Flæsketorvet 26, Cph V;
open Wed-Sat 17:00-02:00;
“Work, stay and play” was Noho’s motto when it opened in 2013, which might sound strange given that it is one of the Meatpacking District’s most acclaimed pre-nightclub cocktail bars. Work is surely something you want to leave … at work, you may think.
But that’s because Noho started life as a café and its path to Kødbyen greatness has been more by chance than design. Opened as the ‘little sister’ of Soho, the freelancer workplace centre, it has metamorphosed into a “wild little brother” that the owners lovingly describe as “a naughty boy with class”. And today it is the last place in the evening you go to for work. Play and stay, meanwhile, is an all-night affair.
Cock of the walk
Noho specialises in a particular type of cocktail: sour ones. It will make you rethink how you drink certain spirits, most particularly whiskey, rum and gin.
Take my advice and start with the ‘Rum sour’ – it’s heaven for your mouth, while the Angostura bitters will do wonders for the lining of your stomach for the long evening ahead.
The grape liquor used to make the ‘Pisco sour’ is imported straight from Chile. Combined with egg whites and Peruvian amargo bitters, the authentic flavours of the liquor come alive on your tongue.
But if you’re going to go big on one of them – pitchers are available that will serve 3-4 people – it has to be the ‘Night Flower’. Elderflower aroma is mixed with Cachaça (sugarcane juice), which reminds me of Brazilian caipirinha, and some lime juice and soda. Simply exquisite.
The Noho specials come in Mason glasses. Fancy. Everyone is using them nowadays, but maybe not on such a big scale as half a litre. Share it or be selfish and drink it all!
Tipples and nibbles
If cocktails are not your thing, they also offer a selected list of fine wines: Italian vino imported from Tuscany, Spanish Acón Roble from the Ribera del Duero and some Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay from France, amongst others.
These perfectly complement the cheese, salami and ham boards and the dried fruit snacks they serve as late evening appetisers.
At home in its surroundings
The place itself is a tribute to its surroundings. Mounted animals on wooden walls, animals portraited as humans and chain curtains remind you of the neighbourhood’s industrial past as you sup your cocktail on Noho’s comfortable couches.
Even if you wanted to work, you’d have a hard job reading your notes via the light of the old chandeliers and neon red signs, which are more there for the décor than your convenience. The dimness lends Noho a sense of mystery – a blessing for the shy or those who just want to be unnoticed in the crowd. There are also tables outside for the summer (whenever that arrives), and a basement large enough to accommodate groups.
All in all, Noho siree, it’s not a place to work in the evening, but play and stay you will at this perfect pitstop before the club!
Niels Hemmingsensgade 32, Cph K;
open Mon-Thu 18:00-01:30, Fri 16:00-03:00, Sat 18:00-03:00;
This obscure bar doesn’t give anything away from the outside, but inside it is one of Copenhagen’s hidden gems. When you enter it feels like you are going back to the 1930s to an old jazzhouse during the Prohibition era … until you are greeted by hipster bartenders sporting peculiar moustaches and an undeniable elegance. Recline on leather sofas, relax to the non-invasive music and drift back in time with the ‘Mistaken Negroni’ (campari with some vermouth and chocolate) or the Mint Julep Ice Coffee (bourboun, mint & coffee).
Vestergade 10, Cph K;
open Thu: 22:00-05:00 (+18s), Fri-Sat 21:00-05:00 (+21s);
Prepare to be pampered and have lots of fun! These guys are the coolest kids in the block right now because nobody does it like them. Exposed brick walls, animals in cages, iron chains and red velvet curtains decorate this exclusive bar that offers cocktails such as ‘Jack in Paris’ and ‘Passion for Fashion’. After 12, the bar transforms into the perfect dancefloor where you can move to the sound of electro and house music. Thursdays are getting quite a reputation for being experimental, so go there if you want to be genuinely surprised.
Vesterbrogade 72B, Cph V;
open Mon-Sat 16:00-02:00, Sun 20:00-02:00;
Hidden bars are the best discoveries. Located in a backyard rests a 18th century house that used to be a pharmacy lab that now mixes wondrous concoctions. Inside you’ll enter a wooden, rustic setting populated with real fireplaces. Don’t miss its ‘Lille Fortun’, a combination of Tanqueray Gin and Chartreuse Verte with sugar, lemon, a slight touch of pale ale and sage leaves. And make sure you try the ‘New Orleans Minute’ – Don Julio Reposado tequila mixed with maraschino liquor and sweet vermouth served in a coffee-infused mescal.