The best places to eat in Copenhagen (that aren’t Noma)

Kaitlin Orr - 13/10/2023


Nearly 15 years after the New Nordic food revolution began and the Danish capital turned into an unlikely global gastronomic destination, what does it mean to eat well in Copenhagen? Local expert and 50 Best TasteHunter Kaitlin Orr gives the lowdown on the CPH foodie experiences you should not miss

Copenhagen is no stranger to culinary awards. Its eateries have been crowned The World's Best Restaurant a total of six times over the past two decades, with Noma taking the title five times and Geranium also proclaimed No.1 in 2022. These fine dining restaurants – now both part of the global Best of the Best ‘hall of fame’ – are institutions in the Copenhagen dining scene and have contributed to sparking a whole new movement in food, centred around using the best local produce, foraging and preserving for the seasons ahead.

These internationally acclaimed eateries have brought curious tourists to town from all over the world, eager to whet their palates with what has become known as New Nordic cuisine. The hyper-immersive Alchemist is newer on the scene, but has also already proven itself a restaurant worth traveling for, sling-shotting to No.5 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. This trio of influential restaurants has contributed to a snowball effect of openings in Copenhagen, as their former chefs took their learnings and went on to open their own, highly individual spots.

While Noma, Geranium and Alchemist are all absolutely worth a visit, they are just the tip of the iceberg. From light-as-air cardamom buns to more under-the-radar fine dining restaurants, here are ten spots that define the Copenhagen dining scene today.

Rømersgade 20, 1362 Copenhagen, Denmark
Even before restaurants like Noma and Geranium won international acclaim, Copenhagen locals feasted well on traditional Nordic food. So, what is the most quintessential Danish delicacy? Smørrebrød – the open-faced sandwich. Today, a Swedish chef is causing havoc in the Danish smørrebrød scene, because many consider this restaurant from a non-Danish chef the very best of its kind. Chef Magnus Pettersson has reinvented Denmark’s number one food classic and each slice of buttered bread here is a culinary work of art. Make sure to warm up your singing voice – you might be inspired to sing a Danish drinking song after a few glasses of snaps.

Sturlasgade 14, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
Photo credits: Philip Høpner and Camilla Hansen (portrait)

Alouette is, quite literally, a hidden gem. The restaurant first made a name for itself when its entrance was camouflaged behind the graffiti-adorned hallways of band practice rooms. At its new venue, the front door is conspicuously concealed in a Copenhagen courtyard, and the journey to the dining room feels a bit like entering Narnia. The location begs the question: are you ready for a culinary adventure? Sustainability, both in the kitchen and in the workplace, is a big focus at Alouette, and the menus read more like love letters to the local farmers than dish descriptions. The wood fire is the beating heart of the open kitchen. Expect punchy flavours influenced by chef Nick Curtin’s American upbringing, and rich, decadent sauces which you can sop up with their signature pain au lait.

Juno the Bakery
Århusgade 48, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

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Swedish-born baker Emil Glaser worked at Noma before opening Juno the Bakery. Copenhagen’s best bakery serves classic Scandinavian buns alongside laminated viennoiserie. Juno's cardamom bun is a light and airy miracle – it’s fluffy, buttery and oozing with cardamom and sugar. But don’t leave without trying the almond croissant: it’s like a warm cookie, still soft and somewhat raw on the inside, with croissant layers on the bottom, a warm almond filling and an amazing texture of sliced and toasted almonds on top. The best part? Juno bakes their pastries all day long, so they never sell out, and they’re pretty much guaranteed to be warm and fresh from the oven. This is a can't-miss spot.

Langeliniekaj 5, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Just one week after restaurant 108 closed in 2020, chef Kristian Baumann opened his next concept: Koan, a Korean-inspired fine dining restaurant. The project began as a pop-up, before it found a permanent home in 2023 in a waterfront venue on the Copenhagen harbour. The interior is inspired by traditional Korean design, from the ceramics to the silk mat coasters, as well as the ash wood and rice paper cabinet doors. Baumann used the years of the pandemic to lean in and explore his Korean roots, which he showcases in his new restaurant. Still, you’ll see a focus on Nordic ingredients, with Scandinavian seafood starring in signature dishes like the fjord shrimp mandoo. The bread serving, a play on the Korean street food doughnut, kkwabaegi, also has a Nordic twist – Koan’s version is savoury, sprinkled with pine salt and served with salted whipped cream.

