Can’t get a Noma reservation? Try these spots instead.

By Kat Odell
September 06, 2018
Chris Tonnesen

Fifteen years ago, the chef and wild-ingredients champion René Redzepi introduced the world to the hyper-seasonal, vegetable-forward style of cookery dubbed New Nordic when he opened the first iteration of his restaurant, Noma. Now a fresh wave of talented chefs who worked under Redzepi are nudging the city’s palate further afield.

Though ex-Noma sous-chef Christian Puglisi might be best known for the Michelin-starred tasting-menu boîte Relæ, his four-year-old Bæst blazes a noteworthy trail of its own with a Scandinavian spin on wood-fired pizza. Sicilian-born Puglisi reworks the Italian classic with local grains and house-made mozzarella; the terroir of both lends a distinctly Nordic flair. Meanwhile, Matt Orlando, also a Noma alum, embraces the Danish capital’s eco-friendly nature — with some twists. At Amass, the California native sources everything except lemon and olive oil locally, and he also incorporates foreign flavors found nearby, such as sumac (a traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredient), in tandem with practices like fermenting vegetable peels into flavor-rich miso paste.

Rosio Sanchez, a former pastry chef at Noma, has made a name for herself by celebrating her Mexican heritage. Three years ago, the Chicago native launched her first solo project, the casual taqueria Hija de Sanchez, which filled a gastronomic void that she and other expats had been feeling. It quickly became a destination in the city. Last winter, she debuted her sophisticated cantina, Sanchez, to high acclaim. Both spots, like so many new restaurants in town, represent a significant departure from the New Nordic cooking that has become Copenhagen’s hallmark, signaling a new openness to more global culinary approaches and expanding the very idea of what Scandinavian cooking can be.