The Best Restaurants in Copenhagen

From food markets selling street food to Michelin-starred restaurants serving innovative Nordic-inspired cuisine, Copenhagen has secured its spot as a global culinary capital.

Highlights
Øster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
When it comes to the greatest Danish invention of all time, it’s a toss-up between Legos and the open-faced sandwich. The latter is given the respect it deserves at Aamanns, which has elevated sandwich making to an art form. The lunch menu includes sandwiches made with smoked Icelandic salmon, beef tartare, or pickled herring, and, underneath it all, a slice of organic sourdough bread. Aamanns has a deli and takeout service, but it’s better to visit their restaurant, Aamanns Etablissement. Failing that, stop by the branch at the airport for your last meal in Denmark before you head home.
1 Tullinsgade
This is one of the smallest cafés in the city, which is appropriate as it’s downstairs from the smallest hotel, with just one room. The café is equally tiny and appealing, created by a man who’s worked as a set designer with Danish TV and thus knows a thing or two about atmosphere and pleasant, inviting spaces. Central Café may be small, but it’s impossible to miss: Look for the huge sign on top of the roof. It feels more like a little corner of Paris than Copenhagen—just the place for a café au lait if you can squeeze in, as well as sandwiches, croissants and pastries, and their signature banana split.
Hal 7 & 8, Papirøen, Trangravsvej 14, 7/8, 1436 København, Denmark
Don’t be confused by the name: This isn’t street food so much as dockside warehouse food. Walk over Inderhavnsbroen, one of the city’s newer bridges (opened in 2016), and you’ll cross from the heart of Copenhagen to a former industrial area that is now a foodie paradise. It is to the city what Borough Market is to London—a hugely popular attraction where people flock to eat great food off paper plates. Chinese, Korean, Italian, Moroccan . . . It’s all here and so inviting that it’s hard to know where to start. The only note of caution: Copenhagen Street Food is so popular that the weekend crowds can be intimidating.
Sankt Peders Stræde 24A, 1453 København, Denmark
Noma, consistently ranked as one of the world’s best restaurants, closed in 2016, but its impact on dining in Copenhagen has been profound. Many chefs who worked there have since launched their own restaurants, including two who opened Bror. It’s a small space with big ambitions—expect astonishing food made from the best local produce. The five-course menu costs 625 kroner ($100), with wine pairings an additional 450 kroner ($72). There are also some memorable snacks. Don’t miss the bull testicles with tartar sauce or the cod head with cabbage wrap.
Vestergade 13, 1456 København, Denmark
You’ll find branches of Emmerys, a popular bakery and café, throughout the city—there are more than 30 of them in Denmark, and the majority are in or around the capital. These bright, friendly places are perfect to pop into when you’re feeling peckish, and because they use 100 percent organic ingredients, you can have a hearty sandwich or salad—or indulge in one of their exceptionally tasty hazelnut chocolate croissants or brownies—with a clear conscience. The arabica coffee beans are also organic.
Store Kongensgade 66, 1264 København, Denmark
On Madklubben’s website is a manifesto that sums up its philosophy: “to offer excellent food and drink for an unusually reasonable price.” That’s not an idle boast. You can get one course for 100 kroner ($16), two courses for 150 ($24), or three for 200 ($32), featuring dishes such as mushroom pie, veal with pickled beets, and cured cod with horseradish cream – a great deal in a notably expensive city (with well-priced wine on the menu, to boot). The original venue, Madklubben Bistro-de-Luxe, is still going strong in central Copenhagen near the Queen’s Palace, and there are now several other locations scattered around town.
Værnedamsvej 5, 1819 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Sitting in Copenhagen’s prettiest café, you could almost think you’re on the Left Bank in Paris. However, the menu has many delicious Nordic dishes, from Icelandic yogurt with honey to dense Danish rye bread and oatmeal with lots of healthy extras. The only problem with Granola is that, because it’s so charming and inviting, it’s always packed. Try to avoid the weekend crush by coming midweek instead.
Sortedam Dossering 9, st, th, 2200 København N, Denmark
This group of more than 30 cafés across Denmark are open early, so they’re great for breakfast. The tea, coffee, and sandwiches are all very nice, but what really sets Lagkagehuset apart is the quality of the cakes. It would take an iron will to resist one of their strawberry tarts or a slice of Christianshavnerkage, a hazelnut torte topped with strawberry-vanilla cream and berries. The café in Copenhagen overlooks the lakes, and when the water glitters on a sunny day, there are few places more pleasant for an impromptu afternoon tea.
