Recapping my 3 days in Copenhagen and sharing where to eat if you’re a foodie like me and what to see!
Walk around Kastellet, the old citadel in Copenhagen. It’s a big green area to walk or jog around and you’ll take in some history while you’re at it as the citadel was founded in 1626! While you’re there, follow the crowds of tourists by the water to the little mermaid statue. Honestly, it’s not much to see (it’s super tiny!) but it recognizes Hans Christian Anderson, who lived in Copenhagen while writing his famous fairy tales, like The Little Mermaid. Grab lunch at Torvehallerne, a food market with over 60 food vendors selling everything from coffee to porridge, to meats and cheese, seafood and salads. And of course, smørrebrød, the classic Danish open-faced sandwich. It’s the perfect place for a quick bite to eat and to people watch!
After lunch, stroll through the Botanical Gardens and get ready for dinner at Amass!
Amass is run by former Noma head chef, Matt Orlando, and in true Noma fashion, he creates innovative meals that reflect the new nordic cuisine movement. In fact, he has a garden right out back where he pulls ingredients from. This restaurant is kind of out in the middle of nowhere and that’s the point (but be sure to give yourself ample time to get there). It’s got a truly industrial vibe that’s unlike any other place in Copenhagen.
This was my favorite dining experience in Copenhagen and if you want to go, I’d definitely recommend making reservations in advance. I made reservations about one month in advance and there was like one opening left all week. I also loved the experience at Amass. Rather than having one server for the evening, each dish is brought out by a different chef in the kitchen. They have an open kitchen too so you can watch (and hear!) all the action from your table. Every time the head chef gave orders, they all would reply in unison, YES, CHEF! I kind of loved it. I felt like I was watching an episode of Chef’s Table. Here’s what we ate at Amass:Vegetable chips made from leftover vegetable scraps with various seasonings. One had coffee grinds. Another had leftover hops from the brewery across the street.Watercress, mustard greens, spent beer yeast, black currant, cep mushroom oilFermented potato breadTomato, redcurrant, beet, douglas fir pine oilFava beans, marigold, burnt lemon, mint creamCod, radish, green garlic, sorrelBlueberry, sage, spent grain creamSpiced cracker, chocolate, green strawberry vinegarI think the 6-course menu was $100 per person. Well worth the money, IMO.
Take a long walk over to Nørrebro, a young, hip neighborhood with trendy coffee shops, restaurants and bars. Grab breakfast at Grød, the world’s first porridge bar, whose goal was to show that porridge can be delicious, delicate and versatile. They offer both sweet and savory porridge bowls and are open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a few locations too so be sure to check which is closest to you. I got the porridge with their vanilla apple compote, Skyr, and homemade granola. A couple locations of Grød (Nørrebro and Torvehallerne) are also conveniently located near Coffee Collective, one of the best spots around Copenhagen for espresso. So pop over there for a cortado or latte after your porridge. Also, can we talk about how I’m obsessed with Scandinavian decor. Exhibit A below.Walk over to the cemetery near Nørrebro. It’s one of the most breathtaking green spaces I’ve ever seen. These massively tall, narrow trees line the entire long walkway down the middle. I felt like I was walking into a scene from Alice in Wonderland. It was spectacular. Also, Hans Christian Anderson is buried here so if you’re a fan, you can visit his grave.Take Bike Mike Tours bike tour around Copenhagen. It was about 3 hours or so and you cover a TON of ground, seeing basically the entire city. Plus, you’ll learn a lot about the history of Copenhagen, Danish culture, and life living in the city today. And Mike is hilarious. Highly recommend. On the bike tour, you’ll visit Nyhavn, which used to be a commercial port but today is a bustling touristy street with lots of restaurants. Also, for you Hans Christian Andersen fans, he used to live in No. 20. This is the street you usually see photographed in pieces on Copenhagen. For those of you who follow Rene Redzepi and Noma, you probably know that Noma was closed this year and is reopening at the end of the year. What you might not have known is that he has a pop-up restaurant right now called Under the Bridge! It’s literally under a bridge by the canal. Try to get reservations or hang out at the wine bar to see if there are any day-of cancelations…although who in their right mind would cancel on Noma?!?
