Copenhagen Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Palægade 8, Indre By
This is the ultimate destination to try the open-faced sandwiches, or smørrebrød, you'll notice on menus around town. Generally consisting of toasted and buttered rye bread, and topped with meat or fish and garnishes, the smørrebrød is a great vehicle for trying the smoked and pickled fish Denmark is famous for. Palægade serves over forty varieties of toppings at lunchtime, to be washed down by one of the beers or traditional aquavits (herb and spice infused liquor) they have on tap.
Julius Thomsens Gade 12, Frederiksberg
Another stellar restaurant offering from Claus Meyer, in partnership with Jesper Kirketrop (formerly of Noma and Geranium), Radio celebrates back-to-basics Nordic cooking. The daily baked breads served at the restaurant are made using heritage grains specially selected from the Nordic Gene Bank (a truly admirable seed saving initiative). Guests can opt for a three- or five-course menu of organic, sustainably sourced food, much of it grown on a farm less than two miles from the city. The wood-clad walls contribute to the restaurant's earthy interior—the perfect rustic setting to enjoy the unpretentious but unapologetically Nordic dishes.
Restaurant 108
Strandgade 108, Christianshavn
This was intended to be a more casual sister to Rene Redzepi's Noma (re-opening in December), but Restaurant 108 has taken on a life of its own. Run by head chef Kristian Baumann, the food philosophy is deeply rooted in the Danish cultural experience. Berries, mushrooms, and other vegetables are picked at their most fresh and preserved for use throughout the year. Aside from the à la carte menu, there are larger dishes intended for sharing at the table, called livretter—essentially meaning favorite dishes—the idea is to build community and conversation through experiencing food together. Livretter options could be anything from pork belly with salted apples and preserved redcurrants to brown beech mushrooms, grilled greens, and smoked egg sauce. The setting for this rich, comforting food is pretty industrial (stone columns and exposed beams) softened by the warm wooden tables and hints of greenery. Despite Restaurant 108's impressive pedigree, it's a casual experience with an '80s soundtrack. Walk-ins welcome.
Restaurant Kul
Høkerboderne 16B-20, Kødbyen
The name of this restaurant is a pretty solid indicator of what to expect. Kul, Danish for coal, cooks the majority of their Nordic-Asian style cuisine on a Josper charcoal grill. The restaurant itself is seriously atmospheric—built in what used to be a wholesale butcher space at Copenhagen's old meat market, many of the original features are still there (like the eroded white tile walls) paired with stylish, charcoal-inspired black hooded light fixtures, and an all-black bar. The Nordic-Asian fusion really works, with the lighter Asian flavors brightening up the traditionally heavier Nordic fare—trout is served in a dashi broth with preserved berries, and raw lobster is paired with fennel puree and accompanied by a hot pour-over jus.