Often rated as one of the top foodie destinations in Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of my all-time favorite places to explore as a foodie. It is a city where culinary delights blend seamlessly with a rich historical and cultural tapestry, creating memorable food experiences like no other. It is one of those destinations where you could spend an entire day eating and still not be satisfied. There are just SO many fantastic restaurants in Copenhagen.

It can be difficult for first-time visitors to narrow down the restaurant options and prioritize the best places to try. 

That’s why I am here to help! I have visited Copenhagen on several occasions, and I lead multi-day trips in Denmark’s capital city. Needless to say, I’ve gotten quite familiar with the restaurant scene. Of course there are always new outposts to discover, but this list is a great introduction to Copenhagen’s food scene. You’ll find a mixture of affordable to high-end spots, and I have sorted the list by meals so you know exactly where to eat throughout the day.

First Timers Guide To The Best Food In Copenhagen

Coffee

Coffee Collective

Coffee aficionados flock to Coffee Collective for its meticulously sourced and expertly roasted beans.With a couple of locations around the city, you can see that it is beloved by locals. Their pour-over coffee, prepared with precision, is the shining star, showcasing the rich, nuanced flavors of their beans.

Copenhagen Coffee Lab

Now offering locations around Europe, CCL or Copenhagen Coffee Lab is practically a household name. I even go to the one in my home city of Cologne, Germany! Each of the cafe's contemporary Scandinavian designs retain warm lighting and comfortable furniture, bringing in a feeling of Hygge or coziness. One of their signature drinks is a Kyoto-style cold brew, a refreshing revelation for those seeking a nuanced coffee journey.  

Copenhagen Coffee Lab in Dusseldorf Germany

Original Coffee

This trendy spot seamlessly blends exceptional coffee culture with a delectable selection of traditional Danish pastries. Located conveniently between Kastellet and Nyhavn directly on the tourist route, this is a great place to pop in for a midday pick-me-up. There aren’t many tables here, but this is one of the few Copenhagen coffee shops that offers to-go cups. 

Roast

Of all the espressos I drank in Copenhagen (and trust me, it was a lot) Roast was my favorite. And clearly I’m not the only one, because I waited in a line both times that I visited their university campus location. Nonetheless, Roast is a rustic yet elegant cafe where you can leisurely sip on some of the best coffee in Copenhagen. Espresso is the star here, carefully measured and brewed to perfectly.

Breakfast & Bakeries

Albatross & Venner 

You can find this exceptional bakery inside Torvehallerne Food Hall (more on that below). And wow, it is worth a stop! Albatross & Venner is a bakery with a penchant for using modern techniques to reinvent classic breads and pastries. Savory pastries are the focus. Think French croissants, Danish rye bread, and Italian pizzette. Don’t worry if you have a sweet tooth. The pain au chocolat is fantastic. 

Hart Bakery Holmen

Stop what you’re doing right now, and pin Hart Bakery to your Copenhagen food map. You NEED to go to this incredible bakery. Step into a delicious world of baked treats where every creation is more tempting than the last. Housed in a shipping container style building right on the water, this charming bakery is known for its sourdough bread and Danish pastries. We ordered a first round of croissants, and loved them so much, we went back from cinnamon and cardamom buns as round two. I would say for pastry enthusiasts, it's a must-visit destination.

Rug Bakery

Located inside the Villa Hotel across from Tivoli Gardens, this contemporary bakery updates classic Danish pastries with a modern twist or unique ingredients. Rug, meaning “Rye” in Danish, serves fresh bread, traditional treats and coffee to locals and travelers alike. From stuffed almond croissants to savory mushroom Danishes, I loved everything here. You can even order hot dishes like eggs or porridge. 

Båden 

One of the coziest neighborhood haunts to visit in central Copenhagen is Båden. Built inside an old streetcar train, this feels like one of those hidden local gems. I stumbled upon it randomly while biking along the canals, and just knew I had to stop. Mismatched vintage furniture and assorted mixed China set the stage for a quirky but approachable vibe. The baked goods are absolutely delightful and the coffee is strong. 

Lunch

Warpigs Brewpub

It is a rare occasion when I eat red meat, and even more rare occasion when I eat American-style barbeque outside of the United States. In my experience, it is rarely good. It’s just not worth the disappointment. So, you can imagine my delightful surprise (more like shock) when I ate some of the most legit BBQ ever at Warpigs Brewpub in the heart of Copenhagen. This is a mecca for meat lovers, serving up delicious barbecue, including burnt ends, sausage, pulled pork and more. They even have the correct sides, like mac-n-cheese, pickles and baked beans. With its edgy, hard rock aesthetic and extensive craft beer selection, Warpigs is a great place to come on a weekend afternoon. 

