The food in Copenhagen will blow your mind! From basic to Michelin stars (15 restaurants = a total of 18 stars), you will find an incredible respect for local, seasonal ingredients, a celebration of the garden and seriously inventive options.
- More about your oliver guide: Bonnie Powers
- Trip type: Adult, City
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: WE SPENT A WEEK AND A HALF AND COULD HAVE STAYED LONGER.
to & from
We flew direct from San Francisco (SFO) to Copenhagen (CPH) on SAS Airlines. Easy commute from airport to City Center or other neighborhoods by public transportation. This link is super useful: http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/transportation/and-airport.
Where to Stay
We booked the most fabulous AirBnB in Vesterbro, a newly up and coming neighborhood close to City Center. (Link to our AirBnB here.) We were at the complete opposite end of the area still known as the Red Light District. There’s low crime in Copenhagen but you want to avoid the top end of Istedgade near the Central Station. We were in a hip part of Vesterbro with amazing coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafes, bars and hangout spots and parks. It was totally safe and our block was incredibly quiet. The Danes love their design and our apartment had inspiration in every room and every corner.
Where to Eat and Drink
The food in Copenhagen will blow your mind! From basic to Michelin stars (15 restaurants = a total of 18 stars), you will find an incredible respect for local, seasonal ingredients, a celebration of the garden and seriously inventive options. The New Nordic Cuisine takes it all up a notch and highly recommend at least 1 meal-as-experience at the high end.
- Amass is north of Christianshavn in a more industrial part of Copenhagen and which makes the restaurant and their gardens that much more mysterious. This is a chef (formerly of Noma) and team that pay attention to and respects the garden, local ingredients and the inspiration they get from both. We had a 5 hour meal. Can’t say enough good things. Each dish was unique, presented with lovely explanation and even with instructions… e.g. please eat with your fingers. The indoor space is spacious and while urban and industrial, it’s not cold—well chosen furnishings, dishware and art (take particular note of the portrait that looks like Freddy Mercury but is in fact the chef’s father) warm it all up. Spend time in the garden, too. You’ll notice chefs picking items throughout the evening.
- Selma is located in WestMarket a food marketplace with many different options. That said, this had to be the most exceptional and modern smørrebrød we ate. Each dish was meticulously crafted and we learned about unique ingredients and impeccable plating.
- Grød on Jaegersborrgade (super inspiring and diverse shopping street) or in Torvehallerne (a marketplace of food, beverage, fish mongers, cheese mongers, cafes, sweet shops and famer's market stalls) for morning porridge or lunch/dinner bowls. Our savory favorites were the tomato and Parmesan risotto and the pea shoot barley-otto.
- Granola in Frederiksberg (on lively shopping street Vaernadamsvej) delivers on comfort food and a cosy atmosphere. We had delicious smørrebrød--not the super fancy and inventive kind you'll read about just below, but really good and satisfying.
- Blue Taco in Nørrebro delivers some of the best vegetarian, vegan and seafood (and meat) tacos we’ve ever had, all in handmade blue corn tortillas. The food is inspired by north and central America and the location with communal tables in the alley and fun vibe of the neighborhood make it feel like a small Latin America street scene.
- Rufino Osteria in Christianshavn transports you to Rome and at the table of good friends who enjoy cooking together. We had excellent, complex, delicious food in a warm and authentically vibe-y environment.
- Paperion (Paper Island/Copenhagen Street Food) has around 40 food stalls, containers, food trucks, bars and DJs right on the water near Nyhavn and Christianshavn with views to the Opera House (you can also shop designer Henrik Vibskov and check out art installations at Copenhagen Contemporary).
- Enghave Smørrebrød in Vesterbro for Havregrød (porridge/oatmeal). This comes with roasted hazelnuts, dried apple and a Danish version of caramel sauce that is unlike anything we think of as caramel in the states. It's creamy, not cloyingly sweet. We had asked for it "light" because we didn't know. Now you know. Get it. The way they want to serve it. You won't regret it!
- Granny’s House also in Torvehallerne (like Grød above; but other locations around Denmark) has the most amazing Viking bread and tea jam (marmalade). We’ve been baking our own version since we’re home because we’re still craving theirs.
- Coffee Collective focuses on inventive brews and techniques and has a few locations, each very atmospheric to ponder all of your exciting new finds.
- Kødbyensis ice cream is insanely good, creamy handmade gelato on a stick that can be found at the Admiral Hotel Salt Bar outside near Copenhagen Opera House and Ofelia Plads as well as other locations around, We had the intense pistachio and dark chocolate covered strawberry sorbet.
