Copenhagen is a magical place to visit for any reason, but even more so if you're there primarily to eat and drink. Since 2011, when I first moved there, I’ve seen the city’s dining scene really blossom into what it is now: a serious contender for one of the world’s best cities for forward-thinking restaurants. Whether you're looking for the best restaurants, cafes, wine bars, or cocktail bars, Copenhagen has it all. So before you head out to this Scandinavian city, check out this detailed list for a number of places you should hit on your trip to this spellbinding city.
1. Noma: There are a handful of high-end, tasting menu-type places to eat here, and any list of these types of spots in Copenhagen must begin with the deservedly world-famous, Noma. Helmed by head chef René Redzepi, the restaurant coined New Nordic cuisine with its relentless focus on seasonality, unsung foraged products, fermentation, and terroir. The food is ingredient-focused and minimalist, and all vegetables are delivered by acclaimed farmer Søren Wiuff.
UPDATE: The original Noma in the Christianshavn neighborhood shuttered its doors in February 2017, only to reopen a year later in a more spacious space on Refshalevej Island. Three menus are offered per year: Seafood Season (January - June); Vegetable Season (June - September); Game and Forest Season (October - December).
2. Amass is an ambitious restaurant driven by a spontaneous kitchen that occupies a modern, urban space on the water.
3. Geist: This trendy, lively restaurant will impress you as much with its food as its loud, nightclub-esque music bouncing off the walls of the highly-designed dining room and open kitchen setup. But don’t let the vibe fool you—the focus here is still squarely on the food. The small plates are imaginative, and they feature fresh, local ingredients that are beautifully prepared—including lobster tail with beetroots and blood orange; raw beef tenderloin with lumpfish roe and piment d’espelette; and silver onions baked with ginger, lime, tamari, and sesame.
The restaurant is located in Copenhagen’s Kongens Nytorv (The King’s New Square) away from the tourist crowds.
4. Geranium is the most classically "fine-dining" establishment in the city, although what’s on the plate isn’t at all old-fashioned. Leave it to chef Rasmus Kofoed to wow you.
5. Kadeau Kobenhavn has a young team that hails from Bornholm Island, off the coast of Denmark, and champions both real terroir cooking as well as natural wines.
6. Sollerod Kro is found in the suburbs of Copenhagen and resides in an inn dating from over one hundreds years ago. This is the most classical kitchen from those listed and also boasts the biggest wine cellar of the city.
7. STUD!O, run by noma’s former R&D chef, is less than a year old yet has already won a Michelin star.
8. Restaurant Relae is a warm, intimate restaurant serving creative, adventurous food. They have a strong natural wine philosophy and food-drink pairings here are some of the best within Copenhagen and without.
9. Marchal at the Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen is a luxurious place to experience Danish fine dining with a side of French sophistication. Its opulent surroundings are a warm welcome into the dining experience: fresh seafood, Danish produce, and a dazzling selection of Champagne are all there to tempt you. If you visit Copenhagen in the warmer seasons, Marchal expands onto the pavement and terrace, so you can dine on their sumptuous menu al fresco.
10. Baest: From the team behind Relae, this place focuses on home-made charcuterie and cheese (burrata and ricotta), traditional-style crispy pizza and large cuts of meat cooked on real, open fire. They also have their own bakery, Mirebelle, adjacent to the restaurant (don't leave without trying the sourdough).
11. Manfreds & Vin: Another Relae-team owned spot, this is set up as an everyday, family style eatery and natural wine-bar. Definitely order the signature beef tartare here.
12. Kødbyens Fiskebar: In the Meatpacking district, this industrial space offers lots of great seafood – especially the small plates – plus a dynamic bar.
13. Restaurant Kul: In the Meatpacking district of Copenhagen, the menu showcases items cooked over open, charcoal grills.
14. Dragsholm Slot: This Michelin-starred bistro is situated in the Relais & Châteaux Hotel in a UNESCO Global Geopark called Lammefjord, home to some of most fertile farmland around the city. The food is inspired by the surroundings and it’s certainly worth the drive and a night spent staying out there.
15. Kadeau Bornholm: Bornholm Island is a very easy twenty-five minute flight from Copenhagen. This island is where the team behind Kadeau come from and where they have their original restaurant. Open only during the summer months, this is really a very special place to visit.
