Nordatlantisk Hus A must-see architectural gem by the harbour, home to an worthwhile restaurant serving New Nordic cuisine with a North Atlantic twist

Nordatlantisk Hus
Eating | Nordatlantisk Promenade 1, Odense C | Written by: Brian Lindskov Larsen | Photo: Hannibal-Bach | 20 recommendations

You can’t say you’ve been to New Odense until you’ve made your way to the harbour. Odense Harbour is not only a pretty sweet spot, it is also home to several major attractions of the city. And Nordatlantisk Hus is one of them. From afar it looks dangerously cool and un-Odensian and once inside you’ll find a remarkable restaurant serving up a slice of the North Atlantic at a reasonable price.

Grey cliffs and luminous icebergs have inspired the shape of this architectural gem, where icy blue glass birds circle above your head. This striking building was built in collaboration between Greenland House and Odense Municipality and houses the city’s finest student accommodation on its upper floors. Below, in an unbeatable setting, you’ll find a very special restaurant serving delicacies from Greenland and the Faroe Islands in the spirit of New Nordic cuisine. It may not be Noma, but it is delicious and affordable.

Go there for their abundant brunch with the best home-made Nutella you’ve ever had and a harbour view. Eat inside, on the terrace or take away.

Apart from the restaurant, Nordatlantisk Hus also offers occasional concerts and exhibitions with a North Atlantic twist. Their gift shop is open Thursdays and Fridays 1 pm – 6 pm, Saturdays 11 am - 2 pm.

  • Mon - Fri: 11.30 - 23.30
  • Sat: 10.00 - 23.30
  • Sun: 11.30 - 16.00
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Gastroteket A kind-hearted French-Nordic deli and eatery with attention to detail

Eating | Nørregade 39, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Francois Picard | Photo: Hannibal-Bach | 1 recommendations

Funen is Denmark's Provence. The best food in the country has always grown in Funen's soil, and in this Funen-French melting pot, you'll be served the best from both worlds, with a twist of classical, French know-how.

At the Gastroteket, you will find both a nordic interior and French-Funen dishes: delicatessens, simmered dishes, pig-based food from nose to tail, local vegetables and subtle wines, served in bright, well-appointed spaces. Mostly organic. And of course, all the delicatessens and cold meat slices, you may dream about, to take away to your home-sweet-home or in one of the town's parks. Delicatessens and cold meat slices that you always can taste, before being prepared and packed for you.

The Gastroteket is located in a street, in which you will as well find an organic bakery, furnitures, a chocolate shop, and an enchanting café, the most natural, Lyonese delicatessen shop and restaurant in all its subdued elegance and simplicity.

If it makes any difference to your visit, then it is entirely positive, as, at the Gastroteket, the service is as informal as the the quality is high.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Fri: 11:30 - 21:30
  • Sat: 10:00 - 21:30
  • Sun: -
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Cafe biografen Films should be seen on screen at Cafe Biografen

Cafe biografen
Culture | Brandts Passage 39, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Francois Picard | 92 recommendations

On July 23, 1983, Ole and Karen Cafe opened Café Biografen, being thus the first ones to open a new business within the renovated Brandts Klædefabrik. With a colonial builder spirit and a scrap collector energy, they created an oasis in the past detached house city.

Since then, not much has changed. Karen handed the café over to Jørgen. But Ole is still there, the interior is almost the same, and in the small viewing room with soft red seats, where you can bring a drink with you in both glass and porcelain, are still projected movies certainly far from the common Hollywood standards.

Development resistance is rarely an advantage nowadays, but the Café Biografen is today an integral part of so many Odenseaners’ life and story, that major changes would inevitably mean that we would lose a part of ourselves. Even a stressed waiter’s grumpy closing time warning has become for me a predictable ritual, bringing joyful memories.

The Café Biografen is the destination for both everyday evenings, an early city tour and a Sunday afternoon around a backgammon. During the winter, the ground floor is a compelling shelter, bathing the Amfiplads’s soggy quarry tiles in light; in the early summer, the café moves outside under the sun and the linden tree; and when August finally arrives, the Café Biografen becomes home for film makers from all around the world during the famous Odense International Film Festival (“OFF”).

With the support from the Danish Film Institute (“DFI”), there is as well an obligation to give special attention to what moves the movie public places, where they do not already are. Therefore, one could wish that the Café Biografen, with greater courage and independence, dared to push a bit more the slightly-too-safe-choices boundaries, making thus Odense’s own great cinema an attraction for both movie and atmosphere.

  • Mon - Sat: 10.00 - 23.00
  • Sun: 10.00 - 22.30
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Kærnehuset Vegetarian communal dining every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evening since 1977

Eating | Nedergade 6, 1., Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik | 1 recommendations

Kærnehuset is really a locals' place. It's a vegetarian dinner club that is hidden away behind yellow roses in a backstreet. To find it, you have to walk a little further than you think, and then go a little higher up than you think. This is where you'll find true remnants from the hippie era. Here reigns the collective mentality. Here you eat together and feel at home, or at least in someone's living room. This is a raw-shredded-carrot-club that did not disappear with the years, possibly because it lays on solid foundations.

Here you can simply walk in from the street and eat really good and really healthy food at a very low price, and then walk out again. But then you can come back, again and again. The natural next step is membership and a job in the kitchen. It's super cosy, like camping. We help each other out and do the washing up in a tub and make food on a gas burner. Grater and lentils. The living food. Salad is the shit. We sit close to each other, and come early if you want to get a seat. Turn your plate upside down to reserve a spot, and it not always 100% sure you get one. If you do, you'll be sitting next to someone you don't know, and of course you are expected to talk to them.

