Skip to main content

I recently spent the past 4 days in Copenhagen getting festive, sipping glögg, snaffling Danish pastries, enjoying the hygge spirit – and discovering the best things to eat in Copenhagen!

Copenhagen as a city is so tasteful and cozy, and most importantly, that’s an attitude reflected in its food. Fuss-free and packed with superb quality, Copenhagen has an incredible food scene.

So in this post I’ll share my top 12 must-eat foods in Copenhagen, share the best food spots in Copenhagen, suggest Danish street foods to try, and answer the all-important question: is food expensive in Copenhagen?

Emmery's Copenhagen: organic bakery that serves delicious fresh sandwiches and reliable strong coffee - cardamom bun, two flat whites and a Rugbrødssandwich

Enjoying a Rugbrødssandwich (with gravalax and pesto), cardamom bun and oat flat whites at Emmerys organic café in Copenhgaen

Is Copenhagen good for food?

Copenhagen is a foodie haven – even the street food is impeccable. I’ll personally say that the meticulous attention to detail and fresh flavours in Danish food is impressive – their food mirrors Denmark’s culture, heritage, and commitment to quality.

Copenhagen along is home to more than 15 Michelin-starred restaurants and frequently scoops a mention on the world’s best restaurants list. You could spend every single day going on a new food journey here!

What’s Danish food like?

Danish cuisine masterfully balances subtle and bold flavours. Rooted in its history, Danish food values seasonality and the freshness of locally sourced ingredients, which contributes to the high quality presented in each dish.

Traditional dishes such as smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich, and frikadeller, Danish meatballs, showcase the country’s love for simple yet hearty food. But Danish cuisine isn’t limited to these classics: culinary innovation is driven by respect for quality produce, resulting in award-winning restaurants serving plates pleasing to the eye and to the palate.

Best Things To Eat In Copenhagen: Yellow building of traditional Danish bakery with a pretzel logo hanging outside and a couple looking at pastries through the window

Sct. Peters Bageri & Konditori – the oldest bakery in Copenhagen, serving up the best Danish pastries I’ve ever eaten

Is it expensive to eat and drink in Copenhagen?

If you’re asking whether Copenhagen is expensive to eat and drink, the answer is that it depends. Just like in London, you can pay anything from £8 to £200 for a meal – it depends on where you go. You can do Copenhagen on a budget, but it’s not a cheap place. Copenhagen generally ranks in eighth place for cost of living, so that’s relative for the price of some wine or a beer! If you’re looking for a good glass of wine in Copenhagen, it’ll cost about £10.

I first visited Copenhagen in my early twenties. Coming back with a higher budget and more appreciation for good food made a world of difference. I’d definitely recommend travelling with a foodie friend because dining out costs in Copenhagen can quickly rack up if you’re solo. You can also try more dishes and share with a buddy, rather than only trying one thing.

Now let’s jump into the Copenhagen food guide!

10+ Best Things To Eat In Copenhagen

Best Things To Eat In Copenhagen: CLASSICS COMBO at Hallernes Smørrebrød

Delicious trio of smørrebrød at Hallernes Smørrebrød in Torvehallerne street food hall, Copenhagen

1. Enjoy some Smørrebrød – the Danish traditional open-faced rye sandwich

First up, head out to try smørrebrød – the world famous Danish food staple was in the running for Denmark’s national dish.

You can try smørrebrød at Hallernes Smørrebrød in Torvehallerne, the food market. Torvehallerne is a real foodie gem in Copenhagen, loved by locals and tourists. You’ll discover specialty goods, fresh veggies, and amazing little food bars – there are so many delicious treats to be had there. Start with smørrebrød!

Pictured above is the ‘Classics Combo’ at Hallernes Smørrebrød, which includes:

  • Hønsemor (chicken, fried celery, potato mayo, bacon and herbs)
  • æg x Trøffel (egg, cauliflower, artichuoke, truffle mayo, chives and cress)
  • Laks & Leeks (smoked salmon, leaks, cabbage, mustard, sour cream, radish sprouts and potato mayo).

Smørrebrød is a must-try Danish food. Most traditional is a Marinerede Sild (pickled herring) – fish, onions, capers, apples. There’s a curry herring take called Karrysild which adds creme fraiche, mayo and curry seasoning.

Location: Hallernes Smørrebrød, TorvehallerneKBH, Frederiksborggade 21, 1362 København

Best Things To Eat In Copenhagen: Pastries and baked goods in the window of Sct. Peters Bageri & Konditori - the oldest bakery in Copenhagen

Delicious traditional Danish pastries on display at Sct. Peters Bageri & Konditori – the oldest bakery in Copenhagen

2. Enjoy Spandauer (custard danish) and Kanelsnegle (cinnamon roll) at Sct. Peters Bageri

The best Danish pastries I’ve ever had were at Sankt Peder’s Bakery (Sct. Peders Bageri & Konditori) in Copenhagen. Located in the Latin Quarter, this is Copenhagen’s oldest bakery – and their custard danish (spandauer) is top-tier.