Open For Lunch
16. Atelier September: This is the quintessential Copenhagen café and hang-out spot. They are open for breakfast and lunch, with a daily-changing plat-du-jour vegetarian menu. It is a great place for lunch while exploring the city before a big dinner.
17. Next Door Cafe: The Next Door Café in Copenhagen is actually next door to the owners’ home. A favorite hangout among the locals, the Next Door Café is the perfect spot to rest your feet in cozy surroundings. Its welcoming and unpretentious ambiance makes you feel immediately at home, so you can just relax and enjoy delicious homemade food and excellent coffee.
18. Restaurant Schonnemann: This is where to go to for classic Danish frokost (lunch). Think classic smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) with herring, crawfish, beef tartare, salmon, and more—all served in a traditional setting with jovial atmosphere.
19. The Coffee Collective: With a focus on supporting farmers and promoting sustainability from seed-to-cup, this is the best coffee in town. There are a few locations around town: Sankt Hans Torv, Bernikow, Godthabsvej, Jagersborggade, Telefonkiosken, and Torvehallerne.
20. Cafe Europa 1989: An elegant café located in the heart of the city.
21. Torvehallerne: Copenhagen doesn't really have farmer’s markets, but this place is like a big version of Selfridge’s food market—a haven for foodies. There are endless, high quality seasonal ingredients, butchers, fishmongers, finished food, food trucks, and more. In the summer, this place is really buzzing. These are my go-tos:
- A cup of coffee at Coffee Collective
- Traditional Danish porridge at Grød for breakfast or brunch
- Chinese street food at Bingo
- A classic smørrebrød—you can't go wrong at any stall
- Tacos at Hija de Sanchez, which was founded by former Noma pastry chef Rosio Snachez (this is THE place in Copenhagen for authentic Mexican)
- Organic, homemade, Italian-style ice cream at Is a Bella (there's vegan options, too!)
Wine, Beer, & Cocktails
22. Ved Stranden 10 - Vinhandel & Bar: Right in the center of the city, this spot has an incredible wine list and some small plates that are really fantastic. On Mondays, there is a plat-du-jour to enjoy as well as snacks at other times.
23. Den Vandrette: An excellent wine bar located on the water focussing on natural wines. They also serve snacks here.
24. Balderdash: Copenhagen’s newest cocktail bar located in a historic setting and offering delicious, creative drinks.
25. Ruby: This speakeasy, located on one of the main canals, is a very well-known cocktail bar.
26. The Moose: This is a very late-night dive bar – an institution of drinking that's been around forever.
27. Bo-Bi Bar: The oldest bar in Copenhagen.
28. Lidkoeb: This is the second bar opened by the Ruby’s team. It has a large outdoors space, which is great in summer.
29. The Union: Another speakeasy, this is also open late night at weekends for the late-night crowd.
30. Mikkeller Bar: Voted Copenhagen’s best bar, Mikkeller Bar is a craft beer fantasy. It may be small, but the micro-brewed beers from Mikkeller are mighty.
The helpful bartenders take their time with each customer, describing the beers, giving recommendations, and offering tastes. Beer enthusiasts will know to order a number of smaller beers to find their perfect brew.
They now have two bars—the original is in just outside the Meatpacking district and the second (bigger), Mikkeller & Friends, is in Norrebro.
31. Jolene Bar: Found in the Meatpacking District, Jolene is for the younger, hipster crowd interested in late-night partying.
32. Duck & Cover: With a generous nod to gentlemen's clubs of the 50s and 60s, Copenhagen’s Duck and Cover evokes class, comfort, and sophistication before you’ve even taken your first sip of a cocktail. Which you must certainly do—this is, after all, the cocktail lounge of Diageo Reserve World Class finalist Kasper Riewe Henriksen. It is widely agreed upon that this is one of the best cocktail bars in Scandinavia, with some excellent signature creations.
Copenhagen restaurants, check! But still not sure where you'll be staying during your stay in the Danish capital? Look no further than our list of the best hotels across the city, including Vesterbro (meatpacking), Frederiksberg, Tivoli, Jægersborggade and more. And if you're short on activities, this list of the 21 best things to do is for you.
Not planning on traveling anytime soon but still want to bring a taste of københavn home? Get Copenhagen-based blogger Cecilia Fahlström's advice on how to "feel" hygge.