Christmas activities in Copenhagen
Museums, markets, floating lights and winter bathing, Copenhagen offers many christmas activities.
In Copenhagen, we care about traditions, but we also seek new ways to refine the old. A couple of places that have been successful in creating a modern take on the Danish tradition of food and beverages are listed below.
Barr - Christmas craft beers and a modern take on the Danish Christmas lunch
Strandgade 93, 1401 Copenhagen K – Website/Press photos
Restaurant Barr resides in noma’s former, warm facilities in Christianshavn and draws inspiration from eating and drinking traditions of the North Sea, including both Scandinavia, Benelux, and the British Isles. At Barr, you will find a selection of craft beers by some of the best local breweries in Denmark, which go great with their modern take on traditional Nordic food. From November 26th and December 19th, Barr will be running the “Great BARR Christmas lunch”, meeting many of the dishes from a traditional Danish Christmas table, all familiar to most Danes – such as duck, herring, fried plaice and Icelandic salmon - but with a modern touch – and Danish craft Christmas beers and akvavit, of course. Link to Barr’s Christmas menu.
Selma - A modern take on the Danish Christmas lunch
Rømersgade 20, Copenhagen K – Website/Press photos
Selma is a bib gourmand restaurant in Copenhagen and is the winner of the best smørrebrød in town in 2021. The restaurant has quickly made a name for itself by having a new and innovative take on the Danish lunch traditions including an incredible take on the Danish Christmas lunch. Selma is created in partnership with Mikkeller, who is, of course, responsible for a large part of the rotating beer selection on Selma's 12 beer taps, giving guests a taste of classical Danish cuisine while being able to enjoy some of the Danes' favourite craft beers.
ARK - Vegan Christmas feast with Danish favourites and Winter tasting menu
Nørre Farimagsgade 63, 1364 Copenhagen K – Website/Press photos
In 2021 Restaurant ARK became the first-ever entirely plant-based restaurant in the Nordics to be awarded a Michelin Green Star for their work in sustainable gastronomy, this accolade has recently been followed by the receipt of 3 Circles in the 360 Eat Guide – landing them in the top 8, among some hefty company. Their produce is largely made up of ingredients foraged by the keen eyes of the owner himself alongside their Head Forager, previously of Noma fame, in the Danish outback or grown at ARK’s urban farm, Funga Farm. The restaurant follows a rigid zero-waste policy, a thread woven through the kitchen, bar, and even the furniture has a close connection to nature and recycled materials.
Starting from November 9, Restaurant ARK’s Winter Tasting Menu offers a variety of innovative flavours and dishes that celebrate the versatility of vegetables and challenge the ideal of the meat-focused Christmas menu. The menu focuses on local and seasonal ingredients, and it is combined with winter tailored natural wine or homemade non-alcoholic beverage pairing.
While ARK pushes the boundaries when it comes to their tasting menu, their sister restaurant – Bistro Lupa has stepped up to put a plant-based spin on the more traditional Danish favourites, while still following the same ethos as its lauded sibling, Bistro Lupa has created a Christmas Feast including Lions Mane schnitzel and, of course, the classic Ris a la Mande. Bistro Lupa’s Christmas Menu is available to book now - https://www.bistrolupa.dk/lupaevents.
Photo:Vistas Rui Silvestre
Tivoli - Restaurants and gastronomic experiences
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V - Website
The Tivoli Gardens offers gastronomic experiences and alternatives for visitors to eat through the amusement parks. At the restaurants and stalls in Tivoli Gardens, visitors can enjoy gløgg throughout the Christmas season, and taste æbleskiver at several locations as well as the wonderful Danish butter cookies. The many restaurants of the amusement park have prepared unique Christmas dinners containing both traditional and modern Christmas treats. The restaurants are listed below.
Vistas Rui Silvestre - Portuguese Michelin popup
From 18th Nov. to 31st Dec., visitors to the Tivoli Gardens can enjoy a break from traditional Danish Christmas fare and experience modern Portuguese cuisine at its very best at one-Michelin-star restaurant Vistas Rui Silvestre. The young Portuguese chef Rui Silvestre is set to take over the Japanese Pogoda along with the team from the restaurant offering visitors top gastronomy with a touch of Portuguese Christmas. Rui Silvestre's menu in the Tivoli Gardens will be based on his profound respect for local Portuguese ingredients and their pure flavors. Respect for the ingredients is central to Rui Silvestre's gastronomy and he is dedicated to serving them as pure flavored as possible. Vistas Rui Silvestre guarantees a different, imaginative, and flavorsome Christmas meal.
Gemyse - Green Christmas
The Christmas menu at restaurant Gemyse is green at heart. Here guests can enjoy a refined, vegetable-based Christmas meal in the beautiful settings of the restaurant. At Gemyse, Head Chef Andreas Rosenkilde and his team use organic ingredients that offer plenty of flavor and texture. During the icy season of Christmas, they also turn to warm spices to give the seasonal vegetables extra flavor and depth.
