll practically have a scrumptious meal right next door. (N.B. Yes, we're still talking about food.)
For instance, you might want to book a stay at Scandic Kødbyen which is located in the heart of the trendy Meatpacking District and not even a minute away from a range of popular food spots. If you're looking for an enchanting hotel vibe, you ought to check out the Nimb hotel which is part of Tivoli Gardens, and beside Nimb's range of eateries such as Nimb Brasserie and Gemyse, you'll also just be a stone's throw away from Tivoli Food Hall. Or you might look for an utmost luxurious foodie experience, which you'll find at the five-star Hotel d'Angleterre that also houses the Michelin-starred restaurant Marchal.
Check in at Scandic Kødbyen, located in the hip meatpacking district. The hotel's restaurant, MØR, serves fine steak directly from the grill and there's plenty more to taste nearby.Photo:Scandic Kødbyen