"Food is served at 6PM sharp."

It's a (in a good way) sectarian enterprise, and as in all sects there are more or less overt hierarchies. In Kærnehuset it's possibly defined by who's been a part of it the longest. And the faintest (as in very faint) rumours say that if you've been there long enough you may even get invited to other evening arrangements, with a whole different type of carrots...

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Wed: 15.00 - 19.30
  • Thu: -
  • Fri: 15.30 - 19.30
  • Sat - Sun: -
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Restaurant Goma Exceptional contemporary Danish-Japanese fusion cuisine

Restaurant Goma
Eating | Kongensgade 66-68, Odense C | Written by: Brian Lindskov Larsen | 1 recommendations

Goma was one of the first substantial alternative gourmet restaurants to appear in Odense and with its neat fusion of Japanese sushi and, well, everything else, including pork rinds, served in cool surroundings, it quickly became a hit – and it hasn’t lost its momentum since.

I once celebrated a birthday there with my girlfriend and child and on top of great, inventive meal I was pleasantly surprised to find the waiters friendly without being fawning. There is a hyped cocktail bar in the evening with herbal gins and a dj and the restaurant features occasional exclusive wine, champagne & gastro events.

Goma is youthful without being stupid – a rarity.

  • Mon - Thu: 17.30 - late
  • Fri: 16.00 - late
  • Sat: 17.30 - late
  • Sun: -
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Nelle's Coffee & Wine, Pantheonsgade Coffee, wine, juice, and odd candy. Not cheap but guaranteed good company, quality, and style

Nelle's Coffee & Wine, Pantheonsgade
Drinking | Rosenbæk Torv 1, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | 2 recommendations

Enjoy a thoroughly great cup of filter coffee on a rainy morning or one (two, three) glasses of wine under the incandescent bulbs on a summer evening. The music isn't muzak, the beans and the grapes are impeccable, and the prices are of course correspondingly high.

The clientele is broad, but always well-dressed; in the daytime there is a slight overrepresentation of students and young creatives/professionals that have "meetings" standing around a table and "work" at their laptops. In the afternoon, all types of embellished cosmopolites eat tapas and, for a little while, forget that the world is burning. Here is, hands down, the city's largest selection of magazines and newspapers. Outdoor seating in the summer. Organic ice cream. Hats with logos. What more can the heart wish for ...?

This one is the original Nelle's, the first one in town and the first one in the world. The second one is in Overgade, and it is also worth a visit, not least because they open earlier than any other caffeine pusher in town. It's not hard to imagine that soon every street corner in Denmark will have a Nelle's, but for now, Odense alone has the pleasure.

But who's Nelle really, and why has she lent her name to the coffee shop that started the city's quality-coffee new wave in 2012? The three business partners behind the project had in total five sons and one daughter — the boys all got juices named after them — while Nelle will have the pleasure to grow up with a hang-out place like Sam's.

It was really far-sighted of their parents to open this genuine coffee shop in Rosenbæk's glass palace (which had lived all its short life since 2004 in the hope that someone would notice how much potential it had) with the exterior facing Pantheonsgade and Amfipladsen. Plywood, Danish design furniture and graphic posters with brisk lifestyle slogans add a special touch to the whole thing.

  • Mon - Fri: 8.00 - 22.00 (eller senere)
  • Sat: 9.00 - 22.00 (eller senere)
  • Sun: 10.00 - 18.00
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No. 61 The pioneer among local bistros, but still as good as ever

No. 61
Eating | Kongensgade 61, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen

The best bistro/brasserie in Denmark 2014. Simple, rustic, and honest. French, Danish, European. Good Funen produce. A well-assorted wine map. Intimate and informal like a French country kitchen.

One really does not need to add anything else. But there is more. Martin Pilsmark, educated chef, waiter, and sommelier, is also the author of the cookbook ”61 Licks”, based on the courses served at No. 61 and elected for the best Danish cookbook publication in 2014 and, as of yet, one of the world’s 8 best cookbooks in the running for ”Gourmand Best Chef Cookbook in the World”.

The opening of Restaurant No. 61 in 2010, helped start the large gastronomic blossoming in Odense, which has led to No. 61 now being one of three excellent restaurants in the northern end of Kongensgade street.

You will always be met with exceptional service and high spirits.

Main course: 195 dkkr

2 courses: 285 dkkr

3 courses: 345 dkkr

Wine menu per glass: 75 dkkr

If your mouth waters at the thought of roasted cockerel with green asparagus, spring onions, and sauce velouté with morels, then remember to make a reservation!

  • Mon - Sat: 17.00 - 24.00
  • Sun: -
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Det Gode Brød Organic family bakery. Echt. Get there before the bread sells out!

Det Gode Brød
Shopping | Nørregade 35, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik

Nettle rolls, rosmary loaves, rundstykker that are actually filling, and real rye bread. Demeter juice and farm-fresh milk in the fridge, and small rolls on the house for the 3-year old with grubby hands reaching for bread. Everything baked with sourdough and top-notch ingredients, as in TOP-notch: when the custard in your Danish is visibly packed with real vanilla, you know these people are serious about baking.

Pass - don't enter, pass - Lagkagehuset and their de-vitaminised middle-of-the-road bake-off and continue for another three minutes down Nørregade, where you'll find baked goods germinated to the core. There is a revolt taking place in no. 35. A revolt against a Europe exhausting its flour, and thus, its bread: by chasing the formal qualities of flour - rise!rise!rise! - we have purged its flavour and vitamins to such a degree that the continent is slowly malnourishing.