Krystalgade 6, 1172 Copenhagen, Denmark
Seks is a café with an ever-changing menu, inspired by the world travels of Monika and Jan Pawlak. The cosy, eclectic vibe of the interior makes it feel like Copenhagen’s communal living room, a shared gathering place for the community. Travel with your tastebuds to Alaska for the sourdough hot cake, to Thailand for the curries, and even to Mexico for the mole. A must-order on the menu is the sourdough bun with gzik (Polish fresh cheese mixed with cream), radishes and chives. And don’t leave without trying a slice of Monika’s secret cheesecake – if you can guess the ingredients, your slice is free.

Wildersgade 10B, 1408 Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo credits: Mikkel Heriba (left) and Marie Louise Munkegaard (right)

On the cobbled streets of the charming Christianshavn neighbourhood is Kadeau, the flagship restaurant of Nicolai Nørregaard, Magnus Høegh Kofoed and (the other) Rasmus Kofoed. This New Nordic fine dining restaurant showcases the ingredients of Bornholm, the island where the trio is from. Nature is presented on your plate, almost naked and raw – the Kadeau team has simply lifted it up a level, extracted its true flavour and forced the full potential out of each bite. Indulge in a 20-course tasting menu in a strikingly beautiful dining room where the style is a mix of Scandinavian and Japanese. The menu features a lot of balanced acidity from the various fermentation and preservation techniques.

Gasoline Grill
Landgreven 10, 1301 Copenhagen, Denmark Grill
If you’re looking for fuel, look no further than Gasoline Grill. This world-famous burger joint is located inside a still-operating gas station, hence the name. Not only does Gasoline Grill make the best burger in Copenhagen, but they also have perfected the art of high-quality fast food. They use better quality meat and ingredients than any other fast food burger spot around – everything is organic. Each shop grinds its own meat every day, semi-smashes it on a griddle to get a perfect caramelisation, and sandwiches it inside a freshly baked potato bun. The flavours of the cheeseburger are simple – melt-in-your-mouth meat and cheese, onions and pickles for acidity, and Gasoline’s signature sauce, a tart and tangy chili mayo.

Sushi Anaba
Sandkaj 39, 2150 Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo credits: Mero Studio

With only eight counter seats, Sushi Anaba is one of the hardest-to-snag reservations in Copenhagen. Chef Mads Battefeld trained in Tokyo before opening his own sushi restaurant in the Nordhavn neighbourhood. The space is zen and minimalistic, combining design elements from Japan and Scandinavia. Anaba serves the Edomae style of sushi; the omakase primarily features sustainable seafood from Scandinavia, such as Norwegian scallops and langoustine and Danish mackerel and shrimp, alongside Japanese ingredients like yuzu and wasabi. Anaba’s sushi rice is made with dark vinegar, which gives it a rustic flavour similar to Danish rye bread. The omakase starts with otsumami (small dishes), continues with nigiri, finishes with a soup made from fish bones and shrimp heads, and ends with tamago, the Japanese omelette. Wash it all down with wine, sake or Japanese whiskey.

Silberbauers Bistro
Jægersborggade 40, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen-COPY- SilberbauersBistro
Inspired by his time cooking in Nice, Danish chef Mathias Silberbauer transformed the former Manfreds venue into a cosy French bistro, where he serves traditional Niçoise dishes and local seafood. The menu at Silberbauers Bistro changes constantly, even hourly – the chefs cook whatever they get from the fishmongers that day and when something sells out, it’s gone for the day and crossed off the blackboard. The food is simple, in the best way, with only a few ingredients accentuating the pure, clean flavours of the fresh fish. If you love classic desserts, you will be in heaven here – the lemon tart, affogato and crème brûlée are all exceptional.

Gentoftegade 29, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark
Unlike the New Nordic restaurants in central Copenhagen that serve their tasting menus in very relaxed settings, Tina and Eric Vildgaard’s restaurant Jordnær is the picture of elegance. Just twenty minutes outside of the city centre in the suburbs of Gentofte, the Vildgaards have transformed the ground floor of an old inn from the 17th century into a modern setting for Nordic fine dining, complete with white tablecloths and a classical wine list. The tasting menu showcases Scandinavian seafood accompanied by creamy sauces, often topped with a healthy amount of luxury ingredients like caviar and truffles. Some of their decadent bites are filled with so much caviar that they’re heavy to lift – the ultimate finger workout.

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