10 Best Casual Dining Restaurants in Copenhagen offer informal dining in plesant surroundings

Copenhagen is well suited for the casual diner. Danes love to go out to eat and are customarily informal, casually dressed and relaxed about eating out. The city has many options for those looking for a reasonably priced restaurant you can drop in at without calling first, before or after a tour of the town, that’s pleasant to dine in.

Up-and-coming neighborhoods like the vibrant, culturally diverse Vesterbro offer a wide selection of relaxed and informal restaurants where prices are reasonable. This is especially true in the former meatpacking district Kodbyen, rapidly developing a reputation for a restaurant scene that combines casual settings with fresh, innovative menus: Italian eatery Mother, organic folk kitchen BioMio and sustainable meat restaurant Nose2Tail, where nothing on the animal goes to waste, stand out in particular. For those craving something with a little more kick, colourful Thai eatery Spicylicious is reasonably priced and comfortably decorated.

Even in more upmarket districts like elegant Frederiksstaden it’s possible to enjoy a good meal in a casual setting at restaurants like modern fusion kitchen The Red Box, the organic Italian kitchen of Che Fe and MASH, which stands for ‘Modern American Steakhouse’.

If you find yourself around Nyhavn with a rumbling stomach and no dinner reservations, try checking out Cap Horn, a pleasant restaurant that’s built its reputation on quality local produce and organic fare. If you’re in the mood for pizza or pasta before a movie or a show, The Italian is handily placed a short walk from central Rådhuspladsen square.


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 freshly caught fish, free-range lamb and steaks. Cap Horn is open for both lunch and dinner and diners can choose to sit out on the cobbled quayside (with a blanket in case of chilly winds) or inside Cap Horn's historic, perfectly restored premises, with its dark wood panelling and leather-backed seats.

Local Expert tip: Private parties can easily be accommodated upstairs in either of Cap Horn's banqueting rooms.

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The Red Box
Photo courtesy of The Red Box

This contemporary fusion restaurant combines the best of both Asian and European kitchens with as fresh, healthy menu that is light years away from the greasy and stodgy dishes that Denmark's 'kina grill' have developed a reputation for. Its downtown location in the elegant district of Frederiksstaden is also a pleasant change from most of the city's other Asian restaurants, just a short walk from the royal Amalienborg Palace. as its fresh, modern decor. The menu tempts with dishes like 'confit duck with plum and chili sauce served with fennel, oyster mushrooms, haricots dolique and pommes croquettes'. There's a two course menu on offer for DKK 269 per person – pricey perhaps for your average Chinese but very reasonable for the upmarket area. Closed Sundays.

Local Expert tip: Fusion Chinese kitchen with a focus on healthy cooking.

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City Centre
Che Fe
Photo courtesy of Era Ora Group

Che Fe in downtown Copenhagen is an organic certified restaurant, run by the team behind Christianshavn's Era Ora and L'Altro. Many of the dishes offered here are classics that helped make Era Ora its name back in the 1980s. With very reasonable prices, Che Fe also caters for vegetarians and those who wish to eat more organic / add sea food to their diet. As an Italian, Che Fe's a la carte menu offers a range of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci - the tiramisu especially has made ripples in food critics' circles. The decor is fresh and rustic, with pale green walls and simple, unadorned tables.

Local Expert tip: Come between 4.30 and 6pm for hot takeout dishes from the restaurant menu.

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Restaurant Julian Toldboden
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Julian

Located in an old customs and excise building on Copenhagen's harbor front not far from The Little Mermaid (Toldboden's name means custom house) this modern, innovative restaurant keeps its decor simple, its windows large and open to the panoramic view and its menu sustainable and local. Toldboden is one of a handful of climate-friendly restaurants in Copenhagen offering a special sustainable menu where the exact carbon footprint of a dish has been calculated and kept to a minimum. Helping the planet is combined with an informal atmosphere, modern kitchen and a menu that invites families and other larger parties to enjoy mix and match grill and brunch buffets. Note that Toldboden closes during the winter.

Local Expert tip: Another Restaurant Julian is located in Copenhagen's Nationalmuseet.

