Thursday, 22 June 2017

Where to eat in Copenhagen, Denmark


A big reason for wanting to visit Denmark was to indulge in New Nordic cuisine. I love the concept of using only the most local of ingredients in your cooking. Not only does it promote local business and environmentally friendly practices, but it also leads to innovation, exciting and unique flavour combinations, and dishes that you can't find else where.

Had we not been spending over two weeks in Denmark, I would have liked to have visited a Michelin starred restaurant such as Geranium, Kadeau, or Relæ. But with Noma closed during our visit, I had this all or nothing mentality - if I couldn't visit the restaurant that invented the New Nordic movement then I'm not going to bother with the others. Anyway, my wallet breathed a sigh of relief when it realised it wouldn't be forking out for these types of meals.

That being said, Denmark, as I'm sure you've heard many people say, is not a cheap place to eat. With a 25% sales tax, the cost of eating out can rocket. Most of our dinners hit the £70 to £90 mark which is of course expensive, but also comparable to some of the restaurants Steve and I frequent in London. While this is extremely far from a budget dinner, the thing I will say is that the food in Denmark is some of the best I have ever experienced. The quality of the ingredients, the inventiveness of the flavour combinations and the exceptional service meant that I never once felt a meal wasn't worth the price.

What I did come to realise is that there's isn't a huge difference in price between your casual all-day cafe type places and somewhere a little higher end. If you can afford to spend a little extra per person when it comes to dinner then it's worth seeking out those higher quality restaurants, you will not be disappointed.

If you want to eat well without going bust then my best advice is to avoid alcohol, or at least wine. Steve and I don't tend to hit the booze too hard on holiday, a few bottles of local beer will do us just fine which is great because this is a much more affordable option.

So onto the food. I did a lot of research for where we were going to eat and it absolutely paid off because everywhere was wonderful and I cannot wait to share my recommendations with you.

BREAKFAST / BRUNCH


Vesterbro / Sønder boulevard 68

Copenhagen sure knows how to do a good brunch and Mad & Kaffe was my stand out meal. The concept is akin to tapas, you order a bunch of small plates to make up a bigger meal. Simply choose 3, 5, or 7 plates per person. I loved the avocado with chilli oil and baked almonds, chicken nugget with sweet and sour sauce, and fried eggs. Unfortunately I wasn't a fan of the slow roasted tomatoes with basil oil but the menu has so many different options it's easy to find a few plates you'll enjoy. You're looking at around £20 per person for 5 plates and a drink which isn't a budget option by any means, but absolutely worth it in terms of quality and quantity. Popular on Instgram, Mad & Kaffe is definitely not a case of style over substance but it does get busy so make sure you get down early if you want to avoid a queue.



Møller - Kaffe og Køkken
Nørrebro / Nørrebrogade 160

Similar to Mad & Kaffe, this is another build your own breakfast type of destination. Instead of filling in your own personal order the table can order all at once which means you can have as many or as few plates as you desire. I really enjoyed the boiled egg with cress, chicken nugget, avocado, and waffle. The cafe has quite an industrial vibe, and with a frequently changing menu it's a popular destination. Our meal was around £20 per person but I felt like it was absolutely worth it.





Atelier September
Indre By / Gothersgade 30

This city centre brunch location is the perfect stop for some series scandi minimalist cafe vibes. The menu is simple, reflecting the interiors, making this a great stop for a quick bite. I went for the avocado on rye (on the lunch menu but served at breakfast) whilst Steve opted for a soft boiled egg and rye. Simple, delicious, and a must visit location. Most options cost about £10 but they aren't huge so we were definitely hungry by lunch time.


Grød
Nørrebro / Jægersborggade 50
Indre By / Torvehallerne

We actually visited Grød in the afternoon for a bowl of risotto but the cafe is famous for it's morning bowls of porridge. With the option of choosing your own toppings or picking from a menu of carefully selected suggestions, this is the place for lovers of all things grainy. With portions starting from £5 this is definitely a place for a budget breakfast.





Meyers Bageri
Various location

From one of the masterminds behind Noma, Meyers is your go to for all things Danish pastry related. But be prepared to want everything in sight. I didn't even think I was a big fan of pastries until we visited this shop one morning to stock up on snacks for a long day of driving. Everything is delicious but I particularly enjoyed the cinnamon swirls and poppyseed twists. And don't forget to pick up a bottle of the homemade apple juice, it is sweet and addictive like all good apple juices should be. Look out for Meyers Deli as well, a cafe from the same chef serving a larger range of food such as open sandwiches.





The Coffee Collective
Nørrebro / Jægersborggade 57

This is the best place in Copenhagen to get coffee so when you're visiting Meyers for pastries, head up the road to grab a cup of the hot stuff to go.