And where other bakers use shady methods and pump up the easy additives - fat & sugars - and leave you with a strange coating on the roof of your mouth after you finish your cinnamon roll, a cinnamon roll from Det Gode Brød (Good Bread) is delicious because the raw material is too. Their flour (freshly ground, organic, biodynamic), their cinnamon, their sugar, their butter (not margarine!) - everything is high quality.

A tip, to avoid frustrated visits: unlike other bakeries, who will display shelves groaning with bread 2 minutes before closing time, this bakery actually becomes sold out towards the end of the day. So if you have your mind set on a particular poppy-seed Danish or that nettle roll (which is spectacular), you will need to get moving.

If you have met the family running the bakery, there will be no doubt in your mind that the reason they know what constitues Good Bread is because they have given The Good Life some thought, too.

In every way a flavourful revolt that comes with the warmest of recommendations.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Thu: 07.00 - 16.00
  • Fri: 07.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 07.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: -
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La Piazzetta Tiny space with Italians serving up pizza to stay or to go

La Piazzetta
Eating | Vindegade 88, Odense C | Written by: Brian Lindskov Larsen

La Piazzetta is my favorite pizza-pusher in Odense. It's up to debate whether their pizzas are better than Della Nonna's by the harbor or Rosticceria's on Hjallesevej/Brandts, where they also speak (or shout) in Italian in the kitchen. Or even better than newcomer Gorm's in Brandts Passage where shouting is Danish But their crust is as crispy as you can dream of, and they also have a good choice of Italian non-pizza dishes on the menu — try for instance their amazing veggie soup.

Another plus is that the city's absolute best ice cream parlor, Il Gusto, is just next door, ready to satisfy any imminent craving for dessert.

For good measure, you can even much conveniently bring your pizza to Den Smagløse Café across the street, take a sit, and drink a beer or soda with discount, if you show a receipt from the pizza place.

  • Mon - Thu: 16.00 - 21.00
  • Fri: 16.00 - 21.30
  • Sat - Sun: 16.00 - 21.00
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Restaurant Bacchus Craftsman approach to the classics, winner of Brasseri of the Year 2017 and nominated for Bistro of the year in 2019.

Restaurant Bacchus
Eating | Vestergade 5, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Bistros are fast becoming an Odensian specialty. In 2014, Restaurant No. 61 was named the Danish bistro of the year and Restaurant Bacchus has been nominated in both 2016 and 2017,  two out of three years after opening in 2015, won Brasseri of the year in 2017 and was nominated for the special categori "BISTRO" in 2019 by Danske Madanmeldere.

Bacchus is Stephane Libourel's interpretation of classical French cuisine, with no Danish add-ons or extras. He grew up and was trained as a chef in Lyon and Rhone, the capital food region of France, and you immediately get the sense that there are many layers to Stephane's gastronomical culture. His culinary education is based in respect for craftmanship, seasonal produce and terroir as a cultural foundation of each meeting between food and the people who make it.

Stephane formerly ran the now-capsized Brasseriet at Gravene, but whereas that concept struggled to define itself and make its mark, Bacchus communicated clearly from the get-go.

The produce and the quality of the food is top priority, and the wine selection is solid and with a bias for French wines from the Rhone. The real challenge is making something of the former cheese shop and transforming its functionalist space into a nice restaurant. The acoustics have improved, but the decor is still only halfway there and the open kitchen sometimes provides more furnace smoke than insight into the workshop of the cook.

In France, cooking is an art form, and so is talking. Stephane is often engaged in long conversations at the (close set) tables. Whether you like this engaged style of hosting or not, you can't argue that it isn't an admirable attitude for a chef to have toward his restaurant.

Rarely is the leap from a restaurant's opening to its nomination for awards in Den Danske Spiseguide (the Danish gastronomical guide) so sudden, but this is a deserved exception to the rule.

Bacchus is open for dinner reservations Monday to Satuday, and open for lunch Thursday to Saturday. This means, that the restaurant is closed between 3 pm and 5.30 on lunch days. Mondays and tuesdays are classic french dishes. Wednesdays feature a surprise menu of four dishes surprise menu with wine ad libitum.

Lunch prices range from 90-175 kr. For dinner, expect to pay between 270-735 kr. for 2-7 courses.

  • Mon - Wed: 17.30 - 21.45
  • Thu - Sat: 11.45 - 21.45
  • Sun: -
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Restaurant Pasfall Funen-French Michelin potential in white tablecloth surroundings

Restaurant Pasfall
Eating | Brandts Passage 31, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen

Gourmet-bigmouth Pasfall has been featured in Guide Michelin 2016 and 2017, as the only Odensian restaurant. No star yet, but two forks for “good standard” accompanied by the following middle-of-the-road sentence that must have been composed somewhere on a central European rest stop between Paris and Brandts Passage:

“Good seasonal produce is used to create robust, tasty dishes, with a classic, yet modern style”

And even if the décor can’t be said to be very personal, nor warm, and there could be said to be a slight overrepresentation of real estate suits among the customers, dining at Pasfall’s couldn’t be further from a mediocre experience.

If you’ve ever heard Thomas Pasfall talk – and if you’ve met him, you definitely have – you know that he is someone who is hard to ignore, and so is his food.

There are no style nonsense, no new Nordic trend gestures. This is fine French craftsmanship combined with a certain amount of vulgar and brash provincial Funen arrogance – and I mean that in the best possible way.

