Burgers are not new to the Copenhagen food scene, but they experienced a bit of a renaissance last year. What led to this dramatic surge in popularity? Ah, yes – the lockdown effect. When restaurants were forced to shutter and takeout became the only food option, the humble burger stepped out of the shadows and back into the spotlight. Donning its superhero cape, the traditional American cheeseburger rescued hungry food lovers from their sad salad lunches. The burger was the comfort food we all needed – familiar, nostalgic, and uncomplicated. Because burgers are easy to enjoy on-the-go, it suddenly felt like every restaurant in town was serving take-away burgers. As very serious food reporters and professional burger lovers, we were obligated to try them all and create the ultimate Copenhagen burger guide. We found several tasty options in town, but one burger rules them all. Read on, carnivores. (Vegetarians, step aside. This guide is not for you.)
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in the Danish capital? Check out our city map of Copenhagen!
Rant: A Fried Chicken Sandwich is Not a Burger
We found a few misconceptions and misunderstandings during our intense burger research. When we asked Copenhageners for recommendations of burgers we should test in town, many recommended “the fried chicken burger at Poulette,” “the pulled pork burger at The Hungry Dane,” or “the halloumi burger at Jagger.” Those might be excellent sandwiches, but they are not burgers. Let us explain…
What makes a burger a burger? The Oxford Dictionary defines a burger as: “a ground meat patty (usually beef) that is grilled and served between a sliced bun with various toppings.” Therefore, a “chicken burger” doesn’t exist – that is, unless your chicken has been ground up into a patty. If the chicken is deep-fried and placed on a burger bun, then it is a sandwich. The same is true for fried fish sandwiches. It can be confusing to see the burger bun used so universally in the sandwich world, but putting something inside a burger bun does not make it a burger. Take a look at the flæskesteg sandwich – the slab of crispy pork belly is served on a burger bun, but Danes would never call it a burger! A veggie burger, however, can be called a burger if the veggies are ground into a patty. Are you starting to understand the difference?
Yes, yes, we know – this is boring linguistic stuff, and who cares about what it’s called anyway? Well, Kaitlin cares. Please remember, burgers are Kaitlin’s number one passion in life and it’s very important to her that people get this right. Usually she’s an easygoing gal, but when someone calls a fried chicken sandwich a burger, the Carnivorr’s rage is revealed. Maybe she’s gone a bit mental during the lockdown, but this is the hill she has decided to die on. So, thanks for indulging us with this little rant.
The Best Burgers in Copenhagen
For this guide, we only tested cheeseburgers. Here’s how we ranked the list… Presentation: was the beef cooked properly, or was it overcooked? Did the burger fall apart? Did the bun become overly soggy, or did it hold its structure when eaten? Flavor: how delicious and mouth-watering was it? How much did we want to eat it again? Value for money: how does the price compare to its size, the quality of the ingredients used, and the other burgers on the list? To get the overall score, we doubled the flavor points to give them more weight (this is the most important factor to us, after all), and then took an average of the numbers. To fully cover the Copenhagen burger scene, we also visited Jagger, Yo Burger, Square Burger, Oliver’s Garage, Pops Diner Box, Yolkie, and Philly’s, but none of these burgers scored high enough to make the list. (Note: a previous version of this guide included Racy, which sadly closed in the fall of 2021.) Without further ado, here is our guide to Copenhagen’s best burgers.
No. 7 – Tommi’s Burger Joint
If you’re looking for a burger that is comparable to your average backyard barbecue burger, head to Tommi’s. This burger chain from Iceland experienced quite a bit of hype when they first opened, and there are now locations in Norway, the UK, and two in Denmark (Nørrebro and Kødbyen). Their outposts have a California surf shack vibe, with stickers plastered all over the walls and a fun playlist. But don’t expect much from their burgers – they’re fine, and actually surprisingly well-cooked (if you request medium rare), but there is little happening in the flavor department. We ordered the cheeseburger, which comes with lettuce, onion, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. This burger is boring and basic and we would only eat it again as a late night snack if we needed drunk food. It’s not the cheapest on the list, and the ingredients aren’t even organic. All in all, it’s a decent but uninteresting burger.
