10 Best Restaurants near Cruise Port with Flair, Character and Taste

Copenhagen's cruise terminals are all located north of the downtown area and close to some spectacular restaurants: Situated not only in the elegant district of Frederiksstaden leading from Kastellet down to Kongens Nytorv and quayside Nyhavn but also in Copenhagen's rejuvenated docklands and its refined Østerbro suburb, a broad range of tempting eateries welcome cruise visitors to the Danish capital.

Directly overlooking the water are innovative and climate-friendly Restaurant Toldboden and newly renovated M/S Amerika, both of which are open for a delightfully Scandinavian al fresco lunch. Equally maritime in views are Nyhavn's Cap Horn, a flagship on Copenhagen's organic scene, and the hottest new restaurant to open in 2013, Matt Orlando's groundbreaking Amass Restaurant.

You'll want to try out some Danish specialties during your stopover in Copenhagen, and one of the best places to sample a traditional Danish lunch is Cafe Petersborg, an old-time restaurant on Bredgade near Designmuseum Danmark.

If you feel like splurging on a memorable dinner experience, make a booking at some of the smart restaurants in the Esplanaden area: Grønbech & Churchill is one of Copenhagen's cheapest Michelin restaurants while Bistro Boheme and Restaurant Rebel both offer a modern, stylish take on the French kitchen.

Take a stroll into Østerbro to enjoy one of Copenhagen's best French restaurants, the quietly understated Carte Blanche, or at the city's premiere Hungarian restaurant, Hungaria, both on Dag Hammarskjolds Alle and just a short walk from Østerport Station. 


Bistro Boheme
Photo courtesy of Bistro Boheme

A smart, stylishly decorated French bistro close to Churchillparken and Kastellet at the upper end of the Frederiksstaden district, serving French dishes with a modern and innovative twist. Bistro Boheme opened in 2007 and has seating for 80 indoor guests as well as terrace tables. Prices are a little over the average for Copenhagen (DKK 200-250 for a main) but the meals are impeccable, the ambience lively and refreshing, and the service of a similarly high standard. The incredibly lengthy wine list includes not only French wines but quality grapes from all over the world.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: French Bistro Boheme has gained in popularity especially with visitors thanks to its attention to service and detail.

Jane's expert tip: Closed Sunday

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HUNGARIA Restaurant og Vinbar
Photo courtesy of HUNGARIA Restaurant og Vinbar

Copenhagen may seem an unlikely place for a Hungarian restaurant, but the kitchen of this tastefully decorated eatery on leafy Dag Hammarskjolds Alle a short walk from ?sterport Station is exceptional. Formerly Bock Bistro, it serves both classic and lesser-known dishes from its homeland, including a vegetarian mushroom ragout and a veal fillet served with the restaurant's specialty lecso, a traditional vegetable stew. Prices for the authentic meals are reasonable: Between DKK 175 and 225 for a main. The wine card also includes a number of Hungarian wines. A great spot to learn more about Hungarian cuisine.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Copenhagen has very few Eastern European restaurants of any quality, but HUNGARIA makes the grade both for authenticity and quality.

Jane's expert tip: Also open for lunch (Sundays excepted)

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Restaurant Rebel
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Rebel

The upmarket, but unconventional French bistro restaurant Rebel, located on the elegant street Store Kongensgade in downtown Copenhagen, keeps high standards, both in its minimal decor and its perfectly presented, delicate dishes. Formerly Oub?k restaurant, the servings here are all small--the size of a starter--so three or even four courses wouldn't be outrageous: Choose from two, three, or four courses from the a la carte menu for DKK 249, 349 or 429 respectively. House specialties include pork belly with crackling, beetroot and cauliflower, and beef tartar with rhubarb, herb mayo and vinaigrette.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Restaurant Rebel's fresh twist on the French bistro makes for a memorable yet informal dining experience.

Jane's expert tip: Closed Sun and Mon: Open for dinner only.

