Copenhagen's 10 Best Spots for Desserts (and coffee!)

Copenhagen is gaining a reputation for its restaurant scene and the Danish kitchen is hip – but do its desserts meet the grade? Here's the lowdown not only on the city's most desirable pastries, but where to find a tiramisu or a tart you just can't resist.

Top of our list is Strangas Cakeaway – you’ll have to eat your main course elsewhere, as this place is devoted entirely to the sweet tooth. A little out of town on Aboulevard, this conditori is run by the former pastry chef of Michelin-starred Italian Era Ora Nikolaos Strangas.

A more traditional patisserie is the long-established La Glace, with old-fashioned charm and delicacy.

Dainty cakes can be had at the Royal Cafe along with sandwiches, soups and mains. The sumptuous surroundings of the Cafe Glyptoteket compel some regulars to pay the museum entrance fee just to enjoy coffee and a cake in the elegant winter gardens. 

Round off a selection of the innovative starters and mains from contemporary Scandinavian kitchen of Restaurant Geist on Kongens Nytorv with one of a number of exceptional desserts.

La Galette, found hidden in a courtyard, is one of the Latin Quarter’s secrets; Breton buckwheat pancakes, both sweet and savoury.

A new concept in Copenhagen is the Sunday afternoon cake table, which can be enjoyed in the fresh, airy surroundings of Restaurant Orangeriet in Kongens Have and the more off-the beaten path Spiseri in Norrebro. We hope this tradition is here to stay.

We think few kitchens can come up with desserts as delectable as the Italian; dolcis of panna cotta ice cream and tiramisu are all homemade at Cofoco’s The Italian, on the street level of Hotel Kong Frederik, and are organic at trattoria Che Fe.


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 Spiseri

A simple and rustic Italian in offbeat Norrebro run by a team of four women chefs who all met at the established Famo restaurant in Vesterbro. Spiseri means "the eatery" in Danish and this offers no frills or finery, but good food with mainly organic ingredients and a friendly, homely atmosphere. The prices are reasonable, and while the menu changes frequently (check the blackboard for the day's dishes) a selection of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci are offered. Those with allergies and vegetarians are advised to inform the restaurant of this when making a reservation.

Local Expert tip: Sweet tooth? Spiseri offers a selection from the cake trolley only on the first Sunday of the month.

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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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City Centre
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Orangeriet

A breath of fresh air in the popular Kongens Have Gardens, Orangeriet is certainly in another league than your typical park cafe. Located in the old glass house of the Kings Gardens with an adjacent terrace for al fresco dining on a warm summer evening, these premises gained a gourmet reputation back when Geranium was based here. The Orangery is a little less formal than its predecessor but no less delectable, with a la carte as well as set menus and a focus on organic, fresh ingredients. There is a particularly irresistible selection of desserts based on Danish fruits and dairy products - try the rhubarb with ice cream and grated licorice - and an extensive wine list.

Local Expert tip: Enjoy a wide range of cakes and open sandwiches on Sunday afternoons.

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La Galette
Photo courtesy of Jane Graham

Buckwheat pancakes from Breton region of France, both savoury and sweet, are the specialty of this secret courtyard cafe in Copenhagen's Latin quarter, where a whole 22 different varieties are offered. Should buckwheat not be to your taste, regular pancakes can also be enjoyed. La Galette is located in an old, yellow-colored building, with a rustic feel and outside seating - with so much Breton atmosphere, you could almost forget you were in Scandinavia.

Local Expert tip: La Galette's most expensive pancake is filled with smoked salmon, caviar, chives and soured cream.

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Photo courtesy of Restaurant Geist

This smartly casual restaurant is located on a strip of similarly swank eateries on the north side of Kongens Nytorv, through the rather formidable gates and at the end of an attractive courtyard. Unlike most other gourmet restaurants in Copenhagen, Geist has dropped the set menu in favor of an a la carte list of smallish dishes, from light starters and heavier savouries to a number of ingenious desserts, all from an innovative and contemporary Scandinavian kitchen. Owner Bo Geist previously won a Michelin star for his restaurant at Paustian. The decor is monochrome and modern, with a fashionable central open kitchen and even more fashionable Molteni stove taking the spotlight.

Local Expert tip: The restaurant has two dining areas to choose from, one more casual than the other.

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Cafe Glyptoteket
Photo courtesy of Kim Nilsson

Glyptoteket is one of Copenhagen's most attractive museums and its cafe has the perfect placing, in the tropical winter gardens of the museum atrium. Enjoy the cafe's breakfast plate (served until 1pm), light lunches, healthy sandwiches or just a tempting cake with your coffee and soak up the calming atmosphere of the palm trees. The cafe gained a reputation for its cakes under the tenure of its previous owner Mette Blomsterberg, but new owners Peter Stub and his French wife Stephanie Michaud are keen to maintain the reputation, with a heightened focus on organic and fair trade products.

Recommended for Dessert because: Cafe Glyptoteket has a beautiful setting and gorgeous cakes.

Local Expert tip: Note you have to pay museum entrance to dine here. Free on Sundays.

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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 Japanese sushi. The rye bread is cut into small, dainty fingers and makes dining here feel like a dollies' tea party, except for the fact it's all served on the finest Royal Copenhagen porcelain. Should you be in the mood for something more grown up, the cafe also has a selection of normal-sized sandwiches and cakes. It can get very busy and you may have to wait a while to get served, but the Royal Cafe has enough going on on its walls to keep you entertained.

Local Expert tip: Don't forget to take a look in the Royal Copenhagen store next door, even if you're only window shopping.

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Conditori La Glace
Photo courtesy of La Glace

This old-fashioned coffee shop and patisserie was established in downtown Copenhagen in 1870 and has managed to retain its character through six generations of owners. One look through the window will have anyone with a sweet tooth excited by the cream heavy creations on display, though customers must be prepared to observe traditions - the furnishings date from 1924 and this is a place to mind your manners. Enjoy your desserts with rich cups of cream-topped hot cocoa, served formally by waitresses in crisp white and green uniforms.

Local Expert tip: Sunday opening from September to Easter.

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Strangas Conditori and Cakeaway
Photo courtesy of Nikoloas Strangas

This exquisite patisserie and cake shop is located a little out of town in a former bakery on the rather characterless aboulevard, but it's worth the trek if you have a sweet tooth: the Greek-born owner, Nikolaos Strangas, was pastry chef at Michelin-starred Italian Era Ora in Christianshavn before setting up on his own here, with his Danish wife Lotte, and the cakes are individually decorated by hand into works of art. Check out the Cakeaway specialty: Macaroons in a rainbow of delicate pastel shades, filled with Valrhona chocolate.

Local Expert tip: Try a delicious cup of hot chocolate with your cake.

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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