TOMMI'S BURGER JOINT Price: 84 DKK Presentation: 4/10 Flavor: 5/10 Value: 7/10 Overall score: 5.25/10
No. 6 – Warpigs Brewpub
The cheeseburger at Warpigs, Mikkeller’s barbecue restaurant in Kødbyen, is a weekly special only available on Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. until sold out. It’s a double cheeseburger, and comes with onion rings for 110 Danish kroner. (You can also add on a beer for only 40 DKK, or just get the burger on its own for 80 DKK). The cheeseburger comes with two small but thick patties, topped with a caramelized onion and bacon jam. We loved the flavors in this burger – there was a nice smokiness from the bacon (and we much prefer bacon bits to having a strip of bacon on top). A couple small critiques – the meat was juicy, but overcooked. We didn’t specify medium rare when we ordered, but the standard came served gray on the inside. Our biggest complaint, however, is that the pickles were way too big – the slices were literally as thick as one of the burger patties, which meant the pickle overpowered the other flavors. We love pickles, and appreciate the acidity they add to burgers – but they need to be sliced thinner. Also, the patties are very small in size compared to the bun, like silver dollar pancakes. They weren’t stacked on top of each other – one had slid off, so really it was like eating a normal burger with two small patties side by side in the bun. Maybe one big patty would have been better than two? While we weren’t expecting a work of art from a brewery, the overall burger presentation was quite sloppy. The confetti-like shredded lettuce (which we found unnecessary) fell off everywhere and took the sauce with it. Critiques aside, it was a tasty burger, and one we would eat again.
WARPIGS BREWPUB Price: 80 DKK Presentation: 5/10 Flavor: 6/10 Value: 8/10 Overall score: 6.25/10
No. 5 – Mast Burger
Mast is a new Danish burger chain that opened their first location in Helsingør in December 2020. Since they’re opening a location in Copenhagen in summer 2022, we decided they were worthy of inclusion in this guide. Owner Michael Slass went to New York on a burger research trip, and brought back some inspiration from Shake Shack. We’re glad he did – this is the best smash burger we’ve tried so far in Denmark. Mast Burger jam-packs their beef patties with a lot of fat and smashes them extremely thin on the griddle. This technique causes the meat to caramelize, resulting in a crispy crust that almost looks like lace made of meat. While you won’t have a pink center with this style of cooking, the caramelization on the outside helps keep the meat juicy on the inside. Since the patties are so thin, the standard Mast burger (140 g) is a double cheeseburger. You can downgrade to a single patty, but we’d recommend going for the double here – it’s a better meat to bun ratio and we love the mouthfeel of having double patty, double cheese. Mast is currently using a brioche bun, but they revealed that they may follow Shake Shack’s lead and switch to Martin’s Potato Rolls in the future. American cheese, although not our favorite, is typical for this style of burger. The cheese doesn’t provide much flavor, but it has a velvety texture that melts extremely well on top of the patties. The toppings at Mast are simple – a mayo-based sauce, raw onions, and pickles. The burger also comes topped with bacon, which we personally find unnecessary, as we don’t love the texture of eating a strip of hard bacon on top of a soft, juicy beef patty. Overall, Mast’s burger has a very meaty, greasy, umami taste – a perfect hangover burger.
MAST BURGER Price: 89 DKK Presentation: 8/10 Flavor: 6/10 Value: 7/10 Overall score: 6.75/10
No. 4 – Dandelion
Dandelion sprung from the earth in July 2020, after Copenhagen’s first lockdown, but its popularity didn’t really bloom until early 2021. We like that they’re doing things a bit differently from their competitors, trying to stand out from the crowd instead of imitating them. Dandelion’s signature cheeseburger is made with an organic beef patty stuffed with bone marrow, which gives the meat a rich, buttery taste. They top it off with mature cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and Dandelion dressing (a delicious mayo-based truffle sauce). The umami-rich flavors of this burger melt in your mouth. The size of it is perfect to eat with one hand, although it is slightly smaller than the other burgers on this list. Our only critique is that the burger was very soft in texture; it started falling apart while we ate it, as if the patty couldn’t quite stay together. Maybe because of the bone marrow in the patty? Nevertheless, it’s a tasty little burger with a unique flavor profile.
