Nyhavn – Where to eat and play along the canal

Because it’s such a tourist hotspot, eating and drinking in Nyhavn is understandably expensive (an understatement against the backdrop of a city that’s already pretty hard on the wallet when it comes to eating out).

If you want to sit a while in Nyhavn to soak up the atmosphere, a drink rather than food is a good idea if you’re on a budget and with the littles. If you have the chance to have lunch or dinner without them, Restaurant Kompasset at Nyhavn 65 has a newly renovated, pared back Scandinavian interior and a beautiful menu of modern smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches).


For a grabbable lunch with the kids, head down Store Strandstræde, a side street at the Kongens Nytorv end of Nyhavn. Here, as well as beautiful shops such as (amazing brightly coloured Berber rugs, baskets and woven home accessories), there’s a particularly pretty branch of Emmerys bakery, complete with traditional opal glass ceiling. Coffee, juices, simple boller (buns) with cheese, sandwiches, salads and a range of Danish pastries are all here for the taking.

Heading away from Nyhavn, around the corner beside Emmerys, you come to Sankt Annæ Plads, a beautiful, newly renovated ambassadorial square that has a simple playground right in its centre. Café No. 11 is here if you want to sit down, the benefit being you can see the children play from here and the playground is ring fenced and safe. At the harbour end of this square is Ofelia Plads.

Back in Nyhavn is Vaffelbagaren, an ice cream store you can smell well before you see it. Traditional Danish ice creams are served in giant butter-yellow waffle cones, so go the full gammeldags (old fashioned), opting to have yours topped with whipped cream, jam and a flødebolle (a chocolate-covered marshmellow treat with a marzipan base).


On the opposite side of the canal is a cosy basement branch of Gorm’s Pizza, which feels far from the main drag’s madding crowd.

For tips on the best spots for photographing Nyhavn, as well as this colourful canal’s history, see this post.


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