Escaping the city for life in a Mexican surf town.
I RECENTLY WENT to Copenhagen to do a story on Noma, ranked the #1 restaurant in the world five times and most recently inaugurated into a new category — World’s 50 Best: Best of the Best. Since opening, the restaurant’s dazzling success has transformed the city into a global hub of culinary excellence and innovation. Prior to my arrival, the Noma team, a group of brilliant individuals from across the globe, shared a list with me of their recommendations around the Danish capital, from the finest of dining to their grungy after-work watering holes.
It rained almost the entirety of my week there. As I made my way through its disarmingly quaint neighborhoods, colored romantic by the moody weather, I remember constantly pulling the collar of my damp black overcoat up against the whipping winds — these enormous, bone-rattling winds whose gusts would grow with each nearing step to the waterside. My recollection of the city’s restaurants was thus paired with an overwhelming sense of warmth, little havens returning the blood to my icy fingers and aching ears through soul-warming combinations of salt, fat, and acid.
The spaces themselves also seemed to hold an animate awareness of their ability to comfort. Far from the first to praise Danish design and the Scandinavian penchant for coziness, I had never actually encountered it before this trip — this implicit understanding of what makes a space feel good. In this way, my meals became not only a tour of cuisine, but the study of a culture rooted in humanism.
I tried quite a few restaurants during my time in Copenhagen, each charming in their own way. This selection features the ones that stayed with me.
Sophie Mancini is an editor at Departures. Born and raised in New York City, she holds a degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and has a background as a writer in brand and editorial.
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