DANDELION Price: 75 DKK Presentation: 6/10 Flavor: 7/10 Value: 8/10 Overall score: 7/10
No. 3 – POPL
The infamous Noma burger, which took Copenhagen by storm during the summer of 2020, found a permanent home at POPL (in the former 108 space in Christianshavn). While nothing can recreate the magic of sitting in the sunshine in the Noma garden sipping on a glass of wine with a burger in hand, the best version of Noma’s burger we had was in POPL’s dining room on opening night. That burger was a sight to behold – a mighty behemoth of a thing, stacked tall with organic ingredients and cooked a perfect medium rare. It was even tastier than its original iteration at the pop-up. Unfortunately, POPL was quickly forced to pivot to take-away during the second lockdown. Happily, the restaurant has been thriving, with long lines of Copenhageners clambering for takeout; however, the burgers may have suffered some from the pressing public demand, fostered by the immense popularity of the Noma name. Since then, the burgers we have eaten at POPL have been consistently overcooked – missing the pink, medium rare center. We’ve tried them three times in their new venue, and every time they were light gray at best – which was especially disappointing because the quality of meat POPL uses is so high. The seasoning has also been a bit out of balance during this time period – sometimes, the wasabi notes in the sauce can be a bit overpowering and, on several occasions, the burgers have been over salted. Because of this inconsistency, we have been opting for the other offerings from POPL (we really enjoy the fried chicken and the fried fish, but those sandwiches were not factored into this ranking). We hope that one day the Noma burger we fell in love with will be reinstated to its former glory.
POPL Price: 115 DKK Presentation: 8/10 Flavor: 7/10 Value: 6/10 Overall score: 7/10
No. 2 – Fatty’s
Copenhagen’s best kept burger secret is Fatty’s, the charming takeout window of The Fat Pike, located right next to Il Buco in Islands Brygge. It’s a real hidden gem (literally a hole in the wall) that doesn’t even have an Instagram account (gasp!). This burger was another lockdown baby, born when its fish-focused big brother, The Fat Pike, had to shift to a take-away concept. Fish doesn’t travel well, so they started slinging burgers! This is one of the few places we’ve discovered simply by stumbling upon it (as opposed to discovering it via social media or by someone’s recommendation) – and what a rare treat that was. The feeling of discovery is a beautiful thing, especially when it takes you by surprise. We tried Fatty’s on a whim last summer (back before the window even existed), not expecting much and just needing a quick bite on-the-go. You had us at “burger pop-up!” We didn’t even have our camera with us, didn’t take a picture, just sunk our teeth in – and instantly knew we’d have to return and document this spot. The beef is ground in-house every day, grilled, and topped with cheddar cheese and house-made pickles. Although Fatty’s sauce is secret, the owner revealed to us that the main ingredients are mayo, ketchup, mustard, lemon, and sriracha (which gives it a nice little kick). It’s served on a buttery brioche bun that is toasted golden brown in clarified butter. The best part? They’ve got the most competitive price in town. Fatty’s standard price is 75 Danish kroner, but if you come during lunch it’s only 60 kroner!
FATTY'S Price: 75 DKK (60 DKK during lunch) Presentation: 8/10 Flavor: 8/10 Value: 9/10 Overall score: 8.3/10
No. 1 – Gasoline Grill
You’re the first, my last, my everything. Oh, Gasoline Grill – a burger so perfect that Barry White had to write a love song about it. (Or is it just us that hears sweet melodies every time we take a bite?) Copenhagen’s first high-quality burger joint set the standard for what a great burger should look like, and now, five years later, it’s still the best burger in town. Owner Klaus Wittrup opened his first shop inside a (still-operating) gas station, and now has a handful of other locations around the city. But unlike most chains, Gasoline has been able to keep the same high-quality and consistency across all locations. The recipe for success? Each shop grinds their own meat every day, semi-smashes it on a griddle to get a perfect caramelization, and sandwiches it inside a freshly baked potato bun. The flavors on the cheeseburger are simple – melt-in-your-mouth meat and cheese, onions and pickles for acidity, and Gasoline’s signature sauce, a tart and zingy chili mayo. The sauce is what makes this burger a showstopper – it has this wonderful sweet and salty tang that balances out the beefy notes and adds a deeper level of flavor that we often find missing from your basic, umami-heavy burgers. One bite of Gasoline’s cheeseburger and you can feel how perfectly the meat is seasoned (the salt and pepper really shine) and the burgers are cooked perfectly medium rare with a bright pink center. The soft fluff of a toasted potato bun is the vehicle for this perfect patty – and it can hold its own in a battle against the sauce. (No soggy burger buns here!) We think the Gasoline Grill cheeseburger is the best fast food burger in the world – and we’re lucky to get to satisfy our burger cravings here every week.