Spandauer – a flaky, creamy, buttery Danish pastry with custard or jam – is one of Denmark’s most beloved treats. The bakery’s cinnamon roll (kanelsnegle, which translates to ‘cinnamon snails’) is another work of art: gloriously sweet, gently spiced, and delicious. For me, these two pastries at Sankt Peder’s Bakery are some of the best things to eat in Copenhagen.

Head to this bakery for a banging coffee and pastry to set your day off on the right foot. We came here every morning in Copenhagen (apart from on Sunday, when it was closed)!

Location: Sankt Peders Stræde 29, Copenhagen, København K

Best Things To Eat In Copenhagen: Høst Restaurant Exterior at Night in Copenhagen with speckled walls and arched windows

The inviting exterior of Høst Restaurant on an evening in Copenhagen

3. Go on a Scandinavian culinary journey at Høst (Michelin)

Høst, an award-winning Scandinavian restaurant in Copenhagen, has my heart. Serving bold Nordic cuisine with impeccable service, Høst is the Danish word for harvest – so you can always expect the freshest local ingredients and seasonal greens to guide their menu.

This trip marked the second time I’ve been to Høst (a 5-year gap between visits) and it was just as sensational, intentional, flavoursome and heartwarming as the first time I dined there. If you’re going to splurge on just one restaurant in Copenhagen, choose Høst. I honestly think they provide incredible value for money, for around 8 courses packed with surprises and wines.

Focused on Scandinavian kitchens with lots of heart and surprises, the food genuinely takes you on a regional journey. One that’s rustic, elegant, and packed with big flavours, Høst is on the Michelin guide and has won several international food and design awards.

There are so many Michelin-starred dining spots in Copenhagen. I’ve yet to try others – some of the fanciest of the bunch include: Geranium, noma, Kadeau, Kong Hans Kælder, and A|O|C. But honestly… go to Høst! It’s the best meal in Copenhagen.

Best things to eat in Copenhagen: Must-try Danish street foods. the award-winning DØP Organic Hot Dogs with pickle slices, whole wheat bread, onions.

Famous Danish organic hot dogs from DØP

4. Have the tastiest hot dog ever at the award-winning DØP Organic Hot Dogs

If you want to have the best hot dog in Copenhagen, head to DØP Organic Hot Dogs – an award-winning organic hot dog stand. From the sweet tang of pickles to the umami of organic sausage, to the fried onions and whole grain bread topped with linseeds, their humble hot dog will blow you away.

We actually stumbled upon DØP while wandering around The Round Tower on Købmagergade. It was bitterly cold and drizzly, so we decided to grab a hot dog as a street food snack. We were shocked by how good they were and munched in silence for five minutes. On a chilly day of walking, they really hit the spot. Moving forward, if it ain’t a DØP hot dog… I don’t want it!

After some googling, turns out that DØP was actually named Best Eatery in 2010, beating out a Michelin-starred restaurant. So I wholeheartedly recommend heading here for an afternoon bite.

Location: Near The Round Tower on Købmagergade / by The Church of The Holy Ghost on Strøget

Best things to eat in Copenhagen: Must-try Danish street foods. Hand holding up the award-winning Gasoline Grill cheeseburger and fries with lettuce, relish, tomatoes, smashed beef patty, whole wheat bread, onions, and with a bottle of orange soda.

About to tuck into a world-famous Gasoline Grill cheeseburger in Copenhagen

5. Go for top-tier cheeseburgers at Gasoline Grill

We need to talk about Copenhagen’s world-famous burger joint, Gasoline Grill. I was expecting your bang-average, run of the mill burger. How wrong I was. Buckets of Maldon sea salt and freshly torn lettuce leaves? Hand-rolling each patty and smashing them gently down in the grill in front of our very eyes? Incredible.

Serving up fresh in-house ground organic beef every day, Gasoline Grill is open every day until they sell out. Their Cheeseburger was a thing of beauty. We enjoyed it with organic fries (one portion with truffle salt and chilli mayo, another with herb oil – which gave the fries an interesting hemp/basil flavour). We washed it all down with a bottle of Jarritos (Mexican mango cola) and a chilled Tuborg Grøn beer.

Also on the menu is the Hot Chicken Sandwich (a mix of Nashville and Korea), and the Butterburger (which has onions on it). Any burger can be made vegetarian at Gasoline Grill with Matr (what they describe as ‘organic, juicy, umami-rich fungi fermented from upcycled local plants).

