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Fish, foraging, fermentation: nine of the best places to eat in Denmark | The everyday wonders of Denmark

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Irrespective of rain or sunshine, the Danes are always ready to embrace hygge, a concept that involves enjoying the good things in life – and that definitely includes enjoying the excellent cuisine the country has on offer. Dive into Denmark’s gastronomy at these top-notch eateries which carefully source and celebrate every ingredient.

Geranium, Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s restaurants have often bagged the coveted number one spot at the annual The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards and Geranium took this title home in 2022 – as well as holding an exceptional three Michelin stars. Apart from its impressive menu, serving meat-free seasonal produce, Geranium stands out because it is on the top floor of the national football stadium, offering panoramic views of the city. We won’t lie, the prices are steep, but the dinner experience is worth adding to the culinary bucket list.

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Pomle Nakke serves traditional fare from its clifftop vantage point. Photograph: Christina Birch

Pomle Nakke, Horbelev
On the island of Falster, Pomle Nakke can be found on the wild eastern expanse, perched on a cliff overlooking the Baltic Sea. Serving traditional fare, you can’t go wrong with a classic smørrebrød (open sandwich) that is served with a modern twist – think yuzu infused herring or pork breast with celeriac, soya and ginger. For a true sense of hygge, head here in the summer months to enjoy a swim at the beaches nearby or go for a forest hike.

Restaurant Hærværk’s menu is decided on the day according to what has been foraged

Restaurant Hærværk, Aarhus
Rune Sørensen, chef behind Restaurant Hærværk, heads out to the wilderness nearby every morning to forage herbs, mushrooms and fruit for his menu, which is decided on the day. Being awarded the Michelin green star in 2023, Sørensen believes that there is a strong sense of unpretentiousness and community among chefs in the historic city of Aarhus. They help each other out with sourcing local ingredients and put sustainability at their forefront, ahead of creativity. Head up here and see what’s in season, and you can be sure to have a phenomenal meal.

Kødbyens Fiskebar, Copenhagen
In Copenhagen’s meatpacking district, Kødbyen, you’ll find a string of fish-centric restaurants, and the rustic but stylish Kødbyens Fiskebar is a huge hit with the locals. Try the blue mussels or the catch of the day, or, the best of all – six different types of oysters, where the staff will happily talk you through their distinctive flavour profile. There are many outstanding cocktails on offer to accompany your meal too, such as the gin-based concoction aptly called the Flying Fish.

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Aamanns 1921, Copenhagen
If you find yourself in Copenhagen wondering where to go for smørrebrød, then look no further than Aamanns 1921, as recommended in the Michelin Guide. Start with the indulgent and buttery breaded plaice with shrimp salad, and if you have room, try the beef tartar or the curried herring. There is also a Danish cheeseboard, as well as excellent cocktails and coffee to accompany your open sandwiches.

Henne Kirkeby Kro’s thatched cottage exterior hides a Michelin two-star restaurant. Photograph: Anders Schoennemann

Henne Kirkeby Kro, Henne
This is a gem on Jutland’s west coast, where you’ll feel like you’ve been invited to lunch with a local. At first glance, Henne Kirkeby Kro has the appearance of a cosy roadside inn, with a handsome thatched roof and a beautiful herb garden. This Michelin two-star and green-star restaurant is the brainchild of British chef Paul Cunningham and the ethos here is very Nordic – utilising ingredients available at their doorstep. Try the sensational local smoked cod with creamed aquavit trout roe for dinner and you’ll see why this is a favourite in Jutland.

Lille Bakery, Copenhagen
Fancy something lighter? There’s sourdough aplenty with grains, seeds and Danish salt at Lille Bakery. Try the breakfast option with cheese, jam or ham, a lunchtime focaccia slice, baguette sandwich or bread and butter with seasonal soup. Baked goods include mushroom and sausage rolls, cookies and cake.

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Domestic in Aarhus offers kombucha pairings to go with its zero-waste menu

Domestic, Aarhus
Along with taking pride in serving strictly local ingredients (hence the name), there is also a no-waste menu to choose from in this stunning restaurant. Found in the heart of Aarhus, this chic restaurant specialises in fermenting techniques and also offers kombucha pairings with its menu – all brewed in-house. If you want a cosy dining experience, ask for a table in the magnificent wine cellar.

Alchemist, Copenhagen
Beyond the high-priced, whimsical world that is served on your plate, the aim here of chef Rasmus Munk is to entice the senses through dining by touching on crucial subjects in gastronomy of importance to him, such as biodiversity and hunger. There’s ice-cream served in the shape of a drop of blood along with a QR code that takes you to an organ donor scheme. A chicken dish is served with a chicken’s foot in a small cage, which is meant to highlight the conditions that most chickens are kept in (but not the free-range, organic ones served here).

Set in the former workshop of the Royal Danish Theatre, the Alchemist, fifth in the latest best restaurant awards, is a must-visit that leaves diners thinking about food differently.

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For a guide to top Danish restaurants and food, visit here

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