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10 Places To Eat & Drink In Copenhagen

The one-time epicentre of the culinary world, Copenhagen’s fostering of the New Nordic Cuisine in the early 2000s earned the city pride of place in modern gastronomy. Much of that revolves around Noma, René Redzepi’s three-star restaurant that recently announced its shock closure in winter next year, but that’s only one of a huge constellation of great places to eat in the Danish capital. Here are 10 places we loved on a recent weekend break...



To Eat


Hija de Sanchez


An absolute must-stop on any food pilgrimage to Copenhagen is Kødbyen (literally “the meat town”), a former meat-packing district whose various shops, stalls and slaughterhouses have been converted into a trendy hub of casual eateries and microbrewery bars. Put time aside to stroll down the laneways and see what catches your eye (Kødbyen’s Fiskbar is a great shout for fish lovers); for our money, you can’t do much better than Hija de Sanchez, a low-key taqueria with a stripped-back menu that puts all the focus on what these guys do best. These tacos are divine, delicious packages of flavourful beans, shredded cabbage and tender, succulent meat piled up on proper quality corn tortillas. An ice cold cerveza on the side is an essential addition.



formel B


Noma may be the most famous of Copenhagen’s Michelin-starred restaurants by some distance, but there’s another 14 spread throughout the city - they’re a lot easier to get a table at, and they won’t do quite as much damage to your pocket. One of our favourites is formel B, which hones in on local food and sustainability, with a mostly all-Danish list of small producers providing their seasonal ingredients.



The 10-12 menu dishes can be mixed-and-matched to your liking in anything from five to nine plates each (overlong tasting menus be damned) but you’ll have a really hard time whittling it down. We were lucky enough to visit mid-truffle season and the two dishes including it, an aged cheese and whey emulsion, and a kale tartlet, were nothing shy of sensational. Don’t miss this one.



Norrlyst


For all the innovations of New Nordic Cuisine, much of Copenhagen’s food remains grounded in a proud sense of tradition. That’s seen most clearly in the omnipresent open sandwich smørrebrød, sold everywhere from high end restaurants to contemporary cafés to corner tourist traps. One of the best places in Copenhagen to sample it is Norrlyst, an unassuming little city centre spot with giant jars of pickles and ferments all along the windowsills proudly showing off the care and attention that goes into every plate here.



Their lunch offer is about as good value as it gets in a city this expensive, with two smørrebrød of your choice and a plate of Danish cheeses coming in at just under €40. We tried the signature beef tartare with a mountain of microcress, and the spiced herring with a miso emulsion, salted cranberries and kale, and they hit the smørrebrød spot.



Søllerød Kro


Stray about 20km into the north city suburbs of Copenhagen and you’ll find Søllerød Kro, a rural treasure of a restaurant and a real institution on the Danish culinary scene - the first eatery on this site opened in 1677 and the current iteration has held a Michelin star for 35 years. But while the French-inspired menu, white linen tablecloths and smartly-dressed staff might give an initial sense of traditionality, the cooking in Søllerød is anything but.



Head chef Brian Mark Hansen was recently awarded the prestigious world chef championship Bocuse d’Or, and his cooking is bracing, brilliant stuff - we have not stopped thinking about the pigeon wellington, green strawberry and radish, and the TWO types of butter we got. The Sunday Lunch menu of three courses with a glass of wine, coffee and petits fours for just under €150 is exceptional value.




Montergade


We’re not through with smørrebrød yet. Right in the heart of the city is Møntergade, a Danish-French brasserie that specialises in offering an elevated interpretation of the beloved national dish. Around lunch time it’s buzzing with people in to grab a quick bite - they tend to turn things over quickly so it’s well worth trying your luck at snagging a bar seat. The herring here is the main event, with the curry version our pick of the bunch: a plump fillet of fish topped with a spicy-sweet sauce, pickled onions, capers, cress and a soft crispy egg. This is about as good as smørrebrød gets.



To Drink


1105


There’s a real air of exclusivity about 1105, easy to miss tucked away in the corner of a public square and opening up before you as you push the heavy curtain back. This high-end cocktail bar is specifically aimed at the thirty-something crowd and tends to fill up fast. Their intricate, creative drinks are a joy to behold in the making; the friendly staff are more than happy to walk you through the regularly-rotating menu to help find the right flavour for your taste.



Ancestrale


A cosy, compact space decked out in distressed woods and lined by rows of interesting bottles, Ancestrale puts serious emphasis on sustainability in its choice of both providers and the slim selection of small plates it puts on to bring out the best of its cellar. As one of the city’s few wine bars that opens on a Monday night, it’s particularly popular with the trade - while we were in we couldn’t help eavesdropping on a table of restaurant staff gossiping about the Noma bombshell, and who is and isn’t followed by Redzepi on Instagram (no really).



La Fée Verte


Its name a reference to “the green fairy” absinthe, La Fée Verte is an eclectic space that specialises in the once-banned spirit, alongside a roster of cocktails and beer. Describing itself as a “psychedelic rock bar”, its colourful walls and music-themed artwork make this an otherworldly escape to step into from the Frederiksberg streets. True to form there’s a vinyl-only policy when it comes to the tunes; visitors are encouraged to bring along their own too, as long as they fit the vibe.



Pompette


If the priciness of Copenhagen is starting to chafe, you’ll be very glad to get to Pompette, a cavernous oasis of an all-natural wine bar that offers by far the cheapest (good quality) by-the-glass options of any we came across - at just about €8, it’s almost half what you’ll pay in many other spots. The concept is as simple as the bare, flaking-paint walls: one daily red, white, orange and rosé to choose from. Their sister company Poulette next door serves similarly stripped back fried chicken burgers, if you rack up an appetite.



Ruby


“Like most good things in life we are not easily accessible” boasts Ruby, the canal-side cocktail bar that opened in 2007 and quickly grew to become one of the most sought-after seats in Copenhagen - not least due to placing six times on the World’s 50 Best Bars. Booking is highly advised though not always essential, and on quieter off-season nights there’s no harm trying your luck for a table. The drinks menu is shaken up at least four times annually, and each new iteration is every bit as complex and considered as the surrounding décor. Dig in.



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