Affordable Luxury: Where to Eat in Copenhagen
The restaurants of this Scandinavian capital, now elevated to the status of global fine food mecca, have beaten all records in terms of number, quality and… cost. Alongside the new Copenhagen Street Food, located in the area of the port, where kiosks and vans offer their fare at reasonable prices, there are starred venues with their set menus, most of which exceed the limits of our budget. Copenhagen is the new San Sebastian, the place to go to experience cutting edge culinary exploits, but the whole of Denmark with its 28 Michelin stars is enjoying an authentic gourmet Renaissance.
So, where to eat in Copenhagen? Here are some recommendations for restaurants to ensure you fine dining experience in the city, with some experiences you can enjoy while spending up to 25, 50 or 100 euros.
From 0 to 25 Euro
Perish the idea of a meal at Rasmus Kofoed’s three-starred Geranium, also because you would need to book three months ahead. But on this first budget you can afford a Krug Afternoon Tea: an afternoon snack fit for a prince at the legendary and luxurious Hotel D’Angleterre where it is served in true British style with Champagne Krug and little sweet and savoury dishes of Scandinavian inspiration.
Enjoy a birds-eye view of the city as you go up to the 23rd floor of the hotel AC Bella Sky Copenhagen: you can’t put a price on a house coffee or drink served up here.
From 25 to 50 Euro
The Skt Petri is a five-star Hotel in the city centre. Chef Thomas Larsen’s idea to present his menu in the form of a great variety of “bites” and finger food has been a very successful one. Here are some examples: fresh tuna, avocado and wasabi cream or tortillas with Serrano ham and smoked cream cheese, both priced at 10 Euros. These are followed up by Sweet Bites such as Crumb cake with berries and double cream at 7 Euros.
Nimb Hotel is a refined Moorish style boutique hotel with towers and minarets located inside the Tivoli Gardens. We suggest you order the Bouillabaisse of Norway lobsters, cod and shellfish (40 Euro) as your main course. Alternatively, go for breakfast “a la carte”, with coffee and organic egg omelette and home-made bread.
From 50 to 100 Euro
Kiin Kiin “come and eat” is a starred venue considered to be the best expression of contemporary Thai cuisine in the city – but some food critics say it is the best in Europe. Once seated in the fine dining room decorated with gilt masks and fresh flowers, you can order the Theater Menu without exceeding your budget but do remember that this is only served from 17.30 to 19.30: it consists in a number of snacks and appetizers followed by a 4-course menu. The courses include a Lobster and galangal soup or Cured Salmon with soya, Sesame and ginger, prawn bread and tofu noodles.
If you are in the mood for some Mediterranean-style fine dining, Era Ora is a small restaurant in the city centre that fits the bill nicely. Reservations are mandatory since the dining room can only seat 27. In the kitchen, where the average age is under 30, patron Elvio Milleri continues to import his ingredients directly from the Bel Paese. The lunch menu is a 4-course affair: Amuse-bouche, starter, pasta, main course, cheese or dessert for bout 60 Euros. Obviously, this does not include wine. After all, we are in a Michelin-starred establishment. A typical dish? Sturgeon cooked on hot stone with broccoli foam and mashed Mantua pumpkin.
The gourmet restaurant Salt, designed by Conran&Partners, is housed inside the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel just a 5-minute walk away from the station. In this venue, Scandinavian specialities are served with a French twist. The elegant bar with its summer terrace provides an ideal setting in which to enjoy a light meal and sip a drink. 5 courses such as Grilled Squid, burned tomato and fermented garlic or Fried wild mushrooms with egg yolk and green elderberries come at 50 Euros.
The Relae Restaurant run by Messina-born chef Cristian Puglisi, who owns a number of venues of various concepts, enjoys a high international reputation. It is a pleasure to read his manifesto: a focus on essentials rather than frills. He has no problem with local produce but is not prepared to do without the mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil from Italy. His small menu is always a firecracker box of surprises and you can afford to have lunch at 60 Euros. This is an excellent price in such an expensive city. You will be served a number of little dishes along with some of his signature recipes, such as Oven baked onions, cress and pistachios or Carrots, elderberry flowers and sesame seeds. An encounter with this chef is an enriching experience, not only for the palate.