Copenhagen: Petersen’s

We were looking for lunch before hitting the underground museum and let the taxi driver suggest one of two touristy spots next to each other. It reminded me of a place for Oktoberfest, and indeed, they are called “gardens.” It’s all about red checkered tablecloths, picnic tables and flags.

“M.G. Petersen’s old family garden was started in 1858. The first licensee was the castle watchman at Frederiksberg Palace, Mads G. Petersen, who as a supplement to the pension received royal permission “to treat visitors to the palace gardens with boiling water, milk and cream, and in connection with this to serve coffee and sell bread portions”. Later, beer was allowed to be sold, but the military authorities point out “that beer may only be sold in bottles and not in bastions”.

Stegt flæsk (Danish: [ˈstekt ˈflesk]) is the “national dish of Denmark,” although a cabbie told us they just took a random vote; there is no tradition behind it. We ordered it anyways, along with an open-faced shrimp sandwich. The sandwich wasn;t as impressive as at G>L> Torv, but it was good nonetheless. We were served an enormous platter piled high with a chicharrónes-style pork belly and potatoes. The pork belly was delicious, but a little fried pork goes a long way, and I think this dish should be split between four people, not two.

“Stegt means ‘fried’ and flæsk means ‘strips of pork belly’. It is lightly salted but not smoked. Stegt flæsk is included in The Art of Danish Cooking by Nika Standen Hazelton and Scandinavian Cooking by Elizabeth Craig where the dish is translated as “bacon with parsley sauce”[5][6] Flæsk is also translated as ‘bacon’ in older language guides.[7] The main difference between bacon and flæsk is that flæsk is never sold smoked, and often not salted either. By contrast, anything marketed as ‘bacon’ in Denmark invariably will be both smoked and salted.”

​”With live music many weekdays and all weekends, dance floor for the dance-loving and playground for the youngest, M.G. Petersen’s Family Garden is a place for the whole family and ideal for fun and parties of all kinds; Birthday, christening, confirmation, summer party, company picnic – Easter, Pentecost, St. His and much more.”​

“For 5 generations, the Petersen family ran Haven, and it is worth noting that in all the years it was the girls in the family who had the license. In 1977, the Gardens were sold to the Sørensen family, who were licensees for 27 years. In 2005, the garden passed to Dan Holst, after which Joachim Hansen bought the garden in 2007.”

Atmospheric restaurant with traditional Danish food (


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