Denmark’s capital doesn’t disappoint
I went to Copenhagen WAY back in 2011, so the spots I hit up may well be passé now but thought it was worth doing a little round up of my time there since a friend asked for some tips. Plus, I did some research on some spots that looked cool and interesting because I literally couldn’t help myself – I love a good ol’ Google.
We stayed at Copenhagen Island Hotel because we were linking up with our cousins who had booked there and it was walking distance to Kødbyen, the Meatpacking district in Vesterbro which I wanted to explore. It’s a basic business hotel – clean and modern with a gorgeous waterfront but a bit soulless as you’d expect; a good location but I wouldn’t return to this hotel. If you are heading to Copenhagen, here are a few places that caught my eye that might be worth investigating…
Hotel Alexandra: retro Danish swag
Nimb: high on that luxe vibe
Nobis: looks sleek AF. opening mid 2017
CPH Studio Hotel: modern, v.basic, no frills studio apartments
Stay Copenhagen: taking minimalism to the max
If you are more Airbnb inclined, i.e. want a home away from home, then check out Apartment in Copenhagen, a website that seems to have a good selection of quality looking holiday apartments.
There are obviously the big hitters like Noma and Geranium but good luck getting reservations for those. Here are a couple of places I checked out that I thought were decent when I visited all those years ago.
From what I recall, it is a pretty cool, sleek minimal restaurant with a daily changing Franco Danish menu. I had a small piece of cod with mashed potato in a delicious broth topped with a piece of dried fish and cucumber balls. Also, ordered chicken ‘nuggets’ with celery and mayo; I categorically do not like celery, so I was surprised that I cleaned my plate, devouring both the tender crispy chicken pieces with a curried vegetable mayo (a little salty) and shaved celery served on a wooden board. This was rounded off with a sweet treat of raspberry, vanilla ice cream, apricot with chervil which was light and tasty. We spent £40 per head and I think we ordered some wine. Also, they own a number of other spots across town.
Abel Cathrines Gade 7 | 1654 København V | +45 33 13 60 60
Went to this organic restaurant for a bite to eat. It’s a chill, low key place; a wide open space with battered sofas at one end where young trendy couples entertain their kids and then the main section which had rows of tables adjacent to the partially opened kitchen. Pans hang on the walls and red Bio Mio branded ‘pipe’ lamps run along the ceiling. They had an amazing sounding breakfast / brunch feast but we weren’t feeling hugely hungry, so opted for the chicken burger which was nice but nothing extraordinary. I liked Bio Mio because it was super casual and just had a nice vibe but it’s not somewhere you seek out; if in the area, sure why not.
Halmtorvet 19 | 1700 København V | +45 33 31 20 00
Walking around town, took note of some places which we didn’t get to eat at, Mother (pizza joint) next door to Bio Mio, Lomos Food Shop (trendy sandwich spot / deli) and Kødbyens Fiskebar (seafood resto).
Back on that Google grind, here are some restaurants that food lovers seem to be digging in Copenhagen right now. FYI, loadsa Noma alumni…
Call Your Sugar Daddy / Mama £70+
Amass: big hype around this environmentally conscious resto
Kiin Kiin: 1 Michelin Star Thai spot
Studio: headed up by Torsten Vildgaaard, ex R&D chef @ Noma
Splash The Cash £45+
108 CPH: next door to Noma + co-owned by René Redzepi
Relæ: Christian Puglisi, Noma grad is the dude behind Relæ, Manfreds & Baest
Spontan: restaurant attached to hip microbrewery
Bror: Nose 2 tail cooking. Winter Wed: communal dinner + glass of vino = £25
Manfreds: sharing plates, big into their vino. Intimate space
Pony: seasonal produce in a relaxed space
Won’t Break The Bank – Under £25
Baest: posh pizzas, charcuterie & daily made fresh mozarella
Copenhagen Street Food: Looks similar to Street Feast London which I love
Hija De Sanchez: tacos by Rosio Sanchez, former pastry chef @ Noma x2 locations
Kaffe og Koekken: nice looking brunch spot
Kompasset: be rude to go to Copenhagen and not have a Smørrebrød right?
Lo-Jo Social: they do a confit burger, sign me up
Mad & Kaffe: v. popular tapas style breakfast & brunch spot w/ massive queues
Strangas: gourmet dessert shop that looks so damn goooooood
Torvehallerne: street food market kinda like Borough Mkt it seems. Mix of shop & stalls incl. Hija de Sanchez
DRINKING & NIGHTLIFE
In terms of drinking and going out, we pretty much just stayed in the Meatpacking District and sampled the likes of Karriere bar (now shut down) and Jolene which appears to still be ‘relevant’. At Jolene, you drink and you party in a small packed space – it’s not grimey but it’s sure as hell ain’t refined. I’m not a major party animal but I do like a drink and a couple of these bars in my research rampage looked decent…
Bronnum: cocktails & champagne, yehaw!
Brus: bar with its own brewery
Curfew: prohibition style cocktail bar
Jane, The: speakeasy style bar with a club attached
Noho: cocktail spot with a basement bar where you can dance
Ruby: more cocktails
Lidkoeb: upstairs space opens up as a whisky bar come Fri & Sat
Ølsnedkeren: chill looking beer bar
Cocktails In Copenhagen is a great little website I stumbled across that gives a comprehensive view of the top cocktail bars in CPH.
We bypassed bicycles and drank up the architecture of Copenhagen via foot – checking out buildings like the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel designed by Arne Jacobsen on our journey and walking along the famous harbour, Nyhavn.
One day we walked from the Black Diamond (the stunning Royal Library, which happened to have an interesting free exhibition on at the time) to Christiania Freetown, which for me was more dystopia than utopia with bearded men walking around carrying alcohol in brown paper bags at 11am. Yeah. If that’s your vibe, then maybe you’ll enjoy it. To be fair, we didn’t really check out any of the venues here, so can’t dismiss those and I’ve heard Loppen, a live music venue which has been going since the 70s still pulls in interesting local and international bands.
You can’t go to Copenhagen and not indulge in some design – so we made sure to check out the Danish Museum of Art & Design.
Denmark is home to brands like Wood Wood, Norse Projects, Ganni and Han Kjøbenhavn to name a few. If I’m looking to shop, I’ll generally refer to Hip Shops as a starting point as they put together an edit of concept stores in lots of different cities across the globe.
Normaan [Østerbrogade 70 | 2100 Københavnan] an upmarket furniture and homeware company has a showroom in Østerbro (the neighbourhood where you’ll find 3 Michelin star Geranium) – it looks amazing and would be on my Copenhagen ‘To Visit List’. Check out this pink bombshell, what an utter babe.
Copenhagen also has a healthy dose of vintage shops, so if you want to do some shopping without breaking the bank, this is an option. We visited quite a few second hand shops including Carmen on Larsbjørnsstræde; my favourite one was Second Love in Christianshavn [Dronningensgade 55 | 1420 København K] which had lots of good pieces at affordable prices. I hope it’s still there as I can’t find much about it on the World Wide Web. Check out Scandinavian Standard, for more vintage stores (on the chi chi end of the scale).
Tara for now. Hope this post is helpful for any of you planning a trip to Copenhagen. Would love to hear any tips you may have, so drop ’em down low if you please.