Top 10 Danish Smørrebrød Spots In The World

Photo of Joacim Nielsen
4 October 2016

Smørrebrød is most definitely not the easiest word to pronounce for non-Danish speakers, but don’t let that stop you from trying Denmark’s national, colorful dish, also known as the ‘open-face sandwich.’ Enjoyed with a good beer, this lunchtime meal typically comprises open-faced sandwiches of fish, meat paste, or vegetables on slices of buttered bread. Here are the 10 best restaurants in Denmark and beyond for a delicious smørrebrød.

Courtesy of Café Gammeltorv


Restaurant, Danish, $$$
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Restaurant Schønnemann, København
Restaurant Schønnemann, København | Courtesy of Restaurant Cap Horn
Known as the best and one of the oldest establishments in which to enjoy traditional smørrebrød, Schønemanns rarely fails to give you a decent classic meal with a good Danish beer and the traditional spiced snaps. Schønemann’s dates back to 1877 and has been renowned lunch restaurant since then. They offer fine beverages, fish dishes, and pork. The restaurant has rightfully earned a handful of good reviews and a recommendation in the Michelin Guide, and is considered by many as the undisputed king of the Danish open-faced sandwich-mountain.

Restaurant Cap Horn

Restaurant, Danish, $$$
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Cap Horn, Copenhagen
Cap Horn, Copenhagen | Courtesy of Aamanns Smørrebrødsdeli
Cap Horn is located in the middle of the touristy Nyhavn area. The organic restaurant has a nice view over the canal and serves the classic open sandwich with pickled herring, shrimp and eggs, or a number of Danish pork toppings. There is also a small but fine selection of Danish beer and snaps.

Aamanns Smørrebrødsdeli

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Aamann’s mixes the traditional concept of smørrebrød with the new Nordic tradition. The owner Adam Aamann is rocking the Copenhagen restaurant scene with his honest, modern takes on classic Danish and Nordic food. Aamann’s serves some of the best bread in town along with a fine selection of their own distilled snaps. Their selection of herrings is quite delicious and make it a popular spot.

Rungstedlund – Café Karen Blixen

Museum, Park, Forest
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Karen Blixen_Museum_Rungstedlund_ Garden-North Zealand
14 acres of land surround Karen Blixen's museum in Denmark | © heatheronhertravels / Flickr

Only a train ride away from Copenhagen, Rungstedlund has a sea view on one side and a beautiful garden on the other. Rungstedlund is first and foremost a museum of the author Karen Blixen, who once lived in the house and is most commonly known for the 1985 Academy award-winning movie ‘Out of Africa.’ When visiting, you’ll understand why she loved it here – the house is beautiful with luscious nature surrounding it. The cafe serves you a fine lunch meal – try the fried breaded fish (fiskefilet), which alone is worth the journey. Combine this with a day at the museum, ice cream by the nearby harbor and a bit of rare Danish sun.

Royal Smushi Café

Cafe, European, Japanese, Sushi, French, 0
Royal Smushi Cafe, Copenhagen
Royal Smushi Cafe, Copenhagen | Courtesy of Café Gammeltorv
This restaurant offers a unique fusion of Japanese sushi, French canapé and Danish smørrebrød with smaller bites of fish served on Danish rye bread. The place has a slightly softer decor than the traditional smørrebrød places on this list, but the quality of the food is just as good. Located in an old porcelain factory, the style of the cafe is described as ‘funky baroque’ with lots of traditional designs.

Café Gammeltorv – Huset med det Grønne Træ

Restaurant, Danish, $$$
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Café Gammeltorv is probably one of the most historic restaurants in Copenhagen. It is located in the oldest square dating back to 1479. The actual building used to be a brewery and tavern dating back to 1671. Since 1902, it has been a smørrebrøds-restaurant and became the first place to allow women to dine in Copenhagen in 1910. Today it serves the food in a very classic way. It’s not trendy new Nordic – just classic smørrebrød. The quality is still very good and the selection of beers and snaps is extensive and traditional. If you want the truly authentic smørrebrød experience, Café Gammeltorv is a good choice.

Ida Davidsen

Ida Davidsen has been the reigning queen of lunch restaurants for half a decade. Danish royalty and global socialites are among the patrons, and the charismatic owner Ida Davidsen is regarded as a influential contributor to Danish food culture. It’s more well-known for its famous diners, such as Roger Moore and a number of Danish royals, than its actual food, but is still a worthwhile gastronomic experience.

Ida Davidsen, Store Kongensgade 70, Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 33 91 36 55

© Peter Søndergaard.
© Peter Søndergaard.


Restaurant, Danish, European, $$$
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Located right next to the sea, Lumskebugten boasts fantastic herring and large varieties of fish. Lumskebugten is a restaurant paying homage to traditional smørrebrød and it is also more a fine-dining place than other great smørrebrøds-restaurants. They have some of the best shrimp in town alongside a fine selection of beers from the island of Fur in the northwestern part of the country. Lumskebugten dates back to 1854 making it the oldest among this list of restaurants. It was historically a place for sailors who enjoyed meals on Danish soil near the old harbor.

Nybroe – Stockholm

While Danish people have smørrebrød, the Swedes have ‘smörtgås.’ The concept and the idea is the same but the aesthetics are undeniably more appealing in the Danish version. This is also the concept at Nybroe in Stockholm. The food is classically Danish, and since it’s opening in 2004, Nybroe has been hailed as one of the better lunch places in a Stockholm – a city with a rich cuisine.

Nybroe, Hästhagsgatan 5, Sundbyberg, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 70 591 10 69

The Copenhagen – New York City

Restaurant, Danish, $$$
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With the new Nordic food wave and with London having it’s own smørrebrød-restaurant for quite some years – some would say it was a natural step that the Big Apple would have it’s own place so in 201 the restaurant opened serving classic Danish smørrebrød as an exotic trendy dish in for the New York. It opened with close ties to Copenhagen but today has more autonomy. It claims to be “as close to Denmark on this side of the Atlantic” but also has a New Yorker touch to it. For instance is jazz music and cocktails an integrated part of the Copenhagen, which one would never find in a traditional Danish ditto. Nonetheless the menu is indeed very Danish!

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