The Danish city is back on gourmands’ radar with Geranium being named the World’s Best Restaurant, but there is much more to explore in this culinary capital
Copenhagen, Denmark continues to make waves in the culinary world with its plethora of gastronomic offerings. That said, gourmands often travel to this side of the world for exceptional dining experiences at Noma, which regularly tops renowned restaurant listings, and Geranium, which is the World’s Best Restaurant this year, among many others.
However, the city has so much to offer than fine dining restaurants alone. There is so much to explore when it comes to sandwich shops, cocktail bars and patisseries. Here are some places to add to your eat list.
Start your day with… delicious pastries followed by a walk in Nyhavn to take in the architecture of charming houses
Copenhagen is home to many famed bakeries. From Juno’s croissants and saffron buns to Hart Bageri’s spandauer (custard buns), select what takes your fancy. To be truly local, you may want to have the morning bun—a sourdough roll with comte cheese and local Danish butter. Perfect with your tea or coffee.
Juno the bakery
A Noma alumni, pastry chef Emil Glaser has amassed quite a following for his croissants and saffron rolls (available during the holidays). A queue forms from as early as 7.45am.
Århusgade 48, 2100 København, Denmark
There are now two branches, one in Frederiksberg and the newer one in Holmen. I would recommend the one in Holmen where you can sit out on the deck and enjoy your cardamom bun, spanbauer and sumptuous sausage roll. I regret not ordering more to bring back with me for my afternoon tea.
Gl. Kongevej 109, 1850 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Andersen & Maillard
Andersen & Maillard’s Cube Croissant is Insta-worthy. Bite through the layers of its soft, buttery croissant filled with a decadent pistachio ganache.
Tatler Tip: If you are dining at Sushi Anaba, head to the Andersen Maillard branch just around the corner to pick up your pastries and coffee.
Nørrebrogade 62, 2200 København, Denmark, +45 42 67 21 00
Nyhavn (New Harbour)
Perhaps the most photographed area in Copenhagen, the Nyhavn canal was built to connect to the inner harbour to enable merchants to unload their goods. Walk past merchant houses that have been restored and transformed into restaurants and bars. The famed Danish author of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, lived in several of these houses during his lifetime and wrote the Tinder Box when he lived at No. 20.
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For a truly local flavour go to… John’s Hot Dog Deli
One of the national dishes of Denmark, a polse (sausage) is an absolute must when you are in Copenhagen. Head to John’s food cart located outside the Central Station. Select from the menu and polish off your hotdog with a bottle of chocolate milk. It’s hard not to miss this combination. You will see the locals ordering it.
Trivia: Denmark celebrated the century of the hotdog in 2021 having had its first hotdog stand in 1921.
John’s Hot Dog Deli, Bernstorffsgade 5, 1704 København, Denmark, +45 31 32 58 48
For an enduring classic.. head to Restaurant Palaegade or Schonnemann’s
Smorrebrod—open-faced sandwiches enjoyed at lunch—should not be missed. Select from a wide arrange of toppings for rye bread and sip on aquavit. There are traditional versions as well as modern interpretations of the smorrebrod. I had a wonderful experience at Restaurant Palaegade located close to the beautiful and stylish Danish furniture shops. For a traditional feel, head to Schonnemann’s which has been serving patrons since 1877.
Restaurant Palaegade, Palægade 8, 1261 København, Denmark, +45 70 82 82 88
For an indulgent meal, splurge at… Michelin-starred restaurants in the city
With a large array of Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, one is often spoilt for choice when visiting Copenhagen. High on many gourmands’ lists is Geranium, which topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 ranking for its hyper-seasonal menu using Scandinavian produce and ingredients. You may also want to try Restaurant Jordnaer or Restaurant Koan, which also offer exceptional experiences.
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For sunset cocktails, check out… Ruby and Hotel d’Angleterre
One must have a Carlsberg while in Copenhagen, but if you fancy something more posh, head to Ruby located by the canal for interesting cocktails in the old town. Since opening in 2007, this has become an institution. Another option is to head to Hotel d’Angleterre, established in 1755, to enjoy the glorious interiors and sip champagne at the Balthazar bar. A perfect way to end your stay.
Bring a piece of Copenhagen home from… Lakrids By Bulow or Conditori La Glace
Liquorice isn’t for everyone but if you are in Scandinavia, do give it a try. These dark and chewy snacks help with digestive issues and are also known to lower cholesterol.
Lakrids By Bulow has a lovely branch at Tivoli. Pop in to taste some and pick up a jar of chocolate-coated liquorice. If you like plain liquorice then choose from salty or sweet.
Remember Danish butter biscuits from your childhood? Head to Conditori La Glace to bring some back from its homeland. Founded in 1870, it has a gorgeous array of delicious cakes, ice cream and chocolates. With much of its original interiors intact, this is a wonderfully scenic spot for late morning coffee.