I mean – who has a menu featuring ”Oisters in their natural state with red onion vinaigrette & toast Melba” and ”Piña Colada as ice cream”? And who combines that with classical dishes such as lobster, terrine, and roast beef with foie gras (under the name McPASFALL)?

No one else in Odense does, and nowhere else in Odense can you get food and wine of the standard that Pasfall offers. And of course you’ll have to pay for it.

4-9 courses cost between 579-959 kr.
4-9 glasses of wine cost between 420-945 kr.

- Fra 4-9 retter koster fra 579-959 kr.
- Fra 4-9 glas vin koster 420-945 kr.

It won’t be long until the Michelin stars will come to town, and the first one is likely to end up at Pasfall, even though the number of challengers keep rising.

Open for lunch and dinner, but closed in between.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Fri: 11.30 - 22.30
  • Sat: 11.30 - 01.00
  • Sun: -
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Il Gusto The most wonderful Italian ice cream

Il Gusto
Eating | Vindegade 84-86, Odense C | Written by: My Rasmussen

Stefano Di Gaetano fell in love with a girl from Funen and traded Copenhagen for Odense and his job as a pedagogue for being an ice cream maker.

Now, he skillfully experiments with flavours in his gem of an ice cream shop, which contains velvety classics like chocolate and strawberry but also new signature flavours like acacia honey and walnuts, or vanilla, lemon, and meringue. Or apple pie. Or Whiskey-cream.

Try the Sicilian "brioche": buttery bread sliced and served with two scoops of soft gelato.

You can also warrant your popularity by bringing an ice cream cake with you as you head into the summer landscape. Doors will open, walls will fall!

  • Mon - Sun: 12.00 - 20.00
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Ungdomshusets Café Great affordable food cooked by volunteers in a youth community building. Brunch, burgers, vegan nights

Ungdomshusets Café
Eating | Ungdomshuset, Nørregade 60, Odense C | Written by: Jakob Cæsius Krohn

“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the ... that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man” (Jesus)

As far as restaurants are concerned, my qualifications are in order, as I have tried almost all of the circa 100, we have in Odense. From the humblest polsevogn to the most expensive restaurant. In all these places, I ate everything that was on the table with a good appetite. But what I don’t like is the all-to-fresh twelve-year-old-girls giving lessons about the menu and the wine card while my food sits there and gets cold, and I get dehydrated. In general, I am not much for food snobbery. It’s yet another way in which more privileged people discriminate those that can’t afford the same treatment. What I am, though, is a music snob: my kids had me almost already married to an otherwise attractive woman, who however disqualified herself by sending an sms with her top-10 tracks, which included songs by U2, REM and Pearl Jam.

Well, what matters the most to me, when going out feeding, is first and foremost to meet cool people. And when Bobby from Dubrovnik is almost too much (Slivovitz) of the good stuff, then I would recommend Ungdomshusets Café. Five years ago, when I lodged in Nørregade 60 and was bored and had sadness in my heart, that was always the café to turn to. And easy now: the café is not exclusively for classic ungdomshus-types with piercings and black hoodies. It is actually a place for all kinds of people of all ages. Not least, it’s a place for youth school people, who usually make for a rather colorful assembly.

The first time I ever visited the place I even ran into Sune from Talent 2008, who is something of a character in himself. And he couldn’t have said it better, when he said: “People here are not crazy - but it’s ok if you are”. Another anecdote from Ungdomshuets Café, which made me really happy, is from that time Steen Viggo dismembered a badger for chef Thor’s well read young students from Kold College og produktionsskolen, while he (under the title “The Lord’s Vegetable Garden”) told about his time as a homeless in the woods, when he lived on a menu of filipendula and hedgehog. I also strongly assume that the café was closed to the public at that time.

Even now, the opening hours aren’t always reliable, nor is the website. Some recurrent events include though Monday Café (an international dining club for students from all around the world) and the (previously mentioned in TiO) folkekøkken with vegan food on Thursdays. But on most weekdays all are welcome to just walk in and get themselves a good lunch or dinner for little money. And a juicy burger for 50 kr. Amen!

“Eat, drink and be merry”, as it says in the Bible. But remember also to speak soberly to each other - that is, without food in your mouth.

  • Mon: 09.00 - 20.45
  • Tue - Thu: 08.00 - 20.00
  • Fri: 08.00 - 14.00
  • Sat - Sun: -
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Kok & Vin Edgy French finesse and wine in casual surroundings.

Kok & Vin
Eating | St. Gråbrødrestræde 19, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen

Yet another casual French bistro in Odense dressed in rustic furniture and candlelights, yet another blackboard with three courses for 300 in chalk. The restaurant is even named after one of the most classic French dishes of all time. Even so, Kok & Vin is not just “yet another”. It is edgy reinventions from Escoffier’s backhand with an equally edgy and diverse wine list offering a thorough introduction to everything from indie-wine from Beaujolais to the classics from Bordeaux. Prices are in the upper range, but you can also buy by the glass.

The food is uncompromisingly simple but innovative. Flavour, texture and temperature are playfully combined and the kitchen rarely misses a beat. Aside from the blackboard menu, you can plunge into your own choice of smaller and bigger courses. How about salted salmon with celery relish, radishes and pickled cucumbers, escargot the Bourgogne-way, fried lamb sausages with Puy-lentils, artichokes, broad beans and goats cheese? Or how about fried frog’s legs with lemon and garlic aioli and rabbit terrine with morels and pistachios?

3 dishes 300 kr.
3 dishes with wines 500 kr.
3 dishes with wine, bobbles, snacks and coffee with Petits Fours 600 kr.

