Copenhagen's 10 Best Lunch Restaurants

For those who prefer eating out in the middle of the day, Copenhagen excels when it comes to lunch restaurants. In fact, for those who wish to sample the best local cuisine, many of Copenhagen’s most traditional Danish restaurants open for lunch only.

You’re not just going to walk past our favorite Copenhagen lunch restaurant Rabes Have by chance, as it’s located off the beaten tracks of Christianshavn at the far end of the southern canal. This historic eatery serves traditional Danish fare indoors as well as outside in the restaurant’s idyllic courtyard.

Dine amongst prominent Danes in the historic surroundings of Kanalcafeen, sandwiched between Slotsholmen and the Nationalmuseet. The traditional smorrebrod restaurant has a long menu of classic Danish open sandwiches and plenty of herrings.

Other restaurants serving excellent traditional Danish lunches include Slotskaelderen Gitte Kik, just off the canal, and in Frederiksstaden, Ida Davidsen and Cafe Petersborg. Note that some of these restaurants close for the whole of July.

If you prefer a less traditional lunch, a decommissioned tram car makes up the premises of established, offbeat burger cafe Sporvejen on Grabrodretorv Square, while Restaurant Julian in the Nationalmuseet offers climate-friendly lunch menus and a lavish, organic brunch. Organic produce and fresh fish dominate the menu of Cap Horn on Nyhavn.

Combining lunch with shopping is always popular and Copenhagen’s most exclusive stores also boast some of its fanciest cafes. The Royal Cafe of Royal Copenhagen Porcelain on Amagertorv serves dainty finger food on Danish blue plates while Spisebaren, on the top floor of Stroget department store Illum, is stylish, handy and boasts great views.   

Spisebaren in Illum
Photo courtesy of Group Shafi

The top floor of downtown department store Illum is a surprisingly stylish restaurant, owned by the same team behind Michelin-starred Kokkeriet. While the aspirations for department store dining are more casual, they're no less high, and...  Read More

The Royal Cafe
Photo courtesy of The Royal Cafe

This cute cafe next to the flagship store of Royal Copenhagen on Amagertorv has put its own dainty twist on the traditional Danish lunch, building up quite a reputation for its own invention: "Smushi", a fusion of smorrebrod open sandwiches with...  Read More

Cafe Petersborg
Photo courtesy of Cafe Petersborg

You could be forgiven for assuming there was a Russian menu on offer at Cafe Petersborg, but this traditional Danish eatery takes its name instead from its past connections with the Russian Embassy that was previously located in the same...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Sporvejen

An established cafe that has hardly changed over the past few decades, tiny Sporvejen ('the tram') on attractive Grabrodretorv Square is ideal for all vintage tram and train enthusiasts. It's actually the carriage from a decommissioned...  Read More

Slotskaelderen hos Gitte Kik

A small, historic basement lunch restaurant a few yards away from the old canal Gammel Strand, Gitte Kiks' traditional Danish menu consists almost entirely of smorrebrod (open sandwiches). The Kik family have been running this smorrebrod...  Read More

Cap Horn
Photo courtesy of Cap Horn

There are so many restaurants on tourist street Nyhavn that it can be hard to single just one of them out, but Cap Horn is exceptional for its charming interior and its high quality ingredients, most of which are organic; specialties include...  Read More

Restaurant Julian Nationalmuseet
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Julian

The cafe of the Nationalmuseet is a surprising find. Owned by the same team behind harbor restaurant Toldboden, Julian is attractive and charming but also casual and informal enough for a museum refreshment break. It's also one of Copenhagen's...  Read More

Ida Davidsen

Quite possibly Copenhagen's most famous smorrebrod establishment, this lunch restaurant has been adding the toppings to the national Danish dish, open sandwiches, for three generations. Ida's son Oskar now runs the establishment, along with a...  Read More

Photo courtesy of

One of the few dining options close to the Slotsholmen district of museums and attractions, Kanalcafeen is situated on the opposite side of Frederiksholms Kanal. This location, added to its old-fashioned ambience and long history, makes it a...  Read More

Rabes Have
Photo courtesy of

You're unlikely to stumble upon Rabes Have as it's located out of the way at the south-west end of Christianshavn, past the canals and along the old defensive bastions of the city at Christianshavns Vold. From the road it might look a little...  Read More


Meet Jane Graham

After touring most of Europe in her twenties, Jane was charmed by Copenhagen's relaxed tempo and moved there from her native northern England in 1999. Four young children at home has meant...  More About Jane

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