Copenhagen on the Go; Nordic Cuisine

June 25, 2014

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I am not sure what was the exact trigger that made me book a flight to Copenhagen (and soon Stockholm) a few days ago, but for sure, it was a good one. My original plan was to travel to Iceland. I found a good priced ticket but what I didn’t realize was the high cost of living and traveling there. The only way to enjoy Iceland is by driving around and I didn’t have the right partner for that, so I decided to ‘stay’ in the Scandinavian area and look for locations that would be easier to navigate. Since my mom wanted to visit Scandinavia for a while now, I have decided to take her both to Copenhagen and Stockholm, preferred during Summer time or before the weather will get too cold. At least for her.

I must admit that some people warned us that Copenhagen can be…well…quite boring or slow paced, especially for someone like me who is coming from New York. Indeed, Copenhagen is slow paced and very relaxed. It seems as though the Danes never get upset, but the city (especially during Summer time) is far from being boring. On the contrary; since the warm weather and the long day-light hours, the city is quite vibrant and alive.

Even though Copenhagen is considered one of Europe quieter capitals, the city is growing and becoming adventurous. A new wave of designers, architects and chefs has helped fuel Copenhagen’s revival. The New Nordic might be considered the cuisine of the moment, mostly thanks to Noma restaurant and the design scene is very much a source of inspiration and imitation around the world.

From the moment you arrive to the city to the time you leave, you will eat, shop, bike and sleep in style. Guaranteed.

Here is the first post in a series of some of my recommendations of places I have visited (some of them are not yet in travel books). The first post in the series is about the Food:

People fly to Copenhagen just to eat at Noma, which is considered one of the the best restaurant in the world , if not THE BEST. It is also the only place in the city to have two Michelin stars. So no doubt here it will be quite a challenge to have a reservation. Noma has pioneered what is called the ‘New Nordic Cuisine’ movement, promoting traditional styles of cooking while using fresh ingredients grown in Scandinavia. It was just a matter of time for similar restaurants to pop and succeed.

One of them is Höst

This restaurant is very much similar to Noma’s design, with the unpolished and bare concrete walls and floors, the raw wooden furniture, the wooden bars on the ceiling and the massive black industrial lights hanging from the ceiling. The color scheme is very Nordic; black and white, greys and raw wood. (Höst has already won three international design awards, including the award for the World’s Best-Designed Restaurant at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards).

The restaurant offers a fixed three-course menu that can be combined with a standard wine menu or pair with the upgraded selection of wines. There is also a small à la carte menu to choose from.

One thing is for sure though; You’d better have friends at Höst who can get you a table or you should book a table way in advance.

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Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 17.30 – 24.00, Nørre Farimagsgade 41, 1364 Kbh.K  hoest@cofoco.dk

Geist 

Geist is one of those restaurants that you need to know where they are located, otherwise you might not be able to find them. Tucked in an inner courtyard, in what seems to be a residential/office building in Kongens Nytorv, I found Geist only because I was curious to find out what was in this courtyard. When I got in it was a bit before noon and the the crew was in the beginning of getting the restaurant ready for lunch. Geist has two areas provide distinct scenes. The less formal food bar features tall stools around the bar, whereas the dining room is more classic with tall columns and round tables. The menu is mostly based on meat and seafood and presents a 30-dish a la carte menu. Also here, better make reservations especially for dinner time.

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Opening Hours: Every day:  lunch 12.00 – 15.00, dinner 18.00 – 01.00, Kongens Nytorv 8, Geist

Granola

This might be one of the most popular, hype and trendy location for a suitable brunch in Copenhagen. Located in a tiny but stylish street in Frederiksberg, Granola offers great coffee, homemade cakes and breakfast made by fresh organic ingredients. When we got in, it seemed everyone was having a milkshake or a smoothie on the table and even though I am a coffee junkie, a friendly recommendation got me to have a fruity milkshake. My mom ordered a chocolate creme (they make it with nutella) and after tasting those, I understood why everyone had one.

The place has the touch of an American diner, both in some of the food and the interior (maybe that’s why it got its popularity from) although coming from NY, I would have preferred a Danish design.

Granola has become a popular place among the local crowd but also attracts tourists who get recommendations from (probably the) locals. For dinner, better make reservations in advance.

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Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 7:00- 24:00, Weekend open at 9:00, Sunday closed at 16:00. Vaernedamsvej 5, Frederiksberg,  Granola 

Cafe Ipsen & Co

This cute place got to be my neighborhood’s morning cafe, where I stayed in Frederiksberg area in Copenhagen. I first saw it during my morning run along Gammel street. I liked the outdoor communal table, where locals parked their bikes and started to settled for their morning coffee. The interior is simple but stylish. One of the walls has an industrial look thanks to the metal boards and the hanging green lamps that serve as decoration. The wooden chairs with the big pillows add to a homey and cosy atmosphere, a feeling you get the moment you enter the cafe. Maybe because the owner is standing behind the counter, her daughter is helping to set up the tables and the owner’s mom is having her morning coffee there as well. Or maybe it is because of the delicate and colorful coffee mugs, the home made granola or the freshly baked banana bread.

All of the above make Cafe Ipsen & Co a great start for the day.

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Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00-18:00, Weekend: 9:00- 17:00, Gammel Kongevej 108, Frederiksberg. Ipsen & Co.

Torvehallerne Gourmet MarketJust a walking distance from Höst restaurant, coming out from Frederiksberg metro station, is a must visit market for anyone interested in the Danish gourmet food for a reasonable price. We actually found this market by chance when I was rushing to photograph Höst. When we came out of the Frederiksberg metro station, we saw lots of Danes dining outdoors, hanging out with friends, sitting around communal tables, benches or crowding around the Kava bar, holding a glass of wine. The market is a well lit glass with almost 80 enclosed aisles with various goods and foods; from fresh breads, French fromagerie, meat, fish, flowers, and sweets.

It is a very happening location especially during Summer time and it is a great alternative in case you didn’t make any dinner reservations for one of the fancy restaurants in town.

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Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 10:00- 19:00, Friday open till 20:00. Weekend: 10:00- 17:00. Frederiksborggade 21, Frederiksberg metro station. Torvehallerne 

 

2 Comments

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