One could almost assume Copenhagen’s premiere tourist drag, Nyhavn closed down for business during the winter. Apart from the short-lived Christmas season (when the cobbled quayside street is filled with festive Christmas Market booths throughout December), the canal district – lively and often crowded during summer – seems subdued and dark in January and February.
The open fireplace at Cap Horn adds to the warm, homely atmosphere. — Photo courtesy of Cap Horn
While the sidewalk tables have long since been moved inside, most of Nyhavn’s restaurants remain open all-year round and tough out the winter with hearty bar meals, a warming glass of something, and, in the case of organic Cap Horn, a blazing open fire in the grate.
After many decades spent entertaining thirsty sailors and their dames, Cap Horn was opened in the mid 1990s, transforming the attractive old bar into a restaurant while preserving its historic character: the floor is old, the chairs mismatched, and a collection of curiosities lines the walls, all with a story to tell: It amounts to a really homely atmosphere in the restaurant, what the Danes call “hygge”.
In addition to the warm welcome, Cap Horn is all about ecology, and the restaurant specialises in traditional food with a special focus on seasonal menus, organic produce, CO2-reduction, and freshly-caught, locally harvested seafood. While al fresco dining is popular in summer, guests move inside off-season, with ample seating over two floors and a winter menu tempting with braised lamb, black winter truffles and a rich, dark sauce. Daily specials are advertised on the blackboard.
Other Copenhagen restaurants with real fires include: Restaurant Peder Oxe on Gråbrødretorv and Restaurant Zeleste, Cap Horn’s Nyhavn neighbor.