Here you can enjoy simple and authentic Danish dishes, several of which have been on the menu for more than 100 years. At Grøften, you taste your way through the smorgasbord of Danish Christmas by enjoying "Grøften’s Great Christmas Table".
The Nimb Restaurants
Bernstorffsgade 5, 1577 København - Website
Hotel Nimb presents its gastronomic universe in the center of Copenhagen. Here, visitors can enjoy food from the French kitchen, open-faced sandwiches, and Danish dinner classics. This holiday season, the Nimb restaurants welcome guests into unique Christmas experiences, where they have tuned their menus and surroundings with holiday magic.
Nimb Brasserie - Danish Christmas dishes with French brasserie flare
Tivoli Gardens with its magical Christmas decorations is a wonderful sight to behold, and that is precisely the view visitors can enjoy from Nimb Brasserie, where in November and December they serve a delicious Danish/French Christmas menu in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The flavors at Nimb Brasserie reflect an exquisite French brasserie tradition. The ambiance is inviting and the views are magical. The ingredients are fresh, honest, crisp, juicy, tender, and carefully selected. The overall experience is one of a French brasserie set in a magical garden with added Danish Yuletide stardust – completely unique.
Fru Nimb - Classic Danish Christmas fare
At Fru Nimb, visitors can experience refined versions of classic Danish open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød), all set in a bright and beautiful ambiance. Here, there is a great dedication to detail and the ingredients are of the highest quality. Classically Danish with a luxurious twist. In the evening Fru Nimb offers a traditional three-course Christmas menu.
Gro Spiseri - Rooftop farm Christmas
Æbeløgade 4, 2100 København - Website
High above the hustle and bustle of the city, you can join Gro Spiseri in a cozy winter wonderland with bonfires and candlelight. Comfortably seated around the long table in the warm greenhouse, Gro Spiseri offers a 6-course unique dining experience with small elements from the traditional Danish Christmas meals. The courses are based on the best ingredients in season from the local fishmongers, farmers, and suppliers alongside well-preserved products. To accompany the food, the restaurant serves a great selection of natural wines, beers, homemade snaps, juices, and cocktails.
On the 10th-11th of December, the restaurant hosts a Christmas market, where visitors can enjoy local, green, delicacies made from scratch or harvested directly from the soil. The market offers a workshop for children, and it is possible to pet hens and rabbits, as well as to get warm by the fire and explore literature and local craftsmanship.
Hviids Vinstue - Copenhagen’s most legendary gløgg
Kongens Nytorv 19, 1050 Copenhagen K – Website/Press photos
There is no Danish Christmas without gløgg. The warm mulled wine with liquor, almonds and raisins is a perfect treat after a long day of Christmas shopping in the cold streets of Copenhagen. Hviids Vinstue, established in 1723, is famous for its gløgg and has used the same recipe since 1954. It is so popular, that they produce 8000 liters every festive season and it is served every year from 11th November at 11 am.
La Glace - Christmas in Denmarks oldest patisserie
Skoubogade 3-5, 1158 København K - Website
Conditori La Glace is Denmark’s oldest patisserie, founded on October 8th, 1870, and one of Denmark's leading conditories. During the holidays, the patisserie welcomes visitors in beautiful old rooms and presents traditional and modern Christmas delicacies shaped in cookies, art cakes, marzipan pigs, and petit fours.
Again this year, La Glace makes their traditional French Christmas Ice Cream, which for many years, has been the traditional Christmas Eve dessert for families in Copenhagen. The ice cream consists of a classical french ice cream base with nougat, mocha, and sorbet ice cream. It is decorated with a selection of cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blood orange, lemon, and black currant sorbet figures. Decorated with a snowman, green marzipan holly leaves, red berries, and a sign that says “Merry Christmas”.
The Danish tradition is to find an almond in the dessert on Christmas Eve, whereas the person who finds it receives a present. Therefore, La Glace puts a whole almond in their Christmas Ice Cream.
Øens Have - Winter landscapes and urban farming
Refshalevej 159b, 1432 København - Website
Øens Have have its urban farm transformed into a beautiful winter landscape with outdoor fires, warm candles and frosty vegetables. Sitting at long tables, guests will taste meals from 5-course organic menus inspired by the ingredients we often find on the Danish Christmas table - of course with a lot more green and Øens Have in it. Guests may enjoy organic beers and natural wine ad libitum during the dinner as well as snaps, avec and other drinks.
BÆST - Organic, Italian-inspired Christmas dinners
Guldbergsgade 29, 2200 København - Website
BÆST is Christian Puglisi’s restaurant in Nørrebro. Bæst is an organic, Italian-inspired restaurant in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen. At Bæst, which literally means "beast", ambitions of creating an authentic Italian restaurant are set aside to create a unique Italian-style Copenhagen restaurant, where great Italian produce such as extra virgin olive oil and sun-ripened tomatoes co-star along with the best local produce sourced from talented organic farmers in Denmark. Sustainability and ecology are keywords at Bæst, and all the products used on the premises will be certified organic. Each Sunday during the holidays, BÆST will host Christmas dinners, which are available for 2+ people each Sunday and available for bigger parties all other days. The Christmas dinners will include all the best products from their Farm of Ideas.
