Bodega Bars - the neighbourhood beer bunkers of Copenhagen


Danish bodegas are awesome, authentic pubs - some of which have been around for centuries - all of which give a unique insight into the Danish aesthetic.

The bodega occupies a uniquely authentic place in Danish drinking culture. Their ambience makes them the perfect place to get in touch with old-school Denmark - a way of being that’s difficult to find in the usual tourist bars, pubs and restaurants. There’s a lot of variety according to location, but each bodega comes with a tight crew of loyal patrons and a healthy supply of cheap beer - and there are often overflowing ashtrays that thumb a nose at convention and polite society. The moment you enter a bodega, its atmosphere will hit you - the overwhelming smell of beer and the warm welcome of the locals will instantly make you feel at home. Here’s a fistful of Copenhagen’s finest.

The Parallel team start a tough assignment around the bodegas of Copenhagen
Bo-Bi Bar, Indre By

Drink with philosophers, artists and their muses in a reddish shade of darkness.

Sometime in 1917, a Dane fell in love with Manhattan's stylish bar-counter concept and imported the idea to Copenhagen – giving birth to the Bo-Bi Bar. For the century it has been trading, its trademark wine-coloured wallpaper has rarely been replaced. Even some of the local drinkers have been constant fixtures here since the 1970s. These guys leave their phones at home because they reckon the radiation that emanates from them ruins the taste of beer. 

Camaraderie is produced when the beer is good and the bad vibes nonexistent

Café Intime, Frederiksberg

Keep your eyes peeled for Billie Holiday.

Intime is something of a sacred space for lonely, eccentric characters: a secret spot treasured by those who crave a hideout. You’ll find a diverse mix of people here - from the flamboyant to the humble - sitting in peace and enjoying live jazz. Candlelight, patterned carpets and spring flowers finalise a charming atmosphere.

Regular live music makes Intime an atmospheric cut above

Moose, Indre By

The moose, unlike many bodega bars, is loose.

There’s louder laughter here than in most bodegas - and you’ll mingle with an eclectic mix of young students, tourists and those somewhere in between. Challenge a lively stranger to a game of pool or, if you've a poet’s sensibility, decorate the walls with verse. But you’ll probably just want to dance to the sounds of the jukebox.

Svejk, Frederiksberg

Come for the beer, stay for the atmosphere.

Located next to a luscious garden and a lively zoo, this place is the essential local tavern in the outskirts of a buzzing city and the perfect place to sample a pint of the Czech Republic's most exquisite beer. The barman, a true gentleman, will bring your orders to the table and grant excellent service.

The best bodegas cater for all ages and aesthetics

Det Rene Glas, Nørrebro

Age is meaningless - unless you’re a cheese.

Once upon a time bodegas were where the outsiders would gather, safe in their otherness to drink at all hours. Those outsiders are still to be found in Det Rene Glas. It’s a popular corner spot in Copenhagen's most international neighbourhood – full of old, sweet souls that come to chain-smoke and reminisce, to play the slot machine and act like the last few decades never happened.

Lygtens Kro, Nørrebro

Everyone is welcome — from parents to punks.

In this bodega, hip young mothers with their babies natter with old schoolmates over pints and sausages. You’ll see ageing sisters warming their bodies with the summer’s first rays and punks resplendent in blue mohawks. There’s a pleasant vibe indoors and a cosy wooden shack for smokers in the outdoor area.

Games without frontiers - drinking and gaming is the order of the day in Copenhagen's beer bunkers