The 16 Best Restaurants in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is expensive -- as in, a coffee can set you back about $8 in even the most unassuming of places. That said, it's also a city that caters incredibly well to lovers of fine food and casual dining, with a real mishmash of cuisines on offer and lots of ways to have a great time without paying through the nose for it. Here are the 16 greatest spots to eat in the Danish capital.

Best pizza:



"Organic" is a buzzword you tend to hear a lot in Copenhagen, and this pizza place is no exception. Large thin-crust pies are what's cooking here, made with sourdough and topped with unusual flavor combinations like potato Brie and kimchee pork -- and of course, they come with heaps of (organic) salad. There are some nice nibbles and sides too, as well as a menu of cocktails which are, you guessed it, made with organic alcohol.

Best steakhouse:



The acronym in the title stands for Modern American Steak House, and that's pretty much what this place is, albeit with a touch of Danish sophistication thrown in. You can expect to pay a pretty penny for your meat, but the high-end selection of Japanese, American, Uruguayan, and Australian beef is absolutely worth the price. Locals will tell you this place prides itself on serving not just dinner, but an experience, and that rings true. The cocktails are fantastic, the cuts are exquisite, and there's seafood for those who don't eat meat -- but really, why go to a steakhouse if you're not eating meat?

Best Indian:



Much like the other foreign restaurants on this list, the cuisine at Guru comes with a Danish twist. There's a tandoori clay oven, delicious traditionally made naan, as well as every classic dish that you can think of on the menu. The space is eclectic and slick, situated in Vesterbro, and was actually the first Indian restaurant in Scandinavia when it was established in 1973, so it has solid-gold credentials.

Best Asian mix:



A hodgepodge of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese dishes, this restaurant is down to earth and excellent value for money. It's not super slick, like so many Scandi-cool restaurants are, but it is authentic and delicious, and the food is beautifully presented. If you're craving noodles, this is the place to go.

Best brunch:

The Laundromat Café


There are several branches of this hybrid laundromat and eatery in Copenhagen, but they all offer the same thing: a light-hearted brunch atmosphere, with coffee, wine, beer, and board games. Oh, and several machines where you can do the actual washing and drying -- it's a laundromat too, remember? The food itself is a glorious mix of egg dishes and sandwiches, from the Dirty Brunch (sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and fried potatoes) to the steak sandwich bearnaise.

Best Italian:



Owned by the Madklubben restaurant group, this restaurant is its take on a New York-style Italian trattoria. Situated by the water in Havnegade, Tony's has a menu packed with Italian classics like lobster risotto, penne with fried aubergine, and meatballs in spicy tomato sauce, and while the portions will fill your stomach, the prices won't empty your wallet. Leave some room for dessert, as the tiramisu is truly decadent.

Best gastropub:



The Danes love their beer, craft beer in particular, but this bar's just as good for food as it is for drink. Part microbrewery, part restaurant, the menu at this inspiringly named spot is admittedly traditional, but there's lots of steak for meat lovers, and the kitchen makes a mean Danish cheese croquette. Do yourself a favor: try the BrewPub fries alongside a nice cold Brewfather lager.

Best to make an impression:

Nimb Brasserie


This place is situated in the luxurious Nimb hotel complex, and while it looks unassuming from the outside, inside it’s a five-star oasis overlooking the famous Tivoli Gardens. The restaurant is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the service is second to none, and the food itself is great. Make sure to go out on the terrace and take a photo of the beautiful Moorish-style hotel façade, covered in colourful lightbulbs -- totally Instagrammable.

Best when someone else is paying:



Repeatedly dubbed the best restaurant in the world, Noma is famous for its crazy-yet-undeniably delicious culinary concoctions. Tables are hard to come by, but you could get lucky and squeeze in on a shared sitting for lunch. This is the kind of place that you want to go to to say you've been, and for good reason -- it’s outstanding. However, it ain't cheap even by Copenhagen’s expensive standards, so save it for a celebration when someone else is footing the bill.

Best restaurant for groups:



Since this is a buzzy restaurant with a cool vibe, you'll certainly need to book in advance here, but it’s the perfect spot for a Saturday night. The drinks will flow, the music will pump, and the food is delicious. Classically Scandinavian with a twist, there's a big focus on meat and fish here, and the menu changes seasonally. It does a number of dishes that can be shared between two or more; we had the cuvette steak that came with fries, salad, and gravy, and it was just enough for our party of three. The service isn't the best in the world, but the staff are friendly. Great for people-watching too.

Best burger:

Cock's and Cows

Gammel Strand

There was some debate here, as this isn’t a very typical Copenhagen restaurant (and not because of the name!), but the food is great, it's inexpensive, and there’s a fair bit of variety as well. For instance, you can order a whole-wheat bun for your patty, experiment with chicken or veggie burgers as well as the traditional beef, and pile on a whole heap of toppings. The sides are no joke either, particularly the Twisty Fries, and the vibe is very chilled out. All in all, a fantastic place for when you’re feeling a little fragile after a big night out.

Best vegetarian option:



Not all of the food served here is raw -- there are sweet potato fries, veggie burgers, and banana pancakes -- but the place is 100% vegan, and was actually the first of its kind in the entire city. There are several locations these days, but the one on Pilestraede is the most centrally located and well known. Beware, though: the restaurant doesn't take bookings, and closes at 6pm on weekends.

Best date spot:

Copenhagen Street Food


This riverside enclave of food trucks is great for a date for several reasons; firstly, the variety of trucks means there’s plenty to point at and ooh and ahh about, so there'll be no lull in conversation. Secondly, that variety means there’s something for absolutely everyone, from unbelievable tacos, to a surf 'n turf cheeseburger, to focaccia pizza. Plus it’s cheap, and there are plenty of gin, wine, and beer bars dotted around if you fancy a drink. It's the perfect romantic day trip.

Best seafood:



This place is famous for its oysters, and while there are lots of other raw treats, both fishy and otherwise (the burrata is fantastic), the "warm" menu is just as good, featuring baked cod and seared scallops. The restaurant sits opposite Torvehallerne, a very cool food market, but a neighborhood that not every tourist makes it to.

Best cheap eats:



A meatpacking district favourite, there are often queues outside this authentic Italian joint (it's run by a legit Roman chef): expect delicious sourdough pizza, great antipasti, proper Ccrbonara (no cream!), and delicious wine. It's also a pretty popular spot for groups, especially the Friday night, after-work crowd -- in other words, you'll want to make a reservation.

Best traditional lunch:


Hauser Plads

This restaurant has been around since the late 19th century, and while the menu's packed with pickled fish, schnapps, and beer, the true specialty here is traditional smørrebrød (aka open-faced sandwiches). The place has won heaps of awards, is only open during the day for lunch, and isn't expensive considering its stature and longevity. It's admittedly a bit touristy, but not in an off-putting way.

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Vicki Notaro is a Dublin-based freelance writer, columnist, and magazine editor who loves to eat and drink her way around her beloved city (and the world). Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat: @vickinotaro.