best restaurants in copenhagen

Where to Eat in Copenhagen: Best Restaurants in Copenhagen

by George Mouratidis
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Searching for the best restaurants in Copenhagen? It’s easy to assume that the food scene in Denmark begins and ends with fish. While it is generally true that herring and cod reign supreme in Scandinavia, Copenhagen will surprise you with their dynamic and exciting food culture.

traditional scandinavian food

Best restaurants in Copenhagen

From modern twists on traditional dishes like smørrebrød to stylish sushi, the food offerings in Copenhagen are worth exploring. Here are some of the places you should not miss while visiting. 

Nyboders Køkken

Nyboders Køkken’s menu is an ode to traditional Scandinavian cuisine. The check patterned table cloths and dated furniture will let you know right away that you aren’t in for fine dining. But generous portions and a down-home vibe lend it a warmth that is both welcoming and charming.

Danish classics like byens bedste flæsk (fried pork with potatoes and a parsley sauce), as well as the smørstegt rødspætte (fried plaice with potatoes and butter sauce) come highly recommended. The service is amicable, and the staff is genuinely happy to see you. If a traditional Danish food experience is what you’re looking for, Nyboders Køkken is an excellent welcome to Copenhagen.

Damindra

An ultra-modern sushi restaurant, Damindra by its own admission, is ambitious. This isn’t run of the mill sushi. Damindra’s menu is very stylish and keeps you engaged with every dish. Try the house signature cocktail, a refreshing apple, ginger, lime and sake concoction to get a sense of what’s to come. Then delve into the Uramaki or Gunkan, both winners and immensely delicious.

While a la carte options are available, Damindra’s prowess really lies in its custom tasting menu. Tell the wait staff what you’re in the mood for and allow them to curate a meal that is a revelation with every course. The restaurant’s aesthetic is reflected in the plating of its dishes: sleek and innovative, a marriage between Scandinavian minimalism and Japanese elegance. It all makes for a sophisticated dining experience that is unique.

Din Nye Ven

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Os' to-go 🦍 #dinnyeven #smørrebrød #bar

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Din Nye Ven is on the more casual end of the spectrum. If you’re curious about the Danish open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) but find yourself overwhelmed by the more traditional options that abound in Copenhagen, Din Nye Ven is a good primer. The atmosphere here is generally relaxed, and so is the menu. Simple and straightforward, but very satisfying.

Try the chicken salad or the smoked peppered mackerel for an accessible introduction to smørrebrød. There are also more common items like simple avocado toast, waffles and charcuterie boards, as well as vegan options. The restaurant doubles up as a bar with solid cocktails to boast of. In all, Din Nye Ven is a great option if you’re looking for good food with no complications.

Relæ

There are twenty-two Michelin starred restaurants in Denmark. Seventeen of them are in Copenhagen alone. Relæ makes that list among other impressive ones. What makes it stand out in this crowd, though, is its relatability. The food is high quality without a doubt, the hefty price tag says as much. But where Relæ shines is in it doing away with the stuffiness that often accompanies fine dining of this calibre. You can really relax and dig into the rich flavours and creativity of its dishes. The restaurant’s set up is scaled back as far as fine dining goes. The decor is clean and straightforward, a significant nod to the Scandinavian mid-century design aesthetic. 

Ingredients are locally sourced and organic, so there is a farm-to-table vibe going on here. To sample the full range of its offerings, go for the Relæ experience menu with the wine pairing. It is a major splurge but completely worth it. Some things to look forward to on the menu are the brown crab with enoki mushrooms and the seared lamb with swiss chard. Round it all off with a lemon curd and yoghurt dessert dusted with marigold powder.

Gasoline Grill

When you think burgers, Copenhagen probably doesn’t come to mind. Gasoline Grill is on a mission to change that. Operating out of a repurposed gas station, the formula here is simple, and it works. They serve only four burger options, including a seasonal vegetarian one. You can opt for fries with a variety of toppings and refreshing dips like remoulade and gasoline sauce. The burger to bun ratio is perfect, and the grease is not overwhelming, so you can enjoy your burger somewhat guilt-free.

It is best to visit earlier in the day as they close when they’re sold out. It’s a popular spot, and there is always a line, so be sure to bring some patience along because you may be doing some waiting. The Gasoline Grill owes a lot of its popularity to hype. It is, however well earned and is definitely worth a try for the burger enthusiasts.

Sankt Peders Bageri

Sankt Peders Bageri is a Copenhagen landmark of sorts. It is the oldest bakery in the city and has been in business since the 1600s. That’s a very long time, and such longevity is a testament to something being done right. If you think you’ve had a good Danish pastry or cinnamon roll, you might want to try the offerings at Sankt Peders Bageri. You might be rethinking things afterwards.

The bakery churns out all kinds of sweet treats from muffins to croissants and even sandwich selections. The real star and the most sought-after item is the cinnamon roll. The wienerbrød is a close second with its unique crispiness, quite unlike what danishes are thought to be.

The bakery is small and has a warm, familiar quality. It is the tried, true and trusted neighbourhood bakery that has stood the test of time.

