What is Smørrebrød?
Smørrebrød is the classic Danish open-faced sandwich, traditionally eaten for lunch with beer and aquavit (if you want to go full Dane). Piled high with goodies like breaded fish filet, shrimp, egg or roast beef and with a foundation of thick, dark rye bread spread with butter or lard, smørrebrød is a must-eat when you’re in Denmark.
Though there are many places to get a quick, tasty bite, you can have the full culinary experience at any of these restaurants that we consider to have best Danish open sandwiches:
Aamann’s is known as one of the most gourmet open sandwich restaurants in town, drawing on both New Nordic and traditional Danish cuisine. There’s both a sit-down restaurant and a takeaway deli next door, where you can get either a gourmet-level meal or a box of smørrebrød to take to the park.
Øster Farimagsgade 12
Niels Hemmingsens Gade 19-21
Øster Farimagsgade 10
Also known as The House with the Green Tree (it has two official names!). It’s actually the location of a famous Danish novel called “Huset med det grønne træ” about at merchant family that lived in the building. This place serves up good old fashioned smørrebrød with all the sides, beers and snaps. The interior is cosy and almost original with panels of wood decorated with historical pictures of Copenhagen. In fact, this restaurant was the first place to allowed women to dine publicly in Copenhagen. There’s also a lovely outdoor seating area when the weather is nice.
1457 København K
Mon & Tues 11:30 am – 4:00 pm
Weds – Sat 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
First Sunday of every month 12:00 – 4:00 pm
A beautiful, hyggeligt interior and an impeccable staff are just icing on the cake at this classic spot. The smørrebrød is traditional and absolutely delicious. Be sure to try the marinated herring (in the image below); it’s their speciality! They also serve a fantastic Christmas and Easter menu. There’s a reason we keep coming back here for years!
1211 København K
Every day 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
This place been around since 1877, and their age is testament to the impeccable service and array of different classics on offer. It’s a favourite central haunt for Copenhagen’s locals too, offering visitors an authentic Danish dining experience in the heart of the city.
Hauser Plads 16
Mon – Sat 11:30 am – 5:00 pm
Traditional and top-quality smørrebrød located near Nyhavn. They have an excellent range of homemade snaps including flavors like Lemon & Thyme and Horseradish. Rumour has it this is where the Queen buys her smørrebrød, and portraits of royalty decorate the walls.
1253 København K
Sun – Fri 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sat 11:30 am – 4:00 pm
Modern takes on classic dishes in a light-filled, Scandi-style setting situated in picturesque Nyhavn. And their vast selection of home distilled aquavits – which can be be paired to each course – offers a nice accompaniment to this wonderfully traditional meal.
1051 København K
Sun – Thurs 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri & Sat 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Do you have a favorite smørrebrød restaurant that we missed? Tell us about it!
Photos by Freya McOmish