Vækst

If my soul could manifest into a restaurant, I think it would look like Vækst – lots of potted plants, chic but comfortable furniture, a full-size greenhouse and strings of bare bulbs overhead. The aesthetic is SPOT ON, aiming to evoke an endless summer feeling in Denmark.  Fresh Nordic-inspired cuisine is at the heart of this kitchen, focused on a small and seasonal menu. Dishes are light and flavorful with seasonal vegetables and herbs playing a major part. You can order a set menu or ala-carte, and they have a vegetarian set menu regularly. They also have a dinner seating. Reservations required, especially for dinner.

Smørrebrød

In case you aren’t familiar, Smørrebrød is the traditional open-faced sandwich from Copenhagen. It is a must-try dish for any foodie visiting Denmark’s capital city. The name "Smørrebrød" literally translates to "buttered bread". Locally beloved, Smørrebrød consists of a slice of dense, dark rye bread as the base, generously topped with an array of ingredients that can range from herring, cold cuts, or seafood to vibrant and fresh garnishes like pickles, herbs, and eggs. The combination of flavors and textures in these meticulously crafted sandwiches reflects the rich culinary heritage of Denmark.

Selma

For perhaps the best Smørrebrød  experience in Copenhagen, Selma is an obvious choice. The Michelin guide made culinary history when it awarded Selma a Bib Gourmand, making it the first smørrebrød joint to receive the accolade. With their meticulous approach and delicate yet precise flavors, the kitchen at Selma transforms simple slices of rye bread into exquisite canvases, adorned with a symphony of toppings. Selma puts a contemporary twist on the humble classic, using creative toppings such as elderflower herring or truffled celeriac. 

Meyers i Tårnet

A close contender for second best Smørrebrød has got to be Meyers i Tårnet. Offering a modern take on traditional Danish dishes, the focus is on high-quality ingredients and a sustainable approach. If you want to sample a few different flavors, opt for their Smørrebrød sampler which rotates daily. Order a glass of schnapps to go alongside the sandwich to really enjoy it the Danish way! 

The restaurant is inside the tower of Christiansburg Castle (i.e. the Danish parliament building). It has a show-stopping beautiful design with sky-high ceilings, monumental statues, and wabi sabi inspired floral arrangements. I couldn’t put my camera down. You’ll want to allow a little extra time to reach your table at Tårnet, since you’ll have to go through security and then ride a lift up to the top. At the end of your meal, ask to go up to the panoramic view point for a breathtaking view of the city.

Food Halls & Markets

Broens Gadekoekken

This bustling street food market offers a wide range of international cuisine, from fish & chips and sushi to tacos and gourmet hot dogs. You can find both delicious food and stunning views of Copenhagen's waterfront. It is a great place to pop off your bike and let your nose guide you! It fills up around lunch time, but the massive patio has ample seating. The market closes in the winter, and converts to an ice skating rink!

Reffen Street Food

A distinctly Copenhagen vibe, Reffen Street Food park is a redevelopment project in a revitalizing area of the industrial harbor. Housed within upcycled shipping containers, Reffen is one of those see-and-be-seen kinds of places. It has a cool vibe and even cooler restaurants with a broad diverse assortment of global flavors. Not only is Reffen an affordable place to eat (with mains starting at 70 DKK) but the food is mouthwatering. Whether you're craving Indian or Mexican cuisine, you'll find it here. As the night goes on, it shifts into a clubby vibe with live music and cool lighting. 

TorvehallerneKBH

With its two large steel and glass halls, TorvehallerneKBH is an upscale food hall in the heart of the city. Covering an area of over 700 m², each side of the market specializes in something different connected by a large patio in between. On one side, you’ll find more ingredients such as fresh seafood & produce or spices. On the other side, there is an abundance of street food vendors, prepared food, and baked goods. Torvehallerne is the premier food market hall with a beautiful urban oasis aesthetic. 

Tivoli Food Hall

If you're seeking a culinary adventure next to Copenhagen's most iconic amusement parks, look no further than the Tivoli Food Hall. With a menu as diverse as the rides and attractions of Tivoli Gardens, this food hall offers a medley of delectable options. From artisanal pizzas and gourmet burgers to authentic Asian dishes and irresistible pastries, the Tivoli Food Hall has something for every palate. I really enjoyed the sushi as well as the bao buns! You don’t need a ticket to Tivoli Gardens to go into the food hall – it’s open to the public. It’s located directly next to the main train station for easy access. 

