Musikhuset Dexter Jazz, blues, Americana and more in an authentically no-frills venue

Musikhuset Dexter
Culture | Vindegade 65, Odense C | Written by: Kathrine Guldmann | 57 recommendations

You must lock arms with your friends, stroll through the streets, into Jazzhouse Dexter, one of Odense’s most authentic clubs, which serves as a playground for jazz loving people from far and wide. Meet talented jazz musicians, who will offer a terrific experience from Dexter’s intimate corner stage under the low ceiling. The acoustics are wonderful, the atmosphere unique, and if you arrive early you might snatch a seat up front and enjoy a beer and an (imaginary) cigarette, and be close enough to the musicians to smell them.

If you are one to hide in the corner, under the shade of your hat with a Whiskey and a Cuban cigar, find somewhere else or put out your cigar, because at Dexter’s smoking is prohibited. Luckily, there are other things to do. If, on the contrary, you are the type, who cannot help but shake your tail feather when the live music crawls through your ear canal, feel free to show off your moves on the dance floor. For everyone else, there is also the option to sway discretely off stage.

Follow the blue lights and come along! Do not miss the lovely, wanton and vivid music played here – whether world class jazz equilibrists or the budding musicians of Odense. It is going to be wonderful.

If you ask me, Jazzhouse Dexter’s free Monday events are one of the best ways to spend your Monday evening in Odense. Whether the menu offers jazz jam, blues, or gypy/hip hop/poetry slam-fusion there is something about the atmosphere around small tables in dimmed lighting that always adds something to your evening.

For most, Sunday is the day of rest, reading the newspaper, and general regenration after the hardships of the preceding week. If, however, you feel like bursting the sleepy Sunday bubble, Dexter offers the vitality, which most Sundays lack. Therefore, I have no qualms about bringing my mopey eyes to Dexter’s soft light, without fear of dozing off. I have no doubt that a shot of swinging big band energy or captivating drum solo rythm acrobatics should suffice to wake most people from their Sunday slumber and send them forward with renewed energy.

I love Dexter! I like Posten and Kansas City, but I love Dexter!


  • Mon - Sun: -
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Svalernes Genbrugsbutik Flea market goodies at old-timey prices

Svalernes Genbrugsbutik
Shopping | Ørstedsgade 20, Odense C | Written by: Pil Lindgreen | 1 recommendations

A bonafide miscellaneous thrift shop like back in the day. In the country, there are huge flea barns with junk stacked roof-high, where only the most persevering venture in. Meanwhile, in the cities, you are stuck with second-hand stores with rows and rows of easily-surveyed Merkel-style polyester pantsuits and patterned tea service with no cups sold seperately, not to mention those insufferable luxury-thrift dealers, who adjust the price tags when copper and teak come back in style.

Luckily, there is also Svalernes Genbrug; the perfect amalgam of gold and junk; the best of both worlds.

Svalerne are rag pickers with hearts of gold and old-world habits. If you have enough time, you will exactly what you (did not know you) needed under breadmakers, chandeliers, tin soldiers and TV stands. Those easily tempted (such as yours truly) are in imminent danger of finding themselves heading home on their bicycle with a full set of garden furniture slung over their shoulder, even though one has no garden, and even so, could not resist the temptation of this particular set and its candy-stripe bolster and affordable price.

If you gather up a nice variety of things, Svalerne will throw in the spoons for free, and there is almost always cake, and coffee on thermos.

The best garage sale in town is open twice a week; show up early to have time to nose out the good stuff.

  • Mon - Tue: -
  • Wed: 15.00 - 18.00
  • Thu - Fri: -
  • Sat: 10.00 - 14.00
  • Sun: -
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Galleriet Ny Vestergade 13 Independent gallery - a loving home to a wide range of local artists and artisans

Galleriet Ny Vestergade 13
Shopping | Ny Vestergade 13, Odense C | Written by: Bo Jessen | 6 recommendations

On Odense's gallery street, Ny Vestergade, is a small, relatively new gallery. It is charming - and a bit strange, and urban - and right in the middle of Odense.

The gallery is owned by artist Christina James Nielsen, and while you are browsing the current exhibition, you can catch a glimpse of the creative process: the gallery space doubles as a studio for Christina James Nielsen, who works in steel wire sketching. As a visitor to the gallery, you get to peek into the artist's world.

