Where feeding up with the Jensens is bang in order
My interest in Cafe Bang & Jensen was first sparked shortly after moving to this country. Every time I would cycle down Istedgade, I would see scores of people sitting outside and even more packed inside. That being said, it’s not until you actually go indoors that you realise the secret of its appeal.
Sure, from the outside, it’s a pretty looking café, but once you enter the doors of this once pharmacy you soon realise what keeps people coming back.
The inside is a mix of so many influences that it’s hard to nail down exactly what theme they were going for. The large first room houses the bar and kitchen and leads through to a back room reminiscent of someone’s living room from decades past. There are old tatty but comfy cinema-style sofas, hideous print wallpaper and warm inviting round tables that almost scream at you to sit down and have a drink.
Every great sitcom has that cool place where people hang out – think Central Perk in Friends or the Peach Pit in Beverley Hills 90210. Bang and Jensen is that place in Copenhagen.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Bang & Jensen specialises in generous-sized, good food for a decent price. Theirmenu is all encompassing, making it the perfect place to go with a group of people, no matter how fussy they may be.
The menu is flavoursome, with a mix of homemade meals such as sandwiches, salads, pastas and classics like chilli con carne.
With many options to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favourite dish. However, praise does have to be given to the nachos. Having tried many a nachos in various places throughout the city, Bang and Jensen’s is undeniably the best tasting and best value for money. Available with or without chicken, the nachos comes with cheddar, sour cream, salsa and olives or jalapeños. Unlike so many other places, these nachos actually resemble nachos and have a sufficient amount of cheese to send cheese lovers into a frenzy. Neither the cheese nor chicken are overcooked, and it is easily large enough to share with a friend if you’re not feeling overly hungry.
The chilli con carne is easily one of the most popular dishes, and whenever I’ve been in, there has always been an absurd amount of people eating it. Available only during dinner service, it is a good size and at 89 kroner it is a steal for what you get.
Containing minced beef, peppers, two kinds of chilli, Porter and chocolate, it is served with sour cream, rice, bread and butter. It really is the ideal comfort food. The flavours are genuine, and it is spicy enough without wreaking havoc.
The croque monsieur is also a tasty dish, although it does take creative licence and varies somewhat from traditional recipes. Oven-grilled, made with Serrano ham, Gruyère cheese and Dijon mustard, topped with paprika and nutmeg, and served with pickles and baked cherry tomatoes, this dish is ideal for those looking for the more adult version of a toasted cheese sandwich.
Of all the dishes available, the Burrito would easily have to be my pick of the menu. The wheat tortilla is soft on the inside, yet crunchy on the outside, and the ground beef filling combined with peppers, corn and chilli is succulent and tantalisingly delicious. The cheddar that holds the burrito together is tasty, and you can’t help but feel completely nourished and perhaps even a bit naughty after eating it. The sour cream topping is light and fresh, whilst the homemade salsa served with corn chips and the side salad really makes this into a complete meal. Well worth the 89 kroner, the Burrito will keep you coming back for more.
Apart from lunch and dinner, Bang and Jensen’s breakfast is also quite good and affordable at 90 kroner. To order, you simply fill out a form of what you want, and like a slightly more personalised buffet it will be served the way you want. Coffee and tea are also available all day and night, and while the coffee verges on the pricier side, it is yummy and far from bitter.
Bang and Jensen doesn’t take reservations, but with a relatively high turnover the wait for a table isn’t usually too long. Just remember the kitchen closes at 8pm on Saturday nights to make way for cocktails – another good reason to go!
Cafe Bang & Jensen
Istedgade 130, Cph V
Open: Mon-Fri 08:00-02:00,
Sat 10:00 to 02:00,
Cuisine: cafe classics
Top Dish: Burrito
Price Range: 60–100kr