Denmark is famous for its New Nordic cuisine and this can be seen in the growing number of high-end and Michelin-starred restaurants in Copenhagen. But there is another side to the city’s food scene which is all about hot dog stands, burger joints and Middle Eastern delicacies. These dishes are some of the favorites of people from Copenhagen.

Most traditional food in Copenhagen

1. Smørrebrød


What was initially a Danish farmer’s lunch is now Denmark’s traditional dish, a local delicacy even served in high-end restaurants. The open sandwich consists of a slice of rye bread, with fish or meat, vegetables, and sauce on top. Almost every restaurant in Copenhagen serves a version.

2. Flæskesteg


Flæskesteg is a dish closely associated with Christmas in Denmark, a mainstay on Christmas dinner tables and Christmas market stalls. It is actually oven-roasted pork with spices, bay leaves, and cloves, usually served with boiled or caramelized potatoes. If you visit Copenhagen during Christmas, chances are you will see a large number of locals munching on a flæskesteg sandwich as they rummage through the city’s Christmas markets.

3. Frikadeller

copenhagen food specialty

Danish meatballs, known as frikadeller, are traditional here, and while there is no special recipe or secret ingredient, they somehow have their own unique flavor. Maybe it’s because they are usually fried in butter. Eat them with boiled potatoes or on top of smørrebrød like a true local.

4. Salmon

copenhagen traditional food

Another fish frequently found on Copenhagen restaurant menus is salmon. Although they are cooked in a variety of ways, Danes generally prefer to add a slice of cold-smoked salmon on top of a slice of rye bread. Check out the Kronborg restaurant and treat yourself.

5. Fiskefrikadeller


If there is a food that the Danes like more than meatballs, it is fish cakes or fiskefrikadeller. A mixture of white fish, onion, parsley, lemon, salt and pepper, they are usually accompanied with cucumber and a Danish remoulade. Even if fish isn’t a personal favorite, at least try fiskefrikadeller while you are here.