The Danes have a venerable food culture that dates back centuries. But it wasn't until 2004 and the formulation of the Manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen by Claus Meyer, René Redzepi and other Nordic chefs, that the country, and in particular Copenhagen, became a bona fide destination for gastronomic tourists.
Copenhagen now lays claim to more Michelin stars – 11 – than any other Scandinavian city. One of these is Restaurant AOC (00 45 33 11 11 45; aaro-co.dk), which serves dishes such as potatoes with Vesterhavs cheese, pickled seeds, and bouillon with lovage.
The best-known New Nordic restaurant is Noma, which currently tops the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list. But chef-proprietor René Redzepi doesn't want to hog all the limelight – he and his staff have collaborated with travel website Momondo to produce a hardback guide (available from bit.ly/nordicmoma; Dkr169/£19) to their home city that features its best restaurants, cafés and bars. This is just the thing if you are planning a visit to this month's Copenhagen Cooking festival (copenhagencooking.com; to 29 February). Whet your appetite with five of their top picks.
* At Fiskebar (00 45 32 15 56 56; fiskebaren.dk) "the style is simple, rustic, like a modern industrial environment," says Lau Richter, Noma's director of operations. "I usually order three to four starters such as lumpfish roe, oyster and crab. It's just delicious."
* "In Jægersborggade you will find the exquisite Restaurant Relae (00 45 36 96 66 09; restaurant-relae.dk), awarded Best New Restaurant in 2011," says chef Leonardo de Sousa Pereira. "The food is excellent, yet the set up of the restaurant is informal and relaxed. If I want to have a nice time with a girl that I like, I'll take her here."
* "The food at Restaurant Fischer (00 45 35 42 39 64; hosfischer.dk) is excellent and the menu is simple and tasty – like fettuccine, poached cod, tiramisu," says restaurant manager James Robert Spreadbury. "The place is cosy and informal, making you feel right at home."
* "Café Bodega (00 45 35 39 07 07; bodega.dk) serves the best brunch," says Torsten Bachmann Vildgaard, head chef of research and development. "Scrambled eggs, bacon, yoghurt with granola, pancake, cured ham, baby sausages, cheese, salmon, crayfish salad – any hangover would be tempted. At night the place turns into a restaurant and later on it becomes a nighclub."
* "Kitjin Cocktail Bar (kitjn.dk) is super simple and a terrific place for a good time," says assistant restaurant manager Sune Ostergaard. "They make excellent cocktails. I especially like the pisco sour variant. It's the perfect place to wrap up a busy week."