Tasting your way through Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a city that lives life to it’s fullest…i.e. HYGGE, but is also a city where you can get extremely HUGE with all the culinary mastery that resides here. Home to the world’s best restaurant and critically acclaimed, NOMA, where reservations are booked out months in advance and most people would sell their firstborn for, the standard is set pretty high and everyone is trying to best each other.
Fun Fact: Most of the restaurants that have become famous in Denmark’s Capital are all products of NOMA alums, which makes Copenhagen the perfect place for a 2 day food tour! So, if you are a foodie or just love the holiday spirit, make sure to make Copenhagen your next weekend getaway destination. And only an hour or two flight from most European cities and for you NYers, it’s basically the same time it would take you to jet to LA from NY, so there really is no excuse not to go!
Day 1: Lunch
If you are a seafood lover like we are, definitely go to Hummer in Nyhavn. EVERYTHING on the menu is seafood. And everything is delicious. Definitely opt for a starter, like the anchovies on toast. The lobster chips are also great to snack and nibble on. For your main dish, opt for another small plate or something not too filling. If you can see the future, you know a tasting menu for dinner is your only viable option.
Pro-Tip: Do not eat the bread. I mean it is beyond delicious especially with the butter, but you need to leave room for everything else you will be consuming. Believe me, I learned this the hard way.
Day 1: Dinner
Copenhagen is the world’s top city for tasting menus so you really can’t go wrong. We highly recommend 108, NOMA’s sister restaurant, another gem in the land of the Michelin Stars. All products served here are the freshest of the season. Not only are they chefs, but they are artists so be prepared for some insta-worthy artistry and to be full for the rest of the evening—I hope you took my advice and had a light lunch. If you are going during the holiday months, they offer an excellent 8 course Winter Menu for 1950DKK (or roughly $300 or 260€). That includes the wine pairing as well as coffee/tea/water. Though the menu is set, I do have my favorites of course. For the starters, the sturgeon with caviar is not only delectable, but it’s pretty as well (it’s served in a martini glass). And if you love mushrooms, you will love the brown beech mushrooms served in chicken broth—it’s the perfect remedy for the cold weather outside. The rabbit main is AHHHH-MAZING and love that they created ground rabbit dumplings using trumpet mushrooms! You will get two desserts, but the toasted barley mousse is the clear winner here and you will want to lick the last of the mousse of the martini glass and not just because I have a thing for martini glasses. Oh, and if it isn’t fairly obvious by now, avoid wearing a form fitting dress because your stomach will most likely expand if you manage to eat all eight courses—Not. Fake. News.
Pro-Tip: Do the wine pairing. Why make it difficult when everything can be done for you? Less work + Less thinking = More fun.
Day 1: After Dinner Drinks
You will definitely need a digestif or a cocktail to ring in your first night properly. Our pick for this trip is Strømm, They have a great selection of cocktails from the traditional to the experimental, the servers are friendly and the crowd is spirited. There is even one cocktail called “Skull Island” which has a warning note of “2 per guest per night”—as I always say, any drink with a warning label is definitely worth trying! My guess is that it probably is lethal since you cannot taste any alcohol at all—it seriously tastes like a refreshing fruit smoothie. We only had 1, but If anyone dares to try 2, please let us know how it goes for you!
Pro-Tip: Book in advance on their online reservation system so you can secure a booth.
Day 2: Lunch
If you are anything like us, you believe breakfast is for wimps, which means you like starting the day jetset style and doing a nice leisurely lunch/brunch around 1230/1… I mean, you will probably still be full from your 8 course tasting menu anyways, so don’t try and push yourself. Whether or not you have a hangover, your best bet will be Mexican. And Copenhagen does Mexican right with another NOMA alum at Sanchez. Here you can have a variety of small tapa style plates like oysters and tostadas with salmon or tuna. Depending on how hungry or not you are, choose a smaller main like the tacos or a more substantial main like the pulled pork sandwich. Either way you will not be disappointed. Wash it down with a Mexican Bloody Mary—it is made with vodka, but they will make it with mezcal if you ask nicely. It is also made with cactus juice, which is extremely hydrating and can serve as your jolt of health for the day. The drink is spicy (hallelujah!) like most of the other things on the menu, so for all you spicy food lovers, welcome to heaven!
Pro-Tip: If you like Mezcal come during an hour when it would be appropriate to do the mezcal tasting flight.
Day 2: Staying Warm
The best thing about Copenhagen during the holidays is experiencing the spirit of HYGGE. And believe me, after the eating you have been doing, some walking is just what the doctor ordered. This city is just one little holiday market where you will enjoy being outdoors more than being indoors. Walk around the old town and Nyhavn to explore all the outdoor markets. To stay warm, make sure to have some mulled wine or gløg, which is pretty much available everywhere, whether it be a market stand or an outdoor restaurant. You can drink your way through Copenhagen and shop your way blissfully through it too.
Pro-Tip: Add a shot to your Gløg—my favorite is cognac, but you can add rum, amaretto, whiskey amongst others. HYGGE!
Day 2: Your Last Dinner
No better way to end your last dinner in this Christmas Village than a hotel that is a walking advent calendar. Marchal, at The Hotel D’Angleterre, is the perfect place to have a nice dinner where you can dress up and cheers in the holiday season in style. Start with a pre-dinner apertif like a champagne or martini and pick a few things off the menu. There is also a tasting menu option, but think your waistline will thank you if you skip that. The “snacks’ part of the menu is a nice refreshing surprise to the normal appetizers that most restaurants offer. They have a great selection of signature dishes but would opt for a lighter dinner main course if you want to save room for dessert. If you are a seafood fan, I highly recommend the squid main course that is made with oysters, caviar and truffles and squid is made to look like pasta—absofuckinglutely beautiful and delicious! For dessert, skip the sweets and get the cheese plate. The presentation alone is to die for and the selection of cheeses is like heaven in your mouth.
Pro-Tip: Share the cheese plate—It is more than enough for two people. Make sure to ask the Sommelier for a nice wine pairing.
Day 3: Pre-flight Lunch
Yup, you missed breakfast yet again. The great thing is that coffee is available everywhere pretty much 24/7 and you can never have enough beauty sleep. Head back to Nyhavn for lunch at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating along the canal so you can take in your last breath of the holiday spirit. (How the US hasn’t figured out how to do heated terraces yet is beyond me!) Our choice among all the restaurants: Hyttefadet. Why you ask? Well, for one, they offer something besides American fare burgers that caters to tourists and two, the servers and owners are friendly and amazing. To eat, definitely have one of the Smørrebrøds, or the danish open faced sandwich—they have a huge assortment that will satisfy your utmost desires. They are big, so you only need to order one. If you are craving more, they also have a fried camembert which is pretty amazing—fried cheese is never a bad idea! And if you are craving something sweeter, get their traditional waffles. As for me, my sweet craving is usually filled by my mulled wine consumption, which is usually 2 glasses if I have to catch a flight. PS-they claim to have the best mulled wine in Copenhagen so it’s definitely worth going just for that. If anyone’s curious, I do have the recipe…
Pro-Tip: Order the mulled wine. If you are one of those who feel guilty day drinking just remember it is 5pm somewhere!
So, there you have it—successfully eating your way through Copenhagen in 2 days. If you have more time and want more reccos, check out my first visit to Copenhagen here. Till next trip, farvel!