When in Copenhagen: Eat at Geist.


Tell anyone you are going to Copenhagen and invariably they will mention the restaurant Noma. With its status near the top of all restaurants in the world, Noma represents the best of what to expect in the Danish capital. Good luck getting a reservation.

The interesting thing about Copenhagen, which is admittedly a little unexpected, is that the food in Copenhagen all around is pretty spectacular. On a recent trip a friend and I had an incredible lunch at Geist which helped to further confirm the city’s status as one of the most enjoyable cities in Europe.

The restaurant sits overlooking a beautiful square (Kongens Nytorv) in the heart of Copenhagen, and it is perfectly set away from the tourist crowds down the road. The menu is arranged as a series of small plates that are centered around fresh ingredients. Not knowing much about the restaurant going-in, when we looked at the menu for the first time it didn’t make all that much sense. That wasn’t a huge problem, we were in for an experience, so we just started ordering small plates just to go for it and see what we will get. Our server advised that we probably ordered too much, but since we were such a long way from home and unlikely to be back soon, we figured “what the hell” and tried as much as we could in our short visit.

Every dish that came out of the kitchen was better than the last. Lobster took a shape I have never seen before (the purple plate seen below), so did potatoes and everything else. It was all inventive and everything tasted delicious. The meal turned out to be one of my favorites in 2013. And I’m not just saying that because it was enjoyed in a far off place.

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The simple yet complex nature of the food in Denmark never ceases to amaze and inspire me. Every time I visit Copenhagen I like the city more and more. And after this trip I came back to New York telling people that the city is by far my favorite in Europe, and I stand by that statement. The people are great, the food is fantastic, it’s relaxed, easy to get around, not too crowded, there’s good culture and it is easy to communicate with the locals. Everything you want and nothing that you don’t.

As a New Yorker you get spoiled by all of the culture and good food that you live with everyday. When you go to Copenhagen and eat at Geist, everything flies out the window and you start to think your life in New York may not be so charmed. That’s why the perspective which traveling provides is so important to living a happy life. Not to mention those long lunches at Geist — they can help too.

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Comments on “When in Copenhagen: Eat at Geist.

    Kevin Svindland on September 10, 2013 3:18 PM:

    That place is fantastic. When my girlfriend and I last visited Copenhagen, some colleagues of her from Acne Studios treated us to an evening at Geist. We had never heard of it before, and had no expectations. We were blown away! The well dressed staff, the cool vibe, the mirror ceiling in the restrooms and overall tasteful interior. And of course the unconventional presentation of the food. The hovering candy floss cloud served with the coffee was a nice finishing touch.

    Matthew Pike on September 10, 2013 6:20 PM:

    I’m all meat meat meat so I’d find it hard to downsize as it were but it looks attractive.

    Reyburn Hendricks on September 12, 2013 2:02 PM:

    My wife and I wen’t there a month ago. We’re adventurous eaters and tried the more unusual dishes for us happened to be mainly seafood-based. Unfortunately the food flavours were not up to scratch and we weren’t happy with any of the dishes. The next day we tried Relae for lunch which was pretty impressive

    Benijana on September 18, 2013 8:57 PM:

    A Noma chef is critiqued in the most recent New Yorker. Danish invasion

    Howard on September 19, 2013 1:45 PM:

    It looks inventive, though I can’t wait for the spittle foam trend to pass.

    Mads on October 2, 2013 3:26 PM:

    It must have been a while since you visited Geist. Kgs. Nytorv has been one big construction site for over a year. The view is horrible! That said Geist is a great place. I’ve never been let down by the food or the service.

    But as Reyburn Hendricks mentions above, Relæ is pretty great too. A former Noma chef heads it. It was recently awarded a Michelin star, which makes it the world’s only organic Michelin restaurant. Plus the Jægerborggade street area is a cool place. Ben Webster’s burried almost next to Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard in the cemetary right next to it.

    Also you should check out Kadeau which is local food from Bornholm island, but in gourmet style. It’s fantastic! Even better if you visit their other restaurant on Bornholm island, but that’s quite far from Copenhagen. And then there’s Amass which is run by an american former chef from Noma. I haven’t been but everyone says it’s amazing.

    The funny thing about the fancy food scene in Denmark is that it was virtually none existant 10 years ago. And a lot of the New Nordic Cousine is owed to a chef who actually never trained as a chef but studied business. He learned to cook, did tv shows and opned restaurants and now has a conglomerate of food related businesses. Now he’s trying to do the same thing i Bolivia of all places!

    I could go on and on. Next time you come to Copenhagen let me know, I’ll show you around and take you to some of the good spots (which by the way are not the fancy restaurants but the casual places and the bars in Nørrebro).

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