The gallery hosts a number of small, alternating exhibits, several of which have been recommended by This Is Odense, such as Small WondersOn Wings and Vinterstemning.

If you fall head over heels for a piece at the exhibition, a visit to the monthly auction might be in order. Auctions are announced ahead of time via the gallery website.

  • Mon: -
  • Tue - Thu: 10.00 - 16.00
  • Fri: 12.00 - 18.00
  • Sat: 10.00 - 14.00
  • 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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Den Smagløse Café The ugliest café in the city is also the cosiest. Turns into a popular bar at night

Den Smagløse Café
Drinking | Vindegade 57, Odense C | Written by: Kathrine Guldmann | 3 recommendations

Whenever people come to Odense for the first time I recommend a visit to this bizarre café. I’m actually at Smagløse right as I write this, drinking a good cup of coffee at one of the old bus seats in the corner. Young people come here too. I am here. Every day, Smagløse’s wonderful bartenders serve good coffee, and on the other side of the bar is the infamous Pòlseum. A must-see!

It’s like stepping into grandma’s old living room - except for the Indian elefants on leash rows, the newspaper-wallpaper, the old paintings hanging from the ceiling, the old Aristonia radios and walls that are as orange as my parents’ old kitchen from the 70’s. This place is so cozy, nice and comfortably shady. Still, right in front of me, is a quite disgusting plastic baby head, quietly spinning when the wind creeps in. Spooky, but pretty cool.

Here you can sit and philosophize while staring at the shiny antique globe, or enjoy the sun and the nice weather in the climber-covered backyard. You can have deep conversations, drink craft beers, rendezvous with your lovers or do any other café-like thing with people near and far. The crowd is diverse, of all ages and types, and hey! There’s my teacher, Bob da dap bob! He’s right there!

Come the evening, the music gets louder. The good one. Gorillaz, Caravan Palace, the latest pop hits from the radio and a lot more. The atmosphere is top notch and the energy is unlike anywhere else.

This place is perfect for a date, to break up with your partner, or for a job interview.

Honestly, I just love this place.

  • Mon: 12.00 - 01.00
  • Tue - Wed: 12.00 - 02.00
  • Thu - Sat: 12.00 - 03.00
  • Sun: 12.00 - 22.00
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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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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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Bar Rar Good rum cocktails in a smoky atmosphere

Bar Rar
Drinking | Dronningensgade 2b, Odense C | Written by: My Rasmussen | 1 recommendations

The place to go if you need to go out, but would also like to talk to the people you bring along.

And if you enjoy drinking a truly well-made Margarita in a high bowl with chrystalized salt on the rim, but would rather not pay a fortune for it.

And if you enjoy imbibing your cocktail in a very unusual, smoky atmosphere, which doesn’t have the smell of lingering farts. And if you want either House or Motown to flow from the speakers. Or if you would just really enjoy a cheap draught beer and a round of table football.

And if you like laminated, greasy drinks cards with doofy names like ”Zombie drink”, of which you can only drink two. Or else you die.

  • Mon - Tue: -
  • Wed: 19.00 - 01.00
  • Thu: 18.00 - 02.00
  • Fri: 15.00 - 03.00
  • Sat: 18.00 - 03.00
  • Sun: -
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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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Holy Fridge Initiation to the mysteries of modern beer

Holy Fridge
Shopping | Vesterbro 3, st. th., Odense C | Written by: Christoffer Henneberg | 1 recommendations

  • Mon - Tue: -
  • Wed - Thu: 12:00 - 18:00
  • Fri: 12:00 - 20:00
  • Sat: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Sun: -
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Dania The city's oldest and quintessential pub

Drinking | Vesterbro 26, Odense C | Written by: Christoffer Henneberg | Translated by: Laura Malahovska | 1 recommendations

Dania, as the city's oldest pub, is something of a local gem, and this pub's grand old lady carries her age with a quiet dignity. It's like stepping into a safe pocket of time, where only the digital jukebox testifies that we are no longer in the heyday of brown pubs in the 70s and 80s.

The average age among the regulars is correspondingly higher than at the other Vesterbro pubs, and the atmosphere in the small room may immediately seem a bit ingrained, but you also often see groups of young people at the tables who want to set life on pause for a while. The brown pubs more often than not are inclusive spaces where the cultural, social and age boundaries that apply on the other side of the doorstep are put on standby.