If you’ve tired of the finer foods, head to Gasoline Grill for probably the best cheeseburger you’ve had in ages – and genuinely one of the best things to eat in Copenhagen. We enjoyed it just as much as our meal at Høst!

Location (multiple): Landgreven 10, 1301 København

Best things to eat in Copenhagen: Must-try food in Copenhagen - Warpigs Brewery Trooper Tray with mac n'cheese, coleslaw, link sausage, brisket and pulled pork

Meat feast! Warpigs Brewery’s Trooper Tray with mac n’cheese, coleslaw, link sausage, brisket and pulled pork

6. Have a BBQ feast and craft beer at Warpigs Brewpub (by Mikkeller)

If you love meat and beer, head to Warpigs Brewpub, tucked away in Copenhagen’s lively Meatpacking District. Started by famous Danish brewery Mikkeller, this hip, laid-back spot serves up Texas-style barbecue, hearty sides, and craft beers – and it’s the perfect antidote to a frosty November morning spent walking around Copenhagen.

We ordered their Trooper Tray, which included brisket, pulled pork, link sausage, coleslaw and mac n’ cheese, with a side of hoppy IPAs. It was kind of like a taster of their top hitters – mmm, so good. Other popular orders are the pulled-pork sandwiches, dino beef ribs, loaded yuca fries with brisket, and smoked chicken wings – all enjoyed with a range of free BBQ sauces in squeezy bottles on tables.

If you want somewhere vibey and stripped-back, with seriously good BBQ, head to Warpigs.

Location: Warpigs Brewpub, Flæsketorvet 25-37, 1711 København

Best things to eat in Copenhagen: Must-try food in Copenhagen - a wooden fork on a tray of æbleskiver (Danish pancake balls) coated in nutella and powdered sugar at Julemarked

A serving of freshly made æbleskiver (Danish pancake balls) with Nutella and powdered sugar at Julemarked Christmas Market

7. Try hot, sweet, fresh æbleskiver (Danish pancake balls)

As the chill of the Danish winter kicks in, there’s nothing quite like digging into some sweet, puffy æbleskiver, or Danish pancake balls, to warm your heart. These delicious treats, similar to Dutch poffertjes, are a must-have in Danish cuisine, especially during Christmas. Cooked to perfection in an æbleskiver pan, these fresh and fluffy bites are served piping hot. Their light and airy texture goes perfectly with a drizzle of syrup, honey, or jam, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

I had the pleasure of devouring some mouthwatering, freshly fried pancake balls at the Julemarked Christmas Market. Paired with a strong cup of black coffee in the afternoon or a comforting glass of mulled wine (‘glögg‘) as the evening sets in, æbleskiver is a Danish dessert you need to try.

Best things to eat in Copenhagen: Must-try food in Copenhagen - Danish mulled wine known as Glögg or Gluhwein

Two take-away cups of incredible Danish mulled wine (glögg) from Taarnet På Kgs. Nytorv in Copenhagen

8. Get a glass of glögg (gluhwein) aka mulled wine – and try white glögg!

If you’re in Copenhagen during winter, you can’t miss the pleasure of sipping Denmark’s answer to mulled wine – Glögg (also known as Gluhwein). It’s hygge in a glass! (Hygge is a Nordic term meaning a cosy, contented mood evoked by comfort and friendship.)

The Danes have nailed this festive beverage, blending red wine, spirits like schnapps, vodka or rum, and warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves that add that extra kick, along with a generous helping of raisins and chopped almonds.

On our first evening in Copenhagen, we strolled to Nyhavn to enjoy the fairylights. Nearby, diagonal to bougie department store Magasin Du Nord, there’s a beautiful cobbled square called Kongens Nyrtov.

Regally placed on the square is a tiny brasserie and bar housed in a historical phone tower called TAARNET PÅ KGS. NYTORV that serves up glögg. Delicately spiced and shot through with extra rum, mulled wine should be top of your list if you’re there in winter!

If you’re looking for the best places to try Glögg, head to Copenhagen’s Christmas markets. I also need to shout out our meal at Høst again, where they take Glögg to a whole new level. Their white Glögg, made with white rum, gives a stunning twist to the traditional recipe. I was obsessed. Generally I love sweet drinks like white port and tonic, so the white glögg was right up my street.

Best things to eat in Copenhagen: Must-try food in Copenhagen - Danish mulled wine known as Glögg or Gluhwein

Hygge in action at a historical phone booth-turned-bar serving up amazing mulled wine (glögg) at Taarnet På Kgs. Nytorv.

9. Get stuck into Grød (classic Danish porridge with a creative twist) 

Copenhageners love their porridge, and that’s exactly what’s served up at GRØD in Torvehallerne. I recommend swinging by for a hearty bowl of grød – or porridge as it translates. GRØD has lots of cafes around Copenhagen, with only porridge on the menu.

