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.
Jægersborggade 50, Nørrebro
This is the world's first, self-proclaimed porridge bar—Grød literally translates to porridge. The founders wanted to showcase not only the humble dish's versatility but also its assimilation into regional cooking all over the world. Porridge is really just a grain cooked in liquid until soft and thick and Grød offers sweet and savory versions, cooked with several different grains, from traditional oats to barley and quinoa. If you feel like trying something other than the typical oats, milk, and fruit version, order the congee (savory, slow-cooked, Asian rice-based porridge). If you can't make it to the Nørrebrø flagship, stop by the stand in Torvehallerne Market.
Rømersgade 18, Indre By
Hallernes Smørrebrød's glass display cases at their stand in Torvehallerne Market are full of the artfully presented open-faced sandwiches that are this café's namesake. Small rye bread slices are topped with every Nordic ingredient imaginable—classic herring, liver paté, salmon... There are about three bites to each slice so order a few to-go, pick up a coffee from the nearby Coffee Collective, and spend an hour exploring this world-famous food market.
Nørre Farimagsgade 41, Indre By
Höst has the most atmospherically beautiful dining room in Copenhagen (the critics agree, it's won several design awards). The look is renovated barn-meets-greenhouse, with white painted brick walls, rustic, raw-wood tables, and plenty of greenery in big terracotta pots. Sheepskin throws are slung haphazardly over the backs of some of the chairs and antique wood cooking tools line the walls. The set menu is three courses, but the kitchen sends out other surprise plates to try, making it more like six courses. While Höst's dishes are among the best you'll eat in this food-obsessed city, the birch bark ice-cream is next level.
Refshalevej 141a, Christianshavn
This waterside café and restaurant is housed in what was once a waiting room for passengers boarding the ferry. With only two tables inside, the dining experience is an intimate one using mostly Nordic ingredients with some Italian influence. La Banchina often serves only one dish, which guests usually eat outside, cross-legged on the jetty with a glass of natural wine and some crusty bread.
Jægersborggade 40, Nørrebro
Copenhagen's first natural wine bar was conceived by culinary entrepreneur Christian Puglisi (also of Relae), and quickly evolved into a full-service restaurant. Despite being nearly completely vegetable-focused, the meat tartare here has developed an almost cult-like following. As with Relae, Puglisi won't compromise on quality and sustainability: all the produce is not only hyper-seasonal but comes from nearby organic farms. Most of the entrees are vegetarian but so satisfying, like the charred broccoli with parsley purée or seared romaine with walnuts and anchovy vinaigrette, and there are experienced sommeliers on hand to help navigate the natural wine list. Manfreds is a tiny restaurant, perfect for an intimate dinner with one other person—the tasting menus are also conveniently designed for two.
Guldbergsgade 29, Nørrebro
More of a multi-functional, food-focused space than a traditional restaurant, Mirabelle operates as a restaurant, deli, and bakery in one. Given that they share a kitchen with Baest next door, it's no surprise that the menu is Italian inflected, with especially good house-made pasta. The space is small and cozy with monochromatic checkerboard floors, a few tables, chalkboards, and freshly-baked loaves stacked on shelves above the coffee machines. The croissants and coffee to-go are a big hit with the locals, but if you choose to eat in, all your breakfast choices are served together on cute little utilitarian trays.
Øl & Brød
Viktoriagade 6, Vesterbro
Naming restaurants after what they serve seems to be a trend in Copenhagen and Øl & Brød (beer and bread) is the perfect example. Run by the same people as nearby Mikkeller, the beer-obsessed duo figured the best accompaniment to their artisanal brews is a good smørrebrød open-face sandwich. The interior looks more like someone's dining room than a restaurant, with porcelain plates on the walls and various bottles and cooking apparatus stacked on shelves. The smørrebrød are small, and around ten are recommended per person with beer pairings. If you want something stronger than beer, Øl & Brød happens to have the largest selection of aquavits and home-made schnapps in the city.