How to enjoy Noma-quality food in Copenhagen for less
Four times voted the world’s best restaurant and with three Michelin stars, Noma in Copenhagen revolutionised the Nordic culinary scene. However, fame comes at a price. So if you’re desperate to taste what it’s all about, try any of these affordable eateries in the Danish capital run by former Noma staff
Radio’s menu changes every month
Tomatoes, coriander and lamb fat
Beetroot, lovage and horseradish
Veal, fried sourdough and oyster
At Radio, only the best seasonal ingredients are used, so the menu changes every four weeks as it follows the seasons closely. The main focus here is fruit, herbs and vegetables, which have very short seasons, but offer many possibilities when it comes to flavour, texture and colour. Meat and fish dishes are also on the menu, but plant-based produce has always been at the heart of the place. Diners have a choice of three, or five courses, paired with as many carefully selected natural wines. Chefs and waiters serve the food, meaning any questions are answered immediately and with great detail. Claus Meyer opened Radio in 2011, after co-founding and co-owning Noma. Three courses cost 395 krone (£45).
Fiskebaren is a popular seafood joint
Squid with black garlic and blueberries
Oysters are a speciality
Lemon sole with peas and pea shoots
King crab with cauliflower rice and petals
Located in Copenhagen’s former meatpacking district in the trendy Vesterbro neighbourhood, seafood specialist Fiskebaren is one of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants. Danish oysters are the speciality, but Fiskebaren delights in other dishes revolving around fish, roe, scallops, lobster and mussels. Produce is always sourced locally and sustainably, so the menu changes daily depending on the best catch. Housed in a former butcher’s, the informal restaurant is the epitome of industrial chic. The Meatpacking district has special heritage protection, and the butcher’s white wall tiles and dents in the concrete floor from the meat hooks remain. Founder and co-owner Anders Selmer was previously the sommelier at Noma. As expected, the natural wine list is extensive and exceptional. A dozen Limfjorden Danish oysters are 280 krone (£32).
Popl epitomises Scandi cool
The celebrated Popl burger
Punters tuck in al fresco
A ‘Bloody Franky’ cocktail and potato salad
What started as a take-out, pop-up burger bar at Noma during the summer lockdown of 2020 has come to stay. Located on the waterfront in the rebellious neighbourhood of Christianshavn, Popl serves burgers with organic Danish beef. Given equal consideration, Popl’s quinoa vegan burgers go through a two-day process to become patties, which are handmade in Noma’s fermentation lab. The simple and small menu includes sides such as fried fjord shrimps and a spicy cucumber salad, which can be washed down with craft beers or cocktails. Run by the Noma people, Popl offers a little taste of excellence in a bun. Take-out burgers are also available if you can’t get a table. Burgers are 115 krone (£13).
Buzzy Bæst serves classic Italian fare
Savoy cabbage, Hindsholm sausage and Pecorino Romano pizza
Mouthwatering selection of cured meats
The wood-fired pizza oven in action
Classic tomato passata pizza with fresh basil
Burrata with Hokkaido pumpkin and grilled herb oil
Bæst is an organic, Italian-inspired restaurant in the lively neighbourhood of Nørrebro. The menu consists of different cuts of chargrilled meat, house-made charcuterie and cheeses, and wood-fired pizza. Above the restaurant is a micro dairy where fresh mozzarella is hand-crafted on a daily basis. The restaurant also houses its own salumeria, where the chefs prepare different sorts of cured meats such as salami and coppa made from organic, free-range pigs from the famous Hindsholm farm. Back inside, the restaurant is a buzzing bar where you can order classic Italian cocktails and Danish beer from organic micro-breweries. The venue was founded by Christian Puglisi, former sous chef at Noma. Seven small courses are 345 krone (£39), including one pizza of choice to share and a dessert.
Sanchez in the Meatpacking District of Vesterbro
Tuna tostada: raw tuna marinated in charred habanero salsa and guacamole on a crispy tortilla
Mezcal served in traditional clay copitas with house-made corn chips
Gillardeau oysters with habanero and sea buckthorn
A michelada cocktail of spicy salsas, lime juice and Dos Equis lager, finished with a chilli and lime salt rim
A sugary churros twist
Sanchez taquerías offer delicious contemporary Mexican street food in two locations, one in the hip Meatpacking District and the other at Torvehallerne, the city-centre food market. The street stalls’ tacos (opening image) have been ranked among Europe’s best street food. As well as sourcing locally and organically where possible, Sanchez is socially conscious, using only heirloom corn obtained from several small communities in Mexico that use traditional agricultural techniques to grow organic and sustainable crops. Owner and head chef Rosio Sanchez is the former head of pastry at Noma. Three tacos cost 105 krone (£12).