Forget about sticky, sludgy oatmeal. At GRØD they bring creative excellence to porridge – from spelt oatmeal with chestnut purée, to oat porridge with toasted almonds, dulce de leche caramel and apple chunks. GRØD’s menu is made with seasonal ingredients, so head over and see what tasty, colourful porridge awaits on your visit.

Location (multiple): GRØD, TorvehallerneKBH, Frederiksborggade 21, 1362 København

Best restaurants to try in Copenhagen: ø12 Coffee and Eatery - flatlay of a table with tap water, oat flat whites, pancakes with eggs, bacon and sausages, and smashed avo on sourdough with poachd egg and bacon

Breakfast at ø12 Coffee and Eatery – oat flat whites, pancakes with eggs, bacon and sausages, and smashed avo on sourdough with poached egg and bacon

10. Have a banging brunch with a chic Scandi twist at Ø12 Coffee and Eatery

If you’re looking for a modern brunch with a touch of Danish sophistication, book a table at Ø12 Coffee and Eatery.

Ø12 serves up superb coffee and elegant takes on brunch staples like shakshuka, pancakes and avo smash – as well as Danish-style breakfasts like the Morning Plate (sourdough bun, jam, butter, ham, cheese and soft-boiled eggs) or Æbleskiver with jam.

If you’ve got an appetite, try out the Ø12 Plate – it’s a crowd-pleaser, offering up lime-feta avocado smash, bacon, scrambled eggs, chili cheese sausage, Comté cheese, fresh salmon, butter, sourdough and rye bread, and mango chia pudding. Talk about a breakfast smörgåsbord! They have delicious, super strong coffee – and if coffee’s not your thing, then go for a fresh juice or smoothie.

Book a table in advance because Ø12 is incredibly popular – as in, on weekends, there are lines out of the door. Even if you’re staying at Hotel Alexandra (my favourite hotel in Copenhagen!), you’ll need to book breakfast a day in advance at H.C. Anderson Blvd. It’s wild how busy it gets.

Location (multiple): H. C. Andersens Blvd. 8, 1553 København V, Denmark

Best restaurants to try in Copenhagen: Paté Paté - exterior of the restaurant in the Meatpacking District - white industrial wall and blue doors with a chalkboard sign and a bike leaning against it

The industrial, stripped-back exterior of Paté Paté – the oldest restaurant in the Meatpacking District – in late afternoon

11. Try raw, rustic small-plates at Paté Paté Restaurant (Meatpacking District)

Paté Paté is a trendy wine bar and restaurant (the oldest in the district) that sits in a former meat paté factory and serves up laid-back Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a sprinkle of Danishness.

We went for the ‘PATÉ-EXPERIENCE‘ – a 9-course menu chosen by their chefs that included starters of burrata with apricots, nuts and sumac, and roasted Hokkaido pumpkin with truffle, chestnut purée and porcini hollandaise. For the mains, we had dill-cured tuna with mustard, orange, kale and nori (my favourite – the tuna particularly was sensational), and beef cheeks with kale, cashews and ras el hanout. Dessert involved a large salted caramel macaron and almond cake (divine).

I will say that the price for our menu at Paté Paté – a casual dining spot – was basically as expensive as our meal at Høst, which is Michelin-starred, which was life-changing. So the meal at Paté Paté felt slightly overrated in comparison, and it left me feeling heavy afterwards. But I’d go back to Paté Paté just for that dill-cured tuna. Shout out to Topjaw for this recommendation.

Location: Slagterboderne 1, 1716 København, Denmark

Best Foods to Eat in Copenhagen - Leafy restaurant interiors of Original Coffee Koncertsalen in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

The lovely, leafy restaurant interiors of Original Coffee Koncertsalen in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen – great coffee and chai here!

Does Copenhagen have a good food scene?

Copenhagen’s culinary scene is world-class. Holding 23 Michelin stars – a movement pioneered by world-famous restaurant Noma – Copenhagen’s hygge-infused cafes and restaurants blend cosiness and creativity with Danish tradition and innovation.

I genuinely believe that dining out in Copenhagen isn’t just a treat for the taste buds, but all the senses. Some of the food I ate in the Danish capital left me feeling so much more connected to the essence of Danish food and culture.

For me, the best part about visiting Copenhagen is its unrivalled food scene – every other spot is rightfully award-winning, and I’d honestly say it’s a top 5 foodie city in Europe!

So those are my top foods to try when in Copenhagen. Have you been to any? Drop me a line if you end up going!

Next up – check out my guide to a long weekend in Copenhagen, or explore my other Scandinavia posts.

Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.