Along with Paris and Tokyo, Copenhagen has become one of the world’s great hubs for natural wines. Like so many things having to do with food and drink in this town, it owes that status in part to Noma, which from early in its history found that low-intervention wines suited its cooking better than fine-dining’s classic bordeaux and burgundy. But these days, Copenhageners’ interest in the wines is so broad and deep that you can find a natural wine bar to suit any wallet, age, and degree of oenophilia. Here are six my favorites.
1. Under the Bridge
Best for: For harbor-side sipping
Less an actual bar than some tables set under the Knippelsbro, which connects Christianshavn to the rest of Indre By, this spot allows customers of Rosforth and Rosforth, the importer that first brought natural wines to the city, to buy a bottle from its deep, broad cellar, and drink it on the quay. It’s the insider’s place to spend a summer afternoon.
2. La Banchina
Best for: For summer—and winter—cheersing
Copenhageners flock to La Banchina, a tiny bar (and restaurant) on Refshaleøen in summer to slurp glou glou wines while they sunbathe on the dock and take dips in the harbor. But La Banchina has its hardy winter supporters as well, thanks to its cozy restaurant and the onsite sauna (for prewine warming).
Best for: For wine aficionados
An elegant wine bar and restaurant all in one, Ancestrale in Vesterbro has a knowledgeable staff that manages to cater to both serious wine nerds and natural wine novices. Pro tip: get the Comté cheese with brown butter.
Best for: For travelers on a budget
In 2018, Martin Ho and Jesper Emil Norrie founded Pompette based on the radical notion that Copenhageners were paying too much for their natural wines. A bare-bones interior and a small menu of simple but high-quality snacks allow them to keep prices low and transparent, whether guests are drinking by the glass or the bottle. In 2020 the duo opened Poulette next door, which means drinkers are just steps away from Copenhagen’s spiciest fried chicken sandwich.
Best for: For students on a budget
The latest arrival to Nørrebro, Vivant is run by two friendly Norwegians who cater to a young, student-y clientele that may not be connoisseurs but like this place’s reasonable prices and laid-back approach to wine.
6. Ved Stranden 10
Best for: For the true connoisseur
If there’s such a thing as a classic when it comes to natural wine bars, this place is it. Located along the canal across from the Danish parliament, Ved Stranden was one of the city’s first natural wine bars, and with its personalized service (there are no menus—the intuitive staff suggests wines based on your preferences) and gorgeous, Danish modern interior, it remains one of the best.