  • Mon - Sat: 17.30 - late
  • Sun: -
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Burger Anarchy Looking for a quick bite? Get your gastro burger with trimmings here

Burger Anarchy
Eating | Gravene 2, Odense C | Written by: Mira Erik

Forget soggy lettuce, dry tomatoes, ketchup and run-of-the-mill meat. Say hello to wild boar, blue cheese and onion compote. Local lamb, zucchini fries and chili relish. Panko-fried pollack, pickled lemon and parsnip fries. Steak, pickled mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Thank God someone bothered to reinvent the burger – it’s a blessing! Local produce, everything made from scratch and that special micro brew of your dreams to wash it all down. Prices range from 100 to 150 DKK – if you can keep away from the tasty side orders, that is.

Burger Anarchy is an authentic entrepreneurial love story; a dream that had to become reality. Hard work and elbow grease and the little man’s negotiations with the bank. The dream came true!

Burger Anarchy is the best burger joint in town and the place is deservedly packed on most nights, so book ahead.

 Burger Anarchy offers take away as well.

  • Mon - Sun: 12.00 - 22.00
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Cafe Fleuri Francophile ladies' oasis with organic treats and outdoor service in romantic backyard

Cafe Fleuri
Shopping | Nørregade 28, Odense C | Written by: My Rasmussen

The café is Odense’s most darling oasis for ladies, saturated with details in opposition of everything new Nordic and bark-and-white. It is a whimsical universe in a Wes Anderson-ian colour palette. A Francophile nest of estrogen with sweet delicacies and overflowing with flowers. Fleuri is a civilized and lady-like retort to festival camps and a cold one, when you want to fashion high heels and enjoy something exclusive and charming in a special atmosphere.

You used to have to edge past other guest to secure on of only three tables, but a few years back, Fleuri took over the neighbouring store as well, making more room for French soaps, handmade chocolates, bristling herbs, bubling wine, luxury beer, and teas. No to mention their famous organic brunch. It looks great and it smells delightful – a kind of indistinguishable amalgamation of everything you love.

When it is sunny out, you should try the absolutely wonderful patio garden in the back. No one enters it without exclaiming: Oh!, hands a-clasp, head a-tilt. Here are goldfish in the pond, crooked trees offering shade.

The coffee is delicious and strong and organic and served in beautiful blue fluted cups with a soft toffee on the side.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Fri: 10.30 - 17.30
  • Sat: 10.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: 11.00 - 15.00
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Gringas The rare real Mexican street food, especially if you eat on location and skip the take away

Eating | Overgade 25, Odense C | Written by: Jens Krog | Translated by: Laura Malahovska

Overgade and the surrounding area is mostly about presenting the nostalgic Odense as H.C. Andersen’s hometown, but lately new places are popping up as we get closer to Overgade being reconnected with the rest of the city. Among those, an authentic Mexican restaurant that neighbours now closed Den Gamle Kro, in which the nostalgia was drifting from the walls.

Gringas does not serve gravy as Den Gamle Kro did, but tortillas and other Mexican street food made from fresh, mostly organic, produce, which is much more flavourful than the nachos you can get at the cafés, and other dishes that are clearly seasoned with Mexican spice mixes from the supermarket. At Gringas, you won’t find ‘dane-ified’ versions of Mexican food and if you are not well-versed in the Mexican kitchen, there are many new flavours to learn about. Frijoles as an example.

The food is ambitious peasant cuisine meets the street joints of Mexico City, but the atmosphere and prices are unpretentious and it is nice to sit on the high chairs and look at Overgade's cobblestone while experimenting with the different types of salsa. It is street food in a safe environment. The food is not necessarily very spicy, although the chilli is in focus. If the habanero is too much, you can try to wash it down with local beer, wine and cocktails.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Thu: 16:00 - 21:30
  • Fri - Sat: 16:00 - 22:00
  • Sun: -
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Lalou Vinbar Wine and the best charcuterie in unpretentious small alley wine bar

Lalou Vinbar
| Pogestræde 31, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Laura Malahovska | 1 recommendations

Lalou Vinbar is a nice, little wine church, where the wine is served by the city's most enthusiastic and believing connoisseurs.

An Ivan and a Thomas.

Two oenophiles from the heart of Copenhagen, who lived, traveled and worked with wine, now settled in Svendborg and opened a wine bar in Odense. One of them warm heartedly polishing the glasses behind the bar. The other one moving between the tables and telling stories.

Wine companions and a wine bar built like an artwork that renounce everything fast and effective. A place that shouldn’t be succeeding, but ironically attracts those who can pay for it.

There are probably three types of wine bars, except the wine bars that are not really wine bars at all.

The glitz type wine bar, which attracts the rich; both new money and old money, sipping the wine they know and telling tales of expensive past-times.

The hipster wine bar that sells stories that wine is not only for the rich, but can also be an intellectual accomplishment and therefore balances on an edge between being interesting and completely unimportant.

And then there is the wine bar, which can actually be called - a wine bar. A place where you can learn about wine and those who cultivate it, where respect for the wine and the people behind it forbids you to regard it as anything else but wine.

Lalou - named after the French natural wine producer Lalou Bize-Leroy, is such a wine bar.

And then again, it really is Thomas and Ivan's wine bar. Because here you drink the wines that Thomas and Ivan know the most about and like the most. They will tell you stories they’ve heard in damp Austrian, Spanish, Italian or French basements. And you absolutely don’t have to worry about an arrogant monologue on what you should like.

Wine from Europe. Both natural and conventional. No mediocre wines they are trying to make money on. A wine menu filled with glasses of white, red, sweet and sparkling for between 70 and 150 kroner and bottles with prices ranging from the very reasonable to the absurd.