LUNCH / LIGHT BITES



Øl & Brød
Vesterbro / Viktoriagade 6

From the Danish beer legends Mikkeller, this cute little restaurant does exactly what the name says, beer and bread. We stopped by for a light lunch and very much enjoyed a traditional curried herring open sandwich, and a chicken and asparagus tartlet. The open sandwiches (smørrebrød) are rather small so you'll probably want to order 2-3 depending on how hungry you are, but it's also handy if you're after something small and traditional. And don't forget to order a Mikkeller beer.

Steve and I thought we'd be eating loads of open sandwiches on this trip but we actually only had a couple over the 2.5 weeks we spent in Denmark. I wanted to visit Schønnemann for traditional smørrebrød and Aamanns Deli & Take Away for an innovative twist on the classic smørrebrød but we did not have time / our bellies couldn't handle more food but I hear they're both great so they're on my list for next time.


DØP (Den Økologiske Pølsemand)
Indre By / Round Tower (Købmagergade) and Church of The Holy Ghost (Strøget)

Hot dogs are pretty synonymous with Scandinavia but shockingly Steve and I only managed to eat one throughout the duration of our trip, but at least it was a good one. DØP's food truck is situated in two city centre locations and whilst they have a large range of options it's the classic hot dogs that really make them a stand out dining option. Everything is organic and they even do veggie options, making this gourmet hot dog place a really worthwhile stop for a midday bite.





Indre By / Landgreven 10

I knew I wanted to try a burger in Copenhagen so I made sure to research all the top spots to help me make an informed decision. The internet has been singing the praises of Gasoline Grill for a while now and with its unusual petrol station location I knew this was the burger joint I wanted to give a try. The menu is small with a few different option and for £12 you can enjoy a burger, crinkle cut fries and a drink, which is a pretty decent deal. Whilst the burger isn't quite on par with my beloved London-based Bleecker it's still a decent attempt and most definitely worth the wait. Juicy, meaty and served with perfectly crisp chips, what more could you want? You can tell this is a popular joint so make sure you get down early before they run out for the day.



Vesterbro / Høkerboderne 9

I'm not the sort of person who orders pizza on holiday. We get such great pizza in London I sometimes think it's a waste to get it abroad, especially from a city where pizza is far from local cooking. But I'd heard so many great things about Mother that I was intrigued. On our last day in Copenhagen we didn't have time to stop for a proper lunch so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to grab a takeaway pizza for the road. I'm so glad we did because our burrata pizza with vine tomatoes and rucola (£15) was absolutely delicious. A soft, chewy, sourdough base with incredible fresh and vibrant ingredients was just what we needed a couple of hours into our road trip. Even cold, eaten in a car, this pizza was an explosion of taste. And best of all, Mother is opening in London this year and I cannot wait. 










Indre By / Frederiksborggade 21

This covered market in the city centre is a fantastic option for an eclectic lunch. With dozens of food stalls to choose from there really is something for everyone. This is where we enjoyed a delicious bowl of risotto from
Grød, a taco selection from Hija de Sanchez (they're OK but they're no Breddos Tacos), a beer (or two) from the Mikkeller Bottle Shop, and a coffee to go from Copenhagen favourite's The Coffee Collective. There's a ton of other things on offer from open sandwiches, tapas, plus plenty of sweet treats too. Whilst this is definitely a favourite with tourists you can instantly tell that locals like to hang out here as well. And even if you're aren't after a big meal, it's nice to stroll around the space, enjoying a couple of free samples. This is a good option for a budget lunch as plenty of meals are under £10.

SWEET TREATS / ICE CREAM

Ice cream is life and I can eat the stuff any time, any weather. Call me simple but there's something about a well made vanilla ice cream that I cannot resist. Copenhagen has a ton of ice cream shops and I couldn't resist the opportunity to try as many as possible.



Istid
Nørrebro / Jægersborggade 13

Istid does liquid nitrogen ice cream and whilst having a pretty eclectic menu I opted for the vanilla and chocolate sauce. Creamy and sweet, it was perfect.




Østerberg Ice Cream
Østerberg / Rosenvængets Allé 7C 

Østerberg Ice Cream has a ton of different flavours and it was here I got to try sea buckthorn, a yellow berry found near the coast of Denmark. Sweet and unlike any berry I've had before this was a delicious flavour.






Olufs Is
Østerberg / Olufsvej 6
Situated in the wonderfully cute area of Brumleby, this shop serves delicious (and Instagram worthy) homemade ice lollies. I had the mango and chocolate lolly which was deliciously fruity and perfect for the hot day we visited.

DINNER

Dinner is most definitely an event in Copenhagen so be prepared to spend at least 2 hours, if not more, at some of the city's fine dining restaurants. As I mentioned previously, we didn't visit any of the Michelin starred restaurants in town, but we did visit some of their sister restaurants. This meant we got to experience the same style of cooking without the hefty price tag. Make sure you make reservations in advance because the fine dining scene in Copenhagen is extremely popular.








