Copenhagen - Eat, Drink, Love
Copenhagen, you stole my heart (and my money). My trip booking was very spontaneous - I found out end of December I could say goodbye to a long vacation somewhere nice and warm because of an overpacked work schedule in January and February. Motivated by a need to relax and drink wine I decided to brave the harsh north instead. Best decision of my life (almost, right after finally buying a proper wine bottle opener last year). Everyone I spoke to about the city said it was amazing, fantastic, gorgeous, wonderful, beautiful, spectacular and the list goes on. I was skeptical - in true Obama fashion, when shit goes down I trudge along and get through and when things are going well I'm alert and never believe it. This city however, København, absolutely delivered.
The urban infrastructure is breathtaking - coherent outside visuals, a distinct lack of tall buildings which was so refreshing, absolute focus on bike infrastructure from roads to parking spaces, the omnipresence of water bodies everywhere from canals in Christianshavn and the lakes, the feeling of constantly walking through a park because they are essentially placed every 500m, the presence of the beach. THE BEACH! Walking around, it seemed to me that everyone in this city is doing their best to make life comfortable and good for everyone else - and apparently that concept is actually be summarized as hygge. I can't even imagine what the city will be like in the summer and I truly cannot wait to get back.
But now on the good stuff! Full disclosure - I basically didn't do anything except walk around, eat and drink. So this "guide" is more a wine&dine than anything else. I had a lot of money saved up for my dream tropical vacation so I went all out with my choices. The city is not cheap, but you can find reasonable choices and I vouch for each and every one of these experiences being worth it. You definitely get your bang for your buck. Let's dig in.
Torvehallerne - Two beautiful glass ceiling market halls nestled between two parks where you can get anything from a great cup of coffee, chocolate, perfume, legendary Grød oatmeal, flowers to fresh fruit and a quick lunch. Great atmosphere and great meeting spot close to a bunch of other places.
Ramen to Biiru - A place where you can order fantastic ramen and artisanal beer from a machine! The ultimate hangover restaurant dream, I had the level 3 spice miso - you can choose your spice level immediately as well - and it was d e l i c i o u s. Plus it's in Nørrebro close to a lot of other hip places.
Manfreds - Natural wine heaven combined with a prep/test kitchen for next door Michelin star restaurant Relae? Yes please. We went one day afternoon for drink and I had such a good time I returned two days later for lunch by myself. Had the BEST chocolate mousse of my life - served with olive oil, sea salt and cocoa shavings. Orgasmic. A bit more expensive but the staff was absolutely fantastic - knowledgable and friendly without making you feel like an idiot if you don't know what wine you're looking at. A MUST go for anyone who likes a great meal with a great glass of wine.
Crate Beer & Vinyl - Micro brews from all over the world together with rock, soul & other vinyl selections. Awesome combo.
Amass - Our stop at Amass was also very spontaneous and extremely great. We had reservations for Saturday evening but ended up going on Tuesday as walk ins so we could say hello to restaurant manager and sommelier Bo, an impressive man. The restaurant has a really impeccable atmosphere thanks to the fresh interior design of the place and the dishes are hearty, experimental and revelatory. All organic, in house fermentation, you name it. We had the wine pairing as well and I had one of the best wine&food pairings I've ever ever had - and it was dessert! Simple hazelnut ice cream with chocolate on top but the flavors were so so concentrated and mind blowing paired with a natural port. Yup. At one point a cook came over to present the main dish, very charming nice young man and when he left the table Billy turned to me and told me that it's the head chef Matt Orlando. WHAT?! That kind of place. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a special culinary experience.
Hija de Sanchez - What happens when a Mexican chef working in Noma ventures out? She opens an absolutely wonderful taco place. Copenhagen is lovely but at the same time very Nordic-ally sterile. Hija de Sanchez was an oasis of color, salsa music and mezcal. The tacos were fantastic and very very reasonably priced. They have a stand open in Torvehallerne during most of the year but was closed upon my visit so went to the one in the meat packing district. Worth a visit just to see the rough area that houses a lot of great clubs and bars too. The place is small - two tables so be prepared to wait a little but it's so worth it.