Dinner

Oysters & Grill

For seafood lovers, Oysters & Grill is a must-visit. As the name implies, oysters are one of the specialties. With daily deliveries from around Europe, you can order a mixture of different oysters.  If you’re with a few people, opt for the seafood menu to share. You’ll be greeted with piled-high plates of fried squid, grilled fish, shrimp, razor clams, ceviche and scallops. I really enjoyed the unpretentious and welcoming aesthetic, with handwritten chalkboards, kaleidoscopic vinyl tablecloths and mismatched vintage plates. 

Nimb Brasserie

Nestled within Tivoli Gardens, Nimb Brasserie is a celebration of French and Danish cuisine in an elegant setting. Their lobster bisque might be the best I ever had. Their steak with Béarnaise Sauce exemplifies the sophistication of their menu. With opulent design and a prime location, Nimb Brasserie is a great option for an upscale dinner. Plus, you’ll get access to the gardens afterwards. If you are there on certain nights, they have fireworks which they shoot off practically over the restaurant! 

Fireworks at Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen Denmark

Delphine

The latest opening for the trendy restaurant group COFOCO is Delphine. It is spacious and bright with soaring high ceilings, smoke-mirrored pillars and a massive Matisse-inspired mural. I am just obsessed with the atmospheric vibe straight from the Greek Isles. Every single element supports the refreshing, contemporary, and unpretentious Mediterranean theme. It’s a small plate style restaurant with speedy service. A few highlights were juicy fried calamari with lemon mayonnaise, baked fennel with olives, and grilled lamb skewers. Don’t miss the tasty dips, like creamy tzatziki and minty pea spread.

Kiin Kiin

Holding a Michelin star for 10 consecutive years – and Denmark’s only Thai eatery to do so – Kiin Kiin mixes classic Thai dishes with Danish produce. It was one of the most memorable Michelin-star dining experiences I’ve ever had. Sam and I celebrated a New Year’s Eve dinner at Kiin Kiin in 2017. Like many other Michelin restaurants, you can select from multi-course tasting menus depending on your price range. Our menu included lobster and prawn Tom Yam Soup, coconut milk and corn with quail, and spiced beef tenderloin. I will never forget the freeze dried Masaman curry served tableside. Absolutely melt in your mouth delicious! 

Restaurant Barr

Located in Noma’s old digs inside a former whaling warehouse dating back to the 16th century, Restaurant Barr is an upscale restaurant with a casual vibe. The kitchen combines Danish culinary traditions with a contemporary approach, offering a menu that celebrates local ingredients and seasonal produce. The signature dish is a Wiener schnitzel, served with different sauces and topping throughout the year. Perfectly cooked chanterelle mushrooms and a lovely herb sauce accompanied my schnitzel. Reservations are recommended, but the bar accepts walk-ins and serves most of the dishes on the menu

Restaurant Jordnær

There are so many wonderful things I could say about Jordnær. It was the most special meal from our recent trip to Copenhagen. Inside a small hotel in Gentofte, around 12 km north of Copenhagen, every detail is cared for and considered, even down to the record spinning from the vintage player.

Owned and operated by married couple Eric Vildgaard, the head chef, and Tina Kragh Vildgaard, the front of house manager, the couple create an exceptional experience for their guests. You’ll get plenty of face time with both of them, and they make you feel like you are dining in their home. It is such a comfortable place to enjoy an exquisite dinner of the best caliber. At Jordnær, it is all about leaning back in the comfortable chairs and preparing yourself for pure enjoyment. 

If you are a fan of the finest ingredients plucked from the sea, Jordnær is the perfect destination. Seafood is the true star of the show, comprising nearly every dish on the 18-course tasting menu we had. The menu features an array of bold, creative and stunningly plated fish and shellfish dishes. You’ll get to experience huge langoustines, turbot and king crab, not to mention the outlandishly generous volume of caviar that plays an important role throughout the meal. The menu is paired with exquisite wines, while a full pairing of top-marque champagnes is available. 

Dessert

Alida Marstrand

Calling all chocoholics! Alida Marstrand is a chocolate lover's paradise in the heart of Copenhagen. Their passion for creating exquisite chocolates is evident in every bite, with a dedication to quality, flavor and technique. Alida Marstrand offers a delightful assortment of artisanal chocolates, in both milk and dark chocolate. Each truffle or praline is a work of edible art that reflects their commitment to the craft. 

Do you have thoughts or questions about this Copenhagen food guide? Tell me in the comments below!

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  1. LookinLooking for suggestions for our first night in Copenhagen. One of us willwill be dealing with Jetlag so looking for a place that’s cozy and easy, not pretentious, and not too expensive, too easy us into our trip, while being delicious!

    1. I would choose Oysters & Grill. It is definitely not pretentious and it has a cozy vacation-y kind of vibe.

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