It’s fitting that Vesterbro's range of pubs, its bodega belt, begins with Dania, which with its brown-yellow shades, curtains and red-white-checkered tablecloths on the tables in many ways appears as the quintessential, Danish, pub worthy of preservation.

Brown checklist:

Jukebox: Yes

EC on screen: No.

Patio: No.

Beers: 22 kr.

  • Mon - Sun: -
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Billarden New owners at Billarden have removed the iron bars from the windows and, in general, made the pub more welcoming

Drinking | Vesterbro 60, Odense C | Written by: Christoffer Henneberg | Translated by: Laura Malahovska | 1 recommendations

The brown Vesterbro pubs can still seem discouraging from the outside with their drinking, smoking and shouting. And yes, the most loyal customers are sometimes tough on themselves and each other. It's really just rarely as bad as most people think as long as you are willing to park your prejudices at the door and go in and say 'hello' and order a beer.

This also applies to Billiarden, which is probably one of the city's pubs that has mostly had to contend with a tarnished reputation. Such a reputation is, well deserved or not, notoriously hard to get rid of once it has taken hold, but the new owners Kenneth and Dan are making an honorable attempt, and it's probably worth backing up.

At least a lot has changed at the address since the new partners took it over in January 2020 and called it Billiarden 2020 Aps to mark a new beginning for the place that originally housed a bank until it was turned into a billiard club in 1993 and since received a liquor license and became a public pub.

As one of the first, they wisely chose to remove the grim, old iron bars from the windows, which have probably given a few passers-by some wrong associations over time. Then they painted the walls in lighter and more welcoming colors; light and more transparency are a big part of the new style. Among the other new initiatives are two 65 '' screens, showing all European Championship matches.

However, it is still unmistakably Billiarden, and both the spirit of the place and the vast majority of regulars have stayed after the change of ownership. They still exchange their jovial insults with each other at the bar, just as they can probably also offer a few robbery stories or two from Billarden's wild west past.

But young people are also coming in the door, primarily groups of students who are lured by the cheap prices, the freedom to smoke and the spatial surroundings. The young people usually sit at the tables and drink under the low-hanging lamps, while the bar is the domain of the old-timers.

And yes, of course you can still play free pin bowling at Billiarden.

Brown checklist:

Jukebox: Yes

Patio: Yes

Beers: 22 kr.

  • Mon - Sun: -
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Klingenberg Ost Eat Cheese! Meet Ol' Crunchy

Klingenberg Ost
Shopping | Vestergade 97, Odense C | Written by: Anna Skau Tolstrup | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Havarti cheese. A full-fat white cheese so mild and soft that even your cheese-hating older brother snags a slice every once in a while. It has stood watch over many a breakfast spread and nurtured more chubby kid cheeks than could ever be counted. The kind of innocent child-cheeks that take up most of the face, resembling something like a cross between an allergic reaction and a chipmunk’s jam-packed face. A Havarti Cheek. Now the years have passed and the cream-fed curves have been tightened over cheekbones sharp enough to cut through the mercilessly necessary realities of adult life. The face’s lived decades have taken shape, gained an edge – and the Havarti cheese has matured along side it, although the edge mostly appears in the form of crystals, giving it the character of a real old cruncher.

Gammel Knas is the Danish name for an aged Havarti. We’ll call it Ol’ Crunchy and it will show you who you are now, you wonderfully matured human being. The cream dream of childhood has gained depth and gotten a bit funky, though without denying its roots. It’s gained a charming patina – or to speak the language of cheese: Protein crystals – and how the sparkle suits it! I can’t share it with my older brother – it’s got too much kick – yet it isn’t quite sharp enough for all those who prefer their cheese blue. But it’s a cheese that hit’s me right where life has placed me: With fresh memories of creamy cheeks, but a lived depth that has left its mark, whether I will or no.

You can find Ol’ Crunchy in one of Odense’s cheese paradises, Klingenberg. My crunchy curd-incarnation can be found right up by the register in the wonderful long cheese display. At Klingeberg’s you’ll naturally also be tempted to buy lots of other things – how could you resist (and why would you?!) Duck rillette. Their pickled walnuts. Iberico ham. And a thousand other cheeses.

  • Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 17:30
  • Sat: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sun: 10:00 - 15:00
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