Our Copenhagen Food Tour: A Bite-Sized Guide
Explore the city one iconic dish at a time. From Michelin-starred dining rooms to the best cardamom buns on Earth (we think you’ll agree)
It’s no secret that Copenhagen is a culinary mecca. In fact, a couple of years ago the hype around the city’s food scene threatened to sour the whole thing, as tourists flocked to taste gold-covered ants and splash the evidence across their social media feeds. Luckily though, Copenhagen has a certain brand of cool-headedness that can’t be destroyed, and it has continued to grow into a destination for serious foodies, travelling chefs and cooks looking to learn a thing or two from the best.
On the surface, Copenhagen is a calm, soothing sort of city - all pastel palettes, purring bicycles and blonde-locked beauties - but beneath the surface a frenetic energy is at play. And this is felt (or rather, tasted) most clearly in its food. Culinary creativity is given centre stage in Copenhagen, which explains why some of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants were conceived right here on its cobblestones streets. Noma, we’re looking at you.
One of the greatest things about visiting Copenhagen with eyes far, far bigger than your stomach is that you are never more than a few steps (or pedals) from a life-changing meal, making it the perfect place for your culinary holiday. And while you’ll find all the flavours of the Nordics here, there are also plenty of places to taste the flavours of the world, from Mexican taquerias to Japanese ramen joints. All with that unmistakable Danish charm that can never quite be replicated - despite the entire world trying to.
Here is our pick of some of Copenhagen’s unmissable dishes - in its most memorable places. Be prepared to fall head-over-ECCO-heels for the Danish capital, and to return home with a suitcase full of Scandi culinary wisdom (along with all that hand-thrown kitchenware and lingonberry jam). So, here's our dish-by-dish food tour of Copenhagen. And you can trust us here at Plum Guide, because we pride ourselves on going the extra mile for our customers. Enjoy (which you no doubt will).
Try the smørrebrød at Aamanns Deli
Long before there was savoury porridge and edible insects, there was smørrebrød. With its roots in the Middle Ages, this open-faced rye bread sandwich came to define Danish cuisine long before the likes of René Redzepi. Make a pitstop at this airy deli for cheffy sandwiches of ripened herring with smoked cream cheese, Icelandic salmon with horseradish cream and the famous chicken salad - a lemony, mustardy affair that’ll have you questioning your lunch choices for the rest of time.
Order the sourdough croissants at Mirabelle
Tucked on a leafy street in the achingly hip Nørrebro neighbourhood, Mirabelle has become one of Copenhagen’s most popular spots for long, coffee-fuelled weekend brunches. Fire yourself up with a strong espresso and one of Carol Choi’s plump, fluffy sourdough croissants before heading out to explore the surrounding area - a veritable wonderland of stylish shops, artisanal coffee shops and design-led restaurants.
Enjoy the savoury porridge at GRØD
Leading the way for the revolutionary lunch scene in Copenhagen is GRØD, a porridge cafe run by Lasse Andersen. It celebrates the global versions of porridge, from Asian chicken congee to Indian daal and a creamy mushroom risotto made in the traditional Danish way, using barley, oats and wheat instead of rice. All comforting, all nourishing, all presented in earthenware bowls you’ll want to slip into your bag. The sweet options are also marvellous, so we highly recommend making this a two-course lunch during your Copenhagen food tour. Head to the branch in Torvehallerne - a glassy indoor market bursting with global street food, classic Danish fish bars, butchers, bakers and craft beer makers.
Indulge in the beef tartare at Manfreds
Settle down in this cosy, fashionably scuffed little restaurant during your Copenhagen food tour for a taste of contemporary Danish cooking at its most creative. Farm-to-table is the name of the game here, so the menu changes according to the season. But you can rest safe in the knowledge that you’re about to enjoy a kaleidoscopic meal of hyper-local produce, almost all of which is organic. Most of the cooking celebrates the mighty vegetable, with a few meat and fish dishes thrown in for (very) good measure. Their silky beef tartare with cress and nutty rye bread is a permanent fixture on the menu, and slips down deliciously with a glass or five of crisp white wine. All dishes are intended to be shared between diners, but…well, we’ll see about that.
Treat yourself to cardamom buns at Juno
This low-key, highly-acclaimed bakery in upmarket Østerbro is run by the former pastry chef of Noma. In case you need any more convincing than that, know that many locals travel across town to join its morning queue for Juno’s sugar-speckled, sticky, perfectly spiced cardamom buns. Excuse us a moment while we break into a jog.
Order the oysters at Kødbyens Fiskebar
Copenhagen and fresh fish go hand in hand (or hand in fin, more specifically). And there is nowhere that serves it fresher than Fiskebaren, a Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant in the fashionable Kødbyen (Meatpacking District). On sunny days, locals fill the sun chairs outside to slurp natural wine along with ‘New Nordic’ fish dishes and plump, juicy oysters plucked from the waters of Limfjorden.
Enjoy the five-course tasting menu at Alouette
Located in a soaring former factory in post-industrial Islands Brygge, this celebrated restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star within just eight months of opening. Which tells you everything you need to know about head chefs Andrew Valenzuela and Nick Curtin, who use local Danish produce to create seasonal dishes with global influences. Understandably, booking is essential, but that just proves the quality of this Copenhagen food tour. A member of the team will pick you up on the street outside and lead you through a graffiti-splattered service elevator to the devastatingly chic, light-flooded dining space. It just doesn’t get much more Copenhagen than that…