Copenhagen has a well-deserved reputation as an expensive city to visit, and most restaurants are no exception. In this food guide local city expert Derek shares his insider tips on Copenhagen cheap eats.
Is It Possible To Find Cheap Food In Copenhagen Denmark?
Denmark has a reputation for being an expensive place to visit, particularly for food. But there are some options for cheap places to eat in Copenhagen while still getting the local experience.
Prices are high due to a need to have high-quality food, decent wages for restaurant staff, and a Danish culture that views dining out as a rare luxury instead of a regular occurrence. This is a problem for travelers, though, who need to eat out multiple times during a visit.
But Copenhagen still offers some cheap eats that will allow you to have a good meal at a price that won’t break the bank.
Recommended Cheap Eats In Copenhagen – What To Eat Without Going Broke
Grød – Porridge to Change Your Life
Five locations in Copenhagen – Torvehallerne (Centrum), Jægersborggade (Nørrebro), Vesterbrogade (Vesterbro), Nordre Frihavnsgade (Østerbro), Falkoner Allé (Frederiksberg)
For a hearty and inexpensive way to start your day, skip the pastries at the coffee shops and get some porridge at Grød. Grød (Danish for “porridge”) bills itself as the world’s first porridge bar, and friends that visit us universally mention it as one of their highlights. Many make it their Copenhagen breakfast for the entirety of their trip.
We recommend visiting Grød in the Torvehallerne food market Copenhagen near Nørreport Station in the center of the city. Torverhallerne is a food market that offers more than 60 different stalls in two covered buildings, so there are plenty of other options to explore.
The menu at Grød offers some recommended combinations of porridge and toppings, but we usually go for a large make-your-own bowl that includes three toppings for 60 DKK (9 USD) and is plenty filling. This porridge will not only stick to your ribs but also be the best you have ever had!
Hot Dog Wagons – Denmark’s Traditional Copenhagen Street Food
Wagons are all around Copenhagen; DØP is located near the Round Tower (Centrum)
Believe it or not, the humble hot dog serves as the most traditional Danish street food. Pølsevogen (hot dog wagons) are all over Copenhagen, offering the classic røde pølser (“red sausage”) and other varieties of grilled sausages.
The pølser came to Denmark in the early 1900s as meat vendors discovered that they could salvage sausage that was about to go bad by dipping it in red dye and selling at a cheap price. Today the pølser can serve as a quick lunch on the go or a late-night snack after the bars.
We recommend going to DØP, which offers an organic hot dog from a cart near the Round Tower on Købmagergade in central Copenhagen. The classic røde pølser (covered in ketchup, mustard, remoulade, fried onions, and pickles) will cost 37 DKK (5.50 USD), though you can also try other types of sausage and toppings. This is the perfect Copenhagen street food.
Smagsløget – Tasty Sandwiches for a Budget
Vesterbrogade 19 (Vesterbro), about 400m from Central Station
Denmark’s traditional sandwich is the classic smørrebrød. It is an open-faced sandwich with toppings piled on a piece of dark rye bread. Shops and restaurants selling smørrebrød can be found all over the city, but these are typically gourmet sandwiches that will be an experience but leave you poorer and still hungry.
When looking for budget restaurants in Copenhagen Smagsløget is a great option. Smagsløget is a sandwich bar located near Copenhagen Central Station that offers tasty sandwiches with two pieces of bread. The portions are filling, the prices are reasonable, and they even have some vegan options.
We recommend the Flæskesteg sandwich (roast pork prepared in traditional Danish style, with red cabbage and pickles) or their Anbefaler (“the recommendation”, with Danish ham, brie cheese, bacon, and salsa). Most sandwiches are 89 DKK (13 USD), and they are open weeknights until 10 pm and weekends until midnight.
Gasoline Grill – Fuel Up with one of the Best Burgers in the World
Six locations across Copenhagen; original location at Landgreven 10 (Centrum) near Kongens Nytorv
When you walk up to the original location of Gasoline Grill, you first ask yourself why people are queueing at a gas station. The reason is that this humble little gas station in the middle of Copenhagen makes the best burgers in a burger-mad country. It’s always one of the best cheap restaurants in Copenhagen for locals.
The model has been simple since Gasoline Grill opened in 2016. They grind meat and prepare fresh patties every morning. They open at 11 am. The shop closes when the burgers run out. And in the process, they make a burger that is simply mouth-watering and only costs 75 DKK (11 USD), or 100 DKK in a combo with fries and a drink (15 USD).
Be sure to come for lunch, especially in the summer when they can sell out in hours. The original location has the best atmosphere, but satellite locations of the Strøget pedestrian street, Vesterport train station and at Bridge Street Kitchen offer the same taste with shorter lines.
The Bridge Street Kitchen – Food Stalls on the Harbor
Strandgade 95 (Christianshavn), across Inderhavnsbroen (The Kissing Bridge) from Nyhavn
Copenhagen Street Food is among the best in the world, and the best of the best is at Bridge Street Kitchen. Located on the inner harbor across from Nyhavn, the food stalls of Bridge Street Kitchen (Broens Gadekøkken) offer a taste from many of the top restaurants in Copenhagen with one of the best views in town.
