Strandgade 93, Christianshavn
This just-opened restaurant—occupying the former Noma space right on the waterfront—is the brainchild of chef Thorsten Schmidt in collaboration with Rene Redzepi. Drawing its name from the Irish word for crops, which—thanks to the Viking invasions of 795 A.D.—is the same as Old Norse for barley, Barr serves the cold climate foods traditional to the North Sea (an area including the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Benelux). The menu is pure comfort food, re-imagined with a fine-dining slant—dishes like cabbage and nutmeg meatballs, schnitzel, and glazed cod with smoked bacon. The beautifully neutral space is more casual than its predecessor with simple tables and chairs, washed stone walls, and an old, wood-beamed ceiling. Even the bar is carved from large pieces of untreated and polished wood, with the copper beer taps forming the wall behind. The front-of-house does their best to accommodate walk-ins, and an added bonus is that Restaurant Barr is open for lunch Friday and Saturday. Keep in mind though, that this spot is best for adventurous eaters (ants are on the menu).
Admiralgade 26, Indre By
Best described as Nordic-Japanese fusion, Admiralgade breaks Copenhagen's carb-loading breakfast tradition with a full Japanese spread (pickled fish, rice, miso soup). Open all day, the kitchen formally closes at 10 pm, but in the laid-back spirit of the city, the cooks rustle up sensational late-night snacks for the barflies. Aside from the food, the decor is another reason to make a reservation. The building dates as far back as 1796 but the interior is all washed stone walls, mismatched chairs, and bleached wood. Owned by the same people as the always full Ved Standen 10 wine bar, the wine list does not disappoint with a stellar selection available by the glass.
Nyhavn 2, Indre By
Chef Frederik Bille Brahe's (of Atelier September fame) latest food and wine venture has one of the most beautiful settings in Copenhagen—the modern art-filled Charlottenborg gallery. The restaurant space employs Mondrian-esque color blocking with navy velvet seats, white walls, and a red bar. No matter where you sit you'll catch glimpses of the marble busts and modern artworks housed in the adjacent gallery. An added bonus in the warmer months is the picturesque courtyard, ideal for a pre-dinner drink.
Guldbergsgade 29, Nørrebro
If you've overloaded on Nordic cuisine and are craving something familiar, head to Italian-centric Baest. With their own in-house charcuterie operation, wood-fired pizza oven, and mozzarella hand-made by the kitchen's chefs, you'll struggle to find better Italian food outside of Italy. Baest uses only stone-ground flour to make their signature sourdough crust pizzas, charred to perfection and cooked to order. The interior is mom-and-pop style red brick walls, wooden tables, and simple polished stone floors. Reservations recommended.
Skt. Peders Stræde 24A, Indre By
Bror is Danish for brother; while not blood related, the restaurant was started by two friends and former Noma alums wanting to put their own spin on New Nordic cuisine. The concept at Bror may be simple (tasting menus with wine pairings), but the food is challenging and comforting all at the same time, featuring under-utilized parts of the animal (bull testicles, monkfish liver) cooked to perfection and elevated to fine-dining status. Small plates are served in advance of the tasting menu courses and can be anything from cod cheeks to mackerel heads. The wine list features only natural and organic wines reflecting the back-to-basics attitude that characterizes the food. Bror's founders wanted to show guests that the less desirable parts of the animal are no less delicious and for those of us concerned with sustainability, using the whole animal is paramount. If you're an adventurous eater, dinner at Bror is a no-brainer, but for the more squeamish among us there are plenty of vegetarian options and food intolerances are happily accommodated.
Flæsketorvet 100, Kødbyen
Fiskebaren is fish bar contrarily located in an old butcher's shop with a few butcher worthy relics hanging around, like a cutting block by the entrance and toilets in what was the cold room where the carcasses were hung.
Slagterboderne 7, Kødbyen
The concept of a butcher-and-bar restaurant is fitting given Fleisch's meatpacking district location. If you want to try a traditional Danish smørrebrød, Fleisch does especially good versions with plenty of traditional pickled and smoked fish alongside the meat choices for lunch. The dinner menu is admittedly meat-heavy (it is a butchery after all), but dishes are lightened up with fresh and preserved fruit like gooseberries and redcurrants. The cocktail list is thoughtful and inventive with infusions like bacon-flavored bourbon and duck-fat infused whiskey.
Vesterbrogade 182, Frederiksberg
Formel B specializes in contemporary classic Danish cuisine and has managed to remain on the top-tier of Copenhagen's fine-dining scene for over a decade.
Per Henrik Lings Allé 4, Osterbro
For the most part, even the most haute cuisine in Copenhagen is served in a relaxed, no-frills setting, but Geranium, with its white tablecloths and formal dining room, is an exception to the unspoken rule. Dining at this three-Michelin-star restaurant is an all-encompassing sensory experience—things that are typically inedible are re-imagined (razor clams are served in what look like their shells, but actually the shells are made of dough dyed black with squid ink) and some of the courses look more like sculptures than food. Situated on the glass-walled eighth floor of a building in the middle of the city's tree-filled faelledparken (common gardens) the view is spectacular, especially in the fall. The best visual however, is the semi-open kitchen, separated from the dining room by a glass wall—watching the chefs quietly prepare over twenty courses per person is the night's best entertainment.
Værnedamsvej 5, Frederiksberg
Granola serves up the indulgent, sugar-and-caffeine-heavy breakfasts loved by the Danes. The interior is pure '50s nostalgia replete with vintage coffee makers, an old grocery counter, and a soundtrack to match. While they also offer comforting, fish-heavy, lunch and dinner options, the breakfast is your best bet, especially if you're looking for a break from Danish pastries—try their oatmeal with hazelnuts, coconut, and the obligatory cinnamon sugar.
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