Head to Fiskebar in the meat packing district for dinner. It’s one of the few seafood restaurants in the city and a must-visit if you’re a fan of seafood. They also have a bunch of chairs and tires for tables outside if you want to have a glass of wine and watch the sunset. And after the sun sets, they light their outdoor fire pits, making it a lively nighttime hang.Also, if you don’t like seafood, you should still come here just for the bread. Yes, it was that good.We shared brill (which I’d never had before!) with smoked mussel, seaweed, pickled burnt onion and rye. The flavor combinations were spectacular.Then we shared the blue mussels steamed in apple cider with plenty of herbs. We had one other dish – I think it was cod or hake but I didn’t take a picture of it.
Stop by Atelier September for breakfast, a cute cafe and coffee shop where all the locals hang. You MUST get their avocado toast. It puts mine to shame.Rent bikes through Bycyklen, Copenhagen’s city bike company. They are super easy to use; they come equipped with an iPad so you can register for an account and pay all on your bike. Plus, they are motorized too so as you pedal, the bike pushes you forward. Copenhagen is super flat and their bike lanes are huge – it’s one of the most bike-friendly cities I’ve ever been to. No wonder 50% of their population commutes to work via bicycle every day. Biking really is a wonderful way to see the city. Bike over to Christiana, also known as Freetown, or Copenhagen’s “Little Amsterdam.” It was founded in the 70’s by a group of hippies who developed their own society rules, completely independent of Denmark’s government. It still exists today as kind of its own society and is one-of-a-kind, definitely worth a visit. Just be sure not to take photos while you’re there because there’s a good amount of marijuana being sold, which is illegal in Denmark. From Christiana, head over to Paper Island for lunch at Copenhagen Street Food Market. I had a delicious falafel sandwich from Fala Fala vendor. Stop for an ice cream at Hansens. This place was recommended to me by my fellow RD blogger friend, Alex. And I’m SO glad she recommended it and that we stumbled upon it while walking along the canal. It was the creamiest ice cream I’d had in a while. Plus, they covered it in a delicious cocoa powder and homemade sprinkles (which tasted nothing like sprinkles back home!)
Grab a cocktail at Ruby. In 2015, Ruby was ranked #34 on the list of the world’s best 50 bars. No wonder given the cozy atmosphere and innovative and classic cocktails. Get reservations for dinner at Relae, ranked #39 on the World’s Best 50 Restaurants list in 2017. It was also ranked as the World’s Most Sustainable Restaurant in 2016. Head Chef Christian Puglisi was one of the first Noma proteges to make it big. I love their manifest: Relæ works on focused and tasty food, no muss, no fuss. Everything is cut to the bone, no frames but the few hanging on the walls. Simplicity with quality comes first, great details are just beneath. Its our choice to be certified organic, because its worth it. Wine? We pick ‘em naturally, You pour ‘em.
All of their produce is picked that morning from their farm. Like these tomatoes with fresh goat cheese buckwheat tart. Pike perch, kohlrabi & coriander.
Onion, fennel & gooseberry.Turbot in broth.
Pan seared turbot & summer greens.Optional cheese course. We opted in, obvs.Blueberries, whey & pine.I have to say that I enjoyed the dinner at Amass more than Relae so if you’re choosing between one or the other, Amass gets my vote. But both are wonderful.
I’d highly recommend getting to Copenhagen. It’s such a beautiful city with amazing food. And we have a lot we can learn from the Danes considering they’re one of the happiest countries in the world!Up next: Prague, Berlin, Munich and Salzburg — stay tuned!
For other travel guides, check out my posts below!