Peter Atzen in fron of colorfol wall.
Peter Atzen in fron of colorfol wall.
Peter Atzen

Expert of the week

Peter Atzen

Passionate foodie who loves to travel and discover new places for unique experiences.

Updated on Mar 26, 2024 | World of Mouth team

Peter Atzen's culinary journey evolved from childhood pickiness to a passion for diverse delicacies, inspired by Jamie Oliver and a transformative meal at Era Ora. Seeking unique dining experiences worldwide, he's now settled in Copenhagen, indulging in the city's vibrant culinary scene, particularly drawn to the groundbreaking cuisine at Noma.

Please introduce yourself to our members.

My name is Peter Atzen. I am in a unique position where I have a “normal day job” which allows me to only pursue the foodie projects and restaurants I am truly passionate about.

Tell us about the restaurant scene in Copenhagen.

I live in Copenhagen which was just rated as the best foodie city in the world, which I have to agree with. The level is extremely high whether it’s fine dining, upper-level bistros, bakeries, or casual eateries like burgers or pizza. The only thing I miss is a good street food scene like you see in Mexico and Japan.

What are your three favorite restaurants in Copenhagen and why?

Noma is a clear favorite of mine and I have dined there I think +15 times. To me, it hasn’t gotten enough credit for its service, which is super personal, professional and makes you feel at home from the moment you step into the door to the moment you leave.

However, the place I went to the most times in 2023 was Popl. They combined fine dining techniques and flavors with a casual setting and the best burger around.

Picking just three is hard, but I think the last has to be Barabba. A place that I started going to already when they opened about 8 years ago. This also means that I know the people there quite well so being greeted by Ricardo Marcon with a massive bear hug sets the tone right away even before the delicious food arrives.

What’s a new restaurant or hidden gem in your city that you think is doing great things?

Copenhagen is pretty well described and covered by everyone but a place that I think deserves more attention is Gaijin - another restaurant in the upper end of the bistro segment. The chef worked at Jordnær for many years so he knows his techniques and flavors yet the place is casual and laid back.

"I like restaurants that have a casual vibe, even in fine dining."

What’s your favorite kind of restaurant and why?

I like restaurants that have a casual vibe, even in fine dining. I don’t like restaurants with white tablecloths and dress codes. I just don’t feel welcome.

What are your three favorite food cities and your favorite restaurants in those cities?

San Sebastián is my favorite city. My favorites are outside of the city, so Asador Etxebarri, Elkano, and in the city Ganbara, Gerald’s Bar, Bar Antonio, Bar Sport, Borda Berri, and Amelia by Paul Airaudo.

Japan is amazing and eating in Tokyo is a favorite. I was blown away by été, the Pizza bar on 38th, MAZ, and various ramen places.

Lastly is Lima. The city where I met my wife and where I lived for 3 years. I love the fine dining scene with Central, Mayta, Mérito, and Kjolle as my favorites but they also have very good casual restaurants like El Bodegón and Al Toke Pez.

What is your favorite dish and where is your favorite restaurant to have it?

The Chuleta at Asador Etxebarri.

Who is an up-and-coming chef you are keeping an eye on?

I am curious to see how far Kristian Baumann can take Koan in Copenhagen. It’s such a unique place with lots of personality.

Who is a food expert whose restaurant recommendations you’d like to see?

The person I trust the most on food is Flip Dejaeghere (a World of Mouth expert, editor's comment). I don’t know anybody who travels more than him and whenever I ask him for recommendations I usually agree with him.

Find Peter Atzen on Instagram: @copenhagen_foodie


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