Where to Eat Danish Smørrebrød

Few meals are more traditionally Danish than smørrebrød. These open-faced sandwiches are made with fresh ingredients, often by masters skilled in the art of preparation, pairing, and presentation. Just as the types and toppings vary widely, so too do the ways in which you can consume it.

Highlights
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.
12 Brolæggerstræde
This restaurant has a simple goal: capture the essence of hygge (Danish coziness) while serving up excellent smørrebrød variations to guests. Enjoy the artful presentation, simple ambiance, and rich flavors that have made this place one of Copenhagen‘s top smørrebrød restaurants. Photo: Restaurant Kronborg (Facebook)
Toldbodgade 2, 1253 København, Denmark
These guys take a lot of pride in the food they prepare. Things are made from scratch daily, and they focus on sourcing high-quality ingredients based on taste and what’s in season. Beyond just smørrebrød and the usual Danish lunch menu, Told and Snaps is a fully functional restaurant. They also have an assortment of traditional snaps, both purchased and homemade variations. As this is a traditional Danish lunch restaurant, it’s not typically open for dinner.
Store Kongensgade 70, 1264 København, Denmark
This shop is run by a 4th generation smørrebrød cook. Ida’s family has been preparing and selling smørrebrød since 1888 with a reputation for having one of the most extensive smørrebrød menus in Denmark. Not only is it worth trying her smørrebrød, but her family story is also well worth a read.
Kongens Nytorv 13, 1095 København, Denmark
Magasin Du Nord is one of Denmark’s most famous shopping locations. This sprawling department store has a rich history and sits right on Kongens Nyrtov in the heart of the city. While the shopping center is famous for the plethora of items it sells, few visitors realize that there is actually a food court located on the top floor which serves a mixture of reasonably priced Danish specialties. If you’re looking for budget-friendly traditional Danish food in the heart of the city center, Magasin’s food court is an absolute must. The windows also provide an interesting view out and across Kongens Nytorv. Photo: Daderot, Wikipedia
If you’re on the hunt for semi-reasonably priced, quasi-fancy smørrebrød around the city center Hallernes’ is a popular option. With a small stand in the modern and hip Torvehallerne shopping center, they prepare a mixture of traditional and more modern versions of smørrebrød. When ordering, remember that you’ll want at least two pieces and that it is almost expected that you never order two pieces of the same type.
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.
Frederiksborggade
Foodies, rejoice. Torvehallerne is a one-stop shop for several meals, snacks, and gourmet groceries or gastronomical gifts. It’s an airy, light-filled building with all kinds of purveyors, from fantastic coffee shops, chefs cooking fresh pasta and serving it hot to you at the counter, a farmers market outside, a tapas bar, you name it. If you’ve ever been to Florence, think of Mercato Centrale, but in a nicer setting and housing more variety. Ride your bike there to grab a bite or to spend the day enjoying its bounty.
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.
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