The Danish capital is one of the world’s best
culinary destinations, with adventurous chefs and more Michelin stars than any
other Scandinavian city.
Best for smorrebrod
Clued-up Danes come to this Aamanns
for seasonal smørrebrød (open sandwiches). Variations include a scrumptious
beef tartar smørrebrød topped with egg emulsion and miniature potato chips, and
Søvind brie with dried fruit and nut relish. Eat inside or gobble your
selection in a nearby park (Øster Farimagsgade 10; smørrebrød from £5.40).
has been lining local bellies with smørrebrød and schnapps since 1877.
Originally a hit with peasant farmers peddling their produce, its current fan
base includes prestigious chefs and nostalgia-pining city workers. More than
100 toppings are on offer, from aquavit-marinated herring to smoked salmon with
grated radish, chives and egg yolk. It’s a local instituion, so book ahead (Hauser
Plads 16; closed Sun; smørrebrød from £7).
Gitte Kik is a lunchtime smørrebrød restaurant is full of atmosphere and
traditional Danish charm. It’s a family-run affair that’s been in business
since 1910, and its rustic interior is filled with old portraits and scenes of
the city. When you order, just point at the sandwich topping you’d like (there
are about 50 to choose from) and your sandwich will be brought to your table (Fortunstræde
4; closed Jul, Sun & Mon; smørrebrød from £7).
Best for hygge
Roughly translated as ‘cosy’, hygge can also describe a social situation
that induces a cheerful state of mind. And hygge isn’t in short supply here. Dyrehaven is a home-from-home for the
Vesterbro district’s effortlessly laid-back bohemians, who head here for cheap
drinks, traditional dishes and late-night camaraderie (Sønder Blvd 72; lunch
La Glace sits next to
the Peter Beier chocolate store in the Strøget neighbourhood, and serves some
of the city’s best confections, including wonderfully fattening sponge, mousse
and cream concoctions, and the finest hot chocolate in town. Take a seat in the
beautiful old tearoom-style surroundings and you’ll get a feel for the quiet
dignity and history of the place (Skoubogade 3–5; six macaroons £10).
A deservedly popular spot, Cap
Horn is an eclectically decorated charmer with the odd nautical touch gives
on to one of Copenhagen’s loveliest canalside quays. The restaurant is open
late, and it’s often worth waiting for the crowds to die down. It specialises
in Danish cuisine – either of the sandwich variety, or heartier dishes such as
fried plaice with sautéed capers, tomatoes and spinach (Nyhavn 21; mains from
Best for modern
A sublime culinary experience is guaranteed at the Michelin starred Restaurant AOC in Nyhavn. Chefs Ronny
Emborg and Michael Munk take the sourcing of the finest Danish ingredients very
seriously, while sommelier Christian Aarø Mortensen is a champion wine steward
(Dronningens Tværgade 2; dinner Tue-Sat; five-course menu £40).
If you want to impress someone, book a table at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl in
Frederiksberg Have, a vision of white walls and crystal chandeliers. The
highlight is the dinner menu, showcasing head chef Jakob Mielcke’s inspired
approach to ingredients, including a lobster jelly with salty plum ice cream (Frederiksberg
Runddel 1; dinner Tue–Sun; set menu from £75).
Topping the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list for
the third year running in 2012, Noma is the
domain of chef René Redzepi, formerly of El Bulli and the French Laundry. The
menu features Scandinaviansourced produce such as musk ox, skyr curd and
octopus legs. Book around three months ahead (Strandgade 93; Tue–Sat; 20-course
Where to stay
Wakeup Copenhagen’s white, chocolate brown and
lime green rooms bring to mind a stylish space station designed in the 1960s.
Have breakfast in its cosy restaurant (Carsten Niebuhrs Gade 11; from £60).
The nautical Copenhagen Admiral
Hotel, set by the water in Nyhavn, does a great job of blending the old and
the new, with cannons at the entrance and exposed pine beams in the rooms (Toldbodgade
24–28; from £160).
Nimb resides in an
impressive Arabian-style building in the Tivoli Gardens, complete with arches,
domes and minarets. Its boutique rooms and suites are beautifully styled with
log fires and four-poster beds ( Bernstorffsgade 5; from £260).
The article 'Mini guide to eating in Copenhagen' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Traveller.