Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN

Jakob Mielcke Hansen, Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, Copenhagen " I usually order a feast of different pickled herrings: marinated in vinegar with onions and capers; in mayonnaise-based curry sauce with hard-boiled eggs; fried and then soaked in brine." Read the complete SAVEUR 100 story » See the complete list of SAVEUR 100 items »Todd Coleman

Copenhagen attracts foodies from all over the world because it's the birthplace of new Nordic cuisine. But Copenhagen has always been a food city. Going out for lunch means smørrebrød—the Danish open-face sandwich. My favorite classic place is Schønnemann, open for lunch since 1877, which features more than 90 different sandwiches and 75 types of aquavit. I usually order a feast of different pickled herrings: marinated in vinegar with onions and capers; in mayonnaise-based curry sauce with hard-boiled eggs; fried and then soaked in brine. You can find a new style of smørrebrød at Aamann's (shown at right), where the cooks use only organic produce and make everything from scratch. I always get the chicken salad sandwich with fresh apples, bacon, white asparagus, and mushrooms. I like drinking in Copenhagen almost as much as I enjoy eating here. For a cocktail, I might go to Ruby, which is located in an old Danish upper-class apartment, for a carrot cake cocktail made with rum, sweet sherry, cinnamon, cardamom, Danish honey, and carrot juice. Denmark also has a notable beer culture, and Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of the brewpub Mikkeller produces some of the best beer you can find anywhere. But it's the high-end dining that's gotten the most attention in the past few years. One highlight is Herman at Nimb, where the chef takes the food of his grandmother and interprets it for a fine-dining setting. Noma is another; focusing on the entire Scandinavian region, chef Rene Redzepi has created one of the most incredible restaurants in the world. His former sous chef, Christian Puglisi, recently opened Relae, which offers food that's just as serious as Herman's and Noma's but with a smaller menu, casual service, and a meal that's far more affordable. I spend most of my time in the kitchen at my restaurant, Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, but on the days when I cook at home, I have a few favorite places to shop. The best fishmonger in town is Windsor Fisk, and I rarely visit without buying some salted, dried, and smoked gray sole. Next door is Grand Fromage, the best cheese shop in the country. And for meat, it doesn't get much better than Slagteren ved Kultorvet. I shop here for traditional cured meats, like garlic salami and smoked ox. —Jakob Mielcke Hansen, Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, Copenhagen