For the past two decades, Copenhagen has undergone quite the transformation of its culinary scene. It isn’t a coincidence that the city is regarded as the capital of the New Nordic cuisine. With restaurants such as Noma, Geranium, and Relæ spearheading the Copenhagen food scene. With Copenhagen’s rising stature in the culinary world an equally rise can be found in the amount traveling food enthusiasts flocking to the Nordic capital. Nevertheless, Copenhagen seems unfazed by the attention, seemingly doing what the city has always been doing, pursuing perfection in all avenues. Copenhageners know they are in the forefront in many areas, yet do not give a second of thought towards enjoying or even admiring their own achievements, especially in the culinary department.
While the rise of Scandinavian food has undoubtedly attracted a lot of attention in regards to tourism. With any increase in demand, there is always an increase in supply, as such it almost feels like a restaurant is opening every other week in the city. Unfortunately, a lot of those Restaurants caters more towards your wallet than satisfying your culinary desires. So where can you get a taste of the Nordic cuisine without feeling ripped off?
Located in Kødbyen aka. the Meatpacking district, Paté Paté offers french influenced dishes served in a cozy and rustic environment. The restaurant prides itself being the longest and oldest running restaurant in the increasingly popular meatpacking district. While its name indicates its French influences (yes, they also do serve paté) the real reason behind the name is due to its location. The restaurant was formerly an old paté factory before becoming a culinary hot spot for the young and hopeful. Speaking of the young and hopeful, it is no surprise that the place is affordable as it caters towards a younger crowd and that seems to be the trend in Copenhagen. Deliver good food at an affordable price. Plus it doesn’t hurt if things are Instagram-worthy. For die-hard foodies only interested in the simplicity and purity of the Nordic cuisine fret not! The restaurant is very much rooted in Nordic traditions in terms of their ingredients and produce, as such although french influenced, it’s still very much a Nordic restaurant.
Price: 385,- DKK for an 8-course dinner
When talking about affordable restaurants, you simply cannot overlook Madklubben, the name Madklubben is almost synonymous with the words restaurant and affordability. Set in the ever popular main street of Vesterbro. Madklubben offers a restaurant with big city vibes while still being unpretentious in its style and execution. It also doesn’t hurt that it offers one of the most affordable dining experiences this side of the Øresund. Needless to say, there is a reason for why the restaurant is one the most frequented restaurant in town. Madklubben ticks off a lot of boxes without being superb in anything particular, they don’t need to be. The restaurant serves the mainstream, customers who want a no-fuss dining experience with affordable prices. Madklubben fulfills that need and a little more. While you shouldn’t expect the staff to have an expansive wine knowledge or even giving you sufficient support in terms of selecting the meal for the night, you can, however, expect a decent dinner. Wine or no wine, their cocktails are better anyways.
Price: 250,- DKK for a 3-course dinner
Located in the back of the Meatpacking district, you will rarely find an empty seat during the dining hours at this restaurant. The restaurant runs by the name Gorilla, the name itself have no special meaning according to the owner. It was simply a different and easy name to remember, something that would just roll off the tongue so to speak. After its launch, the restaurant has been serving hundreds of guest night after night, year after year. The restaurant’s interior remains simple yet raw, the walls are covered in white tiles echoing back to the glory days of butchers, while the restaurant offers an uncompromising take on well-known dishes, which are not fundamentally revolutionary but delectable in most cases. And that seems to be the keyword for Gorilla. Uncompromising. Out of the 10 courses, some which I really enjoyed and others naturally not as much. Gorilla never flinched. This uncompromising nature and variety of flavors from each dish drags your culinary senses from one end to another. Rarely will you like everything on offer but that was never the point. You will get to experience a lot of different dishes. As a result, you will expand your taste buds to flavors and textures you may have never thought of trying. For better or worse, Gorilla is unflinching in their culinary attempts and you can only admire them for that. In hindsight for the amount of money you are paying for, I would say it is a worthy investment in your culinary escapades.
Price: 375,- DKK for a 10-course dinner