What to Do
- Rent Bikes
- Designer-y shopping in Vesterbro, Frederiksberg Alle, Norrebro and City Center. We did a bunch of research and put a list together neighborhood-by-neighborhood. An incredibly exciting part of our trip was to discover a few new designers for our shop Poet and/the Bench in Mill Valley
- Flea Markets (loppemarked) are many. So fun to pick in various parts of the city, including in Dragor. Some were closed in summer so do your research.
- Outdoor movies, concerts, performances—it was lovely to just happen upon some really fun ones that we now know to look for such as at Ofelia Plads and Cinemateket Open Air to name two.
- Museums not be be missed Louisiana Museum, Designmuseum Denmark and we never made it and so sad about it, Ordrupgaard and Finn Juhl’s House.
- Nearly 40% of people commute by bicycle. We did rent bikes and highly recommend! Multiple companies and locations around the city. We used Donkey Republic. Certain locations have newer bikes so check the app and take a look at what 's offered in person if you want latest upgrades. We loved riding around the city and through parks. Make note, when you walk into the formal bike road, you must take caution, it’s a road just like the one for cars. And when you bike it, there are definitely rules of the road to follow.
- Note, you'll always want to buy a ticket before boarding the train or metro. You might consider a Copenhagen Card or City Pass if you'll be using public transport over a few days.
- We did not rent a car and never used Uber. The public transport system is amazing. If you want a taxi, look for the yellow "taxa" sign and when lit, the taxi is available for hire.
- We stayed away from major tourist attractions.
- We didn’t mean to be on Strøget Street but had to in order to get to one place we were interested. A lot of mass stores we have in the US. Save your time for the more off the beaten path streets!
It is a magical place with a beautiful way of life!
- More about your oliver guide: Megan Escher
- Trip type: Family, City
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: 4-5 Days
to & from
Norwegian Air has great prices and flies direct from Oakland
Where to Stay
Many options depending on what area and level of lodging you would like. We stayed at Urban House – which is one of those high end hostel/hotel combination. Our room was teeny tiny, but was modern touches in a classic building. We loved the view of the architecture around us. Urban House is a 3 minute walk from the Central Station (which runs trains directly to/from CPH) and a 5 minute walk from Tivoli Gardens.
Where to Eat and Drink
Copenhagen has an amazing food scene. We were on a mother daughter adventure so kept it pretty causal. From on the go to fine dining you will find something delightful to taste.
- My favorite meal of the Summer. It is located in the old Meatpacking district, walkable from our hotel, which has so many choices for great food.
- They have fabulous Food Halls – perfect for family travel where everyone can get what they would like in a lively atmosphere. We liked Tivoli and Torvehallerne. We would have loved to check out Reffen or Elsinore, but we ran out of time.
- Mad + Koffe is great for breakfast or lunch
What to Do
Copenhagen is an amazing city to wander. Beautiful gardens, Palaces in plain view. The bike and walking paths are very well marked. There are also fantastic public playgrounds in every direction.
- Louisiana Art Museum: Book a day to take the 30 minute train north and then walk 15 minutes to this Fantastic Space. We loved the art installations, the location right on the sea, and the absolute best Children
- If you are with children, booking a full day for Tivoli gardens is a must. Definitely book online at least two days in advance to skip the entry line and get the unlimited bracelet. You will casually be asked to leave your handbag on the side rail of a ride or in open cubbies, so pack light and don't bring anything to valuable. It is such fun. In the summer they stay open until 11 pm. We went most every night until close, even if we had spent the day exploring other areas. They have some restaurant options , if your children are older enough to explore on their own and you want a break from the rides, make Gemsye (beautiful garden space with delicious food and wine) a meeting place.
- Royal Palaces / Garden
- Little Mermaid - Super Super Touristy, but if you are in the area, fun to walk by and get a snapshot, would not make a detour
- Sweden - You can day trip to Sweden by boat or by train. We took the train - and had lunch in Malmo and explored for an afternoon. It was a very quick outing and we preferred Copenhagen, but had a great lunch at Ab Smaland (also a beautiful home boutique) & a great juice at Raw Food Co. (TAKE YOUR PASSPORT!)
- Danish National Ballet - One of the world's best!
What to Pack
It’s a very stylish city. Have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to wear dresses EVERYWHERE (including Tivoli gardens!)