Like most things in Copenhagen, coffee isn’t cheap, but it’s something that’s really important to the Danes. You’re never far away from a cafe in the city, though it’s relatively Starbucks-free, so you have a good excuse to try somewhere different. Be warned: decaf tea or coffee is near-impossible to find, but you’ll have no problems getting a caffeine fix to fuel your sightseeing…
Stuffed owls, red curtains and log tables mark this place out as a homage to cult TV series Twin Peaks and, in particular, one of its most unusual characters: the Log Lady (appropriately named because she carries a log that she talks to). There are lots of dark corners, dimly lit by candles, where you can sit with a drink and a slice of cherry pie, a Twin Peaks favourite. There’s also a menu serving organic snacks and cakes, as well as a regular brunch buffet.
Obviously you have to order a ‘damn fine cup of coffee’, as main character Agent Cooper would, though if you stay late into the evening you could switch to one of the Danish microbrewery beers on offer. Based in a very hip area, the cafe is actually a former tattoo parlour, and it’s surrounded by vintage shops and tiny boutiques. If you’re craving familiar labels, high street stores like Monki and Weekday aren’t far away, on Frederiskborggarde, a long pedestrianised shopping street where it’s all too easy to lose yourself (and the contents of your wallet) to Scandi fashion. (Studiestrasse 27).
Cafe Holberg No.19
This street in downtown Copenhagen is really relaxed, despite being so close to touristy Nyhavn, the picture postcard harbour lined with brightly-coloured bars. But what makes Cafe Holberg No. 19 extra special is the chance to bump into Danish acting royalty: Søren Malling, star of The Killing and 1864, part-owns Cafe Holberg 19 and is regularly spotted here; I was even lucky enough to see him. His co-star in The Killing, Sofie Gråbøl, lives nearby and often pops by.
If you’re travelling with a coffee sceptic, placate them with the wide range of Chaplon herbal teas, while you sip a double espresso. Arrive early to take advantage of the popular brunch menu, try the healthy lunchtime sandwiches, or swing by later for a Danish take on tapas and a glass of wine. All the food is freshly prepared. (Holbergsgade 19).
Big Apple is very laid back and it’s a great place to unwind with a good book before exploring the gardens, Rosenborg Have, situated opposite. The decor is rustic, with wide wooden tables and benches, and potted trees adding a bit of colour. It’s predominantly known as a juice bar, hence the bowls of fruit lined up on the counter, but the coffee is too good to miss.
The cappuccinos are beautifully rich, thanks to locally-roasted Coffee Collective beans. The Coffee Collective buys its produce under the Direct Trade scheme, where workers are paid 25% more than a Fair Trade wage, which makes it even more tempting to try a cup of this stuff. If you’re a liquorice fan, you’ll love Big Apple’s liquorice latte. (Kronprincessegade 2).
The Danes take design very seriously, and it’s not hard to see why: they make some of the most iconic products in the world. It stands to reason, then, that the Danish Design Museum should have a stylish cafe attached, named after ‘the father of Danish furniture design’, Kaare Klint (not to be confused with Cafe Klimt, elsewhere in the city). The drinks menu is pretty standard – Americano, cortado, chai latte, etc. – so it’s easy to find your favourite. Add a slice of the cake of the day, then either sit inside underneath cutting-edge lighting or soak up the sunshine in the Grønnegård courtyard.
Plan your visit carefully, as the museum isn’t open on a Monday. Much like the V&A in London, it’s the kind of attraction you could spend all day in, poring over the jewellery, furniture and artefacts on display, particularly in the Fashion and Fabric exhibition. Afterwards, pop into The Gutter, an art-inspired record store practically opposite the museum, selling effortlessly cool music, clothing and accessories. (Bredgade 68).
This isn’t a big cafe, but you can easily tuck yourself in a corner amongst the cushions or sit outside and people watch to your heart’s content. Pair the iced coffee or tea with some Danish-made Friis Holm chocolate or a white chocolate and nut blondie. The decor here is eclectic, with fur-lined chairs, cool posters dotting the walls, and a poem printed onto the tiles beneath the counter.
Gothersgade is an ideal stop after Kongens Nytorv (the King’s New Square), home to the Royal Danish Theatre and the most luxurious hotel in the city, the historic Hotel D’Angleterre – both covered on many of the Copenhagen walking tours. It’s also within spitting distance of some great independent shopping streets, such as Store Kongensgade, where you’ll find jewellery shops and antique stores to browse. (Gothersgade 21)