Copenhagen is an underrated foodie heaven.
In 2010, Noma from Copenhagen made it to the top for the first time and my interest in the Danish capital was sparked. Getting a table at Noma is incredibly difficult and can take up to six months. How am I supposed to do that?!
At first I thought that was a great loss, but when I visited I realized not in the least.
Copenhagen has changed and completely reinvented itself in culinary terms. Copenhagen is more than just the Noma and starred gastronomy. There is so much to discover and try here.
We would like to introduce you to a few of the best food spots in the city in this food guide. And best of all, you will surely get a table quickly. Bon appetit and have fun trying and eating!
Table of Contents
- 1. General information about eating out in Copenhagen
- 2. Typical Danish Food in Copenhagen
- 3. Great Breakfast Places in Copenhagen
- 4. Great Places for Lunch and Snacks
- 5. Fantastic Restaurants for Dinner in Copenhagen
- 6. Street food in Copenhagen
- 7. The Best Food Tour in Copenhagen
- Conclusion on eating out in Copenhagen
1. General information about eating out in Copenhagen
Before we start with our tips, we will give you some general tips for eating out in Copenhagen. Because Copenhagen is expensive and often exceeds the budget.
1.1 How you can eat cheaply in Copenhagen
Unfortunately, eating cheaply in Copenhagen is a bit of a contradiction in terms. Eating and drinking is simply expensive in Denmark.
25% taxes and a service fee made us twitch a few times when the bill came.
At some point we just didn’t convert it into euros anymore.
Alcohol, in particular, quickly costs double or even triple in Scandinavia. Nevertheless, there are a few money-saving tips if you are planning your city trip in Copenhagen on a tight budget.
1.1.1 Lunch instead of dinner
Many of the expensive restaurants also offer a cheaper lunch alternative. Then the menu might be a little smaller, but certainly no less delicious. In addition, many of the well-known restaurants are fully booked well in advance. At lunchtime you often get a free table faster.
1.1.2 Bring your own beer
Alcohol is allowed in public in Copenhagen. Instead of ordering your beer in expensive bars, buy your alcoholic drinks in the supermarket or kiosk. Then enjoy the evening with the locals at one of the many places where Copenhageners meet.
Especially in summer it is much nicer here and you get to talk to many other people. The well-known mini supermarket chain 7eleven is also in Copenhagen and stocks a large selection of Danish and international beers.
A particularly popular socializing spot is the Dronning Louises Bro, the bridge that connects Nørrebro and downtown. Alternatively head to the Sønder Boulevard or the steps at the harbor from Soren Kierkegaard Plads.
1.1.3 Hit the Snack Bars
You have the more authentic experience in the snack bar or at one of the numerous street food stands. The prices are of course also significantly lower than in the restaurant with seats.
Snack bars are a great alternative, especially at lunchtime or for a little hunger. By the way, you can find a great hot dog right in front of the Round Tower in the city center: The Økologiske Pølsemand.
How we find the good restaurants
We are often asked how we find the best restaurants for Copenhagen and other cities. I cannot give a blanket answer to this question. Because every city is different. We often use Google or Tripadvisor.
For Copenhagen we read blogs specialized in food. At the same time, we ask friends and acquaintances who have already been to Copenhagen about their highlights and recommendations when it comes to good food in Copenhagen. When we see great restaurants in magazines and books, we write them straight into a list.
It takes a lot of time, but we love good food and nothing ruins a holiday quite like a bad meal.
Tipping is not customary in Denmark
In general, tipping is not customary in Denmark. You pay the amount by credit card, done. Tipping is also not expected in hotels or when taking a taxi or UBER.
Service staff and waiters are well paid in Denmark, and rounding up prices is not expected.
Since tourists often still want to pay a bonus for good service, you will (rarely) find a tip box at the exit or at the bar. It shouldn’t be more than 10% of the total price.
In Copenhagen you pay for everything with a credit card
Scandinavia is way ahead of many countries when it comes to cashless payments. Here really everything is paid for with the small plastic card, ApplePay or GooglePay.
Credit cards in particular are accepted everywhere. I haven’t even needed cash on recent trips to Scandinavia.
Since Covid, cash has even been refused in many places. Make sure you have a good travel credit card that doesn’t charge fees when you pay abroad.
2. Typical Danish Food in Copenhagen
If you are in Copenhagen, then there are three things you absolutely have to try:
- Smørrebrød: The classic of Danish cuisine. A slice of rye bread topped with herring, salmon or vegetarian. There are countless variations.
