The title compound, C11H11N3O3, contains two planar fragments, viz. the imidazole and phenyl rings. These rings are significantly twisted with respect one to another, with a dihedral angle of 63.99 (8)°. The nitro group is almost coplanar with the imidazole plane, while the methoxy group is almost perpendicular to it [the C—C—O—C torsion angle is 65.1 (4)°]. In spite of this, there is a short C(methoxy)—H...O(nitro) contact that might be regarded as an intramolecular hydrogen bond. Weak intermolecular C—H...N(imidazole) and C—H...O(nitro) hydrogen bonds create quite a complicated network that consists of stacks of imidazole rings strengthened by these hydrogen bonds. The significant twist between the planar fragments is a necessary condition for creating such a packing, which has also been observed in some other 1-aryl-4-nitroimidazole derivatives.