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Following the era of Noma, Copenhagen is still one of the most awarded food-Meccas in the world. A trend of small, informal eateries is picking up… and guess what? Hot dogs are included!
Denmark recently obtained 29 Michelin stars by the Guide Michelin and although several stars were awarded to restaurants and inn´s around the country this year, the majority were bestowed upon the tremendous crop of fabulously varied restaurants in Copenhagen. So, diners and visitors are spoiled for choice when visiting the city these days. But often, getting a table at these lauded restaurants requires planning way ahead as seats are few and hard to come by. So, over time, the city has seen the owners/chefs behind these sought-after restaurants open smaller, satellite eateries around town.
One such endeavour is that of the team behind the Michelin-starred restaurant Formel B. This stalwart of fine-dining is the very pinnacle of Copenhagen’s best restaurants. With its innovative yet simple menu steeped in classic French cuisine, this establishment has kept a Michelin star for 13 consecutive years since first earning it in 2004. Here you find comfort food in winter time and fresh, beautiful dishes in the good season like this one: tempered egg yolk with winter truffle, Jerusalem artichokes and pata negra ham.
In later years, owners Kristian Arpe-Muller and Rune Amgild Jochumsen have expanded their influence on the city, and opened two other, very popular restaurants, well worth experiencing, Restaurant Uformel and Restaurant Palægade.
Palægade has become renowned for its mature and unpretentious interpretations of the classic Danish lunch, and is simply named from the street in which it is located, a small side street at the very heart of the city, just behind Kgs. Nytorv.
In a simple, no frills room, with muted colours and decor, comfortable seating is offered at either booths, or at free standing tables with chairs and small sofas. Large picture windows leave the room bathed in daylight at lunchtime. Palægade offers exciting and delicious interpretations of such classics as salt fried Herring with sweet onions, beetroot and capers, or, into lumpfish roe season, their lumpfish roe with mashed potatoes and crispy skins, served from the simple dinner ‘a la carte’ menu – it could seduce anyone. They also have a most impressive selection of Aquavit, something always accompanying a proper Danish luncheon. This very cosy restaurant is located near the royal palaces and the attractive New Harbour area, so it is well-situated for those building up an appetite while walking these areas before lunch. Reservations required.
Uformel – directly translated as “Informal” – is exactly that. The sexy, relaxed, dinner-only restaurant features dark, seductive décor. Colourful and vibrant designs with shades of copper and bronze are mixed with decorations and graffiti on the walls by renowned Danish artist Christian Hornsleth. Guests are pampered with an original and ever-changing menu of small dishes and an almost overpowering selection of wines. Reservations required.
Uformel also has a small and cosy bar where you can dine without reservation. The cocktail selection is small but adventurous. Start off with the buckthorn, vanilla rum and grilled merengue concoction, and you can do no better!
This much-loved restaurant is very centrally located around the corner from Tivoli Gardens and the Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen). The food at Uformel is created with a wellspring of creativity, always adhering to the manifesto of the new Nordic cuisine, strictly organic with an eye for local ingredients, but with the best of the rest of the world mixed in. The kitchen operates under the motto: No Restraints!
Check out the Cod with blue cheese cream and leeks, or the Turbot with crisp lettuce, chicken and croutons. And finish with the amazing passionfruit with coconut and bronze fennel from the dessert menu. Quite possibly the best table in town!
If, at the end of a long night out in the vibrant nightlife, in the wee hours of morning, you find yourself walking home through the streets of the old medieval part of town, and you happen to pass one of the famous hot dog vendors of Copenhagen, you should join the local crew huddled there. You can feast on a late-night snack of pork sausage with Danish North Sea cheeses from the acclaimed, all organic Thiese Dairy. At four in the morning on a Saturday night, it may just be the best table in town!