Denmark’s second city boasts restaurants of every description, not least those serving the coolest food of the moment in Denmark: traditional open-faced sandwiches, or ‘smørrebrød’. Fresh fish and local delicacies combined with the creativity of local gourmet chefs make dining in Aarhus a pure pleasure. Here are our top spots to try in the city.
Kähler Design is a Danish company world famous for it’s handcrafted ceramics and now also for wonderful dining experiences. Enjoy an evening in the beautiful Kähler Villa with aperitifs, appetizers, snacks, a three course dinner, unlimited wine and coffee. Opened in 2013, this concept restaurant has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘best gourmet restaurant in town’. Explore the fantastic patrician villa, which has an open view to the kitchen and an interior décor that brilliantly depicts the Kähler Design universe and the company’s 175 years of history. Kähler Villa Dining aims to give guests a unique Nordic culinary experience in a comfortable, relaxed environment with individual customer attention. The wonderful food is served on Kähler’s own award-winning ceramic designs, which can also be purchased in the restaurant.
Café Smagløs (which translates as Café Tasteless) is anything but devoid of flavour. The café opened in 1989 and was one of Aarhus’ first cafes. Over the years, this cosy and friendly café with a spacious outside dining area that faces Monastery Square has developed quite a cult following, and is popular with students. Tasteless’ brunch is the very best for the price in Aarhus and their NamNam burger is nothing short of amazing. There’s also free arts and crafts supplies to play with on Monday nights.
Savour delicious Scandinavian cuisine and wonderful wines at the critically acclaimed Nordisk Spisehus restaurant in the heart of Aarhus. At Nordisk Spisehus you can enjoy a true Scandinavian gastronomic experience with its team of top chefs, including members of the National Culinary Team of Denmark, who design luxurious Scandinavian menus (always prepared from fresh seasonal produce). The restaurant is very elegant, the food is strictly organic and the waiters will happily explain the origin and quality of each ingredient. The style and the menu is decidedly Nordic but very ‘nouvelle cuisine’. The hay-smoked salmon is unbeatable. Nordisk Spisehus, M.P. Bruunsgade 31, Aarhus, Denmark+45 8617 7099
At Kähler Spisesalon you will immediately sense the passion and love for Kähler’s world-famous ceramics. The unique ceramic designs of Kähler converge elegantly with the classic and modern Danish dishes on the menu at this cosy space where diners are seated at large communal tables. Here, contemporary ceramic design, delicious food and excellent service merge in an exciting sensory experience. Lean back, indulge in the food, and enjoy the company while listening to mellow jazz in comfortable surroundings. Be sure to try the open sandwiches, which have been nominated as the best in Jutland. The menu also includes delicious stews, innovative salads, classic Danish cakes and local cheeses. The team at Kähler Spisesalon collaborate with several small, local suppliers in order to ensure the high quality of every meal.
Malling Kro (Inn) is situated between Aarhus and Odder in a quiet and charming village close to the forest and the beach. The Inn has an atmospheric restaurant that unites tradition and innovation, and was awarded two stars by the Danish Dining Guide for a kitchen of high quality, and three ‘wine glasses’ for an excellent wine selection. The cosy restaurant has been decorated in vintage style and features one of Denmark’s best wine lists. You can also choose to spend a night or two in one of the guest rooms.
Hotel and Restaurant Ferdinand is situated on Åboulevarden in the centre of the city, amid a busy throng of shops, bars and restaurants. The small and elegant boutique hotel includes a restaurant and lounge bar. Hotel and Restaurant Ferdinand was named the best Danish brasserie of 2009 by Den Danske Spiseguide (The Danish Restaurant Guide). Here you can enjoy a gourmet dinner with a varied menu that combines high quality with simplicity and elegance and includes dishes at all price points. There’s also an excellent wine list. At lunchtime, order a tasting board with a selection of small, tasty portions served on a wooden board.
Forlæns & Baglæns (Forward & Backward) is a tapas bar with a cosy and informal atmosphere and a quaint, vintage feel. Forlæns & Baglæns serves authentic Spanish tapas, classic cocktails, Spanish beer and wine, organic fruit juices, coffee from freshly ground beans, scrumptious home-made cakes, and much more. All the food is prepared from scratch with fresh, high-quality produce, and the bread is, of course, home-baked.
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Café Gaya is a warm and friendly café where the food is organic, mainly vegan, and oozes with intense flavours to delight the senses. Everything is homemade, and the kitchen is happy to provide for gluten and milk allergies. In the pastry showcase you can often chance upon raw cakes as well as gluten and sugar-free pastries. In good weather they have outside seating in a courtyard away from the street, however the inside is equally comfortable and nicely appointed. Every Friday, live concerts are held here.
Gyngen is a diverse restaurant that hosts various cultural events such as music and lectures in the evening. The restaurant’s kitchen is a state-approved organic kitchen serving meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, preparing all the food from scratch. Gyngen also offers lunch, sandwiches and dinner in a rustic and relaxed atmosphere at a moderate price. The stage offers all kinds of music genres from up-and-coming and proven artists.
For the past 40 years, this courtyard café has served some of the best steaks from all around the world. Since 1973, patrons have enjoyed visiting Jacob’s restaurant and piano bar and later the café, nightclub and pita bar. Despite changes, modernization and improvements, founder Jacob Evar’s main vision of creating a meeting point for a broad spectrum of people and personalities, remains. Jacob’s Bar BQ is consistently true to high standards of great quality, whether they serve a juicy steak, an ice-cold draft beer or a filled pita. Jacob’s Bar BQ is a place with a nostalgic history, vibrant nightlife and great service.