Not as obvious perhaps as Venice or Paris, but Copenhagen still makes the grade as one of the world’s top romantic destinations. Perhaps it’s all the canals, or the sight of Denmark’s tragic heroine, The Little Mermaid, draped forlornly on her rocky perch. Added to this is the city’s atmospheric architecture, from its colorful medieval center to the 17th and 18th-century warehouses around the harborfront: It all combines for the ideal destination for a romantic Valentine’s dinner date. Here’s a selection of Copenhagen’s top venues, with a little something for all budgets and tastes.
Splurge – Era Ora
If money really is no object, try the six-course taste extravaganza at Christianshavns Era Ora (cost DKK 880 per person). It’s not just the location, overlooking the water by the canals of Christianshavn, the 18th-century building, or the decor, with its moon-shaped lamps, lunar murals and earthy colors. It’s really all about the food, which takes Italian cuisine to a whole new culinary level, offering each and every ingredient its moment to shine. As Copenhagen’s only Michelin-starred Italian however, you might find yourself booking a table for Valentine’s 2012.
Charm – Sankt Gertruds Kloster
Sankt Gertruds Kloster simply exudes romantic charm and atmosphere, as you would expect from a 700-year-old former monastery restored in its original style, with bare stone interior, arched ceiling and torches burning from the walls. While the menu used to be predominantly French, new owners in 2009 have given the cuisine a more traditional Danish twist. The restaurant is offering a five-course Valentine’s Menu from 10-14 February for DKK 498 per person.
Steal – Tony’s
If your idea of romance is the spaghetti-sharing scene from Disney’s A Lady and a Tramp, then New York-style Italian joint Tony’s is the place for you. Found out by the water on Havnegade, the place excels at good food and good wine in nice surroundings, with three-course menus a snatch at DKK 200. The house specialty, spaghetti and meatballs, comes with plenty of parmesan and parsley: Other dishes “just like momma used to make” include lamb with polenta and linguine with clams.
Go Back – Spiseloppen
Free state Christiania may seem an unlikely location for a romantic date, but Spiseloppen comes as a pleasant surprise. The graffiti-covered stone facade of this former military building hides one of the city’s best restaurants, and upon opening the first-floor door you’re met by long, candle-lit tables, friendly waiting staff and an international kitchen with a menu that changes in style on an almost daily basis, tempting a return date for more surprises. This is also a great place for vegetarians to dine in style.
Cheap Date – Cave
With its cosy backroom basement, simple, monotone decor and crisp white tablecloths, newly-opened Indian restaurant Cave on Store Kongensgade is the place for a cheap dinner without your date catching on you’re strapped. The North-Indian cuisine includes tandoori chicken, madras curries and a number of vegetarian dishes. Cave is licensed and you could ask for the wine card, but we recommend sharing a more untraditional bottle of Indian Kingfisher beer and starting the date with a plate of tasty onion bhajis.
Photos courtesy of Tony’s (top) and Sankt Gertruds Kloster (middle).