Foodies know that despite the worldwide reputation of destinations like France and Italy for great cuisine, Denmark has been attracting the attention of serious gourmets for quite a few years now.
The restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, for example, can paper its walls with accolades, including two Michelin stars and multiple top spots as Best Restaurant in the World, according to UK’s Restaurant magazine.
This year, Guide Michelin is acknowledging the clout Denmark and its neighboring Scandinavian capitals have in the culinary world by launching its first Nordic Cities Guide, featuring great eats in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Although none of the restaurant listed has more than two stars, the sheer number of entries makes a strong case for wooing culinary-minded visitors.
Copenhagen tops the list with 18 Michelin stars in 15 restaurants, including AOC and Clou, as well as 12 Bib Gourmands, a designation awarded to restaurants that offer notable dining without breaking the bank.
Interestingly, Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, received a nod for the first time with three one-star restaurants, Frederikshoj, Gastrome and Substans. Until now, Copenhagen was the only Danish city awarded mention by Michelin, and that was in its Main Cities of Europe guide.
The new Nordic Cities guide also features Malmo, Sweden, with three one-star restaurants, Ambiance a Vindakra, Bloom in the Park and Vollmers.
“The new wave of Scandinavian kitchens has really raised the bar in this part of the world,” Rebecca Burr, editor of the Michelin Guides, said in a statement. “Aarhus is a vibrant city with a diverse gastronomy, whilst the … fertile region of Skane puts a wealth of top quality produce on Malmo’s doorstep.”
The new guide also recommends top places to eat and stay in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm and Gothenburg. For example, Volt in Stockholm and SK Mat & Manniskor and Koka, both in Gothenburg, are among the other one-star restaurants that made the cut.
VisitDenmark has, understandably, been quick to focus on its representation in the new guide and is already touting a line-up of gastro events for 2015.
The Copenhagen Cooking Festival, for example, the largest of its kind in Northern Europe, is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors to Copenhagen, Aug. 21 to 30.
In Aarhus, the fifth annual FOOD Festival is set for Sept. 4 to 6.
“I hope that the Michelin rating of restaurants in Aarhus will be the first step of redrawing the culinary map of Denmark and that restaurants from other parts of the country will find their way into Michelin Nordic Cities as the guide concept develops in the years to come,” said Bruno Bedholm, director, VisitDenmark USA.