You're going to have a lovely time in Copenhagen, but you're also going to feel a little jealous. The city will challenge your understanding of the word "livable." It will make you wonder why everybody where you live doesn't have this aesthetic sensibility. It will make you ask, probably more than once, "Why can't we just do it this way back home?" Everyone gets more vacation time than you, the parks and cultural attractions are perfectly manicured, and, when the sun comes out, open spaces brim with people hoping to soak it in. You can park your stroller outside of a coffee shop and leave the baby inside it.
Copenhagen is also a city big on creative risk-taking, where starchitect Bjarke Ingels got his start and artists like Olafur Eliasson always seem to be up to something. Over the past decade, since the ascendancy of René Redzepi and his groundbreaking restaurant Noma, this spirit of progress has allowed the work of chefs to become the city's greatest draw. The Danish capital's restaurant community continues to influence people across the world in the fields of food, coffee, and wine.
But Copenhagen isn't just about pushing the envelope. There's a wealth of bars where you can still chain smoke, classic restaurants in which to enjoy smørrebrød, the open-faced sandwich, as well as holes in the wall that will serve you simple fare perfect for absorbing liquor. Best of all is a recent development: Forward-thinking chefs are filling gastronomic voids that used to make it easy for someone to dismiss the city as simply Noma and its acolytes. You can now find some of the best pizza and tacos anywhere.
Here, organized roughly by neighborhood, are the 38 essential eating and drinking experiences in Copenhagen. It's a list that's sure to change quickly in the coming months, and we're all lucky for that. There might be no better place to eat in Europe right now.