Welcome to my place ... Copenhagen

Chef Cúán Greene takes us on a whistlestop tour of the Danish capital

Cúán Greene in Copenhagen, where he works as a chef at Noma restaurant. Photograph:  Peter Walsh

Cúán Greene in Copenhagen, where he works as a chef at Noma restaurant. Photograph: Peter Walsh

We recently asked readers of Irish Times Abroad to give us the inside track on where they live and to share some insights into what makes their adopted home a great place to visit.

Irish chef Cúán Greene works at René Redzepi’s Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. He recently decamped to Mexico, with the entire Noma team, for a seven-week pop-up in the Yucatan peninsula. But Copenhagen is home for Greene, for the moment.

Where is the first place you always bring people to when they visit Copenhagen in summer?

La Banchina – It’s a small shack on the waterfront with a little pier. They serve one dish a day, with wine, bread with olive oil, that’s it. When the weather is good, it’s really worth cycling out that direction.

Cúán Greene at the former Noma restaurant premises in Copenhagen with his aunt, Doireann de Buitléar
Cúán Greene at the former Noma restaurant premises in Copenhagen with his aunt, Doireann de Buitléar

The top three things to do there, that don’t cost money, are ...

Island Brygge, a harbour-front area. A lot of people walk or run down here during the evenings. It’s also a great place to relax on a warm day, with barbecues, and public swimming pools running all along the river. Ved Stranden isn’t too far away when the sun goes down, for some wine.

Simply cycling the city: Copenhagen is built for cyclists. The cycling lanes are almost as wide as the roads, and you can get anywhere in under 20 minutes. My advice is to avoid public transport, rent a bike and discover the city by bike.

Torvehallerne food market: This is a a bit of an obvious shout out, but the indoor food market is a great meeting place. You can grab a coffee at Coffee Collective or head over to Foodgear knives to see what Japanese chef knives are available. Hija de Sanchez is a popular spot for tacos also.

Af fresco lunch at the Torvehallerne food market. Photograph: Getty Images
Af fresco lunch at the Torvehallerne food market. Photograph: Getty Images

Where do you recommend for a meal eaten out doors on a sunny day?

Well, currently, Noma is closed as we are moving location in Copenhagen. In the meantime, we are doing a pop-up in Island Brygge, under the bridge. We serve a six-course menu with wine, running until the end of August. We also have a pop-up wine bar with some really good bar snacks.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Copenhagen’s place in history?

For me, the main library. You get an understanding of both old and contemporary Danish architecture, with amazing light and a great courtyard.

Cycling is the best way to get around Copenhagen. Photograph: Getty Images
Cycling is the best way to get around Copenhagen. Photograph: Getty Images

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Copenhagen?

Well, last time my friend visited, he brought home a loaf of sourdough bread from Mirabelle bakery. It lasts up to two weeks, but it’ll probably have been eaten before then.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We’d love to hear from you.