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Copenhagen restaurants: 3 best places to eat

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Lélé Vietnamese restaurant, Copenhagen. All photos: Traveling Reporter

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COPENHAGEN RESTAURANTS GUIDE. You might not think of choosing Copenhagen as travel destination on its reputation as host of world-class restaurants, featuring high-end chefs, or for Denmark’s landmark cuisine. For a country whose population is sometimes — at least by its northern neighbors, the Swedes — said to have been brought up on sausages, cigarettes and Tuborg lager, culinary wonders are maybe not top of mind.

Think again. In 2012 year’s edition of Guide Michelin, Copenhagen boasts no less than fourteen listed restaurants (the Michelin website lists thirteen). By comparison, Stockholm had twelve listed in March. The Danish capital is littered with eateries, some of which are clearly of world class and many simply good or outstanding.

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Since Michelin restaurants generally receive enough attention as it is, the Traveling Reporter went about to search out some of the lesser known, but still good, places to eat in Copenhagen. We came up with this list, featuring our top-three favorite places for lunch and dinner.

3 great places to eat in Copenhagen

1. Café Norden

Café Norden, Copenhagen.

Everyone coming to Copenhagen sooner or later ends up on Strøget, the city’s main walking thoroughfare. Along the street, and right in the middle of everything, on Østergade 61, you’ll find Café Norden. This is the ideal place to watch people, regain strength after exhausting shopping tours, or simply to do away with your hunger after a tough sightseeing.

The Traveling Reporter can especially recommend the burgers, high-rising creations with bread, vegetables and fine beef – so much food that you’ll have to reconsider your dinner plans after having downed one of these suckers.

The place can be crowded and prices are not exactly low. But we think it’s worth it anyway.

A staircase leads up to an upper floor, with superb views over the square outside. The atmosphere can get a little noisy up there, though.


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2. Sticks n sushi

Sticks n sushi, Copenhagen.

Sticks n sushi is one of our absolute favorites. Basically a sushi place, preparing and serving the food have developed into an art form here. It’s all so beautiful that when your plate stands there before you, you hesitate to take a bite as it would ruin the creation. The menus are something extra, too, nicely designed catalogues that resemble fancy art magazines.

A note regarding the food, though: Hold on to the “sushi” part of the menu when you order at this place. The “sticks”, small pieces of beef or chicken, are good, but not that good, and with the quantity of sushi available, the sticks seem a little over the top anyway. You’ll get enough food as it is with the selection of raw fish creations.

Making a reservation prior to your visit is advised.


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3. Lélé

Lélé is a Vietnamese restaurant that seems to have it all – much space, wonderful atmosphere, a nice, if small, cocktail bar – and a selection of food so broad and delicate that spending just one night here is not by far enough. This is a masterpiece of a restaurant, so be sure to book in advance of your visit.

Kitchen at Lélé, Copenhagen.

The menu consists of both full-featured main courses and smaller plates of which you can compose your own dinner. The food is described in this way on the restaurant’s website: “Vietnamese cuisine is extensive, ranging from salads, soups, casseroles, grilled dishes and seafood products. The main ingredients are fish sauce, chili, lime, tamarind, lemon grass, coconut milk and coriander. However, one distinct feature in the Vietnamese kitchen is using smaller quantities of coconut milk and curry.” It is all extremely well cooked, and service is fast.

Actually, you might consider to spend the better part of the evening here. The colors of the walls are warm, and the place has an open kitchen where you can study the making of your dinner. While you wait, have a cocktail at the bar and sit down and watch the other lucky guests.


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The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.