Thursday, 19 March 2020

8 cool and cosy Copenhagen cafés you have to visit

Copenhagen cafes in spring
The bustling Lille Bakery. Photo credit: Suwapat Poolsap

1. Lille Bakery 

The city’s ex-shipbuilding peninsula Refshaleøen is abuzz with new openings, 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.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
Central Café is the city’s tiniest cafe. Photo credit: Jon Norstrøm

2. 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.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
Spandauer and cappuccino from Hart Bageri

3. 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.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
An order from Kafeteria’s menu. Photo credit: Niklas Vindelev

4. Kafeteria

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.

5. Paludan Bogcafé

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.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
Enjoy Michelin-grade pastries in a modern minimalist interior. Photo credit: Claus Troelsgård

6. The Corner at 108

Copenhagen has been in the throes of an artisan baked goods craze for a while now, but this particular establishment takes it to another level by making Michelin-grade pastries with an experimental twist. For instance, knotted croissant dough is baked in unconventional shapes which come with glazes such as coffee kombucha, blackcurrant and fermented beef. These next-level treats – along with crisp salads and offerings such as lamb tartare with smoked egg yolk – allow an accessible and affordable taster of what’s on offer at their Michelin-starred big sister Restaurant 108 next door, while the natural wines and sour beers keep locals happy through drizzly weekend afternoons.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
Here, the roastery and coffee shop operate as one space

7. The Coffee Collective Godthåbsvej

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.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
Customers unwinding at the al fresco area of Next Door Café

8. Next Door Café

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.

Where to find indoor fun in Copenhagen this spring

Copenhagen cafes in spring
CPH:DOX is an iconic film festival

CPH:DOX (18–29 March)

One of world’s biggest documentary film festivals, ’s programme covers a diverse range of topics – from feminism to climate change and the nature of consciousness – with films screening across multiple venues.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
One of the many interactive art installations

Carsten Höller: Reproduction (Until 13 April)

At Copenhagen Contemporary, visitors are encouraged to touch and even climb on the art. Do so at an immersive playground created by German-Belgian artist Carsten Höller, complete with a merry-go-round.

Copenhagen cafes in spring
Stage set up at Night Fever

Night Fever (Until 27 September)

The avant-garde has thrived in nightclubs for more than a century. This exhibition at Design Museum Denmark explores the history of club culture through vintage posters, photography and light and sound installations. 

Singapore Airlines flies to Copenhagen six times weekly. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com

SEE ALSO: Top eco-friendly restaurants in Copenhagen

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