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Copenhagen weekend break guide: best places to eat and drink

It's home to the world's best restaurant, Noma, but the Danish capital also promises affordable restaurants, great food halls and superb coffee.

Bargain lunch

You have to try smørrebrød, the classic Danish open sandwich, at least once, and the bestplace to do that is Schønnemann, a hyggeligt (cosy) cellar lunch restaurant in the city centre. Start with a classic pickled herring on rye accompanied by a beer and schnapps, but save room for something porky like the rilette with beetroot and mustard. The locally-caught eel and the roast beef are also amazing.

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Speciality ingredients

For high-end groceries and snacking, spend some time in Copenhagen’s biggest food market, Torvehallerne. Over 60 stalls sell Danish produce (local seafood and meats, open sandwiches, pastries, regional akvavits) as well as Mediterranean delicacies, exotic spices and freshly brewed coffee. The weekend crowds create a welcome buzz.


Gourmet experience

For food as refined and provocative as Noma’s, but with a fighting chance of getting a reservation, book a taxi to Amass, a post-industrial space located in the upcoming former shipyard area of Refshaleøen. Southern Californian Matt Orlando, a former Noma head chef, serves a memorable fixed menu, wowing diners with unique-sounding dishes such as ‘Apple, yeast, whisky and vinegar’ and ‘Beets, plums, red seaweed, almond’ 4.


Recommended for dinner

At Kadeau, a convivial, historic corner space in Christianshavn, chef Nicolai Nørregaard often uses produce from his home island of Bornholm. His Nordic menu, highly refined and contemporary, focuses on more homely, nurturing flavours, such as mallard with black garlic and last summer’s 5red berries.


Premium coffee

Like all Scandis, Copenhageners take their coffee very seriously. The Coffee Collective, at COPENHAGEN explore Jægersborggade and two other locations in the city, satisfies the most discerning drinkers with its home-roasted beans, and strives to improve revenue for coffee farmers with its Direct Trade model. Try a single or double espresso or a cortado 6.


Cocktail kudos

A triple-floored, improbably cosy lounge-bar in a former 18th-century pharmaceutical lab, Lidkoeb is the loveliest of Copenhagen’s new wave of quality, grown-up cocktail joints. Try the Sdr Boulevardier (bourbon, Cocchi Americano and Fernet-Branca)


Unbeatable for pizza

Not content with redefining the Michelin-star restaurant with Relæ, or the wine bar with Manfreds, Christian Puglisi (another Noma alumnus) has applied his methodical, innovative approach to creating the city’s best pizza place. Bæst pizzas are made with sourdough bases, homemade mozzarella and exceptional charcuterie. From £9 (baest.dk). 


Rustic bistro

Sam Nutter and Viktor Wågman were the first Noma chefs to fly the nest, opening contemporary bistro Bror in 2013 and sandwich and coffee place Lille Bror in 2014. Their modern-rustic cooking couldn’t be further from the training ground of their alma mater. Breaded, fried bull’s testicles are a characteristically robust, nose-to-tail highlight. 

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HOW TO DO IT

Return flights from Gatwick or Edinburgh to Copenhagen start from £80.. Basic but modern doubles at the city’s Cabinn hotels cost from £50 per night. Plusher doubles at the Admiral Hotel (admiralhotel.dk) cost from £130. For more information, visitcopenhagen.com.