Practical information : Eating out Copenhagen
The Nordic people are used to eat early. The frokost lunch is classically served between 12:00 and 15:30 but we dine aften from 17:30! After 9pm, it can be difficult to be received even if this custom is changing and adapting to the development of tourism. The good news is that, in their great majority, the restaurants are open on Sunday midday.
Budget & Tips
Note however that the cost remains generally high and that it is recommended to book a table in a restaurant, essential in the starred restaurants up to a month or two in advance, or in the very touristy places like Nyhavn. Credit cards are accepted everywhere
The Danes are used to eating lunch on the go, so this is an opportunity to do as they do and try smørrebrød and pølser or indulge in the sweet treats and other prepared dishes - to eat in or take away - from bakeries such as Meyers bageri or Emmerys. These options are less expensive but still hearty enough. You can find cheap food at the large covered markets near Nørreport Station or at Reffen - Copenhagen Street Food (closed in winter, reopening in April) in the harbor area. The restaurants in the museums are an excellent alternative: good food, fast cold or hot, moderate prices.
What costs extra
The decanter of water on the table is not a Danish custom. Bottled water is always available. Flat or with bubbles, the choice is yours!
The local way
Eating outside is a habit, which is why there are many picnic areas in urban parks
Danes are used to eating on the go at lunchtime. It must be said that, as soon as the weather is nice, the whole city is an invitation to sit on a bench, a pier or a park lawn. And you can find all kinds of food to take away, without having to fall back on some fast-food restaurant. At the restaurant: order and pay at the counter.
Herring is a staple of Danish cuisine, and there are at least twenty ways to prepare it! In brine, marinated, in a sweet and sour sauce, accompanied by a chopped hard-boiled egg... Another specialty is Frikadeller or meatballs, made of equal amounts of veal and pork, flour, milk, eggs, onions and spices. The national dish, Stegt flæsk med persillesovs, is prepared with crispy pork in a parsley sauce, accompanied by potatoes.
Some food ideas before going to the bench:
Pølser: many street vendors offer sausages, sandwiches, hamburgers, croque-monsieur, drinks and ice cream in their pølsevogn.
Smørrebrød : these traditional sandwiches are found everywhere. Every day, these famous little slices of buttered bread are prepared with shrimps, herrings, beets, curry sauce or not... In short, there are many combinations. Not very easy to eat without spilling
Bakeries: they can be spotted from afar by their sign in the shape of a crown of braided bread. There is not much in the way of salty food. Note that the Bageri-Konditori are open on Sundays and also sell drinks and newspapers.
To be avoided
The disgusted smileys! The windows of restaurants display the report of the control carried out each year: the Smiley Certificate. For the vast majority of them, you will see proudly displayed a happy smiley named Elite! Since 2008, four additional emoticons, from happy to disgusted, indicate if the restaurant has received a notification or a fine. The strong point of Danish restaurants is the strict hygiene conditions and food standards.
Children are welcome. Baby seats, high chairs and changing tables are available in the restaurants. Adapted menus are à la carte.
Smoking is not allowed inside restaurants or bars, but Danes enjoy sitting on the terrace in all seasons where smoking is allowed. An exception is made for cafés that have a license to sell alcohol and are less than 40m2 in size! In this case, smoking inside is still allowed! Of course, the cigarette butt goes back with its owner or ends its life in an ashtray but never, never, never on the ground or in a sewer!