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The Story of Café Gammeltorv

Gammeltorv is Copenhagen's oldest square. The city's town hall was located here from 1479 until it burned down in 1795. In the same year, the building that now houses Café Gl. Torv was erected on top of the old moat – with a beer tap and serving since 1671.

Lady's café and tavern - The history of Café Gammeltorv

Lady's café and tavern

In the early years, the place was run by innkeeper M. S. Bjerre, who also rented rooms to the market traders, but in 1910, Mrs. Charlotte A. Jensen took over the restaurant and expanded the activities to include a tavern and a "lady's café." Back then, the market traders mainly sold meat, poultry, and butter – and perhaps it was the inconvenient access to the backyard's ladies' toilet that attracted the female traders to the restaurant. A visit required passing through both Café Gl. Torv's restaurant and kitchen, and it wasn't until the 1950s that a ladies' toilet with more convenient access was established.

Huset med det grønne træ - dansk smørrebrød

The house with the green tree

In 1942, Kelvin Lindemann published the family saga novel "The House with the Green Tree," in which a merchant family resides in the property. They were, in the name of God, king, and country, slave traders, headhunters, and colonialists of the finest romantic robber-barons. At that time, there was a large tree outside the entrance to the restaurant, and although it has since been replaced by a more modest tree, the nickname "The House with the Green Tree," which the place came to be called in everyday speech after the publication of Lindemann's novel, has stuck ever since.

The house with the green tree - Danish open sandwiches
The best traditions of Danish open sandwiches

Tradition and innovation

The restaurant's decor has remained almost unchanged since the turn of the century. The walls' wood panels are adorned with historical pictures of Copenhagen – and the menu still revolves around the best traditions of Danish open sandwiches, accompanied by frothy draft beer and snaps.

In 2009, the couple Steen Hovn Petersen and Fabienne Sørensen took over Café Gammeltorv. Together with head chef Lars Andersen, quality was paramount – open sandwiches made from the best ingredients, all made from scratch and made with love.


Gammeltorv 20
1457 København K

Tlf:+45 3312 8786
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CVR: 39684098

Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 – 17:00
Sunday from 12:00 – 16:00

The kitchen closes at 16:00

About Cafe Gl. Torv

Café Gammeltorv is owned and run by the couple Steen Hovn Petersen and Fabienne Sørensen. All of the food is made from scratch of the best produce and none the least made with love.