Danish Dishes You Must Experience: Discover the World's Best Restaurants
Copenhagen is the modern gastronomic capital of Scandinavia. However, you must not forget the Danish classics, including the legendary smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) and sausages. Here's your food guide to dining like a true Dane.
"There's no doubt that Denmark is the gastronomic capital of Scandinavia."
"Here, you can indulge in food prepared by some of the world's best chefs at renowned and acclaimed restaurants. You have a selection of 25 restaurants that have been awarded Michelin stars."
"You can taste everything from classic Danish cuisine to the most innovative dishes, often made with local and organic ingredients," Thea Damli from VisitDenmark told Strawberry. Before adding:
"Denmark is also the centre of the famous New Nordic cuisine. But if you prefer the classic Danish smørrebrød, you won't go hungry either."
And that's precisely what we're going to focus on now: Danish smørrebrød, iconic hotdog carts, and the freshest oysters – the food you must experience for an authentic Danish feeling in Copenhagen.
Here are classic Danish dishes and where to find them
Danish smørrebrød is considered more Danish than most things. It consists of dark rye bread with a variety of toppings such as herring, cold cuts, or warm liver pate. Simple yet elegant, full of history and tradition. This 19th-century dish is so popular that Denmark now has dedicated smørrebrød restaurants.
Where to find authentic Danish smørrebrød:
Aamanns Etablissement Address: Øster Farimagsgade 12
Orangeriet Address: Kronprinsessegade 13
Told & Snaps Address: Toldbogade 2
Restaurant Grøften – Tivoli Address: Vesterbrogade 3
Slotskælderen hos Gitte Kik Address: Fortunstræde 4
Villa Copenhagen Address: Centralpostbygningen, Tietgensgade 35-39
Stjerneskudd (Shooting Star):
"A slightly lesser-known competitor to smørrebrød but one of the Danes' absolute favourites and an old classic. Stjerneskudd is a grand Danish smørrebrød with breaded plaice fillet topped with shrimp, salad, and Limfjord caviar. Enjoy it in true Danish fashion with a cold beer and finish off with a Danish snaps," suggests Thea.
Hotdog from a hot dog cart:
There's nothing quite like a delicious hot dog, whether it's in the traditional Danish red colour or served with homemade toppings from a classic cart.
In Copenhagen, there are several hot dog carts that often have long queues throughout the day. Here are some of the most iconic, according to VisitDenmark:
Nordic Hotdog Address: Refshalevej 167
Run by former butcher Asger Jørgensen. The bread is organic, and all the toppings are homemade. Located on Refshaleøen and part of the Reffen Street Food market.
Johns Hotdog Deli Address: Bernstorffsgade 18
This hot dog cart has won an award for the city's best hot dog and is known for sausage maker John's innovative approach to enhancing the classics with alternative toppings.
"Danes have had oysters on their menu since the Stone Age. In Denmark, you can go out to the beaches and pick oysters yourself or participate in organized oyster safaris. The Danes even have their own oyster festival on the Danish west coast. The Wadden Sea and Limfjord are hotspots for finding oysters," says Thea, adding:
"But they have also found their way to many of Copenhagen's seafood restaurants."
Here are some great oyster experiences:
Kontrast Address: Centralpostbygningen, Tietgensgade 35-39
The restaurant is located at Villa Copenhagen. The menu focuses on locally sourced and seasonal food, and here you can choose from three different garnishes for your oysters. Try the oysters with wasabi sauce – a real winner.
Kødbyens Fiskebar Address: Flæsketorvet 100
In the Meatpacking District (Kødbyen), you'll find Fiskebaren, one of Copenhagen's few seafood restaurants, which also has a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide Nordic Cities, awarded for quality food at affordable prices.
Oysters & Grill Address: Sjællandsgade 1B
A rustic seafood bar and restaurant in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, where the atmosphere is relaxed and cosy.
Restaurant Iluka Address: Peder Skrams Gade 15
Run by Australian Beau Clugston. Iluka means "by the sea," and Beau believes that countries surrounded by the sea should experience everything the sea has to offer. At Iluka, they don't offer grandiose Fruits de Mer platters, but instead serve minimalist and aesthetically presented dishes with quality seafood.
Cheers, and enjoy your delicious meal!
Central Hotels in Copenhagen
If you're passionate about good food, it's only natural to stay centrally too - close to all the tempting eateries. Villa Copenhagen is a new and luxurious hotel that has opened in Copenhagen's old post office from 1912. It's the perfect place for those seeking luxury, with a rooftop terrace featuring a pool and sauna, a fitness room, and provides an opportunity to enjoy modern architecture and design. The hotel boasts the Courtyard Bar for a refreshing drink, the restaurant Kontrast for a delightful meal (including Danish classics), and RUG Bakery for the freshest baked goods.
Another central hotel in Copenhagen is Comfort Hotel® Vesterbro. This hotel is perfect for those who want to stay centrally to experience everything the city has to offer and is particularly well-suited for families. It's conveniently located near the central station and Tivoli, and Comfort Hotel® Vesterbro offers XXL rooms for those traveling with the whole extended family.