GASOLINE GRILL Price: 80 DKK Presentation: 8/10 Flavor: 10/10 Value: 9/10 Overall score: 9.3/10
What is your favorite burger in Copenhagen? Let us know in a comment below.
Happy to have enjoyed a few Gasoline Grill burgers and loved them! In the spirit of fairness, I will have to give the others a try!
Thanks for the burger guide!
You’re in for a treat! Burger feast!
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Ah, the eternal question! 😉
Did you look up the danish meaning of burger? I can’t help but get a bit offended that you get so angry of the way we address a burger (or apparently a sandwich) in Denmark. It’s just a cultural difference between Denmark and the states and here it comes to show.
You’re joking, right? The burger is cultural heritage for Americans – it’s our most iconic and sacred dish. The name comes from the beef. There’s not a “different definition” of burger in Denmark (see the Danish wiki page here: https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burger). Danes have just been unfortunately calling it the wrong name for years without doing proper research about what the dish even is. I can’t help but get offended that Danes are culturally misappropriating something that is of huge cultural importance to our country. Imagine if someone served a smørrebrød in the US with a piece of sandwich bread on top of the sandwich (not open-faced) and then when a Dane said “this is not smørrebrød” replying “oh, we just have a different definition of smørrebrød here.”
If you’re interested in educating yourself on the history of the burger I can refer you to this article: https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/HamburgerHistory.htm
Oh wow. Now I clearly offended you. Well I am sorry that we Danes clearly are uneducated in the term burger. However I would not get angry that an American would call smørrebrød something else. We all have to be here and it’s common in Denmark that we call all “sandwiches” burgers. I have never meet anyone that’s called it something else. And I don’t use Wikipedia since it’s written by common people.
However I am deeply sorry that you find it offensive that I think it’s a bit much getting so upset over what a “sandwich” is called in Denmark. Hope you have a pleasant day and maybe one day have educated the Danes in how important a burger is to Americans.
Glad I could educate you! One Dane at a time 🙂 it’s a burger revolution.
Some 40 Years ago, the word ‘burger’ wasn’t even in the danish vocabulary – but the dish has been around a good while longer than that – it was, and still is, called a ‘Bøfsandwich’.
Sounds like Danes should have no problem calling things a fish sandwich, or a chicken sandwich then. 🙂
Quite right! – But the same goes for the opposite I should say; if what we used to call a sandwich is in fact called a burger, then that logically applies to every sandwich that shares a resemblance to the structural integrity of said sandwich/burger.
See that is where your logic fails. While a burger is indeed a sandwich, all sandwiches are not burgers.
I completely understand your point, I’m just trying to say that Danes think differently, because of our history with the bøfsandwich and our linguistic heritage in regards to food, and the new anglification of our language. – Just like chips is two different things in the US and the UK. The only part of a car that shares the same name in US/UK is steering wheel, every other mechanical compartment has a different name, for the same thing. The fruit that you Americans call blueberry, is a completely different species of fruit from what we call blueberry. And while I respect your tenacity, I am sorry to say there is no way you can claim the burger to be an american denomination, because the world is simply a bigger place than that.
Just because someone has been wrong in the past, doesn’t mean they can’t be right in the future. We’re trying to teach Danes the correct use of the word burger, but there seems to be a tenacity towards being wrong. 😉 PS: I am Norwegian, and we’re doing the exact same error over there.
“I have never met anyone that’s called it something else.”
“I don’t read Wikipedia because it’s written by common people”
Yep that’s that energy. See above. Closed-minded. Arrogant. Elitist. Smug.
Wow. I didn’t think this was a site of bullying. I’m
Not arrogant or close minded or a racist for that matter. How hurtful and awful to write something like that.
A good debat is a way of learning and accepting different views and can get heated. But this is just bullying.
And I did look up burger before I wrote a comment. My dictionary said it’s common that a chicken and so on is referenced to as burger in Denmark beside that it said it’s referring to a beef sandwich.
And I already apologize so stop being rude.
