A visit to the capitol, should include a visit to one of the many Copenhagen restaurants, which cater to all sorts of tastes from typical Danish cuisine to pizza, from street vendors to Michelin star restaurants. There are nearly 1500 to choose from - from budget to outrageously expensive - crowded to the more intimate - outdoor cafes to hidden hideaways - Chinese to Mexican.
With over 1500 restaurants listed within the Copenhagen city limits, it is nearly impossible to list all them and give a personal review. Do not have the time or money. If you have one that you are quite fond of, let me and will list it here contributed to you. There are also several sites like Trip Advisor, Fodors and Virtual Tourist that can give you a list of all the copenhagen restaurants with customer reviews and we are not going to duplicate the work that has already been done.
What I want to do on this page is to give you some good tips of what we have found to be good places to eat and experience some Danish eating fun. These are just the places that we take friends when visiting or where we go when we dine in Copenhagen. There are several places we will never eat at again, but am not going to list those here, may put a page up about them later - actually 2 of them have closed down. Good! Here are some of our favorite Copenhagen restaurants:
Sporvejen: Our favorite casual place to eat is a small place called Sporvejen, which is not always easy to find, but since they are ALWAYS busy, seems to be popular with lots of people. This is a burger bar and that is what they serve - burgers - but really good ones. Okay, they also serve omelets, but never eaten one of them there. Located in Gråbrødretorv (nr 17), which is just behind Strøget. and it is decorated inside as an old street car. We prefer to eat outside when the weather is good - even cold it is nice with a blanket - supplied there.
PS. Of all the Copenhagen restaurants that I have eaten at this is the one I always come back to - time and again - just love the whole feel at Gråbrødretorv - so Danish.
Hvids Vinstue: This is not so much a restaurant as it is a old fashion meeting/eating place. Established in 1723, this place reeks of the old sailing and marketing days of Copenhagen. It is located on the corner of Lille Kongensgade and Kongens Nytorv - right across the street from Magasin. It is in the basement and the décor has been the same for 300 years. My dad took me there, his dad took him there and his dad took him there. This is our favorite lunch place, come in and order open face sandwiches and a beer. All for well under a 100kr per person. Usually 79 kr. We always take our guests there and no one has ever "NOT LOVED IT". This is a real piece of Denmark!
Schoennemann: Here is another fantastic place to experience Danish cuisine. Again this is open faced sandwiches only, but unlike the above place their sandwiches are much more richly decorated and they do TASTE GOOD - if you like Danish food. They are centally located near Nørreport Station, yet this is not a walk in place. You must make a reservation and there is usually a 3 month wait for a table. Plan to spend a little bit of money too - not cheap.
Noma: Here is another place that seems to be the "in place" to eat. I have never been there - walked by many times, but my budget does not allow me to enter nor does my taste buds. A bit too gourmet for me, yet my mom went there last year with her husband and they thought it was thoroughly wonderful. They have a different taste than mine - but a top Michelin star restaurant that is World Renown - reservations are required.
Café Norden: Again, this is our breakfast place of choice. When in Copenhagen on a Sunday, we always stop in for their breakfast. They have a great assortment to choose from, yet we often go for the brunch menu. Plus their cakes - oh so much of my weight comes from their cakes. Yummy! Not to mention their lunch and dinners. Really nice place and affordable according to Danish standards. Plus it is one of best centrally located Copenhagen restaurants - right on middle of strøget - you can even witness the Danish Royal Guards march by on Sunday mornings!
Riz Raz: Another favorite eating spot is at Riz Raz - basically a vegetarian restaurant, but they do not meat addons - the buffet is great- includes lasagna, pizza, lots of vegetable-salad choices - eat til you bust - 79 -159 kr.
Pony: This is another Noma style restaurant, but a little more down to earth. The food is very good, portions are smallish, (as is the restaurant) prices are high, but it is definite experience. Staff are very friendly and you do feel welcome and well attended, which is a bit uncommon in many restaurants in Denmark. A few drawbacks - it is far north of the city on Vesterbrogade - 5 minutes by bus, but away from the city center and the neighborhood is a bit seedy.
Fiskebaren: If you enjoy seafood, than head over to old meat packers industry (off Dybbølssbrø Station). This is the new and chic area of Copenhagen.Many years this was a run down area, where drug addicts and prostitutes ruled. Apartments have been modernized, new bars and restaurants are popping up and one of the best is Fiskbaren. Great selection of fish from Scandinavia. Lots of Copenhagen restaurants are fish oriented, but you won't find a better one than this!
Skt. Peders Bageri: All bakeries in Denmark are great (in my humble opinion), but one stands out as a leader. Even my uncle who was a baker loved this place. This bakery is known for their onsdagsnegl (wednesday snail), which is a popular type of pastry - not a snail! On Wednesday mornings, they are sold to hundreds of people who flock there just for that treat. Located at Sankt Peders Stræde 29, but they have branches called Lagkagehuset that sell them too - there is one at the main train station next to exit to the buses.
MASH: Being a misplaced Texan, I appreciate a good steak and the best place in Copenhagen for a tasty chunk of beef is definitely MASH. By the way that stands for Modern American Steak House - located down the street from Amalienborg and Kongens Nytorv. Gotta go there!
Street Food: One of two favorite spots in Copenhaen (kongens Nytorv being the other) during the summer months is Islands Brygge, which is an area along the harbor. There is enclosed swimming areas, quaint bars (try to find the Kayak Bar - good choice) and lots of food trucks serving an assortment of "street food" located inside. There is usually entertainment and lots of people about. Good atmosphere, relaxing and you can even go for a swim or maybe kayaking to work off some of that great food you ate. The vendors change frequently so usually something new to try. Many of these vendors could easily have one of Copenhagen restaurants, but their prices would skyrocket, so take advantage of great food at great prices.
Polsevogn: This is not classified as one of Copenhagen restaurants per se, but an experience that every visitor and expat needs to try. You will see these "hotdog" vendors throughout Copenhagen. There are menus on the side, so you can see what they offer. If it is first time, ask for assistance - they all speak English. Make sure you try the mustards and don't forget the fried onions and pickles. In fact tell them you want everything on your pølse! Tastes best that way. If you can find him - the "Den Økologiske Pølsemand" is located right by the Round Tower and he is fondly seen as the best in Copenhagen by many danes.
If you are still unsure of which of the Copenhagen restaurants to eat after reading this page, you can Ask at your hotel for their recommendations, talk with fellow travelers and the locals for good recommendations. Often it is the local places that serve the best food! Most Danes are quite willing to recommend a favorite eatery if you take the time to ask them.
For the budget minded, check out our Budget Eating Tips.
Continue exploring Copenhagen and its many attractions.
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