Copenhagen's Gourmet Take Out. From Smørrebrød to Sushi

Gone are the days when all Copenhagen had to offer in the way of take out fare was a hot dog stand or a barely nutritious China Box: These days, foodies in a hurry--or gourmands who would simply prefer to eat at home--can enjoy everything from authentic Italian pizzas, delicate sushi rolls and fragrant Thai take-out to the best in Nordic cuisine, all packed up to go.

Top of our list is a place that helped kick start Copenhagen's food revolution, Cofoco Le Marché. The menu here is not large, but the food is of excellent quality: So good, in fact, that Cofoco has expanded with restaurants all over the city.

Just as Cofoco showed us that French food is not to proud to be eaten to go, so too have Aamanns taken the traditional Danish lunch and handed it to us in a portable edition from their stylish Østerbro location. Another place offering superb seasonal Danish produce is Meyers Deli, out in Frederiksberg.

Copenhagen's gourmet food market Torvehallerne Kbh is a great place to start for takeout food: And if you're looking for pizza, Gorm's Pizza at stand G1 offers some of the best in the city. Hot dogs meanwhile are a Copenhagen staple; but for one that's a little more nutritious, the organic hot dog stand DØP operates Mon to Sat throughout the year next to the Round Tower.

Thai and Japanese food is well-represented in Copenhagen, and some of the best Asian take out boxes come from Aroii (there's a number of locations around the city, but the one on Hausergade has the best selection); and the original sushi chain in Copenhagen, Sticks'n'Sushi


Wokshop Cantina
Photo courtesy of Wokshop

This Thai-inspired takeaway has a superb location, on Ny Adelgade just off Kongens Nytorv: Ideal for those staying at the nearby Generator Hostel. Considering most establishments in this district are pretty pricey, this is a great option, with curries, satay sticks, soups and noodle dishes on offer. If you don't feel like taking it back to your hotel room, there's limited seating inside. Prices hover around DKK 130-150 for a main; vegetarian dishes available. The place is also licensed, so it's no trouble if you feel like a glass of wine with your food.

Recommended for Take Out because: The area immediately north of Kongens Nytorv doesn't have much to offer in the way of take aways, so this is a welcome find.

Jane's expert tip: Sit in or take out: It's up to you.

Read more about Wokshop Cantina →

Pizzaria Salumeria La Fiorita
Photo courtesy of La Fiorita

Considered by locals as the best pizzeria in the hip and arty Nansensgade quarter, La Fiorita is a long-running Copenhagen favorite: An understated, genuine Italian-Copenhagen place with a decor that is nothing special to look at, but where the food is the center of focus. Here, Italian pop ballads play over the speakers behind the counter and the friendly staff always seem busy. The energy here is infectious, and you'll soon build up an appetite for the thin, crispy pizzas made with real buffalo mozzarella. Other Italian specialties are also available: Prices around DKK 50-60.

Recommended for Take Out because: This pizzeria is known locally as one of the best in the area.

Jane's expert tip: You can order other Italian dishes as well as pizza.

Read more about Pizzaria Salumeria La Fiorita →

ARoii - Hausergade
Photo courtesy of Aroii

A citywide chain of high-quality, stylish Thai takeaways, Aroii has two city center locations, one in Nyhavn and the other on Hausergade, Kultorvet. Of these, the Hausergade address has a greater selection and more extensive opening times. The food is delicate, colorful and spicy, and the prices fairly reasonable for downtown Copenhagen. You'll be spoilt for choice from the extensive menu, which offers a host of starters, including classics like dim sum dumplings (DKK 75 a portion), even more mains, including red and green curries with chicken (DKK 95), and Thai spare ribs (DKK 105). There's even a range of mouth-watering desserts available.

Recommended for Take Out because: Aroii serves some of the best Thai take out in Copenhagen, and is extremely centrally located.

Jane's expert tip: Go on, splash out! The dessert range is highly tempting.

Read more about ARoii - Hausergade →

Nansensgade Quarter
Photo courtesy of Sticks'n'Sushi

The first sushi bar in what is now a citywide chain, Sticks'n' Sushi first opened on Nansensgade in 1994, long before the sushi craze hit Copenhagen by storm. Within the sleek premises, sushi is freshly prepared either for eating in or taking away, with exquisitely presented salads, maki rolls and nigiri as well as the specialty yakitori sticks on the menu, and ingredients range from avocado and salmon to the more exotic Australian kingfish, with vegetarians catered for, as well. There are another 7 branches dotted in and around Copenhagen, including one in Vesterbro at Istegade 62.

Recommended for Take Out because: Sticks'n'Sushi helped start Copenhagen's late '90s sushi craze. The food here is freshly made with consideration for sustainable fishing.

Jane's expert tip: If this branch isn't handy for your location, try one of the other six.

Read more about Sticks'n'Sushi →

Kodbyens Deli
Photo courtesy of Kodbyens Deli

As a budget alternative to Kodbyens Fiskebar around the corner, Kodbyens Deli is a great choice. The small menu card uses fresh, seasonal ingredients but its main draw is its fish'n' chips, presented in ladies' (accompanied by salad and cucumber sauce) and gents' editions (tartar sauce and especially thick chips), and will costs you a mere DKK 70. There is also a changing dish of the day as well as a dessert. On a summer evening, the tables and benches outside the deli in the vast yard of the meatpacking district are lively with locals enjoying a good old helping of fried fish.

