The Best Brunch In: Copenhagen
It’s no secret that a good breakfast plays a central role in how the rest of your day is going to go. Maybe that was what John Gunther meant when he famously said, “All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” And there might just be something to that if we consider how seriously Copenhageners take their breakfast, and how consistently they rank as among the happiest people in the world.
But for visitors to Copenhagen, it’s easy to get stuck in the same old buffet experience that every hotel offers. That’s why we encourage travellers to leave the lobby and search out other, more local breakfast options. Don’t mistake us, buffets can sometimes be delicious, but they just will never be la crème de la crème.
The traditional hotel buffet: Can be lovely, but not the best Copenhagen has to offer!
You might be skeptical. After all, how exciting can brunch really be? Most places just slap together a brunch plate with eggs, bacon, over-boiled sausages, a cup of yoghurt, maple syrup, and some thawed blueberries. But don’t worry, that will not happen in Copenhagen! Just like the pioneers of restaurants like Pluto, Gorilla, and Bæst have re-imagined the classical dinner menu, other pioneers have re-imagined the first and most important meal of the day.
Union Kitchen, Mad & Kaffe, Granola, Kaffe & Køkken — you name it. Breakfast-loving Copenhageners visit these places every week, but even most locals don’t know where the concept behind these places originated — which is a shame because the concept is magnificent. But to understand and experience where it all originated, it’s necessary to take a short trip outside the centre of Copenhagen, to Lergravsvej 57 on Amager.
Mad & Kaffe is close to perfection, but not quite the best. Photo by @symmetrybreakfast, used with permission.
Here you’ll find the bakery Wulff & Konstali. And while we may call it a “bakery” (and they are indeed very competent in the art of baking), they also have a small restaurant where you can sit down and enjoy a world-class breakfast or lunch. Customers are given a menu featuring about 20 small different breakfast courses, and you choose five to seven of them, depending on how hungry you are. The menu options could be anything from half an avocado to a new interpretation of rye bread boiled with beer.
Then you wait, and this is where the magic happens. At the traditional buffet, you are constantly running to and from it, but this doesn’t happen here. You wait and have time to connect with your brunch mate while anticipating the glorious plates about to land before you. Then, the finely decorated breakfast arrives (there’s no shame in taking a few pictures of it before you indulge — trust us, it’s so pretty, you’d think it was cooked for Instagram). Everything is prepared from scratch, which you can really taste in goodies like the bacon from Grambogård or the little goat-cheese-roll with onion compote and honey.
Wulff & Konstali: Perfection and the best breakfast in Copenhagen! Photo by Wulff & Konstali, used with permission.
Wulff & Konstali was introduced to Copenhagen two years ago, and locals were sold on it from the get-go. But even though the restaurant often has a small line of people waiting to be seated, they’ve opted not to expand. In hindsight, maybe they should have, as others quickly learned about the place and its unique menu, leading to the creation of restaurants Kaffe & Køkken and Mad & Kaffe in the centre of Copenhagen. The latter, in particular, is a direct copy of the Wullf & Konstali concept, but these second attempts just aren’t as good as the one that can be found on Lergravsvej 57, where you’ll find better baking skills, better chefs, and better assembled dishes.
If you come to Copenhagen, you’ll likely be recommended to visit Kaffe & Køkken and Mad & Kaffe, simply due to their central locations. They are good, but their reviews are the result of larger numbers of people trying them, loving them, and passing along the word — but without knowing the story behind them. So if, like John Gunter, you believe that a leisurely breakfast is connected to happiness, you know where to go.