The last time I was in Copenhagen, it was the last stop on an 18-day, road warrior trip through 6 countries. I lost my wallet in Amsterdam, partied during Oktoberfest in Berlin, celebrated Keith’s 30th birthday in Göteborg. I had quit an old job and accepted a job offer just before I left, I got a new job offer and accepted it while in Prague (meaning I’d need to back out of the first offer), and started my job pretty much as soon as I returned to the states. Needless to say: I was more or less exhausted.
I really liked Copenhagen then, and—much like other places—I left thinking I’d come back relatively soon. Fast forward 3 years later (almost to the day) and here I am again in Denmark. AND LOVING IT. Copenhagen might be the first place that I’ve revisited where I’ve enjoyed it just so much more the second time around.
The several days we spent in Copenhagen were filled with bicycling, shopping, eating, festivaling, geeking out over all things design, and exploring to the max. Coincidentally, I found myself again in the city during its annual Culture Night, which was pretty fun, but it paled in comparison to the evening we spent at Noma’s pop up called “Under the Bridge.” Since the world-famous restaurant was in between the closing of its original space and the opening of its new space, the team put together a fun pop-up venture that was located under a bridge (hence the name). We scored some tickets (!!) and had an incredibly jovial and delicious communal meal. It’s difficult to pick out a favorite dish, but the most memorable by far was the financier with the famous wood ants.
Yep. That’s right. I ate ants! And they were f#%&# fantastic. If you closed your eyes, you’d just think you were eating lemon zest. It blew my mind! I long before read that Noma used ants in this way, and had always wondered what my reaction would be if I ever got the chance to try it. Turns out, I’d eat them again.
I won’t write again about the New Nordic/Nordic cuisine here — see previous posts for that. But, to give credit to the whole food scene in Copenhagen, I have to say that nearly everything I ate while in Copenhagen (much like in 2014), was just so good. I’ll biased; my day-to-day diet most closely resembles a “traditional” Nordic diet based on seasonal seafood, root vegetables, berries, full-fat dairy, and grains like rye/barley. So to be in a country where the majority of meal options even in a food hall have come from the sea… that’s my heaven. With the exception of the porridge I had at Grød and the pølse (hotdog) I had late during Culture Night (obviously), every other meal was based on seafood and it’d be difficult, again, to pick a favorite. Just the way I like it.
In addition to my 2014 recommendations, I recommend:
- Copenhagen Street Food – Not only is Papirøen a fun place to walk to, but the indoor food hall has a wide selection of great food and good vibes.
- Torvehallerne – My other favorite CPH food hall, again, so many options including lots of fresh seafood.
- Restaurant Schønnemann – The classic smørrebrød restaurant in Copenhagen – make reservations!
- Grød – Cold weather or warm weather; breakfast, lunch, or dinner… great sweet or savory porridge.
- All of the Mikkeller bars and Øl & Brød and Warpigs – Each location has a different atmosphere; see what you like best!
- Kødbyens Fiskebar – Not the most design-y place in CPH, but super fresh fish
- The Coffee Collective – Very good coffee with a sustainable mission
- Lagkagehuset – Classic Danish pastry / coffee chain found across Copenhagen
- Døp – The classic Copenhagen pølse (hot dog), but organic. Vegetarian options. Located mostly next to Rundetårn.
- Rundetårn – Not only is the view from the top beautiful, but walking up the circular tower is enjoyable.
- Designmuseum Danmark – In a design-centric city famous for its design, this is a great place to learn about old and new creative projects.
- Botanisk Have – Copenhagen isn’t an overwhelming city, but it’s a nice escape to walk around here.
- Rent a bicycle and just bike anywhere. It’s so fun, and convenient. You can bike up to Dyrehave (the deer park) in about an hour, but Copenhagen’s bike lanes make biking in the city a pure joy. We did a 24-hr rental from XXX, but you can rent from many other places.