The two are not just wine connoisseurs, they are also cooks. And that means that their horderves are one of Lalou's biggest draws. At Lalou you can get the very best Jamón Ibérico, carpaccio,  rillette, truffle toast, anchovies, french cheeses and olives, that you could ever imagine.

The quality is high and - the meat melts in your mouth, here you might even like the blue cheese, even sea food haters like the fish and this is the place to learn to eat olives.

Be aware of the many tastings at Lolou. They expand on different wine regions, forgotten grapes or compare wines on the same grapes grown in different countries. There's the very popular wine and cheese tasting that matches wine with the right cheeses and helps you to do the same at home. There's the annual Leroy tasting for those that want - and can afford - to taste Lalour Bize-Leroys top wines. And now there's even a wine for beginners tasting that teaches you the basic craft of tasting.

Lalou is my go to wine bar in Odense, and it should also be yours.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue: 14.00 - 23.00
  • Wed: 16.00 - 23.00
  • Thu: 16.00 - 00.00
  • Fri - Sat: 14.00 - 00.30
  • Sun: -
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Restaurant Vår Locally sourced, light and unexpected gourmet servings. And some seriously off the beaten track wine to go with it

Restaurant Vår
Eating | Vintapperstræde 10, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Laura Malahovska | 1 recommendations

The city's most interesting restaurant, if you ask me. The mention in the Michelin Guide for the past two years confirms it.

No one else in Odense delivers light Nordic taste with the understated excellence of Jacob Burmølle-Jensen, who has returned to Odense after a number of years at - among others - Naert and Kadeau in Copenhagen and Bare in Bergen, which clearly inspired Vår’s menu.

Many New Nordic restaurants have too much hype around them. You've probably seen some of the types who publish their stories and their graphic identity several months before they open.

Not Vår. There was only a little press release in Fyens and a post on their facebook page before the restaurant opened in May 2017. No marketing budget, no menu the first couple of months and no uniforms. Just open doors, casual dining, cheap introductory prices for lunch - outstanding, overwhelmingly well tasting.

That doesn’t mean Vår is a sloppy place. No, it’s the opposite. Jacob is in control of produce and he himself collects vegetables from Nørregården. And the meat comes from Steensgaard's principle farm. It has to be sustainable, from Funen, and it rests on a foundation of respect for nature and one another.

The signature is surgical taste balance. Between salty, sour and umami. Between light and fat. The menu consists primarily of brassicas, berries, celery, lovage, dill, apple, fish, shellfish and what other green and light delights are in season. A bit of pork and beef is also on the menu. And while most chefs can create flavour by winter simmering the latter, I have never experienced a restaurant that can extract flavour from infant and delicate Danish vegetables like Vår can.

Hour after hour is spent preparing before you show up. They cook bouillons, stocks and emulsions. They ferment, salt and preserve. They extract every little taste nuance from the season's best ingredients.

You don't like fish? No problem - You do here. The menu doesn't sound like something you would enjoy? You're wrong. I never look at the menu before I go to Vår - because it doesn't matter what ingredients they work with - they make it work.

There are also no compromises when it comes to wine. It is natural wine and often from progressive wine regions, including Greece, Slovenia and Serbia.

Even the name of the restaurant is a subtle reference to the food and wine menu and the feeling you’re left with after reading through the menu is: light, green and fresh spring.

The best advertising for Vår comes from the stories of those who have eaten there.

The evening menu is: 5 courses: 575 kr., 10 courses: 875 kr. Wine menu doubles the prise or you can buy a juice menu for 275 kr. and 425 kr. You can also just choose one or two glasses and if you fancy skipping a dish I'm sure they can make that work as well.

Just be aware that you have to order the juice menu in advance, and that it can be difficult to walk in off the street, because this is a precision kitchen.

Those for whom it is too expensive, or you just fancy something more informal and quick,  might go to Vår på første - Vår's bistro and wine bar at the first floor that is almost just as sharp. Three dishes will cost you 300 kr. and you can have wine menu, coffee, tea and sweets added for 550 kr. in total.

Also keep an eye on the restaurant's facebook page for special events and tastings.

Vår is open wednesday to saturday 18-21.30 and Vår På Første is open wednesday to saturday 18-21.

  • Mon - Tue: -
  • Wed - Sat: 18.00 - 21.30
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Me - Mother's Street Food Truly Vietnamese street food experience. Even the plastic chairs mimic Hanoi street life

Me - Mother's Street Food
Eating | Vestergade 1, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Laura Malahovska

The first thing you see when walking past Me is the small coloured plastic chairs in front of the restaurant. Unlike many other restaurants and cafes in the city, that build hedges and walls around their guests, Me has created the impression of a small alley in Hanoi. And just like in Hanoi, it means that you can watch and be seen by the passers-by.

Inside there is a large and detailed mural of Ho Chi Minh City, that gives you a chance for your mind to wander on a dull day.

The true magic happens in the kitchen. The menu surprises with bánh mì-baguettes filled with fresh herbs, fresh spring rolls, rice noodles and pho. It’s fast, but good and made from fresh produce.

To complement, there are, among other things, slow juice and lemonade.

As always in Vietnamese restaurants, if you are going to steer clear of the devil that coriander is, you must say it very load and clear. But then you are also in for a treat of city's very best from Vietnam.

