The three owners of Hallernes Smørrebrød have very different backgrounds. Mikkel Sarbo is a Cand.merc and the founder of a tea shop, Lars Hilfling is an architect, and Lars Hilden is a goldsmith and journalist.
Opening a smørrebrød bar came with the desire to do something completely different, something more than gold, drawings, and tea. A common love for smørrebrød gave them the idea to open a smørrebrød bar that offers better smørrebrød than what they had seen and tasted at other places. Smørrebrød was either old-fashioned, traditional, and not updated with new ingredients, or completely turned upside down and far from the old traditions.
The three allied themselves with two experienced smørrebrød ladies. Together, they locked themselves in a kitchen and took on the task of creating updated versions of traditional smørrebrød.
In 2012, Hallernes Smørrebrød opened in Torvehallerne in Copenhagen, and since then the three owners have opened stores in Lyngby Storcenter, Tivoli Food Hall, and Magasin.
Hallernes Smørrebrød is built on three guiding principles:
The highest quality
We make almost everything from scratch with high-quality ingredients, which we prefer to buy locally. We buy a great deal of our fish and meat from our neighbours at Torvehallerne, who sell the best of the best.
We also try to be as environmentally friendly as possible: our fish is sustainably caught, and our beef tartare and eggs are organic. We don’t compromise on taste, however, and only buy the best ingredients we can find.
Moreover, we strive to keep our prices affordable so that everyone can enjoy freshly made smørrebrød.
Rye bread is the hero
Rye bread is the foundation for smørrebrød. It is delicious, healthy, and especially Danish.
The rye bread should be visible: it frames and exposes the simplicity of each piece, making it more approachable.
The owners of Hallernes Smørrebrød are inspired by the functionalist architect Adolf Loos, who said “Decoration is a crime”, and the architect Mies Van der Rohe who, in 1947, uttered the famous words “Less is more”.
Both statements are about creating things that look good in their own right, without relying on superfluous ornamentation.