Copenhagen’s restaurant scene continues to capture the world’s attention for its culinary prowess: the city’s eateries impress not only for their use of fresh produce and original menus, but also for their light, airy decor and informal atmosphere. From New Nordic Cuisine to Asian and Mediterranean kitchens, Copenhagen’s best restaurants focus on sustainable living and green dining, as trends in the newest restaurant openings illustrate.
Copenhagen’s dining scene has been in the world’s spotlight since Nordic restaurant noma, in Copenhagen’s canalside Christianshavn district took home the title, ‘world’s best restaurant’ at the 2010 S. Pellegrino awards. The award-winning restaurant is characterised by its exclusive focus on locally-harvested ingredients and seasonal menus.
A new trend of Scandinavian menus swept over the city, with menus of locally-raised lamb, wild game, fish and seafood caught in the nearby North Sea and fruits, grains and pulses indigenous to the region a familiar sight. Other restaurants have chosen to buy locally and organically, but continue to seek inspiration from a global kitchen.
In a surprising move, one of the Nordic food movement’s pioneers, Claus Meyer, opened an Asian eatery, namnam, on Copenhagen’s Vesterbrogade in May 2012. This lively, informal eatery specialises in Peranakan cuisine, ‘an Asian melting pot’, and is inspired by the street kitchens of Singapore. The extensive menu includes smaller as well as larger dishes and the opportunity to mix and match, making for colourful dishes that are fresh, healthy and exciting.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago Bornholm restaurant Kadeau opened a few hundred metres further down Vesterbrogade, but the popular regional restaurant, specialising in cuisine from Baltic island Bornholm, has already outgrown this small premises and relocated in autumn 2012 to Christanshavn. In its shoes is Pony, a more relaxed edition of Kadeau (and a little cheaper) with exciting, freshly made dishes characterised by seafood, lamb, grains and spices indigenous to Denmark’s ‘sunshine isle’.
Bo Bech, formerly of flamboyant restaurant Paustian on Copenhagen’s north-east docks, opened Geist in April 2011, a trendy, dinner-only eatery on Kongens Nytorv’s most exclusive dining block. In keeping with current trends, there is no set menu; instead, a long list of innovative smaller dishes both tempts and bewilders. Dine in the bustling main area or the smaller, more romantic back room.
London has one – and now, so does Copenhagen. Denmark’s first Nose2Tail restaurant is the zenith of the sustainable kitchen, where the entire animal is used – ‘from nose to tail’. Aptly located in a white-tiled, former butcher’s cellar in the old meat packing district Kødbyen, the restaurant’s simple decor is surprisingly stylish and the food is deliciously politically correct. Nose2Tail opened in April 2011.
Staying in Kødbyen, the city’s hottest Italian right now is the small pizzeria Mother, a stylish, simple eatery where the freshest sourdough pizzas are prepared on a wood-fired oven to eat in or take away. Other Italian classics, including daily meat specials and tiramisu, are also on the menu.