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MASH Steakhouse
Photo courtesy of MASH Steakhouse

This stylish diner calls itself a 'Modern American Steakhouse', a concept that has proved so popular with Danish diners that the restaurant now has two other branches in other parts of the country. Located downtown on Bredgade in Frederiksstaden, MASH mixes the best of two nations – American steakhouse traditions and top quality cuts of beef with the Danish customs of informal eating and drinking. The trendy interior is dominated by red leather sofas, mirrors, and plenty of space, while the meat comes from Uruguay, from Denmark – where it's dry aged for 90 days – from Wagyu, Australia and from Omaha in the US. For those not up for a steak, fish is also on the menu.

Local Expert tip: Quality steaks in a sophisticated setting.

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BOB - BioMio Organic Bistro
Photo courtesy of BioMio

This organic 'people's kitchen' is situated in an old Bosch warehouse in Vesterbro's former meatpacking district, Kodbyen, as can be seen by the very distinctive neon 'Bosch' sign that the owners elected to leave on the restaurant's facade. Lovers of biodynamic cuisine can dine informally at long tables and be spoiled for choice from the menu, where everything is organic, from meat and fish dishes to vegetarian options: There's even an organic children's choice. For those on a raw food diet, BOB has raw food options to supplement its hot dishes. The restaurant also offers an extensive lunch buffet at weekends as well as evening takeout options.

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Photo courtesy of Stine Christiansen

It's almost impossible to translate 'mad bodega', but the term illustrates the kind of back to basics community spirit of traditional Danish bars this modern, sustainable eatery in Vesterbro's meatpacking district hopes to emulate. Inspired by a similar venture in London, Nose2Tail opened in spring 2011 with a simple premise – use all of the meat on an animal from its nose to its tail, with nothing going to waste. The restaurant is housed in a large but surprisingly attractive basement still clad in the white tiles from the butcher's hall, where informal dining is enjoyed with a glass of wine; traditional Danish desserts are also on offer. And while Nose2Tail is certainly not for vegetarians, consideration for animal welfare and sustainability is paramount, and the mostly organic produce can be traced back to small, local farmers.

Local Expert tip: Cuts of the day are written on the blackboard.

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City Centre
The Italian
Photo courtesy of The Italian

A smart yet casual Italian restaurant on the street level of Hotel Kong Frederik run by the incredibly successful and generally extremely reliable Copenhagen restaurant chain Cofoco. The decor here is simple but fresh, with plain wooden tables and rustic-looking, green metal chairs. This is an ideal spot to grab a pizza before enjoying the late night movie at theaters like the nearby Dagmar - all pizzas cost 100kr - though the restaurant also offers a good range of Italian pasta and meat dishes including lasagne, ravioli and osso bucco. Three-course pizza menu 225kr; luxury three-course menu 325kr.

Local Expert tip: Treat yourself to something more adventurous than a pizza.

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Photo courtesy of Spicylicious

This lively Thai restaurant is located in the heart of Vesterbro, not far from the Central Train Station, and offers reasonably-priced meals in comfortable, attractive surroundings. Choose to dine in the more formal dining area or on low tables surrounded by colourful cushions. The authentic food is presented with western diners in mind, and ranges from mild to spicy, from traditional dishes like pad thai and banh xeo pancakes to a range of curries and wok dishes. Vegetarian and fish options; takeout also available with 10 pecent discount. Open daily for evening meals only.

Local Expert tip: Stylish, modern Thai eatery with plenty of color and zest.

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Photo courtesy of Mother

This trendy pizzeria in Copenhagen's upcoming district Kodbyen, the old meat-packing quarter, specializes in sourdough pizzas of the highest quality cooked in the restaurant's wood-fired oven. Despite its informal vibe (this is the kind of place where you can grab a slice before hitting the bars and clubs), the food at Mother is certainly not to be dismissed and dishes are prepared from scratch with fresh ingredients. According to Mother's Italian chef, sourdough is better than regular dough for pizzas, not only due to its intense flavor but also its ability to be digested easily, and although you won't feel hungry, "you'll be ready to dance in half an hour". Inside, Mother's decor of red lamps, smart tables and chilled music is complemented by its international staff and hip clientele – no wonder it's became rated as one of the city's top pizza joints.

Local Expert tip: Mother also offers antipasti and desserts.

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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