Yesterday I left you with a cliffhanger: where would I go to dinner in the Vesterbro neighborhood of Copenhagen after a long day of sightseeing? Just kidding, but I did have to slash my post about Copenhagen’s red light district gone hip into three parts because it was way too long for anyone to commit to reading in one sitting. Here’s part two, but if you haven’t read the first post then click here to do so now!
There are two areas that seemed to have the most options for dining and drinking in Vesterbro: the main street of Vesterbrogade and Kødbyen, or the Meatpacking District, which in Copenhagen is actually a cool place to hang out (as opposed to NYC’s Meatpacking District, which these days is more of a hot mess).
On our first night in Copenhagen, while we were staying at Generator Hostel, we ended up spending much of the evening on Vesterbrogade. I had scoped out a restaurant that sounded fun called Madklubben (Vesterbrogade 62) so we made a reservation on their website. I was definitely glad we had the reservation because the restaurant was packed! Madklubben had a sleek-meets-industrial design vibe, with plenty of large tables filled with groups of lively, stylish Copenhageners.
Menu prices were reasonable by Copenhagen standards. You can expect to pay $20 to $30 or more for entrees at most restaurants here. We got the highly recommended burgers, which were quite satisfying after a long day of walking across the city. We also ordered a side of lettuce as we were curious about what that would entail. It came out in a warm pot, and was basically hot lettuce with creamy salad dressing on it. Sounds odd but was actually pretty tasty!
After dinner we wandered around the corner to a speakeasy called Lidkoeb (Vesterbrogade 72B), which was opened by the same team behind the more famous Copenhagen cocktail bar Ruby. Even though it’s “hidden,” it’s not too hard to find: the name is painted on the wall of the alley you walk down to find a backyard. When you see a man standing outside a door… you know you have arrived. The inside was a very cozy atmosphere, with multiple floors, rustic-modern decor and a fireplace. It almost feels as if you are in someone’s home at a private party.
Lidkoeb, Photo Source: Visit Copenhagen
Like I’ve mentioned before this type of atmosphere, called hygge by the danes, was one of the reasons I fell in love with Copenhagen. The cocktails at Lidkoeb were extremely expensive (they blew New York’s cocktail bar prices out of the water) and it takes quite a bit of time to get your drink as the bartender treats each one like a work of art. Needless to say, this isn’t the place to go if you’re planning to party all night in Copenhagen as you’ll quickly spend your life savings. But if you are going with one other person or a small group for one drink and you appreciate a well-crafted cocktail, it’s worth putting on your to-do list.
Fueled by a slight buzz and significantly lighter wallets, we decided our next stop would be Mikkeller Bar (Viktoriagade 8), a beer bar that everyone told us we had to go to. Mikkeller was recently mentioned in the New York Times in a story about the brewer, Mikkel Borg Bjergso, and his creative approach to brewing some of the most unique beers in the world.
Well, I’m no beer expert and we didn’t know what anything on the menu meant so we just pointed to two random beers. They were pretty good! The atmosphere here was again, hyggelig, and quite different from what I expected from a beer bar. It was pretty sophisticated, not too bro-ey or hipster-y, and we were able to snag seats at the counter facing the window. Since it’s below ground level, you get the feeling you are tucked away in a little hidden, warm nook as people walk by outside. After leaving I found out on their website that they have a location here in the states too! (San Francisco).
By now it was time to get some sleep – we’re saving the Meatpacking District for another night! Stay tuned….
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