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Carte Blanche
Photo courtesy of Carte Blanche

Opened summer 2010, Osterbro's neighborhood French eatery Carte Blanche has been received favorably by local food critics, who have described the place as somewhere 'you feel like coming time and again.' The small premises are bright and welcoming and smart without being exclusive, while the prices are surprisingly reasonable: Two courses from the small but select menu costs 210 Dkr; three-courses go for 240 Dkr. Carte Blanche is owned by Vincent Chabane, who previously ran Vincent's on nearby Landskronagade (now under new ownership). Reservations can be made by telephone only.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Carte Blanche is not showy, but quietly understated, leaving the focus where it should be: On the food.

Jane's expert tip: Like all Copenhagen's best French restaurants, Carte Blanche is tucked away from the downtown area.

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Gronbech & Churchill
Photo courtesy of Gronbech & Churchill

Opened in 2011 by experienced chef Rasmus Gronbech, gourmet restaurant Gronbech & Churchill found Michelin recognition within a year. Located on leafy Esplanaden across the road from the peaceful Churchillparken not far from Kastellet, the take on new Nordic cuisine here is innovative and delicate, and (at least for a Michelin-starred experience) the DKK 500 set menus come on the cheap side of opulence: Both the 'Flora & Fauna' and the more masculine 'Saft og Kraft' (strong and juicy) are impeccably presented, while Gr?nbech's stylish interior is imbued with clean-cut, Scandinavian minimalism and monochrome tones. Reservation strongly advised.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Gronbech & Churchill offers an intimate, gourmet dining experience that is within the afforable: DKK 1000 for the all-inclusive set menu (per person).

Jane's expert tip: Closed mid-July to mid-August.

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Restaurant Amass
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Amass

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 Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Amass is a restaurant with lofty ambitions for the simple, making it Copenhagen's most talked-about eatery in 2013.

Jane's expert tip: Although Amass keeps a small amount of walk-in spots, booking ahead is advised.

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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 building; the restaurant thus became a favorite with Russian sailors. It's one of Copenhagen's oldest restaurants and can trace its roots back to the mid-1700s. Petersborg is a well-established, traditional Danish restaurant that's particularly popular for lunchtime dining but also open for evening meals. In addition to the open sandwiches on offer, Danish dinner classics served here include frikadeller meatballs with red cabbage and potatoes and the restaurant's homemade 'biksemad', made with cubes of potatoes, meat and onions, and served with the traditional fried egg on top. Cafe Petersborg is located at the far end of Bredgade, close to Kastellet and Churchillparken.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Don't miss out on sampling a Danish lunch on your cruise stopover - Cafe Petersborg is an excellent place to do just this.

Jane's expert tip: Try the Petersborg lunch platter or the dish of the day.

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M/S Amerika
Photo courtesy of M/S Amerika

A stylish quayside restaurant located in an old harbor warehouse just a short walk from Copenhagen's several cruise terminals. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, and while afternoons are informal--families are welcome and dining takes place out on the terrace, weather permitting--evening dining is more stylish and formal (book ahead to be sure of a table). Choose from the a la carte card or the day's specials: Three courses are priced at DKK 350. The cuisine combines the modern global kitchen with elements of both French and New Nordic Cuisine, and the restaurant underwent a thorough renovation in 2013, which included opening up its terrace for al fresco dining and hiring a new head chef, American Adrien Norwood.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: After big changes in 2013, M/S Amerika has emerged as a stylish gastronomic landmark on Copenhagen's harbor.

Jane's expert tip: The terrace is wonderful on a warm summer's day.

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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.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Cap Horn stands out on tourist drag Nyhavn for its focus on freshly-caught fish and organic produce.

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

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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.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Restaurant Toldboden offers great views over the harbor, eco-friendly meals, and a focus on Scandinavian produce.

Jane's expert tip: There is plenty of herring in the lunch buffet - and a fishcake specialty.

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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