Manfreds
Nørrebro / Jægersborggade 40

If I had to recommend only one dinner destination it would be Manfred, hands down. Not only is the food wonderful, but it's incredibly good value compared to restaurants of a similar quality and style, making it perfect for a special evening without completely breaking the bank. Sister restaurant to the one Michelin star Relæ (which is situated across the road), Manfreds is a wine bar that specialises in seasonal biodynamic vegetables and raw cooking techniques. For around £30 per person you can order a seven-course, small-plates, sharing menu. While the majority of dishes are vegetable based, a meat and fish dish is usually included as well. I loved this meal, and whilst the ingredients were presented in an unfussy and simple manner, the food tasted unlike anything I've had before.







Bæst 
Nørrebro / Guldbergsgade 29

Bæst is another restaurant from the team behind Relæ and Manfreds, and the concept is what I like to call posh Italian. Now, Italian food in Scandinavia wouldn't normally be my go to dining option given my 'local food only' holiday mantra, but I'd heard such positive things about this restaurant, plus we did spend nearly a week in Copenhagen, that I was happy to make it work. And boy I'm glad I bothered. Danish-Sicilian chef, Christian F. Puglis, uses this restaurant to showcase a range of Italian food including cheeses, house-cured meats, pizza, and small Italian inspired plates. We opted for the tasting menu (£55 per person) which meant we were given the chance to try a little bit from each part of the menu. The food was wonderful, and despite it being Italian, many of the dishes had a Danish flare. This is the sort of restaurant you could go all out in like we did, or keep things casual with just a pizza.




Indre By / Nørre Farimagsgade 41

Höst is a city centre restaurant that serves affordable, New Nordic cuisine. And by affordable, I mean in terms of Danish standards. You're given the option of a 3 or 5 set course meal. We went for the 3 course meal which is about £40 each, but once you include the bread basket and in between courses, it's more like a 7 course feast. Whilst the plates are simple, the quality of ingredients and combination of flavours made this a stand out meal for me. The dining room itself is totally Danish with a soft industrial vibes and lots of different areas. This definitely felt like the most up-market restaurant of all those we visited but it was still casual, something the Danes excel at.



 
Vesterbro / Vesterbrogade 135

Pony is the sister (and slight cheaper) restaurant of the one Michelin star Kadeau, a New Nordic restaurant that is so passionate about local produce, it only uses food found on the Danish island of Bornholm. Pony's philosophy is very much in line with Kadeau, and whilst the style of cooking is very similar, the dishes are simpler making this a more affordable option. If we'd had the time I would have loved to have gone for the Pony Kick menu, a 4-course meal for £55 per person. However, we had a flight to catch so we opted for two courses each from the à la carte menu (£35 per person). The meal was a delight, and whilst it was similar in style to Höst in terms of seasonal, Nordic ingredients, the plates we ordered were full of flavour, embracing the entire concept of New Nordic cuisine.







Vesterbro / Slagterboderne 7

Fleisch means meat, and at this butcher shop come restaurant, situated in the middle of the meat packing district (Kødbyen), you only need one attempt to guess what's on the menu. I wish Steve and I had been hungry enough to order the six-course tasting menu (£50 per person) but alas we ate so much food on this trip we had to settle on the three course set menu (£40 per person) which was more like seven courses once you include all the extras. This was a meat heavy, yet utterly enjoyable dinner with steak tartar and pork fillet on the menu. We sat outside the restaurant, wrapped in a blanket, on a warm evening, watching the world go by in this busy part of town. The food, the service, and the location made this such an enjoyable evening. This is definitely a great options for all you carnivores.



PapirØen

Copenhagen Street Food is situated on the little PapirØen AKA Paper Island in the heart of the city. It's open all day but I think it's best enjoyed in the evening. Similar to Street Feast in London, this is a huge warehouse packed to the rafters with various street food vendors. The vibe is excellent, with various generations of people coming together to enjoy street food, which is something I don't think you get in London. No pretentiousness, just family and friends having a good time. Whilst I've had much better street food in London this is still a wonderful place to visit during a stay in Copenhagen. Most options are under £10 making this good for those on a budget, and make sure you order the delicious duck fat fries from Copper and Wheat.

This is basically everywhere we ate in Copenhagen and I feel like I had to include everything because each restaurant we visited was wonderful. For the sake of completeness, we also had breakfast at Granola and while there wasn't anything wrong with it, it just wasn't that exciting compared to everywhere else we visited. I would 100% visit all the above places again so I hope you find this useful when planning a trip. Let me know in the comments where else I should visit because I plan on many more trips to Copenhagen.

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5 comments:

  1. I love the idea of the breakfast tapas-style bowls - those places look so good! Actually, all of the food in Denmark looks amazing! x

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  2. Wow, this really is the ultimate foodie guide to Copenhagen! I think I have to go back, if only to try all of these amazing foods!

    - Elodie x

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  3. Awesome. I believe that your post will be much helpful for us to have a best and quality food in Denmark.

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  4. WOW. If I ever find myself in Copenhagen, I'm definitely checking off these items. Mad & Kaffe looks like a place I'd really enjoy :)

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