Copenhagen does just about everything right. Design, obviously. It’s why the city has sat atop my Wanderlust Wednesday bucket list for quite some time. (Exhibit A.) Health care, which is tax-funded, covers 100% of the population and they offer more maternity leave than you could ever imagine. Work/life balance, as inboxes are often abandoned by 5:00 p.m. Food, including the best restaurant on the entire planet. (Noma? Ever heard of it? Of course you have.) Style, with their white sneakers, cropped wide-legged trousers and an overall couldn’t-be-bothered-to-wear-makeup ease. Lifestyle, with their devotion to hygge. Each Copenhagener is said to burn, on average, 13 pounds of candle wax a year. No wonder Danes are deemed the happiest people on the planet.
So naturally, they also can brew the best damn cup of coffee you’ve ever had too. In the chicest coffee shops, with courteous baristas, tucked into historic neighborhoods. Could Copenhagen get any more charming? Doubt it.
Our favorite roving reporter Megan (have you ever checked out her love series?? seriously, you should) recently found herself in Copenhagen (why didn’t she pack me in her suitcase!) and has kindly rounded up the must-visit coffee shops for this week’s installment of Wanderlust Wednesday.
When I visit a new city I always make a point to find the local coffee shops because that is where you find the local people. You get to inject yourself into the culture – even if it’s just until the bottom of your cappuccino. Next time you find yourself in Copenhagen – as soon as possible! go! now! you won’t regret it! – start your mornings off right or wind down in the afternoon at one of these five design savvy coffee shops.
Go to The Coffee Collective once, chances are you’ll end up there, oh, let’s say another 15 times before begrudgingly being dragged back to the airport. Walking into one of their five locations (+ a roastery – which I’m obessed with) is like popping over to an old friend’s house, if, say, your old friend went to a prestigious design school.
The locations are warm, comforting, inviting, sophisticated – how many adjectives do you need? I particularly felt at home at the Bernikow location, a quiet oasis near the hustle and beautiful bustle of Nyhavn, but if you want to grab something to go, pop by their spot in the Torvehallerne food market or on the harbor at their newest location at Broens Gadekøkken, a collaboration between Noma (!) and the Copenhagen Street Food.
To stay cool and caffeinated, try the coffee kombucha, a collaboration with Laesk. It’s made from 100% filter-batch brewed coffee and organic sugar, which is then fermented with a scoby culture. A fizzy, refreshing boost of caffeine that’ll also give you a dose of probiotics? Win/win. You can feel good about dropping some Danish krone at Coffee Collective: they visit their producers annually and pay them at least 25% above the fair trade price.
There a buzz of energy in Democratic Coffee, and that’s only partially due to the coffee. Right in the heart of Copenhagen, on Krystalgade, Democratic Coffee is attached to one of the most democratic places of all: the library.
A mix of students, professionals and Copenhageners of all kinds passes through Democratic, looking not only for a cup of coffee – they specialize in a single origin, light roast brew – but also for one of their beloved baked goods, made in-house. They’re known for their almond croissant, but I couldn’t pass up the pain au chocolate, which are both freshly baked twice a day. From the coffee to croissants to the people watching, there’s no going wrong at Democratic.
Do you think Atelier September would notice if I moved in? Just nestle into the corner of the sun-soaked spot and never leave?
Part cafe, part creative studio, part boutique, Atelier September is everything you want in a singular space. Frederik Bille Brahe operates the cafe part, where he serves a thoughtful coffee and tea selection with an edited, healthy(ish) breakfast and lunch menu. Meanwhile, in the back addition, opened in 2015, designers Jonas and Annette Trampedach feature a must-have-it-now collection of furniture, lighting, antiques and posters – including many of their own designs.
During my recent visit, over a bowl of shakshuka that roused me back to life after an overnight flight, I watched a pair of young study abroaders attempt, kinda, to write a report, two older Danish women slap their knees in laughter, folks breezing through for a mid-afternoon latte and a pair of designers put their heads together a bound-to-be beautiful project. Just another Monday mid-afternoon at Atelier September.
Breakfast and lunch is served all day, every day. We’re suckers for the comte cheese and soft-boiled egg and matcha tea, though their light roast coffee by Swedish roaster Koppi is also A+.
Why, yes you can get coffee at the little sister of the world’s most renowned restaurant, Noma. There are two sides to 108: the restaurant itself, which opens at 5:00 p.m. and is an easier reservation to secure than Noma, and The Corner, where you can start your day off right with coffee and pastries, in, no big deal, a Michelin-starred restaurant.
As for that coffee, Tim Wendelboe, a world champion barista and rock star roaster in Oslo, Norway who also transformed the coffee program at Noma, is to thank. Though the presentation isn’t as pretentious as it sounds; in fact it’s one of the less expensive cups of outstanding coffee you can find in Copenhagen.
And about those pastries…
All the cool kids go to Sonny. And for one afternoon, me too.
Supercouple Sarah Wreschner and David Andersen helm this French-inspired cafe and eatery, which combines the coolness of Paris with the coziness of Copenhagen. Think plenty of cushions, sleek marble-top tables and a streamlined menu.
If you’re all coffee’d out – though you shouldn’t be, as La Cabra Coffee Roasters and Koppi provide the beans – throw back a Sonny juice, a blend of apple, ginger, turmeric and spirulina, and down a matcha granola bowl or their be-still-my-millenial-heart avocado sandwich, with a poached egg, beetroot spread, greens and chimichurri all on rye bread.
For prime people watching, nab a spot on the outdoor bench and watch those stylish Copenhageners live their best hygge life.
Tip to take home: Democratic, Coffee Collective and 108 all sell bags of beans. Pack your suitcase with some for a sip of Copenhagen once you ease back into reality, and ship me a bag while you’re at it.
For more Wanderlust Wednesday inspiration, CLICK HERE.