Now that Denmark has become the first country in the European Union to lift nearly all nationwide pandemic restrictions – declaring Covid-19 as no longer being a socially critical disease – there has never been a better time to soak in the magical charm of its capital city of Copenhagen.
Consistently named one of the world’s most liveable cities, the cheerful City of Spires offers many things for the sophisticated traveller to explore: sustainable architecture, rooms in a Renaissance castle and lots of cosy cafés that embody the country’s concept of well-being and contentment: hygge.
From a hotel café with only five indoor seats to a space that resembles a moody underground club at all times of the day, we have listed below the best places in Copenhagen to enjoy sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of java.
Starting 26 April 2022, fully vaccinated travellers on all Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights will enjoy quarantine-free entry into Singapore without any pre-departure Covid-19 test. On your way to visiting Copenhagen, why not stopover in the Little Red Dot and experience Singapore for yourself? Here are 10 local things you must try to do in Singapore before you start exploring its best halal hawker stalls and late-night supper spots. To know more about entry requirements for Singapore, check Singapore Airlines’ travel advisory.
Opened in the summer of 2021 in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Carslberg Byen, this café serves up Australian-style brunch – the owners are a Brit and an Australian. Like its interior design, the menu here puts emphasis on clean dishes that are always beautifully plated such as sweet potato pancakes, panna cotta granola and slow-cooked vegetable soup topoped with sourdough croutons. Cadence uses beans from Coffee Collective (see below).
Exquisite pastries of varying shapes and textures are the main draw of this pastry shop near Copenhagen’s largest public square, Kongens Nytorv. The tiny patisserie, sitting on Gothersgade Street, has just one outdoor table and sells only seven different types of cakes at a time, with flavors dictated by what’s on season. Paulette Konditori does not serve coffee, but owner Emil Vang (an alum of Denmark’s best known patisserie, La Glace) happily suggests heading straight to its next door neighbour, Bistro Royal, where their cakes are served.
3. Lille Bakery
The city’s ex-shipbuilding peninsula Refshaleøen is abuzz with many things, from an organic street food market to cutting-edge gallery Copenhagen Contemporary and the refreshed noma‘s site. Lille is the area’s quality artisan bakery. Housed in a large-windowed former industrial building, it’s the product of a crowdfunding campaign by its founders. Its name means “little” in Danish, but in contrast, it has a big reputation in the city for its dough-based lunches that strike out from the norm. Drop by to sample their croissant dough with Italian sausage or salted cod, chickpeas and egg on toast.
4. Central Café
Sandwiched between two larger buildings in the Vesterbro area, this tiny neighbourhood café is cuter than the cortados it brews – that’s if you’re lucky enough to bag one of its five indoor seats. The terracotta walls, string lights, dark-wood bar, black-and-white photography and vintage travel signs amp up the cosiness in this former shoemaker’s shop, which dates back to 1897. Known as the city’s smallest café, it’s also part of one of the world’s smallest hotels – with just one double room upstairs. The café also serves organic ice cream and milkshakes for those who may be in the mood for a cold treat.
5. Hart Bageri
After attaining sourdough success at San Francisco’s Tartine (world famous for its bread), British chef and baker Richard Hart relocated to the Danish capital to set up a neighbourhood outfit in leafy, residential Frederiksberg. It was destined to be a hit: thanks in no small part to René Redzepi’s (of noma) backing – this is where noma sources its impeccable sourdough. In addition to sturdy loaves, Hart also serves Danish pastries, doughy-meets-crispy cardamom buns and baked cheesecake. The Scandi-grey and light-wood surrounds – plus the scent of freshly baked goods wafting from the kitchen – make a compelling case to hunker down for a while.
This café is really about the people: owners Skyler and Klaus are members of the neighbourhood and live just next door (hence the name). Skyler used to work in a café in Copenhagen’s designated anything-goes hippie commune Freetown Christiania before deciding to branch out, and friends from the area helped decorate their café when it first opened. The resulting aesthetic is a mix of underground club and homely front room – with purple walls, a disco ball, mismatched mirrors, fresh-cut flowers and notes and pictures from guests slotted under the glass on the tables. All the delicious cakes, including classics like chocolate brownies, are home-baked.
In need of a caffeine jolt? Enjoy the aroma of gently roasting beans at this laid-back Frederiksberg café that’s known for its quality coffee. Their design aesthetic is minimalist – with white walls, wooden tables and strategic foliage – and open, with the roastery and coffee shop operating as one space. Their beans are bought directly from farmers at a fair price, and they also run workshops on-site: the tasting sessions explore the factors determining the taste of your brew, such as variety, production method, roasting and brewing.
More than just a gallery café, this outfit at the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK) was modelled as a space where food and art collide, and where visitors can reflect on SMK’s cultural offerings. The interiors – which mix Scandinavian, Japanese and Italian design philosophies – are by conceptual Danish artist Danh Vo. Enzo Mari’s light-wood DIY chairs sit beside classic Danish furniture, while Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi’s soft lantern lamps hang in the elongated, high-ceilinged space. The menu features contemporary Danish cuisine: house-baked sourdough and cakes; strong coffee; and fresh, seasonal takes on smørrebrød (open-faced rye sandwiches) featuring different spreads and cold cuts.
Looking for somewhere to while away the hours with a good novel and some soothing jazz as a backing track? Here, brunch comes alongside tall shelves of books in the café’s atmospheric environs. Located on Fiolstræde, a narrow street in the former Jewish quarter close to the University of Copenhagen, Paludan has been serving the city’s literati for almost two decades. You’ll find a plethora of fine leather-bound tomes, as well as newer titles in Danish, English and other languages. The menu features a selection of hearty grub (think burgers, American pancakes and huge breakfast plates) and the coffee isn’t half bad either.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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