Hahnemanns Køkken - Learn how to bake Danish Christmas cookies
Sankt Kjelds Pl. 14, Copenhagen Ø - Website/Press photos
Hahnemanns Køkken in Østerbro houses both an organic bakery, patisserie, coffee bar and cooking school by the Danish food writer and chef Trine Hannemann. At Hahnemanns Køkken you can bite into Christmas favourites such as honey muffins, brownies, vanilla wreaths, and sourdough bread with dried fruit. If you are into baking yourself or need to refresh your Christmas baking skills a bit, Hahnemanns Køkken offers a course in Christmas cookies on Sunday 5 December, where you will learn how to bake four of the most popular Danish Christmas cookies – and you will be able to take them home with you.
BaneGaarden - A vegetarian Christmas dinner and ’julefrokost’ inspired by the wild nature
Otto Busses Vej 45, 2450 Copenhagen SV - Website/Press photos
In the middle of Copenhagen, not too far away from the central station, BaneGaarden is located as a green oasis with wild nature and sustainable gastronomy as pivotal points. At BaneGaarden, Christmas has begun and is very much present in the current menu at Restaurant Lade 609. The three-course-menu features an interpretation of the traditional Danish ‘julefrokost’ with both a menu for lunch and dinner inspired by the wild nature, taking you on an adventurous trip into the Nordic forest. Enjoy an all-vegetarian Christmas dinner or ‘julefrokost’ in breathtaking, green surroundings – all in the center of Copenhagen.
GRØD - The restaurant which made Danish porridge a gourmet trend
Prinsessegade 23, 1422 Copenhagen K – Website/ Press photos
GRØD, porridge in Danish, is a huge part of the Danish national self-perception and culinary heritage - especially during Christmas and the winter season. Mostly because of risengrød and ris á la mande, which are two of the most traditional Christmas desserts to enjoy and keep you warm during the cold winter months of Christmas.
GRØD is kickstarting the festive season on 24 November, exactly one month before Christmas Eve. They will be serving homemade gløgg, ris á la mande (cold creamy rice porridge with chopped almonds and a cherry sauce), risengrød (warm rice porridge) both as the traditional version with cinnamon sugar and a dollop of butter, but also a vegan version and a funky new interpretation with tarragon sugar and a dollop of butter. GRØD has won Denmark’s best rice porridge two years in a row. On Christmas Eve most local families have one whole almond in the dessert ris á la mande, and the person, who gets it, will win the almond present. Risengrød is also the favourite dish of Santa’s elves, so the story goes.
Photo:Christianshavns Bådudlejning & Café
Christianshavns Bådudlejning & Café - Gløgg & æbleskiver at a floating Christmas house in Christianshavn
Overgaden Neden Vandet 29, 1414 Copenhagen K – Website
As the cold winter months kick in, Christianshavns Bådudlejning & Café transforms into one of the coziest Christmas spots in town. Surrounded by Christmas tree stalls and twinkling lights and music, the outdoor surroundings of the floating Christmas house bring a delightful and Christmassy feel to the place. When entering, you will be struck immediately by lit candles and glittering decorations by the warm fire, and the scents and aromas of Christmas fill the room. They serve anything from gløgg and æbleskiver to traditional Christmas servings adding a festive atmosphere that most certainly won’t fail to get you in the Christmas spirit this year.
The Winter Cabin
During the cold months, Christianshavns Bådudlejning & Café opens its Winter Cabin in Christianshavn, which is well-known for its intimate, cozy atmosphere and attracts many locals during the winter. The café serves vegetarian meals all day as well as open-faced sandwiches for lunch and today's special in the evening. The Winter Cabin opens once again on the 4th of November and is open all days from 12-22.
Apotek 57 - Christmas treats and Italian specialties
Fredericiagade 57, 1310 København - Website
Apotek 57, is a hidden gem in the yellow-houses district of Nyboder. The eatery, run by Chiara Barla, formerly at 108 and Mirabelle, is a cooperation between the Italian chef and the Danish design brand Frama, and it's hosted in Frana's charming flagship store. At Apotek 57, visitors will find a rotating menu featuring in-house seasonal breakfast and lunch, sourdough baked goods, Italian focaccias, and great coffee. During the Christmas season, Apotek 57 will also include cookies, risalamande, gløgg, and some Italian Christmas specialties in their seasonal menu.
Bageriet Brød - Exquisite Christmas assortment
Enghave Pl. 7, 1670 København
Bageriet Brød opened in 2012 and was one of the first bakeries focused on making exquisite sourdough bread in Copenhagen. Today, the bakery has five chefs baking bread, all of whom used to work at well-known restaurants around the world. The cool little organic bakery is from the same hip folks behind the Vesterbro favorite called Kihoskh. This year, their Christmas assortment will consist of Gløgg, Christmas cookies, Christmas rolls, and Safran rolls - all made with organic ingredients.