- Hot Dogs (Pølser) : The fast-food classic from Denmark is always a good option, and is now also available as a vegetarian option. You can find the Pølser stands everywhere.
- Kanelbolle (cinnamon buns) : A trip to Scandinavia is not complete without eating a cinnamon bun. It couldn’t be more delicious.
3. Great Breakfast Places in Copenhagen
3.1 Moller Kaffe & Kokken
Unlike many other Europeans, the Danes really like to have breakfast and have a good one. We tested one of the most instagramable breakfast spots in Copenhagen.
An example of the no-frills Scandinavian style is Møller Kaffe & Køkken at Nørrebrogade 160. But not only a beautiful interior awaits you here.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. you can put together an extraordinary breakfast here.
To get really full, you need at least 3 small plates per person. There are warm and cold options on the menu, we found the burrata and the fried eggs with bacon particularly tasty.
3.2 Wulff & Konstali
Attention early risers! Most cafes don’t open their doors until around 9 am. Not so at the Wulff & Konstali in Copenhagen.
There is a reduced breakfast offer for early birds from 7 a.m. and you can choose from the brunch menu at 9 a.m. 22 different options are just waiting to be nibbled!
Simply perfect for anyone who wants or needs to start the day early. By the way, if you like cake, you should definitely try the carrot cake .
A tip from my foodie network: the Grød. What has only become a trend with us in recent years has been available here since 2011. All kinds of porridge.
There are now four branches in Copenhagen. If you like the English superfood, you should definitely stop by here. Both sweet and savory options are served. There really is something for everyone.
3.4 Mad & Kaffe
Mad & Kaffe is also available three times in Copenhagen. We made an afternoon stop in the hip district of Versterbro, not far from the Meatpacking District. Unfortunately too late in the day, so there wasn’t enough time for breakfast.
Nonetheless, we took a look at the map to review the options. Next time you visit Copenhagen, you will definitely have to make up for breakfast here. I especially like the mascarpone with berries and white chocolate.
4. Great Places for Lunch and Snacks
4.1 Amann’s Deli
Smørrebrøds – nothing embodies Danish cuisine like the rye sandwiches. By the way, smørrebrøds are not just sandwiches. In earlier times they were an expression of prosperity, we are told.
Anyone who had the time to sit down to eat and then eat lavishly filled sandwiches with a knife and fork did not belong to the working class.
At Amanns Deli, Aamanns Etablissement or Aamanns 1921, the tradition of smørrebrød is lived to the fullest.
We were lucky enough to visit the deli as part of our food tour and try a selection of the smørrebrød.
By the way, there is an order in which the bread should be eaten. From light to dark, the finish should always be the red meat.
We would recommend the testing option with four different breads to everyone. Here you get only the best of everything and you can enjoy the simple variety of smørrebrøds.
For those who are in a hurry, there is also a take-away picnic option. You get two smørrebrøds, drink, dessert and salted almonds for 215 DKR per person. Off to the botanical garden and enjoy outside!
Our absolute favorite place in all of Copenhagen. We have been to the Torvehallerne market hall several times, directly at the Nørreport stop.
I still have the feeling that I haven’t discovered everything.
Foodies are in paradise here. 60 small food highlights are spread over two halls. You will find various stands with everything your culinary heart desires – cuisine from different countries, Danish specialties, coffee, ice cream, bakery, beer.
There really is everything and everything we ate tasted excellent. Tourists mingle with locals. People eat and drink at the counters of the stands. Between the two halls it smells seductively of the flowers and you can enjoy the sun at picnic tables.
My absolute feel-good place. Anyone looking for me in Copenhagen will probably find me somewhere in the Torvehallerne.
Our tips for tasting – ice cream from Is à Bella , coffee from The Coffee Collective, cheese from Arla Unika , sandwiches from Norcino and Danish specialties from Bornholm Butiken. If you missed that, it’s your own fault.
4.3 John’s Hot Dog Deli
I can’t say exactly why the hot dog has such a hype in Denmark, but you can find it on almost every corner. It’s just Danish tradition. Attention, avoid the white street stalls. Here you often only get inferior goods at a low price.
Johns Hotdog Deli in Vesterbro’s Meatpacking District serves super hot dogs in an old butcher’s shop atmosphere. Durum bread, quality sausages from the local butcher and homemade dips can be found at John’s.
For 50 DKR you can top your hot dog with a selection of ten different trimmings, according to your personal taste. A large selection of beer and cold drinks complete the experience. Oh and the fries taste great too, but who needs them anyway.