It is definitely arrogant to believe you have standing to debate someone about their culture.
The logic is that since the americans adopted/«stole» the hamburger from the Germans, they are entitled to lecture the Europeans?
On another note, normal definition of sandwich is something between to slices of bread (not bun), i.e you cannot call it a chicken sandwich…
The logic is that it has a definition.
A burger is not a defined term.
You will have a definitions in dictonaries, but those vary, e.g take a look at Cambridge.
The common understanding of a burger is something between two buns, the common understanding of a sandwich is something between two pieces of bread. I.e if you would like to define it, a chicken burger can never be named a chicken sandwich?
What happens if you google «kyllingeburger» and «kyllingesandwich»?
“The common understanding of a a burger…”
Common understanding to whom? Because it sounds a lot like sample bias.
Fam you’re really grasping at straws to be close-minded.
To clarify what I mean, you’re trying really hard to assert an incorrect understanding because it is one that you sure, regardless of the fact that the population that shares this understanding has no connection to the subject other than by its appropriation for profit.
As much as immigrants can steal their own culture, sure.
“Sandwich: an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them.”
There are many types of sandwiches (sub sandwiches, tortas, etc.) where the filling is served on various types of breads like a baguette, bun, or even a bagel. Any bread that is sliced can be used for a sandwich.
And, as mentioned in the article, the word burger is actually about the patty and not the bun (see above). A chicken burger can exist if the meat is ground up in a patty.
Should we tackle the big question “is a hot dog a sandwich?” next? 😉
When you respond with “well, that’s the way we see it,” it has the same energy as the “I can’t be racist because I have a black friend” crowd. Unabashedly ignorant and arrogant.
Remember that no one is asking for your perspective when they’re correcting your appropriation of their culture (or misappropriation in this case). And if you’re gonna profit from another culture, at least have the respect to get it right.
Burger and sandwiches are ‘not’ that hard to tell apart 😉
True, but the words are very easy to mix, it turns out. 🙂
Is there a list of the ones that didn’t make it? Agree on Gasoline.
Thoughts on Burger Anarchy in Reffen?
Yes, you can see the list of ones we tested at the top when we explained how we scored the guide. 🙂 Haven’t tried Burger Anarchy yet!
🤦🏻♂️ Saw it now 🙂 Thanks!
IMO top 3, so you’r in for a treat! Haven’t tried Fatty’s so thanks for The tip!
Awesome! Will try 🙂 Hope you love Fatty’s as much as we do!
Hopefully a Oslo Burger guide 2.0 soon as well? 🙂
Hope to be able to revisit Oslo again soon!
Great list, worthy entrants.
However, please don’t start blatantly copying MAST burgers information about how the SMASH method works. As it is factually flawed. FAT doesn’t caramelize (not without added sugars), FAT renders. The SMASH method is about maximizing surface area between grill and meat to facilitate the maillard reaction (browning/caramelization between sugars and amino acids), which is accomplished in two ways; 1) pressing the meat flat on the grill and 2) high fat-% of the patty which due to the high heat quickly renders into all nooks and crannies of the patty.
I should not need to point this out to a burger foodie…
Excuse me for saying that “the fat caramelizes” – I’ve changed that one word. It now reads: “the meat caramelizes.” I believe the rest of the paragraph about the technique is factually correct. 🙂 Thanks for the note!
I guess you could be a foodie without being a food scientist. More often than not this would be the case
I completely agree Gasoline Grill is the best burger in Denmark and perhaps the world. I can’t wait to come back to Denmark and eat many more. Definitely better than the famous In and Out Burgers in USA.
As a Californian, I wholeheartedly agree!
Love your guide and agree with the overall ranking, except you are missing one, and a crucial one.. granted, Copenhagen is the danish, if not Scandinavian food Mecca, but there’s a place outside of it that deserves a spot in your top 3. Trained gourmet chef turned entrepreneur Max, runs a burger joint in Fredensborg, named Bocks Burgers, where he consistently serves what his followers calls the best smash burger in the world. Every single ingredient is homemade (even his amazing sauces!) and it never fails – I put it up there with Gasoline for sure. Seriously recommend you try it, there’s a lovely castle next door where you can enjoy it if you need a reason to travel 😉
Thanks for the rec! This guide is purely for Copenhagen burgers, but will make a note to try that one sometime 🙂