Speak to anyone who’s been lucky enough to spend time in Copenhagen and there’s a pretty good chance that most will enthusiastically share how it quickly became one of their favourite places. 

Scandinavia regularly dominates the top spots in Europe’s happiness rankings, and the almost instant allure of Denmark’s capital goes a long way in explaining why. 

Things just work here — clinical infrastructure is paired seamlessly with a cultural and culinary goldmine, a glorious balance that has cemented the city as one of Europe’s most desirable city break locations. 

Take a look through some of our must-visit food, drink and entertainment stop-offs if you’re planning a long weekend in one of Europe’s coolest cities. 

Fried chicken & natural wine at Pompette and Poulette

Nestled in the uber cool Nørrebro neighbourhood, Poulette creeps into view 200 yards before you’ve reached its door, via the hoards of people gathered around, all eagerly awaiting their own fried chicken fix. 

Boasting the tagline of ‘spicy by default’, the menu needs little explanation. There are only two burgers to pick from, the staple chicken sandwich or a veggie-friendly fried tofu version, both of which are sublime. 

Once you’ve ordered and your name has been called out to collect, there are two choices. Either you manage to bag a rare spot on one of the benches outside the kitchen, or, and this is our recommendation, you take it next door, to Pompette, where you can sit outside and wash it down with a glass of incredible natural wine. 

At €6 a glass, Pompette isn’t just one of the city’s more affordable drinking spots, but the team’s impeccable knowledge and enthusiasm for whichever red, white or orange they’re currently pouring make it a genuinely joyous experience. 

Møllegade 3, 2200 København, Denmark / Møllegade 1, 2200 København, Denmark
Negronis & specialist vermouth at Paloma

A charming little bar also found in Nørrebro, the Paloma team are experts in all things vermouth. The menu offers an innovative array of straight, flavoured vermouths, along with specialist and classic cocktails that showcase the drink as a leading ingredient. 

Heading into a Vermuteria might be a little intimidating if you aren’t particularly well-versed in your fortified wines, particularly when the drink is served straight — however, fear not, the super-friendly team are more than happy to lend their insights and offer suggestions to any vermouth novices. 

Guldbergsgade 51A, 2200 København, Denmark
Coffee and pastries on the beach from Svaneke Brød

There are plenty of bakeries to go at across Copenhagen, but one of the best we stumbled across was actually outside of the city centre. Svaneke Brød, a lovely little understated spot by Amagar Beach enticed us in with its endless array of croissants, pain au chocolat, sandwiches, deli treats and what proved to be some of the finest coffee we had all trip, and there was plenty. 

Grab a couple of pastries and a flat white to go, cross the road and take a stroll along the sea. Absolute bliss. 

Amager Strandvej 140 B, 2300 København, Denmark
Taproom touring: Enjoy the freshest pours at ÅBEN and BRUS

Denmark’s beer scene is rightfully lauded as one of the most exciting in Europe, so it’ll come as little surprise that there’s an abundance of taprooms and breweries to wet the whistle. 

Undoubtedly, one of the standouts in that flourishing category is ÅBEN, which derives its name from the Danish phrase ‘to be open’. You’ll find it in the buzzing Meatpacking District. Once home to Copenhagen’s meat industry, this weird and wonderful cluster of warehouses is now a renowned hub of culture and great food and drink.

Amongst all of this is ÅBEN’s brewery and tank bar, where you can enjoy a constantly rotating list of freshly tapped pours directly from one of the 14 tanks that tower behind the bar area. Every Thursday-Saturday guests can also tuck into food from selected pop-up restaurants serving special menus that have been crafted specifically to be enjoyed with ÅBEN’s beers. 

The other standout is To Øl brewery’s BRUS, a gargantuan, gorgeous industrial space that was once an iron and locomotive factory. Here you’ll find a staggering tap list of more than 30 beers, sours, stouts and everything in between, as well as a selection of on-tap cocktails for those after something less hoppy. The food offering is equally as impressive, think elevated bar bites and sumptuous comfort dishes, perfect accompaniments to whatever’s in your glass. 

Slagtehusgade 15, 1715 København, Denmark / Brus, Guldbergsgade 29, 2200 København, Denmark
Gasoline Grill for cult hero burgers

It’s an unwritten rule that no trip to Copenhagen would be complete without stopping off for a burger at Gasoline Grill. The original spot in particular, which is set in a functioning gas station in the centre of the city, is the stuff of legend, drawing in huge crowds at seemingly all hours of the day. 

Again, the menu is pretty compact with three variations on a classic American beef burger (all of which can be made veggie). You’ll want to go for the Butterburger with cheese. Yes, that is a burger topped with a slab of butter, you’re on holiday, go ahead, treat yourself. 

Landgreven 10, 1301 København, Denmark
Minas Kaffebar for wine & cocktails on a budget

For the long list of things that Copenhagen has going for it, being gentle on the wallet is rarely a trait associated with the city. With that being said, stumbling upon the cosy-but-buzzing Minas Kaffebar and its head-scratchingly cheap coffee, pastries and cocktails is a real welcome shock to the system. Here you can pick up drinks for as little as 25kr, which works out at less than £2 — by Copenhagen’s standards, this is nothing short of astonishing. 

Nørrebrogade 72, 2200 København, Denmark
Unwind in luxury at Manon Les Suites

For rest and relaxation, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular setting than the stunning spa at Manon Les Suites. A Bali-inspired oasis with vines and flowers cascading around just about every available part of the structure, guests are quickly transported to a luxurious tropical wonderland that is perfect for anyone wanting to recharge the batteries in sublime style. 

While the spa is part of the Manon Les Suites 5* hotel, day passes are available to purchase for non-guests, just drop the team an email to check availability ahead of your visit.

Gyldenløvesgade 19, 1600 København V, Denmark
An elevated pizza experience at Pomodoro D’oro

How good can a pizza actually be? Pomodoro D’oro had us reassessing the heights that the cuisine can reach with its absurdly elevated take on the Italian staple. 

The attention to detail is second to none, as is the passion the team clearly have for every single dish that leaves the theatrical open kitchen. Premium ingredients take centre stage, whether it’s the coveted Kampot peppers from Cambodia, sea-salted capers from Italy or oregano directly from Greece, no corners are cut and the end result is something genuinely otherworldly. 

Amager Strandvej 130A, 2300 København, Denmark
Explore the magic of Tivoli Gardens

You’re unlikely to find any Copenhagen guide that doesn’t include the city’s historic Tivoli Gardens, and with good reason. 

Sure, it’s a bit of a touristy cliché, but it’s also one of the few of its kind that is genuinely worth it. Originally opened back in 1843, Tivoli is the third-oldest operating amusement park in the world and is renowned as a major inspiration to both Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker wanting to take a ride on one of the world’s oldest working wooden roller coasters, a theatre buff keen to take in a performance or you simply want to wander around the magical surroundings of the park, be sure to set aside at least a couple of hours during your visit to Copenhagen. 

Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
Words:
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 22 Jan 2024