  • Mon - Thu: 11.00 - 20.00
  • Fri - Sat: 10.00 - 21.00
  • Sun: 11.00 - 20.00
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Bahn Mi Saigon Vietnamese to go. Bahn Mi sandwiches that will save your day

Bahn Mi Saigon
Eating | Søndergade 5B, Odense C | Written by: Jens Krog | Translated by: Laura Malahovska

Bahn Mi serves food the way the owner's mother made it. Hanh Mai, who owns the cafe, moved from Vietnam to study here, bringing the Vietnamese cuisine with her via skype conversations with her mother. The concept is Vietnamese street food and is perfect for a grab and go lunch if you don’t have time to sit down and enjoy your bahn mi (sandwich), rolls or curry dish. You are met by a courteous and helpful staff, despite the fact that the place is mostly for people on the move.

The menu is simple for a restaurant but impressive for a takeaway place, and they even serve tea, coffee and cake and cold drinks of Vietnamese origin. Although "authentic" is gradually a cliché word, it fits well here. They can make tofu taste good, and you are guaranteed fresh street food with fresh vegetables, which shows us there are alternatives to China-boxes, pizza-slices and durum wraps.

  • Mon - Sat: 11:00 - 20:00
  • Sun: -
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Seaweed Addictive rolls of Aussie-style sushi that fit in your hand on the go. No fuss

Eating | Brandts Passage 36, Odense C | Written by: Laura Malahovska

Cool places to eat are popping up all the time in Odense. Seaweed is definitely one of them. The story goes that the owners, a couple from Australia, got tired of waiting for someone else to open a sushi street food place that they ended up doing it themselves.

The owners, Jordana and Ron are very friendly. Several time when my friend and I went for a quick dinner, we ended up chatting with Ron and staying longer than intended. Turns out that he is a clarinetist in the chamber music ensemble ‘Esbjerg Ensemble’.

Their wraps have funky names like Black Mamba or Mr. Bean and they taste amazing with their spicy chilli or wasabi sauces. There are offers for both omnivores and vegetarians. You can grab a roll as a quick snack or a couple for lunch or a dozen for sharing it with friends. It’s great for those days with empty fridge or no inspiration to cook.

It tends to be busy at lunch time, but you never end up waiting for too long. And the good news is that it is reasonably priced. The rolls/wraps are 35 DKK a piece and 2-4 are enough for a meal, depending on how hungry you are.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Sat: 11:30 - 19:00
  • Sun: -
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Den Lille Smalle Slow juice and surprisingly reasonably priced coffee in polished surroundings

Den Lille Smalle
Eating | Vestergade 5 st. tv., Odense C | Written by: Laura Malahovska | Translated by: Laura Malahovska

Take a slow stroll around the old town. Slowly pass right by all the junk-food shops and sweets by the City Hall. Then stop to enjoy a slow juice at Den Lille Smalle (The Little Narrow in English). It definitely lives up to its name, but even though it’s narrow and fairly small, there is enough seating both inside and outside.

This is the only place in Odense where you can get a slow juice. What’s all the hype around the slow juice? Well, it is juice that is extracted by a special juicer that spins slower than the usual centrifugal juicers (you know, the ones that make you jump ever time when you push the ‘on’ button). And it presumably retains more vitamins. Den Lille Smalle offers lots of juices with greens and veggies.
If you are not too much into slowly juiced vegetables, their coffee is excellent too. And they have started to offer breakfast/brunch type of food. Smoothie bowls, sandwiches, avocado toasts, muesli and all that healthy jazz.

They offer vegan substitutes for milks and gluten free cakes and treats. So there is something for everyone.

  • Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 18:00
  • Sat: 9:00 - 17:00
  • Sun: 10:00 - 16:00
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ODEON Social Actual social eating. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cheap and nice and a mix of people

ODEON Social
Eating | Odeons Kvarter 1, Odense C | Written by: Laura Malahovska | Translated by: Pil Lindgreen

Thomas B. Thrige’s transformation has brought Odense a new place to meet up and enjoy a meal with loved ones and strangers alike. The concept of fællesspisning (communal dining) is quite popular in Denmark. Traditionally, it means bringing your own food to a communal table and sharing everything with your friends, work colleagues, or your fellow volunteers.

Odeon Social is a slightly different type of ‘fællesspisning’: Every table seats 8 people and you get randomly seated with people you most likely have never met before. This is not one of those places where dozens of waiters in unison serve all the tables at once. Not at all. Neither do you get to choose what you are going to eat. Every day there is a set menu and you share it with the other 7 people at the table. While it might be out of some people’s comfort zone, it is a great way to meet new people. There are no guarantees that you will meet your new best friend, but you will definitely have a bit of ‘hygge’ with strangers for an evening.
There is one or two days when you can expect to be served fish, Thursdays are always vegetarian and Sundays are reserved for hangover food. So there is something for everyone.

  • Mon - Sun: 10:00 - 22:00
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Café Kosmos Fresh vegan fare that makes your tastebuds tingle. A biodynamic cosmology of love. Ask for daily specials!

Café Kosmos
Eating | Lottrups Gård 1, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | Translated by: Francois Picard | 2 recommendations

When Café Kosmos opened in 2017 at the beginning of Lottrups Gård, it brought to life a totally empty and deserted spot in the city center. A backyard forgotten by the city center renovation in the eighties, that never manages during my lifetime to find out, what it should really be. You were not even noticing it when walking through it. Now stands a tiny 20-m2-vegan-organic utopia, and it is really a (genuinely green and) awesome spot. During the summer, long tables and benches are creating the nicest atmosphere within the yard, where yoga sessions are sometimes taking place, while the 18-year-old telephone sellers are taking cigarette breaks in a remote world, on a balcony several floors above. The Café Kosmos team dreams about planting more green, and if anyone can create a jungle, I believe that it can be done by these idealists.

