The perfect pairing of taste and setting in Copenhagen's most romantic restaurants

Looking for a place to take your loved one for a romantic dinner whilst in Copenhagen? The city has no shortage of contenders, both traditional and more offbeat. Copenhagen's most romantic restaurants are generally small, intimate, and exclusive, so reservation well in advance is essential to avoid disappointment. 

With its idyllic surroundings, bags of history and tradition, and a menu that's classy without being audacious, Den Gule Cottage is well worth making the 30-minute drive north to Dyrehaven for, especially on a long, balmy summer evening.

Era Ora has been one of Copenhagen's most exclusive and delectable Italian eateries for some decades now, and its setting, amid the pretty canals of Christianshavn, is simply the icing on the cake.

Copenhagen has some excellent French restaurants, and we've selected two of its more low-key establishments, Carte Blanche in Østerbro and the Latin Quarter's Mon Amour, where the rustic French kitchen and a discreet ambience ought to prove the winning combination.

French food with a Nordic twist is offered at two stalwarts of Copenhagen's restaurant scene, the historic Restaurant Grønnegade--located in a 17th-century building, one of the city's oldest--and Frederiks Have, whose delightful covered courtyard overlooks Frederiksberg Have. Likewise, Orangeriet in Kongens Have manages to combine disarmingly simple menus with the perfect garden location.

We know that romantic dining means different things to different couples, so we've added two less obvious choices in the lively Nørrebro district of Copenhagen. Oysters are served with the casual panache of a port in the Canary Islands at Oysters&Grill, while wonderfully simple and homely Italian dishes are served in fresh, informal surroundings at Spiseri.


Restaurant Grønnegade
Photo courtesy of Christian Alsing, Copenhagen Media Center

Restaurant Grønnegade is housed in one of Copenhagen's oldest buildings, dating from 1689, just a few minutes' walk from Kongens Nytorv Square. It's a place steeped in tradition, having been a restaurant for the past 40 years - 17 of them under the current ownership. The restaurant offers simple but well-prepared classic French/Danish dishes that change according to the seasons, such as beef tenderloin or rack of pork and an extensive wine menu. Aside from the a la carte (mains are priced between DKK 250-300) there are also 3, 4 and 5-course gourmet set menus. Tage Andersen (a local florist known for his artistic decorations) has worked on the decor and the overall look is one of intimacy, perhaps a little old-fashioned but certainly romantic.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: More than 300 years of tradition and history has given Restaurant Grønnegade the perfect setting for romantic dining.

Jane's expert tip: Note that children under 8 are not permitted to dine at Restaurant Grønnegade.

Read more about Restaurant Grønnegade →

Oysters & Grill
Photo courtesy of Cofoco

Oysters, in varying types and sizes, are on the menu at reasonable prices at local chain Cofoco's fresh and vibrant seafood department, located in Norrebro next to Empire movie theater. The bright tablecloths and busy staff bustling between the tables makes for a lively, informal atmosphere. With the same concept as the chain's other restaurants – good quality food at affordable prices – Oysters & Grill provides fresh, simple dishes; as well as oysters there are also clams, tiger prawns, lobster and squid, all sold by weight. Finish off the meal with a dessert like strawberry pie or a Danish-styled panna cotta.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Oysters & Grill is all about the simple pleasure of oysters, straight from the port without the frills and the snobbery.

Jane's expert tip: Oysters sold by weight in a lively setting.

Read more about Oysters & Grill →

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.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Spiseri offers great value, pleasant surroundings and the refreshing simplicity of the rustic Italian kitchen.

Jane's expert tip: Sweet tooth? Spiseri offers a selection from the cake trolley only on the first Sunday of the month.

Read more about Spiseri →

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.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Lovely park surroundings, glorious views, a fresh decor, and a disarmingly simple menu combine to make The Orangery special.

Jane's expert tip: Enjoy a wide range of cakes and open sandwiches on Sunday afternoons.

