It’s not that we don’t have beautiful cafés in Copenhagen. There are plenty of cosy places to go for a coffee or a lunch, where interior goes hand in hand with a good brew. Whether you’re into that minimal Scandi-style, or a warmer touch cosy couches and vintage furniture, you’ll find these places spread out through the city.
However, larger-scale projects—bigger rooms, a complete storyline behind the place, and yes, a considerable budget to bring ideas to life—are not located on every street corner. Which is quite alright, because it makes visiting a place like Kafeteria all that more special.
Located inside the National Gallery of Denmark, Kafeteria is brought to life in a collaborative effort by Frederik Bille Brahe (the chef behind Atelier September and Apollo Bar), artist Danh Vo, and textile company Kvadrat. And what a collaboration! I have said this before, but I love visiting museums for the overall experience; not just the exhibitions, but the location, surroundings, interior design, and cafés as well. Kafeteria definitely takes the price as one of the most beautiful museum café I’ve visited.
As reflected in the name, Kafeteria is for everyone; you can walk straight in during the museum’s opening hours without a ticket to the museum. The heigh-ceilinged room has a certain grandeur to it, but the vibe is relaxed and down-to-earth. Perhaps it’s the soothing music playing, the sunlight streaming in those huge windows, or the wide mix of people that makes me feel comfortable, and most definitely it’s the choice of warm materials that bring a sense of ‘hygge’ to the equation.
Besides the daily special, you can enjoy breakfast (yoghurt with granola, bread with cheese and jam, and fried eggs with leeks and cheese), lunch dishes such as hummus with turnip and coriander; pumpkin served with feta cheese and rye, as well as a mushroom soup with white beans. Not to forget the home made cakes and dessert, and excellent coffee and lemonades.
Noguchi’s Akari-lamps, Enzo Mari’s wooden ‘diy’ chairs and tables, and pops of green, red and dark grey Kvadrat textiles add warmth and a sense of cosiness to the otherwise white room. As with chef Bille Brahe’s other locations around town, the menu is simple with a focus on seasonal vegetables and a Japanese touch. Somehow, he’s able to serve even a slice of bread with cheese and turn it into a small piece of art; very fitting for this new location, I guess.
I have been to Kafeteria quite a few times already as I went by twice to photograph the café empty for this post (on my first visit, I thought it’d be fine if I just came as soon as the doors to the museum opened; well, people were already lining up outside to the museum as well as the café. So I arranged with the kind people behind the bar to swing by one morning before opening hours.
I had the place all to myself for an hour or so, and it was quite meditative to just take my time photographing on a beautiful, sunny day. After finishing up, I enjoyed a little break sitting on that red sofa upholstered by Kvadrat in sunbeam, coffee in hand and a piece of cake in my plate. I will be back soon, and I will bring my little family, because Kafeteria really is for everyone, big or small, local or visitor.
Kaferia National Gallery of Denmark Sølvgade 48-50 1307 Copenhagen