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From René Redzepi’s pandemic burger restaurant to historic spots for smørrebrød and schnapps, here’s where to dine and drink in Copenhagen

After weathering several painful pandemic shutdowns, Copenhagen’s dining scene has somehow emerged more varied than ever. The institutions that set off the Danish capital’s culinary boom a decade ago now share the spotlight with stellar bakeries, some of Europe’s best wine bars, a wealth of smørrebrød specialists, and an emerging class of restaurants dedicated to previously underrepresented styles, from haute sushi to world-class Mexican. There’s even a new Substack newsletter, Bord, covering the evolving dining scene.

That’s not to say that everybody’s still around. At the end of 2020, Christian Puglisi made headlines when he shut down his highly influential restaurants Relæ and Manfreds. Bo Bech’s Geist, which opened in 2011, is no more. Neither is Kristian Baumann’s Michelin-starred 108. The interesting thing, though, is that most of these cases aren’t premature demises. Bech had long been planning to leave his Kongens Nytorv favorite; rising talent Andreas Bagh opened Esmée in the space. Never one to go on autopilot, Puglisi sensed that a global pandemic was as good a time as any to make a big change. He handed his former colleague Baumann the keys to Relæ; it is now Koan. Meanwhile, the address that was Manfreds is now the bistro Silberbauers, from another of Puglisi’s acolytes, and Baumann’s former home, 108, turned into René Redzepi’s popular burger spot POPL.

It says a lot about how far the city has come that it wasn’t possible to include every worthy restaurant on the list that follows.

Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in Denmark, please visit Coronasmitte.dk.

Price key:

$ = Less than 200 DKK (30 USD)
$$ = 200 – 500 DKK (30 – 75 USD)
$$$ = 500 – 1,000 DKK (75 – 150 USD)
$$$$ = 1,000 DKK (150 USD) and up

Gabe Ulla is the co-author of Ignacio Mattos’ debut cookbook Estela and David Chang’s New York Times-bestselling memoir Eat a Peach, and he has contributed to WSJ Magazine, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and numerous other publications. He started his career interning for Eater New York.

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