Recommended for Take Out because: Kødbyens Deli offers excellent food at great prices, from fish and chips to healthy salads, mains and desserts.

Jane's expert tip: Good quality fish'n'chips without the frills or expense.

Read more about Kodbyens Deli →

Den Økologiske Pølsemand
Photo courtesy of DØP

Some 30 years ago, the sight of a 'pølsevogn' or mobile hot dog stand on the streets of Copenhagen was a common sight; these days, you're more likely to come across a coffee bar or sushi joint. Despite that, Denmark's fast food staple now comes in a healthy, organic edition in the form of DØP - Den Økologiske Polsemand, or The Organic Hot Dog Seller. Claus Christensen opened his hot dog business in November 2009, setting up shop next to the Round Tower in Copenhagen's atmospheric Latin Quarter, and his cheap and tasty alternative to the area's cafes was a hit from the start. A hot dog will set you back about DKK 40, and you can choose between a range of organic dressings and even organic mash, a mix of potato and parsnip, on the side.

Recommended for Take Out because: This a great healthy and traditional option for take out in Copenhagen that's also cheap.

Jane's expert tip: For something out of the ordinary from your usual dog, try the organic mash.

Read more about Den Økologiske Pølsemand →

Meyers Deli
Photo courtesy of Meyers Deli

The original store of what is now a small chain of delis in and around Copenhagen, selling a variety of specialized food goodies ideal for those who want to try a spot of New Nordic cooking themselves: Claus Meyer is one of the pioneers of the now internationally-known movement. Gourmet products include fresh-ground coffee beans, oatmeal, honey, chocolate, tea, vegetable oils, marmalades, and pickles, as well as fresh-baked bread and pastries from the Meyer Bakery. There is also a cafe on the premises serving food and beverages to eat in or take out all day long.

Recommended for Take Out because: Meyers Deli is an ideal place to sample classic Danish dishes and seasonal local produce at reasonable prices.

Jane's expert tip: Check the daily menu before making your order.

Read more about Meyers Deli →

Nansensgade Quarter
Gorm's Pizza
Photo courtesy of Gorm's Pizza

The recent readers' choice winner in a local web guide's 'best takeout' contest, Gorm's pizza in gourmet food market Torvehallerne Kbh is the creation of Gorm Wisweh, a pizza lover from the Danish island of Bornholm. Gorm's signature pizzas are always listed on the blackboard, and created from the notion of a pizza as a complete entity, where sweet, sour, bitter and salty tastes are combined into a total experience. Gorm's is also known for his 'pizza flaps'; like healthier versions of a pizza slice, these are wrapped around crispy salad. Every day between 10am and 12 noon a breakfast pizza is served with eggs, beans, and pancetta. Prices for pizzas are around DKK 50-70.

Recommended for Take Out because: Gorm's Pizza has become incredibly popular with Copenhagen residents. It's also well-priced and very handy for downtown visitors.

Jane's expert tip: One of few places to offer a pizza at 10am.

Read more about Gorm's Pizza →

Aamanns Deli & Take Away
Photo courtesy of Aamanns

Just when it seemed like the old Copenhagen smørrebrød (or open sandwich) establishments were dying out, places like Aamanns have revolutionized the institution. Aamanns is located just outside downtown in the Østerbro quarter and has allowed a fresh new audience to acquaint themselves with traditional toppings like herring, eggs, shrimps or beet on a slice of rye. Smørrebrød (Adam Aamann and his team never refer to it as open sandwiches, even in their takeout spot in NYC) is on offer every lunchtime Monday through Sunday, while the evening menu offers one hot and tasty weekly special (generally a Danish classic) along with perennial favorites, frikadellar pork and veal meatballs.

Recommended for Take Out because: Proud of its Danish roots, this is one of the few take aways in Copenhagen to offer classic Danish cuisine.

Jane's expert tip: Come in the evening and try the frikadellar meatballs.

Read more about Aamanns Deli & Take Away →

Cofoco Le Marché
Photo courtesy of Cofoco Le Marche

Cofoco Le Marché on Værnedamsvej, situated where city quarter Vesterbro meets more residential Frederiksberg, is the original establishment of what is now a successful citywide chain. Cofoco stands for 'Copenhagen Food Consulting' while 'Le Marché' is French for market: the food here is French-inspired, mostly locally sourced and based upon a set menu that changes weekly and fuses the French kitchen with Scandinavian (and occasionally Italian) touches. Built up from the concept that all people, regardless of budget, have a right to top quality food to take home, the original selection was limited but good; and it quickly became popular. The decor is as well thought out as the food, taken from locally reclaimed materials: the counter panels, for example, were taken from a well-known Copenhagen nightclub.

Recommended for Take Out because: A long-standing favorite with locals, Cofoco is a great place for good-tasting French take out food.

Jane's expert tip: Cofoco Le Marché does not accept cash.

Read more about Cofoco Le Marché →


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