Words by: Ben Olsen
Photos by: 108: Claus Troelsgård, Relae: P. A. Jorgensen, Noma: Ditte Isager
Since the turn of the century, Copenhagen’s food scene has come alive, blessed by a generation of visionary chefs who have created a culinary movement that has influenced kitchens the world over. in 2002 chef Rene Redzepi opened Noma, based on the use of local seasonal products as well as the revival of the older techniques, – such as marinating, smoking and salting – giving birth to the term New Nordic cuisine. Since then, Redzepi’s original principles have inspired many new innovative restaurants, many run by former Noma chefs.
Here are five of Copenhagen’s best New Nordic restaurants.
Set on the buzzy Jægersborggade in the heart of Norrebro, Michelin-starred Relae is one of the city’s most popular dining experiences. Former Noma chef Jonathan Tam heads up the kitchen, serving a choice of two expansive tasting menus. With an emphasis on locally sourced organic food and a minimal approach to allow the quality of the produce to shine, Relae is the perfect showcase of New Nordic cuisine.
From a stunning space defined by blonde wood, floor-to-ceiling windows and walls of pickling jars, Kadeau’s innovative tasting menus are inspired by nature – think fermented flowers, foraged seafood and preserved berries. Originally opening on the Baltic island of Bornholm, the Kadeau team brought their concept to Copenhagen in 2011 and have since picked up two Michelin stars and a lengthy waiting list for its sought-after tables.
Set in an edgy industrial space in Refshaleøen harbour, Amass features graffiti-covered walls and vast windows overlooking the docks. Former Noma chef, Matthew Orlando continues the New Nordic theme of seasonal local produce – including vegetables and herbs from an 800-square metre garden just outside the dining room – with dishes that elevate humble ingredients to new heights. Superb cocktails, reasonably priced menus and the possibility of finding a walk-in spot makes Amass a Copenhagen must-try.
After closing for a year, Rene Redzepi’s Noma relaunched afresh earlier this year after a series of pop-ups around the world. From his new location to the north of Christianshavn, Redzepi has made a few tweaks to a formula that had seen Noma claim the title of World’s Best Restaurant four times. Menus are designed around Redzepi’s concept of seasons – with summer focused on vegetables – and his dishes traverse untapped ideas and ingredients to deliver a culinary experience like no other.
With beautiful views over Copenhagen’s canals, 108 launched in 2016 – the brainchild of Rene Redzepi and Relae sous chef Kristian Baumann. Aiming to provide a casual dining spot with high-end cuisine, the menu traditionally foraged, pickled, smoked or salt-baked seasonal produce, while an emphasis on sharing dishes and natural wines make it a worthy addition to Copenhagen’s stellar food scene.
108: Claus Troelsgård
Relae: P. A. Jorgensen
Noma: Ditte Isager