5 Kronprinsensgade
This tea shop looks like the sort of place you’d find in a Harry Potter film. Opened in 1835, it’s the oldest in Europe and has changed very little over the decades. The wonderful scent of green, white, and black tea that fills the air adds to the magical atmosphere. In contrast, just around the corner is a door that leads up to a café that feels like something you might see in a Miss Marple film. This modern addition to the shop is an ideal place for afternoon tea, serving tea-time favorites like scones with fresh berries or lemon curd, finger sandwiches, and blini with salmon.
Havnegade 44, 1058 København, Denmark
Situated in the old Copenhagen customs house overlooking the water, Studio has been awarded a Michelin star and focuses on a fusion of Nordic and international flavors prepared in an open kitchen with a fine-dining focus. With an all-star staff, the focus is on service, flavor, and a rich experience with a heavy dose of creativity, with offerings like squid with gooseberries and kaffir lime, razor clam with nasturtium and horseradish, and sweetbread with onion and tamarind. The concept behind the Standard is compelling. It is home to three different fine-dining restaurants including Studio, which occupy the building while also having access to and working closely with the Standard’s Jazzclub. Their goal is to create a robust and vibrant atmosphere. Photo: The Standard
Havnegade 44, 1058 København, Denmark
As part of the Standard, a combined foodie hot spot and jazz club in the old Copenhagen customs house, Almanak focuses on traditional Danish flavors prepared using seasonal ingredients including berries, fruits, seeds, nuts, herbs, and everything in between – with dishes such as glazed baked beetroot with fresh blackberry, fennel, sorrel and smoked cheese, and wild duck confit with baked plums. With an all-star staff, the focus is on service, flavor, and a rich experience that draws from local nature and changing seasons to shape the taste and feel of the menu. The concept behind the Standard is compelling. It is home to three different fine-dining restaurants, including Almanak, which occupy the building while also having access to and working closely with the Standard’s jazz club. The goal is to create a robust and vibrant atmosphere. Photo courtesy of the Standard.
Øster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 København, Denmark
A visit to Denmark must include trying the country’s famous, impossible-to-pronounce open-faced sandwich, smørrebrød (I’m fairly certain that only native Danish speakers can pronounce it properly -"SMUHR-bruth”). Smørrebrød translates to “buttered bread,” and a traditional smørrebrød lunch usually includes three or four small sandwiches ranging from potatoes and radish to egg salad. The once working-class lunch gets a chefy makeover at Aamanns where the smørrebrød is served on homemade rye bread. The restaurant design is charming, with big stencils of radishes and cows on the walls. Order the smørrebrød trio for lunch, and ask to have it paired with a biodynamic wine.
Nørre Farimagsgade 41, 1364 København, Denmark
This place is an interesting blend. In the recent Danish tradition, it is a partnership between a number of different creative types. This time, those personalities happen to be design-oriented people from the food, interior design, and dinnerware design communities. This restaurant has focused completely on providing a rich, intensely rustic experience that embodies modern trends in both the New Nordic cuisine movement and Danish design. Recent offerings include flounder with fried chicken skin and sauce made from fermented asparagus and grilled lobster with juniper pancake and pointed cabbage. Photo: Höst.
Elmegade 18, 2200 København, Denmark
A one-man operation, this place is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a quality burger at a more than reasonable price. The shop itself is small and can easily be mistaken for your usual takeaway or kebab shop, but it isn’t. The owner, who regulars call “Joe” is welcoming, friendly, and truly cares about his food and your visit. The food is good across the board, but he specializes in burgers. They’re all good - beef, chicken, and even salmon - but his special “Banana Joe Burger” with an egg on top is the icing on the cake. Don’t be afraid to try the salmon burger. While Copenhagen is fairly bad about over-cooking their salmon in general, Joe always hits it just right and uses real slices of fresh salmon for the burger. It is delicious...and I say that as someone who doesn’t normally like salmon. Stay in, or take away, but be forewarned there are only 4 seats inside, and a handful of tables outside during summer months.
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