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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Simple premises, a fresh and open decor and good ingredients make Nose2Tail ideal for group dining.
Jane's expert tip: Groups of up to 8 people can book a table at Nose2Tail.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Very centrally-located, Italian food is best enjoyed in groups - and Cofoco's The Italian is a great example.
Jane's expert tip: Treat yourself to something more adventurous than a pizza.
On one of the narrow cobbled streets of Copenhagen's Indre Byen, this gourmet Nordic 'gastro pub' opened in 2010 and serves innovative and modern set menus or two three, four and five-courses for DKK 325-445. Dishes change with the seasons and are simple and delicate pairings of Danish herbs, fruits, game and fish, accompanied by a wine list focused on biodynamic and organic wines. Marv & Ben received its first recommendation in the Michelin Guide in 2014. Dine on the top floor, with its high ceilings and murals, or in the basement, with a direct view of the busy open kitchen.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Marv & Ben is all about the modern Danish kitchen - using fresh local ingredients from its own garden in North Zealand.
Jane's expert tip: Don't confuse the trending Nordic kitchen with haute-cuisine - this food is simple and flavorsome.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Fresh and innovative yet buzzing with energy, informal Toldboden has plenty of options - and space - for group dining.
Jane's expert tip: There is plenty of herring in the lunch buffet - and a fishcake specialty.
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.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: A fresh, modern approach to the Chinese restaurant makes the Red Box ideal for parties.
Jane's expert tip: Fusion Chinese kitchen with a focus on healthy cooking.
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.
One of Christianshavn's best restaurants can be found in this old building - a former customs office - right next to the canal, with boats gently rocking outside the windows. While lunches are traditional Danish fare, the seasonal evening menu combines inspiration from the French and Italian kitchen with fresh Danish produce in dishes like fresh lamb and North Sea lobster tails. You can dine inside the old building, with bags of maritime atmosphere, or outside on Kanalen's terrace, under large parasols. There is a focus on good service and portions are certainly not skimpy.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Restaurant Kanalen oozes with Christianshavn's canalside atmosphere, with outside seating in summer and an open fire in the winter.
Jane's expert tip: Kanalen serves traditional Danish lunches and dinners that fuse Danish with French cuisine.
Located across the harbor from the cruise terminal (take harbor bus 991), US chef Matt Orlando, formerly head chef at noma, opened this ambitious communal dining experience opened in an old shipbuilding factory in June 2013 and has had the world's gastro press salivating in anticipation. Prices are reasonable: DKK 575 for dinner or DKK 375 for a smaller lunch. Dining is informal and encourages social meetings: the food continues the search for simple, natural Nordic seasonal ingredients, elevating the humble potato and carrot to heights of culinary distinction. Presently the most talked about restaurant in Copenhagen.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Amass wants its private diners to experience the same atmosphere as other guests - with a loft-level private dining space directly above the dining room.
Jane's expert tip: Although Amass keeps a small amount of walk-in spots, booking ahead is advised.
Italian restaurant Era Ora, located across from Christianshavn's famed canals, is one of Denmark's original Michelin-starred restaurants. With its roots in the Umbrian and Tuscan kitchen, the changing set menus of both lunch and dinner are built up in the classic Italian manner of five courses (2 to 4 at lunchtime), and while certainly not cheap, are simply exquisite. Great care is taken to make every dish build upon the previous one, complementing the different flavors and keeping taste and texture light and fresh. Dining here is an extravagant and memorable experience that attempts to dazzle all the senses. The restaurant's wine cellar is as extensive as its kitchen.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Era Ora is legendary in Copenhagen, having had its Michelin star since 1997, known for sumptuous dishes, stunning decor, and a beautiful setting.
Jane's expert tip: Era Ora's private room, La Finestra Sul Molo, can be booked for private dining.
The beautiful, 1930s art deco building that previously housed the Customs House restaurant complex on Copenhagen's waterfront has been reborn as The Standard, which comprises three different restaurants - the modern Danish cuisine of Almanak and Studio with the contemporary Pan-Indian kitchen of Verandah - with an internationally-oriented jazz club. This ambitious project is in capable hands - Claus Meyer, the man behind Meyer's Deli, Restaurant Radio and co-owner of Noma - and Niels Lan Doky - one of the driving forces behind the opening of Jazzhus Montmartre in 2010, are its two partners.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: The Standard offers many options for group dining as well as after-dinner entertainment, combining three kitchens and a jazz club under one roof.
Jane's expert tip: Visit Almanak for breakfast, an Indian-inspired Sunday brunch at Verandah or a concert in the Standard's Jazz Club.