I’m biking along Griffenfeldsgade. It seems like only last week I was here playing ping pong at Dupong, drinking IPA at Ølsnedkeren, and eating a great Croque-madame at Café Auto, and yet, there is so much on this street that is new.
One such place is Toast Bar, Fætter Fætter, which is next door to and linked with (also new) The Depanneur, a sort of “cool kiosk” serving down-to-earth coffee (Barkas).
As soon as I enter and stroll up to the counter, I feel at home and relaxed. I sit and talk to Mik (and Peter when he pops his head out of the kitchen), sipping on an amazing iskaffe with homemade vanilla syrup.
Fætter Fætter was founded by the two fætre (cousins), Mik Frikke-Grundahl and Peter Trillingsgaard, and it is a toast bar on Griffenfeldsgade. It opened sometime between July and August but the exact date is unknown.
“We started opening for a bit and then we closed a bit, and then we didn’t open for real and then we opened again…”
But why open a toast bar in Copenhagen? Apart from the obvious reason that there isn’t a toast bar in Copenhagen, the inspiration for Fætter Fætter comes from high school and those gaining-of-independence years when you move away from home, live with your friends, and make toast together. The toast made in this period is synonymous with cheap white bread, sliced ham and those plastic squares of “cheese” in packets.
“The Danish people expect a certain thing from toast, and it’s a low expectation. It’s nice to show people that with better bread, better cheese, better ham and a bit more thought, you surpass their expectations.”
At this point I should clarify for my non-Danish readers, what Danes mean when they say “toast”. When I, as a native English speaker, say “toast”, I usually mean one slice of bread, toasted, with something on top of it. In Denmark, however, this would be called “smørrebrød” or an “open-faced sandwich”. When a Dane says “toast”, they’re usually talking about what I’d call a “toastie” or a “grilled sandwich”. Two slices, with some filling in between, squidged together and toasted in one of those badass grills.
My friend Ask, who made me aware of the existence of Fætter Fætter, said the “Fucking Toast” was great, so I asked for that. But Peter upgraded this to “The Full On Experience” which is the Fucking Toast, the Veggie Toast, A Dressed Up Avocado and a Honey Butter Cinnamon Toast for dessert.
The menu is simple, with snack-sized options like the Good Morning (Poached Egg, Curly Springs and Chives with Spicy Sauce) for only 35 kr. Then, depending on your appetite, you can grab one toast, or take a selection. What’s more, they’ve got an excellent wine selection (I immediately notice the Vinhanen bottles, but there are plenty of others), cocktails, iskaffe with homemade vanilla syrup, homemade lemonade and some.
All the toasts are served on trays, and without cutlery (though you can ask for some if you really don't want to touch your food), the idea being that if you eat with your fingers you get the full experience, for “the explosion” of taste.
All the toast is made with the same Manitoba bread, by Brian the baker, at Bageriet Gorm. He’s the guy delivering bread to the queen, and (fun fact) his whole body is tattooed with fish trophies representing each catch he’s made.
I ask Mik and Peter if they will pose for a photo on the steps, and they grumble about how they go all awkward and stiff in photos, I assure them awkward is great - the more awkward the better. So they each grab a bottle of sport cola, and take their seats.
They love being on Griffenfeldsgade, and though recently labelled by Politiken as one of the many “café latte-korrekte foretagender” (they’re not, they don’t even sell lattes), and being surrounded by a hoard of other great cafés and eateries, the vibes aren’t competitive at all. When people come to visit the street, “it’s good for everyone”.
The opening times are currently 11am — 11pm, but in the future they plan to extend into the early hours of the morning, so no matter your state or sleeping patterns, you can always grab a tasty toast, or a glass of excellent wine.
As of yesterday, you can also purchase Fætter Fætter giftcards and give the gift of toast to your friends and family. They come handwritten and are impossible to forge ;)
Go stalk Fætter Fætter on Facebook and Instagram, and checkout their funky website.