Read more about Orangeriet →

Mon Amour
Photo courtesy of Mon Amour

Prices are more than reasonable at this welcoming, family-run French bistro in Copenhagen's atmospheric Latin quarter, which serves authentic French cuisine with a distinct lack of snobbery. French standards like foie gras, moule frites and steak frites are served alongside house specialties such as 'gigot d'agneau', a slow-roasted leg of lamb prepared with thyme, garlic, and rosemary. Note the restaurant is closed on Mondays. Three-course menu DKK 295 / €39. Mon Amour also has a wine bar, with a wide selection of the best in French wines.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: A relative newcomer to Copenhagen's restaurant scene, French bistro Mon Amour is not only central but also friendly and resonably-priced.

Jane's expert tip: Not far from Mon Amour is its sister cafe Frenchy in a basement on Hyskenstræde, which serves 'Copenhagen's only French brunch'.

Read more about Mon Amour →

Photo courtesy of Famo

One of Copenhagen's most authentic and popular Italian restaurants, Famo's location does not raise eyebrows - tucked down a little side street in inner Vesterbro - but the food here is uncompromisingly Italian, rustic, with an exclusively Italian wine menu to match. The name refers to the two chefs and owners, Fabbio and Morten, both veterans of Michelin-starred Era Ora in Christianshavn. Don't worry about not being able to choose, as Famo offers a set daily menu only comprising five courses: antipasti, primi piatti, il secondo, and dolce priced very reasonably at DKK 370.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Famo is small and cosy, with great, authentic Italian dishes served by candlelight.

Jane's expert tip: Famo offers a changing set menu only.

Read more about Famo →

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 Romantic Dining 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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Frederiks Have
Photo courtesy of Frederiks Have

Two things attract dinner guests to the delightful Frederiks Have, located not far from the eastern entrance to the extensive Frederiksberg Have park. The first is the excellent changing menu of Scandinavian cuisine made by the kitchen team of two Swedish and two Danish chefs, while the second is its covered courtyard, which is ideal for romantic al fresco dining in this quiet and leafy neighborhood. Be sure of fresh produce and impeccably presented dishes, including many fish options. Three-course menu DKK 385. Closed Sundays.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Frederiks Have pairs an idyllic outdoor setting with a great menu and attentive service.

Jane's expert tip: Note that although the street address is Smallegade, find Frederiks Have on small side street Virginiavej.

Read more about Frederiks Have →

Era Ora
Photo courtesy of Claes Bech Poulsen / Era Ora

Era Ora has long been regarded as the best and most upmarket Italian restaurant in Copenhagen. Situated in a beautifully decorated old building overlooking the pretty canals of Christianshavn, Era Ora is open for both dinner and lunch and is exclusively Italian in its menu. With fresh and authentic ingredients, the chefs at this Michelin-starred restaurant know how to prepare meals that look as good as they taste. Not that such extravagance comes cheap: Era Ora's six-course dinner menu is priced at DKK 1150 per person, not including wine. Reservation essential.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Michelin-starred Italian Era Ora is a legend in the Copenhagen restaurant scene for its delicious and perfectly presented menus.

Jane's expert tip: Save by booking a table at lunchtime rather than the evening, which in summer can be enjoyed al fresco.

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Outside the city
Den Gule Cottage
Photo courtesy of Den Gule Cottage

Two of Copenhagen's best-known chefs, Anita Klemensen and Lars Thomsen, took over 'The Yellow Cottage' in 2010 and has transformed this delightful thatched cottage in the woods near Bellevue Strand into a fresh and feminine gourmet kitchen. Housed in a 19th-century listed building designed by renowned Danish architect Gottlieb Bindesbøll - the man behind Thorvaldsens Museum - it has been a restaurant for several decades and is the ideal location for a romantic meal in the country during the summer months. The restaurant is located about 30 minutes by car or train outside Copenhagen in the Dyrehaven woods near Klampenborg and can boast a fresh Nordic menu and relaxed yet attentive service. High (though not exorbitant) prices.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: This pretty thatched house in the woods makes the perfect restaurant for a warm summer's evening.

Jane's expert tip: Ask about a summer picnic.

Read more about Den Gule Cottage →


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