Since deciding to write this post, I’ll admit, I’ve procrastinated.
I knew I wanted it to be useful – the type of post people bookmark and refer to when they make their own trip to the destination. And for that reason, I knew it was going to take some work. I wanted to include as much as I could that remained in bitesized, referable chunks for travellers to digest easily.
Copenhagen is probably the only European capital I feel reasonably confident writing a post like this about. Having visited four times in the past year (as my sister and her husband live there), I’ve got to know it relatively well. And bits I don’t know so well, I’ve been able to learn more about easily. It’s a compact city, and I’ve written about it a reasonable amount before (you can find all my CPH posts under Europe, here). Everywhere I talk about in this post I have visited or my sister regularly recommends, so they all have first hand experience, and many I have returned to more than once. They’re places my sister or her CPH based friends have recommended or taken me to, not just places I’ve stumbled across whilst roaming the city. They’re tried and tested! So let’s dive in.
The coffee snobs dream, but something we can all enjoy too. Coffee Collective have three coffee shops around Copenhagen (one in Frederiksberg, one in the foodhall (Torvehallerne) and one in Jægersborggade) but a number of other places serve their coffee too. High quality coffee, minimal scandi decor, good pastries and open roasteries.
Rist is located between the Frederiksberg and Vesterbro area of CPH, and it as it you find it. Small and cosy, unashamedly Danish in design but with a good range of coffess (it serves Coffee Collective) and if you’re a matcha lover, you can find a matcha-latte served in a bowl which is so Insta-friendly it hurts.
The only Original Coffee I’ve visited is up on the Ilum Rooftop, but I understand there are four in the city. This is not only a great view (and mega central, on the main shopping street), but a great space and welcomes people working, reading and relaxing as well as visitors needing a caffeine fix. Iced coffee in Denmark tends to be a little sweeter than we get in the UK and I’ll admit, I’m not complaining. My cool coffee was just what I needed in the August warmth, but the rooftop location is great in the winter too.
Casual Eats – lunch or more laid back dinner
Located in the meat packing district of Copenhagen, Warpigs describes itself as a BrewPub. Warpigs is where Texas BBQ meets Denmark – the well-known Danish Mikkeller brewery has teamed up with the American 3Floyds to bring CPH residents a beer lovers dream, and a USA style BBQ to match. When we visited, admittedly mid week, the huge building was almost empty, so getting a table wasn’t a problem. We sampled the chicken, ribs, coleslaw and the dreamiest mac’n’cheese alongside refillable sodas and a choice of over 20 beers on tap. Worth a trip for the meat lovers!
CPH Street Food is located on The Paper Island. A short walk from Christianshavn metro station or a walk across the new bridge from Nyhavn, it’s becoming a popular place! I’ve visited twice, once in the evening and once for lunch and both times it’s been just as busy. It provides a wide selection of international street foods, housed inside two large warehouse-style buildings and sitting directly on the waterfront, where you can (at a push!) find yourself lunch for around the £10 mark. With plenty of outside seating, you can lose an afternoon sipping beers, grab a quick lunch or spend the evening with friends. I love coming here as there’s such a selection of world foods but a real, authentic CPH feel to the place.
I’ve written about the food hall before, here, so I’ll keep it short. Two indoor static markets, one where you can grab lunch or a coffee, and one where you can grab your own bits to take home and create with. Great to browse, and really central!
Located right on Strøget, Copenhagen’s main shopping street, you’d think Cafe Norden might be one to avoid. However, the two storey restaurant-come-cafe does some of the best food I’ve had in Denmark. Authenic open sandwiches, enormous salads and a range of other traditional Danish foods, try your luck with getting a lunchtime table – you won’t be disappointed!
Sit down meals
We visited Mirabelle with my parents this summer and it’s a unique place. Located in Nørrebro, it calls itself a bakery. However, attached is a restuarant which serves delicious Italian, focusing on pasta. We had their menu of around 4 or 5 courses, where we tried a range of anti-pasti and pastas washed down with some lovely and unusual fizzy wine. Down the road is Mirabelle’s sister restaurant, Bæst, which again, is homemade, organic fare, focusing on pizza.
Mad Klubben (Mad meaning Food in Danish), is a chain of restaurants throughout CPH. Each however, is different and we visited the Vesterbro location on my first ever trip to the city last year. A big place, but worth booking, I had the best cod of my life. The vibe is casual but it’s somewhere where you feel like you’re going for a proper meal out. Authentic Danish food to suit all.
For the sushi lovers, I’d recommend this Danish chain. Fairly expensive, but always good, there are 10 restuarants across CPH.
Neighbourhood is an organic pizza and cocktail joint, located in Vesterbro. We visited here the last night we were in town this summer, and if I tell you I had a brie and potato pizza? Enough said. Salads for the non-pizza eaters, snacks in the lounge bar and some sweet sounding cocktails – a fun atmosphere for some decent grub.
Breakfast & Brunch
Handily central, but usefully hidden, Kalaset is a place that stole my heart first time I visited. Recommended by a friend for pancakes, it comes up time and time again as a great brunch spot. Pancakes aside, the menu is big and provides something for everyone, with a Danish touch. Retro decor with a soundtrack of The Smiths completes the vibe!
Sokkelund, found in Frederiksberg, is a cafe brasserie which does all three meals of the day. Their brunch, however is pretty legendary with one version even inlcuding a hamburger (for the hungover guest). The brunch plate includes eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee, juice, yoghurt, pancakes, fruit, cheese…you name it. And it’s all refillable! And don’t get the wrong it impression – Sokkelund has the feel and decor of an upmarket restaurant, no greasy spoons here!
Grød is a porridge cafe, I’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard of it if you’ve been looking into Copenhagen eats. A gimmick perhaps, but boy, is it good. Creamy porridge with as many toppings as you’d like. Great for a cheaper breakfast spot, or even a mid afternoon snack!
And one of the best til last – Toldboden. I’m not sure how to explain Toldboden because bottomless brunch or buffet don’t really do it justice. A huge warehouse style building, kitted out in the ultimate scandi decor, it offers a weekend breakfast like no other. The full works – cheese, meats, eggs, pancakes, waffles, smoothies. You name it. I’d recommend booking for a spot on a Saturday or Sunday (it serves a normal menu during the week) – not to be missed!
Phew, I think that’s enough from me! I toyed with including some sort of cost implication rating but realistically, Denmark is quite an expensive place. No where on my list above is outrageous, but it’s worth being aware that brunch for example, will set you back £20-5 as opposed to the £15 it might in the UK. My list is also by no means exhaustive, and I’m aware of a number of other fab places to eat and drink that I’m yet to try – Mother and Gorms (for more pizza), Pluto and Gorilla (for something a bit special), Cafe Auto (because my sister just really likes it). If I’m honest, anywhere you turn in CPH you can find great food. There’s so much to choose from, I don’t think I’d ever get it all done!
I’d love to hear below if you visit any of these places or any recommendations you have for me as I’m sure I’ll be returning!