Oh bread again. Sure, why not? Sandwiches are also served at Cotoa. However, they have moved away from the classic smørrebrød and created a hipper version. If you like nicely arranged plates, you can take a lot of photos for the Instagram channel here.
Not far from Sankt Peder, quite inconspicuously, is the Cotoa in the basement. We walked right past it the first time. There are only five permanent breads on the menu and a few breakfast options. But as we all know, less is more.
Be sure to try the version with avocado and beetroot puree, plus a glass of apple-lemon juice. Sooo delicious!
5. Fantastic Restaurants for Dinner in Copenhagen
5.1 Super Plant Food
Attention vegans and vegetarians. At Super Plant Food Nørrebro, EVERYTHING is really plant-based.
You ask can vegan grub really taste good? Yes it can…very, very good indeed.
In addition to all the gluttonies we indulged in, it also had to be something healthy.
We tested the Green Bowl, Mashed & Greens and various tapas.
Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner at Super Plant Food, nothing is left to be desired and without a guilty conscience.
And the shop is nice too, but that’s almost normal in Copenhagen.
5.2 Slurp Ramen Joint
Not just since the Kitchen Impossible episode in Copenhagen, Slurp Ramen Joint was at the top of my wish list. And since ramen is one of my absolute favorite dishes, it was a must to stop by here.
Slurp is a small ramen place in Nørrebro. No reservations, queue very likely, and incomplete groups not desired.
The sign in front of the store clearly states what it is about. Ramen and nothing else.
On the menu you will only find three variants of ramen and a few appetizers. There is always a special on request. But that’s exactly how I like it and I know it from Japan.
Noodle soup is slurped in a row on bar stools at a high counter. The in-house beer completes the experience. Our most beautiful evening in Copenhagen. You just can’t miss the Slurp.
5.3 Gaza BBQ
Pure Orient! In the Gaza Grill in Nørrebro there is everything that makes my foodie heart beat faster.
Hummus, falafel, shawarma and mezze.
In the small snack bar you can get everything you know from the Middle East.
The motto here is very traditional and without a lot of frills. Costs for three people including drinks is approx. 40 euros.
Not a must, but a good alternative if you want to go fast.
6. Street food in Copenhagen
6.1 Street food market gathering
My absolute highlight of the first day. With the e-scooter we went a bit outside to the former Refshaleøen shipyard in Christianshavn. Copenhagen used to have the street food market Papirøen, which unfortunately had to close in 2017.
On the new Reffen site , which covers 6,000 square meters, the who’s who of Copenhagen’s restaurants have moved into old sea containers. It is particularly nice that the concept was expanded during the redesign.
The motto for the street food suppliers from more than 40 countries is “Reduce & Reuse”. In the spirit of the new zeitgeist, it is now zero waste, regional products, organic and compostable tableware.
At Reffen we tested smørrebrøds, parmesan fries and Moroccan dumplings. Everything was really delicious. It could have gone on forever.
Our tip: if you share, you can eat more. Unfortunately, like everywhere in Copenhagen, you have to dig a little deeper into your wallet. Three small smørrebrøds cost the equivalent of 13 euros, a small beer 6 euros.
The cinnamon roll tip.
No trip to Scandinavia is complete without a cinnamon roll. I found my favorite snail at Emmerys.
The branches of the ecological bakery can be found all over the city. And just because it is a chain does not mean the food here is inferior in any way.
Typical Scandinavian interiors make the shops look like small cafés. And the cinnamon rolls are really great. Not too sweet, but huge.
Perfect for on-the-go snacking and big enough to share.
7. The Best Food Tour in Copenhagen
Food tours are always a great opportunity to get to know the city in a culinary way.
We booked the food tour “The Culinary Experience Tour” at foodtours.eu and explored the city in a nice small group.
We ate and drank our way through seven stations for four hours. Of course we don’t want to reveal too much at this point, for all those who still want to book this tour. A bit of a surprise is also part of it.
Cost per person: 900 DKK. Highly Recommended.
Conclusion on eating out in Copenhagen
I love Copenhagen. And that has a lot to do with the new Nordic cuisine. Everything is just right for me here. And the high prices don’t put me off either. I think you can ask for something for good quality and good ingredients.
In addition, the service was always impeccable, so some other cities can learn a lesson from that. The cards are almost always available in English, so ordering them is absolutely no problem. And the variety is incredible.
We will definitely come back and try again. There is still so much to discover. See you soon Kobenhavn.