Rasmus Palsgård

Rasmus Palsgård Copenhagen, Denmark Rasmus Palsgård likes to write about food. (He is one of Denmark’s leading food and wine writers). Rasmus Palsgård likes to cook food. (He was a finalist on Danish Masterchef in 2016). But most of all, Rasmus Palsgård likes to eat food, although he wishes there were more meals in a day. “Being a food critic is both a privilege but also a kind-of disadvantage,” he says. “My job is to visit as many different places as possible and that means I rarely go back to the same place often. But that said, of course I have some favourites.” These are some of his favourite places to eat and drink in Copenhagen.

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“It’s a One Michelin Star Restaurant But It Should Have Three Stars”

I love to visit Søllerød Kro. It’s probably the place I’ve been the most times. It’s a one Michelin star restaurant but in my opinion, it should have three stars. The important thing to know is that you feel so well when you’re there. When you leave, you’re already looking in your schedule to find a new date to visit. It’s just so great. And what makes it great? One thing is the hospitality. Jan [Restorff], the restaurant manager, has worked there for 20 years, which is super long for a person in the hospitality industry. You could say he is a living legend. People don’t say they’re going to Søllerød Kro, they say that they’re going to Jan’s place. No matter if you’re a student or a wealthy businessman, he’s able to make you feel well. Which is super important when you’re going to a place where you’re going to spend quite some money. The other important thing is of course the food, which is just amazing. You could say that it is a mix of Nordic and French cuisine, but within that spectrum you will also find Japanese flavours and ingredients. The main thing is that they’re only seeking the best ingredients, some of which are quite luxurious. You’ll most likely see caviar, truffles and foie gras on the menu. With that being said, it’s not one of those places only for people who like to spend money. It’s really for people who appreciate good food and wine. It also has a splendid wine cellar. The building itself is an old inn from 1677. It’s in a little neighbourhood called Søllerød, north of Copenhagen. The area is very green, there’s a lot of forest around and a tiny lake. It’s like a little adventure every time you go. Not that it’s difficult to get to, but there’s something special about leaving the city and going to the countryside to enjoy some tranquillity. It’s around 25 minutes by car from the centre of Copenhagen. What I usually do is take the train and cycle the 2 kilometres from the closest station to the restaurant. It’s fine to take your bike on the train. It’s the Copenhagen way.

A Local Italian Restaurant With The Best Risotto

Italian restaurant Enomania doesn’t make much noise and it doesn’t need to. It’s definitely a place for the locals. It’s for the people who know it. I don’t think it even has an Instagram account. It’s just a great, casual place. If you love wine, especially Burgundy, Borolo and classic fine wines, this is the place to go. A lot of my Champagne-loving friends go there to enjoy super good bubbles. The pasta dishes are super good and it has the best – I mean the best – risotto you can imagine. And it’s all very affordable. It’s a great restaurant.

Experimental And Original Cooking

The food at fine-dining restaurant Mielcke & Hurtigkarl is really exciting. Chef Jakob Mielcke’s style is exotic, experimental and very original. His cooking is inspired by his travels so you might see influences from China or Italy, for example. He has crazy ideas, but he always manages to make it super delicious. The dining room itself is also quite spectacular. It’s painted with plants on the walls to give this natural element to the experience. It’s quite fascinating. The restaurant is located in an old park in the area of Frederiksberg, which is a lovely part of the city. Staff are super friendly too. They’re really good at both the wine and the hospitality part. It’s always a great place to go.

An Affordable Natural Wine Bar

Den Vandrette is a great wine bar. It’s located just next to Newhaven: the touristy place in the centre of Copenhagen with all the famous multicoloured houses along the canal. It’s in a basement. You walk probably five or six steps down, so you can still see life happening on the street outside. It has a great wine list with a focus on natural wines. There’s also a walk-in wine closet where you can pick your wine and have a sommelier open it for you. It’s super friendly, the food is great. You eat food that’s perfect to pair with wine. Charcuterie, cheese, great bread. It’s relatively simple and based on super products. You’ll never see anything mediocre there and at the same time it’s very affordable. You can spend an entire night there without ripping yourself off. 

Copenhagen’s Best Bakery

The bakery scene has really evolved in Copenhagen. We have a lot of great options, but Juno is just incredible. It’s simply the best. It’s just around the corner from where I live which is both excellent and a little dangerous. It’s a tiny bakery. There’s always an endless line of people. You can buy croissants, sourdough breads, rye bread, pastries with different types of creams and curds: all made without compromise. Just like a great restaurant, it only uses the best products. Emil Glaser, the owner and chef, has taken his experience from working at some of the best kitchens in the world and implemented it into baking. He uses the best flour, the best butter, the best vanilla. A good example is the chocolate it uses for the chocolate croissants. It’s around 100 kroner (approximately  10USD) for one bar. So obviously the products are a little more expensive than your typical bakery, but I always say to people; it’s the cheapest way to get a real gastronomic experience in Copenhagen. It’s really amazing. It’s an example of how people are going back to basics. As a bakery, you don’t need to have 15 different types of cake. You only need maybe three and then focus on making those extraordinary.

Part Restaurant, Part Bar, All Good Times

Gorilla is very cool and definitely worth mentioning. It’s a very big space in the meatpacking district that’s always busy, always lively. It feels like a mix between a restaurant and a bar. I would say it’s probably one of the more established mid-range restaurants in Copenhagen. The food is delicious. You order a lot of small plates to share and drink cocktails, natural wine. You go there to have a good time. I’m sure a lot of people end up having a party after their meal there.

My Favourite Coffee Spot

You need to drink good coffee while you’re in Copenhagen, and Prolog is the place to go. It’s a tiny coffee bar but you won’t find better coffee in Copenhagen. It’s definitely worth a visit. It’s really thoughtful in sourcing beans directly from the farmer, ensuring that the farmers are getting paid better. The coffee is roasted and brewed in a lighter style like pour over. It’s also just a great place to hang out. It’s also located in the meatpacking district so is a good stop if you’re going to Gorilla.

Refined North Sea Cooking And Beer

Barr sits in the original Noma building and it’s great. For me, it’s something I felt was missing from Copenhagen’s dining scene. It’s very casual, very rustic, and super delicious. It almost looks like a Nordic beer hall with heavy wooden tables. Only it’s much more refined. It’s cooking food from the North Sea region: so not only the Scandinavian region but also northern Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands. For instance, there are dishes like Danish meatballs and schnitzel. The dishes still look rustic, but they’re refined to another level. It could easily be turned into a fine-dining place, the food is definitely at that level, but they’ve done it in a way that’s easy to understand and in a way that makes people feel more relaxed. Barr is actually an old Nordic word for barley so you can expect to drink the most exceptional beers, too. It has an extended bottle list with some of the most sought-after producers. It’s not a Noma but it’s part of the Noma portfolio. There’s the same spirit. They make you feel good and you want to stay and enjoy yourself more. It’s a place that I really enjoy.

Cocktails Garnished with Bar, Cafe and Restaurant Recommendations

Balderdash has turned the rules of a cocktail bar upside down. It mixes a lot of crazy things. One thing I really like about the bar is that on the backside of the cocktail menu is a map of Copenhagen. And on the map, the staff of the bar have pinpointed their favourite places to go: other bars, restaurants and cafes. I think it’s just so telling of the spirit of the city.

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