Ved Stranden 10 - What wine dreams are made of. An absolutely fantastic wine bar with a very unique atmosphere that makes you feel like you're home. Cozy seating, three separate rooms and a breathtaking wine list that isn't actually a list - the staff is very knowledgable and there's always a ton opened by the glass. They seem to have a knack for reading your mind and pouring you exactly what you desire in the specific moment. Serving everything from small plates to croque monsieur, be prepared to wait for a table or come early, especially on the weekends because the place is wonderfully buzzing. I was basically camped out there for three days at the bar and it was the best bar experience I've had in a while. My heart breaks that I can't go (almost) every day.
Bæst - A handsome beast if I may ad. A place where organic in house meat focus combines with homemade Mozarella from local cheese, sourdough pizza and a fantastic wine list. The pizza is made of local flour, gently fermented and then baked at a blasting 500 degrees C in a wood-fired oven built for them in Naples. It's a great place for a quick bite, a tasting menu or just a drink by the bar and once again, nestled in Nørrebro. We had charcuterie and then BROCCOLI pizza with pork crackling which was unbelievable. And I'm not even a pizza gal.
Kaktus Copenhagen - No food or wine! A beautiful shop dedicated to cacti and succulents on Jaegersborggade. Cacti are everywhere in this city and this shop was my childhood dreams manifested. Plus mini ones were super cheap too!
Botanical garden - I caught the most beautiful weather during my stay and so had the opportunity to bask in sunlight, albeit freezing sunlight, while walking around beautiful parks with frozen over lakes. Everyone should take some time for themselves each day to walk around beautiful places with a cup of coffee in their hand.
108 - Next door to what is still Noma, 108 is a sister restaurant of sorts. I stopped over for lunch at their cafe of sorts, the Corner. Lunch was sold out but I stayed for what was the most incredible pastry I've ever had and a glass (or two) of wine. I had both the sweet and the savory pastry of the day, the savory being a rope shape glazed with fermented beef juice. Absolutely out of this world. Sitting there, munching on pastry and drinking some French juice while reading Zadie Smith's new book was a definite highlight. Next time I'm over I'll definitely make a reservation at the restaurant itself.
Admiralgade 26 - A truly wonderful lunch experience. Located next door to Ved Stranden, the place has beautiful warm interiors with tasteful paintings and once again, a fantastic wine selection. Apparently they do a really unique Japanese breakfast that I unfortunately didn't manage to get (too much sleeping in), but next time! A plate of oysters was immediately placed upon the table as an amouse bouche of sorts that I appreciated despite not really liking oysters at all. They looked beautiful. The food was delicious - I had an impeccable egg/kale/bone marrow starter and this fragrant fish dish. We ended up staying for around 4 hours, in no hurry to leave. HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking for a more relaxed atmosphere and great food and wine.
Nabo - The most soulful culinary experience of the trip and an absolutely smashing way to finish the week off. We went essentially by accident, having met sommelier Mykkel who works there the evening before at Ved Stranden. We went for the Nabo Nabo tasting menu with the wine pairing, so once again all out, but it was FANTASTIC. With every dish I felt like I was eating something my grandmother would have made, if she was Danish and rocked at fermentation. The restaurant is a "sister" restaurant of first Michelin start restaurant in Copenhagen, Kadeau, and we actually had the chance to take a walk through Kadeau as well, visiting the fermentation room and wine cellar too. Absolutely geek experience where I kept saying "this is awesome" every 5 seconds. Absolutely brilliant food with lots of ala carte options and a completely relaxed atmosphere. My highlight of the trip.
Till next time Copenhagen, have to save up and lose some weight before I come again. Thank you to everyone who made these experiences possible and memorable, especially you Billy.