A sad thing about being a tourist who appreciate good food in Copenhagen is three things. The level of restaurants and cafees in main tourist locations are just as bad as in any other mayor city. The second is that the good restaurants are very often booked weeks a head for a friday or saturday night. As a rule of thumb if you can walk in from the street on a friday night before 20.30 and get a table it is most likely not a decent restaurant. Restaurants with walk ins are however becomming more popular, so if you are either early or late that is a good option. Lastly most of the Michelin star restaurants are all closed in July which is in general a nice time to visit Copenhagen.
However there is hope. With just a little research Copenhagen offers a great variety of excellent restaurants in all priceranges.
Copenhagen without budget constraints
Copenhagen offers a vide range of fine dining restaurants which are all a visit worth. Off course when you are in Copenhagen you should try the “New Nordic” cuisine despite being over a decade old and no longer holds the spot on the “worlds 50 best” list.
My own personal favorites are
Noma is an extremely innovative restaurant that will push your boundaries for fine dining.
Sollerod Kro Modern French cusine updated with Nordic techniques and flavors and with the best host in Denmark in the form of Jan Restorff.
Kadeau has not been given the attention and praise that it in my opinion deserves. Innovative and tasty.
New Nordic on a budget
The high end restaurants can be difficult to secure a table at, but luckily there are other options. Just remember that Copenhagen is an expensive city in general so depending on where you are from these restaurants could still come off as expensive:
Restaurant Barr is the big brother of Noma. Big brother because it serves classic danish food but executed world class if you ask me.
108 the sister restaurant of Noma offers a delicate and delicious femine and vegetable based cusine. Walks ins are available.
Sanchez is the first actual sitdowm restaurant of Rosio Sanchez who has taken Copenhagen by storm with her delicious tacos and since a more total Mexican experience.
No.2 offers a not 100% new nordic experience, but it does offer the best value for money in Copenhagen.
Radio is another mid range restaurant where the chefs have done their duty at other Copenhagen restaurants and wants to create their own.
Høst which in 2013 was voted best interior in any restaurants offers a unique atmosphere and great food.
Smørebrød (the open club sandwich)
A danish speciality which every tourist, foodie or not, should try at least once. Despite being a traditional danish lunch several restaurants have perfected these to a
Schønnemans serves the traditional smørebrød but with very high standards with regards to quality of ingredients and taste. The decor will take you back to your grandmothers house and you will feel as welcome as if it were her house.
Aamans offers a new interpretation of the classic smørrebrød using some modern techniques without losing focus on classic tastes.
Palægade will similar as Aaman offers a modern interpretation of the classic smørrebrød and probably the best wineselection for smørrebrød arround.
The streetfood and “quick food scene” has developed a lot over the past few years representing both Danish food and a more international selection.
On a sunny day there is no better place for a quick decent meal then Torvehallerne. Get everything from a very tasty taco prepared by former Noma chef Rosio Sanches at Hija de Sánchez, danish pizza from Gorms, the best sushi in town from Sushi Lovers (try their sushi lovers menu), and finish off with a cop of coffee from Coffee Collective.
Sadly Copenhagen Streetfood is closing down later this year and it is definently worth a visit. Its location is second to none. Situatied at the harbor with a direct view to the Royal Theater, Opera and the beautifull harbor scene. With +30 different choices of food stalls and cocktails there is anything for every taste.
Now Warpigs might not execatly be fast as it is a place that I always like to stick around. Texas barbecue done messy, smokey and fatty just like it is suppose to. Owned by Danish brewer Mikeller off course the drinklist is given and amazing.
The best place for Danish fastfood is Grisen. Think about a grillbar mixed with your Danish grandmothers livingroom, but serves amazing meatball sandwhiches, “bøfsandwhich” and the likes. Messy, BIG and delicious.
A couple of places serves a decent regular breakfast, not to be confused with bruch, but Granola takes the lead with its one of kind decor.
A close second is Cafe Det Vide Hus. Very small and cosy and serves up very delicious coffee and pastries in the morning. In the summertime remember to go there for their delicious, innovative and delicious icecreams. Cash only unfortunately.
Hyggestund meaning cosytimes offers an american inspired breakfast, served all day off course. Perfect hangover food.
With the “gourmet burger” you took the burger of fast food joints and cafes, and a long came upscale burger restaurants with nothing but burgers on the menu.
In my mind there is no competition on the best burger in Copenhagen. Gasolin Grill opened in a small gasstation and was an instant succes with their strait up no frills burgers of high quality. Only to drawbacks; no seatings and a long wait as they earlier this year was rated as one of the 27 best burgers in the world.
The previous king of the burger in Copenhagen is Cocks and Cows which in addition to a great burger has a great selection of cocktails making it a great spot for a friday night with the guys. Try the New Yorker which is served with a tender new york strip and basil pesto.
Some 7 years ago michelin cook Rasmus Oubæk became tired of fine dining and started the bistro wave in Copenhagen with a good steak frites. His steak still holds up as the best in town.
Mash, which stands for modern american steakhouse, and was Rasmus Oubæks second stake house serves the best steak in town. The cool interior and exceptional wine list puts it over the top.
Rasmus Oubæks third steak house, Retour Steak, comes a close second with its no nonce french bistro.