From Spring to Fall this open food court has over a dozen options to choose from. In winter they add an ice rink (but only have a few stalls open). There are picnic tables set up in the center, or you can take your food to sit on the edge of the harbor.
Our favorites here include the flæskesteg (roast pork) sandwich from Palægade (one of the best smørrebrød restaurants) or the lamb curry from Dhaba (one of the best Indian restaurants). Dishes tend to cost about 90 DKK (13 USD).
Hija de Sanchez – Noma-Trained Tacos
Slagterboderne 8 (Vesterbro); in Kødbyen (Meatpacking District), about 700m from Central Station
Occupying a food stall in the trendy food stalls of Kødbyen (Meat Packing District) you’ll find this gem of a taqueria, Hija de Sanchez. Chef and Owner, Rosio Sanchez, is the former head pastry chef at the famed Copenhagen restaurant, Noma.
She opened this venture out of a craving for tacos and good Mexican cuisine in Copenhagen. We love that she listened to her cravings because it’s often one that we share.
While you don’t often associate tacos with Copenhagen, you can rest assured they’re delicious. With a Noma chef who is also first-generation Mexican-American preparing the menu – Hija de Sanchez is a hit. The cheap price of 40 DKK (6 USD) per taco makes it twice as nice.
Bolten’s Food Court – Take Away in a Centuries-Old Courtyard
Gothersgade 8 (Centrum); near Kongens Nytorv
In April of 2019, Copenhagen opened another fabulous food hall that’s packed with food stalls of every cuisine and variety. The food court occupies three levels of a building tucked in a quiet and picturesque courtyard near one of the busiest areas of the city.
Bolten’s is a great option for families or groups because of the countless options and the ability to please a variety of tastes. From Greek to Asian to American and Italian – there’s something for everyone.
Best of all, the prices are reasonable enough to keep your holiday budget intact. Most meals will cost under 100 DKK (15 USD) for a food and drink selection. Bolten’s is a great way to experience Copenhagen’s well-known food hall culture and enjoy a tasty meal for a great price.
Momo Wok Box – Asian Street Food in the Center of Town
Frederiksberggade 15 (Centrum); on the pedestrian street Strøget near City Hall
When having a full day of touring a city, the beauty of street food is that you get a quick meal in a convenient location to satisfy your needs, hopefully at a reasonable price and with good quality.
Momo Wok Box ticks all these boxes, providing a variety of Asian street food and noodles conveniently located in the middle of Copenhagen near City Hall.
The other advantage of Momo Wok Box is that it is open late (midnight on weekdays, 2 am on weekends), so you can get a good meal late. This is especially helpful in the summer when many restaurants stop serving food before the sunsets. We enjoy the beef wontons (6 for 55 DKK / 8 USD) and the make-your-own noodle bowl for only 65 DKK (10 USD).
Picnic – Outdoor Dining, Danish Style
Any open spot in a park or along the harbor
If there is a single reason why Copenhagen is routinely listed as one of the most livable cities in the work, it is the beauty of Danish summer.
In summer, the sun is up until 11 pm and nearly every square meter of park grass or harbor front is filled with people enjoying life outside – typically with some snacks and a good amount of alcohol. Copenhagen has no open container laws, so it is perfectly legal to enjoy some beer or wine while enjoying lunch or dinner outside.
If you want to place a blanket on the grass in a park, we recommend Kongens Have (the Kings Garden). This is where you can sit in the shadow of Rosenborg Castle and be surrounded by Danes eating, drinking, and playing games.
But our favorite is to sit on the harbor at Krøyers Plads (near The Bridge Street Kitchen, across from Nyhavn). There is a Føtex grocery store here, making it easy to get more beers or different snacks. In summer, this will be filled with people soaking up the long Nordic sun or swimming in the immaculately-clean harbor. If you want to live like a local during your visit to Copenhagen, this is the way to do it!
Astor Pizza Steak Restaurant – Deep Dish Pizza Buffet with Salad Bar
Vesterbrogade 7 (Vesterbro), adjacent to Central Station
When you’re traveling there are some days when your pallet is adventurous and craving local flavors and other days you just want something basic. Next to Copenhagen Central Station you can do the latter with delicious deep-dish pizza and a reasonable price to boot.
Open for lunch and dinner, Astor Pizza Steak Restaurant is a perfect meal to fill up and explore the city from a transportation hub. It’s also conveniently located within walking distance to most downtown hotels and Tivoli Gardens.
We especially recommend it for families because it’s a great meal to keep the kids happy and fed for a low price. Before 4 pm you can indulge the buffet for 77 DKK (11.50 USD) and after 4 pm it’s 88 DKK (13 USD). There’s also a regular menu in case you’re not in the mood for an all-you-can-eat event and want to order your own pizza.Traveling to Europe? See our Packing Guide For Europe
Meet Derek And Mike – Our Copenhagen Experts
Derek and Mike are a couple from Philadelphia who have spent the last three years living abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. They love expat life and traveling the world. They write about their experiences on their blog Robe Trotting.
Derek and Mike also provided expert tips and top-notch advice on visiting their adopted city on their other site, Everything Copenhagen.