Like a Local: 12 of the best restaurants in Nyhavn, Copenhagen

by Sian Marsh  |  Published July 3, 2018

New Port, Nyhavn, was built over 300 years ago to allow trade ships to deliver their cargo directly to what was Copenhagen’s inner city (Nyhavn originally extended all the way to Kings Square). Thanks to the establishment of the new port, Copenhagen developed considerably, with Nyhavn remaining a central attraction to this day. 

The colourful buildings along the Nyhavn canal (Photo: Paul Cozens via Flickr)

Locals and tourists gather in the restaurants lining the Nyhavn canal; sitting outside in the summer and indoors in the hygge surrounds during the winter. Here are 12 restaurants that serve some of the freshest foods and coldest beers.


Hyttefadet serves a traditional Danish lunch and dinner. Hearty burgers, meatballs and salmon are all on the menu along with two mixed platters and a wide selection of smørrebrød with fillings including herring, eggs with shrimp and smoked salmon. The inside décor is basic; drink tablets and historic framed photos line the walls which are painted half black, half cream, creating a relaxed pub vibe.

Nyhavn 25, 1051 København K, Denmark

Nyhavn 17

Nyhavn 17 lit up in red (Photo: Stig Nygaard via Flickr)

The ochre façade of this 17th century building, with its large red neon sign, stands out among the brightly coloured buildings that line the canal. Inside is a mix of old world bar and French bistro. Nautical ornaments and old photographs adorn the walls, while local beers are served on tap. The menu is a combination of everyday classics, such as Caesar salad and fish and chips, and local favourites including the preferred Danish lunch, smørrebrød.

Nyhavn 17, 1051 København K, Denmark

SEA by Kiin Kiin

Located at the entrance to the Nyhavn canal, overlooking Christianshavn, this upmarket restaurant serves modern Thai cuisine. In the industrial style, brick building, the décor is sleek Danish; the light room is filled with wooden furniture and the delicate green leaves and white petals of orchids. Oysters with nam jin marinade, braised pork belly with five spice and pork crackling, and banana cake with coconut milk and soft caramel are all on the menu.

Nyhavn 71, 1051 København K, Denmark


Fresh Asian food at Damindra (Photo: Damindra)

Japanese cuisine prepared with the freshest Scandinavia ingredients is served in the contemporary Danish interior of Damindra. Sushi rolls, Sashimi, tempura and kushiyaki are just a few options from the extensive menu. Desserts include tempura green tea ice cream and flamed meringue flavoured with cashews and rum. The starkness of the white walls and contemporary black furniture is softened by the natural tones of the wooden floor and pot plants scattered around the edges.

Holbergsgade 26, 1057 København K, Denmark


Faergekro is known for its daily lunch buffet of herring prepared at least 10 different ways. A variety of smørrebrød is also available. The dinner menu includes familiar fare, offering simple but good Danish food such as roast beef, pork belly and meatballs. Every day there is a plat du jour served with seasonal vegetables. Speciality aperitifs are also concocted with local, seasonal fresh berries and flavours. The atmosphere is cosy and unpretentious.

Nyhavn 5, 1051 København K, Denmark

Restaurant Gilleleje

In addition to the traditional Danish lunch menu of smørrebrød and herring this modern establishment, located on the other side of the canal to the main restaurant strip, offers some hearty local alternatives such as pork stew and chicken and asparagus tartlets. The clean, fresh interior is decorated with maritime ornaments and global treasures. The highly lacquered, decorative wooden tables and brown leather chairs give a sense of high quality dining. The bar offers speciality beers, various snaps and a good selection of wine.

Nyhavn 10, 1051 København K, Denmark

Restaurant Zeleste

The entrance to Restaurant Zeleste (Photo: Restaurant Zeleste)

Fresh tones run through every aspect of this French style Restaurant, from the ambience to the decor and the food. The classic bistro style is modernised with a scattering of industrial materials such as concrete steps and brick ledges. Marble tables also help create a more cosmopolitan feel. Beef tartar, lobster, oysters, croque-madame and an extensive wine selection can all be found on the classic French menu.

Store Strandstræde 6, 1255 København K, Denmark

Restaurant Heering

A large variety of classic Danish food with a French influence is on the menu at Restaurant Heering. Breakfast includes croque-monsieur and a Danish breakfast platter, complete with bacon, cheese, yoghurt, fish and pancakes. Lunch and dinner options vary from light salads to pastas to hearty meat stews, steaks and a good selection of fresh fish. The interior is fresh and contemporary with notes of industrial design such as brick ledges.

Nyhavn 15, 1051 København K, Denmark

Cap Horn

Multi-coloured lights adorn the exterior of Cap Horn (Photo: Jessica Spengler via Flickr)

Danish organic, seasonal produce is the main ingredient found in all the dishes served at Cap Horn. Simply decorated with rustic light wooden floors, white walls and fresh flowers; the design is country Danish, helping to create the restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere. The décor complements the fresh, wholesome food which is well presented. Choices range from fish dishes to pancakes. The staff are friendly.

Nyhavn 21, 1051 København K, Denmark


This classy restaurant occupies a fresh, light room, displayed with ornate wooden chairs, gold candelabras and artwork relaying the ‘Tinderbox’ fairy tale of Hans Christian Anderson, one of Nyhavn’s most famous former residents. The extensive lunch menu offers smørrebrød, a herring buffet or a Danish platter. The dinner menu consists of classics such as steak, lamb shank and duck. All dishes are decoratively presented.

Nyhavn 11, 1051 København K, Denmark


Modern Scandinavian cuisine at Kompasset (Photo: Kompasset)

Kompasset serves lighter meals in modern Scandinavian surrounds. Light wood furnishings with modern lamps and cosy cushioned window booths create a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy fresh open sandwiches filled with shrimp, salmon, chicken and beef, and hearty bowls of soup. For something smaller to snack on they have options such as pork croquettes, olives and chilli crackers. There is a large Danish beer and wine selection.

Nyhavn 65 stuen, 1051 København K, Denmark

Restaurant Havfruen

Havfruen is a seafood restaurant which serves locally sourced fish, fresh from the sea. There is an array of options from calamari, langoustine, crab, hake and salmon. Steak and beef Carpaccio are also available but there are limited options for vegetarians. The soothing dark wood and mossy green tones create a relaxed ambience.

Nyhavn 39, 1051 København K, Denmark