Helle, Mie, Jamie, Theis, Henrik and the rest of the gang are a break-out group from the Ungdomshus’ vegan Thursdays, who initially named themselves ØKOLLEKTIVET. They were first selling vegan burgers from a food truck, one music festival after another, and were selling so many that they saw fit to open their own café. It is already a favorite spot for many regulars, and, since 2018, the whole country can be counted among its fans as Kosmos has been named “best vegan eatery” in Denmark two years in a row by Danmarks Veganske Forening.

The whole menu at Kosmos is based on local suppliers and organic products, and today’s special is where new inventions are being tested or where yesterday’s invention leftovers are being reused. The menu features matcha latte, raw cake and gluten-free rolls, but you will find no sanctimonious preaching here. It is this kind of warm but convinced veganism that I remember from my childhood among raw food aficionados and rosy-cheeked biodynamics enthusiasts. At Kosmos it is seasoned with unconditional love for puns and indie rock from Manchester. Everything on their menu is crispy, fresh, straightforward, cheerful; mirroring the Kosmos team itself. And here “KH” always means “Kosmos Hugs”.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Thu: 11:00 - 20:00
  • Fri - Sat: 11:00 - 21:00
  • Sun: 11:00 - 20:00
Link to place Directions

Mortens Chokolade The playground of a master of chocolate

Mortens Chokolade
Shopping | Kongensgade 45, Odense C | Written by: Anna Skau Tolstrup | Translated by: Francois Picard

The first smell that thrills your nostrils when entering the narrow shop of Morten Chokolade is of course the smell of chocolate. The second smell – well, that’s harder to pinpoint: Saffron? Rosemary? Mint?

There is no doubt that Morten has an enormous passion for chocolate and his great journey of finding the essential complimenting flavors of each of his pieces. The stories and the joy is almost blinding, when he tells you about the seasonal pieces of chocolate and chosen ones, who is voted to stay in shop throughout: naturally, he makes every single piece of chocolate, every chocolate bar himself.

The chocolates are beautifully decorated. Most of the patterns could easily be copied by designers of wallpapers, wanting to make a bestseller print. When you bite into your chocolate (after appreciating the aesthetics of course), you taste buds are welcomed on a journey through flavors you never knew would go with chocolate as well as they actually do. If you are not much of a chocolate-explorer – don’t worry, Morten still got your back. The shop is always filled with new chocolate adventures, but also the classic pieces of chocolate made with incomparable quality.

Morten also offers classes in making ‘flødeboller’ and tastings and presentations of his choosing of seasonal chocolates. You will find the events plus book your tickets at his website.  

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Fri: 13 - 18
  • Sat: 10 - 15
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Café Sølle Maybe cold porridge and soft-boiled eggs? The city's new favorite coffee place in Nedergade.

Café Sølle
Drinking | Nedergade 18, Odense C | Written by: Anders Skovgaard | Translated by: Laura Malahovska | 2 recommendations

Cafe Sølle has in record time filled a giant hole in the Odense coffee scene, being an honest, sincere and quality-conscious place at decent prices. The three owners, Mads, Xenia and Jonas, who are always behind the counter, really have their heart in what they do.

Usually I'm not a big cafe guest. I don't feel like sitting in some Ikea furniture and drinking overpriced bad coffee. I would rather buy something to-go and take a walk. But Café Sølle is something completely different. I pay with joy and feel I get it back double with quality and sustainability.

There are not many similar places in the city, but Cafe Kosmos is also one of them. And if there is to be wine on the table, then you can't get around Lalou Wine Bar.

  • Mon - Tue: -
  • Wed - Thu: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Fri: 10:00 - 20:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Sun: -
Link to place Directions

Mango Bazar Fyn Bazar Fyn transplanted to Bolbronx

Mango Bazar Fyn
Shopping | Middelfartvej 123, Odense V | Written by: Bo Jessen | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen | 1 recommendations

The last remaining piece of Bazar Fyn can now be found in Bolbro. In the same charcoal grey building as Føtex, nestled into an area speckled with improvements, new and coming planter boxes, a new light installation by Chaos Engine, you'll find Mango Bazar Fyn.

Named after the greengrocer’s that - in enterprising Arab style - swallowed all the competitors in the Thrige square, until it was the only one remaining. Its rise was due to several factors: On account of Amer and the other employee’s winning characters, good recipies and tips on the perfect ripeness of vegetable X, an impressively large selection of greens, and at times surprisingly cheap or - seemingly - random pricing.

Now Mango Bazar Fyn has expanded to encompass other parts of the late bazar. If Eurodeli is a greengrocer’s, then this is closer to a supermarket; and a notably better varied one than the ones you most often shop at. And it is colored with heavy Arabian scents and sweet Arabian music from all the children running around between shelves and adults.

When you enter, there’s a shawarma stand to your right and straight ahead a decidedly lush selection of fruits and vegetables (but unfortunately still no organics), in the corner a little oasis where you can buy, grind, and taste coffee and tea, and beyond, meters and meters of shelves with olives, nuts, spices, dried gourds, dairy, oils, and a well stocked butcher, where you can finally end your quest for lamb and other cuts and animals that - in Danish eyes - aren’t in popular demand. And of course, breads, too.

The inventory is based in Middle Eastern cuisine and can provide you with just the crunchy, sweet, and spicy christmas salad you’ve always dreamed of. But it can also supply a dinner from India, the far east, and eastern Europe.

Mango Bazar Fyn is an experience rich in variety.

  • Mon - Sun: -
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This Is Odense