At the Counter
This tiny newcomer from former Noma chef Emil Glaser serves up some of the same extraordinary pastries as his nearby Juno the Bakery, but complements them with memorably tweaked breakfast classics, like a nutty granola with tart gooseberries, a creamy porridge made from spelt, and a buttery egg-and-bacon brioche. The approach to coffee — sourced from some of Scandinavia’s best roasters and precisely brewed — is no less serious.
BTW: Don’t miss the ridiculously fragrant cinnamon buns.
At the Counter, Randersgade 45, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Moller Kaffe og Kokken
The small-plates trend meets the all-day breakfast menu at this beloved Norrebro spot. Diners are meant to choose a handful of dishes from the lengthy menu, which ranges from well-executed versions of spartan Nordic favorites, like rye bread with cheese and soft-boiled eggs with herby mushrooms, to more creative offerings, like cheeseburger dumplings with chile oil or rhubarb waffles with vanilla cream and violet. But pretty much everyone orders the Nutella toast with chocolate, peanut butter and a candied almond banana.
BTW: Weekend brunch is madness. Booking a table diminishes the chaos, but a better option is to go during the week.
Møller Kaffe & Køkken, Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen Municipality, Denmark
Denmark is not the first place that comes to mind for a good burger, and a Danish gas station is perhaps even less likely. But the lines outside this stand, located beside functioning pumps, don’t lie: From the organic beef to the buttery brioche bun, this is one of the best burgers out there (and the fries with truffle salt are worth a wait of their own). The only downside — besides the fact that gas fumes occasionally waft over the outdoor-only seating — is the annoyingly unpredictable schedule: The place closes down whenever it runs out of burgers, which can be anywhere from 5 to 11 p.m.
BTW: Lines are usually shorter, and there’s indoor space (albeit standing-room-only) at two newer locations: one just off the shopping street Stroget, the other in Carlsberg Byen.
Gasoline Grill Landgreven 10, 1300 Copenhagen, Denmark
Open-face sandwiches, or smorrebrod, are the quintessential Danish lunch food, and there are plenty of charming places, like Schonnemann, to try well-made versions of the classics. But in this chic spot near the Round Tower, chef Adam Aamaan has updated the old recipes with a new Nordic flair. The tiny, sweet fjord shrimp come dressed with chamomile blossoms and piled high on a thick slice of grilled brioche, and even a stalwart like pickled herring is enlivened with tart pickled mustard seeds and an evocative smoked cheese.
BTW: Don’t forgo the alcohol just because it’s the middle of the day. Aamanns has an impressive collection of artisanal schnapps.
Aamaans 1921, Niels Hemmingsens Gade 19-21, 1153 Copenhagen, Denmark
On a warm summer night illuminated by one of Copenhagen’s sunsets, there may be no more magical place in the city than this Osterbro restaurant set in the middle of a rooftop garden. But even on wintry ones, it’s exceedingly hygge. From its long, candlelit communal table, both views and convivial conversations are on offer, as well as delicious, vegetable-focused cooking. The six-course set menu features mostly simple but well-prepared Nordic dishes that draw heavily from what’s growing on the roof and from the chefs’ spontaneous inspiration.
BTW: On the first Monday of every month, the restaurant offers a special two-course vegetarian menu for just 175 Danish krone — one of the best deals in town.
Gro Spiseri, Aebelogade 4, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef Christian Puglisi is the force behind several of Copenhagen’s best restaurants, but none is closer to his half-Sicilian heart than Baest. The pizzas are the main attraction in this always-lively spot, with tangy sauce, toppings that change with the seasons and chewy sourdough crusts that emerge properly blistered from the wood-fired oven. But the luscious burrata and glistening charcuterie — all of it house-made with milk and meat from Puglisi’s own farm — are just as stellar.
BTW: Ordering bread with your pizza might seem like carb overkill anyplace else, but not when the dense sourdough loaves come from Puglisi’s Mirabelle bakery next door.
Baest, Guldbergsgade 29, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
Tucked into a 17th-century building in the city center, this cozy bar has a speakeasy’s clandestine feel. There’s nothing traditional about the cocktails, though, which include a potato chip-and-chocolate martini and a “Hot Chicken” Old-Fashioned, made with a bourbon fat washed with schmaltz (rendered chicken fat). The occasional theme night — like tiki nights, with tropical drinks served in flaming skull mugs, and ice cream “socials,” where the boozy libations double as desserts — give the innovative bartenders a chance to show off.
BTW: For a reliably great conversation, chat up Balderdash’s American owner, Geoffrey Canilao.
Balderdash, 1151 k, Valkendorfsgade 11, 1151 Copenhagen, Denmark
One of the few places in Copenhagen that serves food late, Barabba keeps its kitchen open until 2 a.m. And what a kitchen it is: turning out vibrant Italian dishes like a plump curl of nicely charred octopus with bright grilled broccoli and a house-made spaghetti with lobster and fennel that is so good the restaurant can’t take it off the menu. The wines, selected by owner and master sommelier Riccardo Marcon, are all natural and are just the ticket after-hours, when the better part of the city’s restaurant-industry employees show up after work.
BTW: Don’t miss the black garlic ice cream for dessert — no matter how weird it sounds.
Barabba, Store Kongensgade 34, 1264 Copenhagen, Denmark