Grød

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(English below) VEGANSK FOOD GUIDE TIL KØBENHAVN 🇩🇰🇩🇰🇩🇰 Jeg opdaterer løbende en note på min mobil med de bedste veganske spisesteder i København, og jeg tænkte, at det er på tide at dele den nuværende med jer, så I kan besøge nogle af stederne over sommeren. I kan gemme listen til senere brug ved at klikke på ikonet under billedet. Min vurdering ligger i kvalitet, præsentation, smag og pris. Jeg har ud fra hvert sted skrevet i hvilke(n) bydel, jeg har prøvet det pågældende sted 💚 Ikke alle steder jeg har prøvet er kommet på listen, og jeg har også skåret nogle ellers populære steder fra, da jeg ikke har været overbevist 😄 Følgende liste er mine favoritter og i vilkårlig rækkefølge: • 🌿Gode (og meget veganervenlige): @bowlmarketcph (V) @SoulsCph (Ø & N) @acacia_kbh (Frb) @californiakitchendk (V & N) @groedcph (Frb, V, N, Ø) @42raw (Frb, Hellerup, K) @glofood (V & K) Naturbageriget (N) @matchabaren (V) @cafe_oha_copenhagen (Frb) @feelgood_cafe (N) @Wedofood (Frb, Ø) @detrenebroed (N) @simpleraw (K) @cafe_kaf (N) @nicecreamcopenhagen (N & V) @smagnudk (N) @rizrazcph (K) @djuuscopenhagen (Ø) @hafnia_bar (K) @socialcoffee_ (N) • 🌿 Også lækkert (men med et fåtal af veganske/veggie valgmuligheder på menuen): @sidecar_noerrebro (N) @madogkaffe (V, Amager) @nbhkbh (K) @halifaxburgers (Frb, N) • Hvilke er dine favoritter i København og hvorfor? 💚 • 🇺🇸 Hi guys! I’m sharing my favorite vegan places as of right now in Copenhagen. Feel free to save the list for when you’re visiting Copenhagen next time 🤩 The letter next to the place indicates which part of Copenhagen the cafe is located 💕

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Grød means porridge, and yes, you guessed it, that’s all that’s on the menu. No, it’s not just steel-cut oats. Grød gets very creative with it and is anything but regular. With a menu that changes every month, you’d be surprised at how many versions porridge can come in.

Grød serves both sweet and savoury porridges. So, you can stop by in the morning for an oatmeal bowl with apples, skyr yoghurt and granola or you can also drop in for lunch or dinner and try out a mushroom-barley risotto or a chicken congee. Grød has a few locations in Copenhagen and is very wallet-friendly. You really can’t go wrong here.

Bertels Salon

Calling all cheesecake lovers! Bertel’s Salon has been dubbed “the best cheesecake in Copenhagen”, and it’s not without reason. If you aren’t already, these rich and creamy cheesecakes will make a firm believer out of you.

The options are many, and it may take you a while to decide which cake to tuck into, but rest assured whatever you decide on will be delicious. The shop is tiny but cosy, so if you’re lucky you can grab a small nook for yourself and try a slice of the Rhubarb cheesecake with some coffee or Belvoir elderflower presse- all the trappings of hygge.

Gemyse

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Carrots from the talented Mette Dahlgaard

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The stars of the show at Gemyse are vegetables. They are front and centre on every plate and not side dishes as they’re often relegated to. Gemyse serves up fresh, organic vegetables cooked with f. A really refreshing concept that has been well executed. The dishes are innovative and very flavorful. The chefs do not shy away from spices and are inspired by fresh herbs cultivated from their own garden, bringing forth flavours from faraway places.

While Gemyse is one of the best restaurants in Copenhagen for vegans and vegetarians, meat lovers are not left out here. You can request meat or fish to go with your meal. The pasta bambini with broccoli and jalapeno is a winner and so in the summer cabbage kebab with kimchi and nigella. The atmosphere is fresh and airy with greenery everywhere, and there’s a lightness that greets you as soon as you come through the door.

It is important to note that Gemyse is located in Tivoli Gardens, and access to it requires paid admission into the park.

The Living Room

the living room - best restaurants in Copenhagen

The Living Room captures the essence of hygge completely. Comfort and cosiness are the priority here. Hot coffee or tea, cookies and cakes, beer and cocktails – everything here is designed to make you feel right at home.

The building has three levels, but people usually flock to the basement, and you’ll figure out why as soon as you see it. It is decorated with the comfiest leather couches and chairs with footstools to bat. Flickering candles lend it warmth and intimacy that are that much better on a cold day.

Stop by for a quick snack or just put your feet up with some coffee. One thing is for sure: you will always feel welcome here.

Luggage storage in Copenhagen with Stasher

We’ve all been there: you have just checked out of your Airbnb but your flight isn’t for another eight hours. There is plenty to see and do around Copenhagen during that time. Stasher works with an extensive network of local hotels and businesses, offering affordable and fully insured luggage storage in Copenhagen.

Best places to eat around the world

If there’s one thing we love other than travel, it’s food. Check out our extensive list of the best restaurants in Copenhagen and all over the world.

About the author

Ene Afufu is the severely wanderlust owner of The Travel Custodian and an aspiring travel writer. She is happiest when she is creating unique and memorable travel experiences for herself and others. 

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