The first thought that many have about dining in Denmark is probably Noma, consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the world. However, during my 3-month stint as an exchange student, I was determined to find a local alternative serving value-for-money and ‘fun’ Danish food. Having enough of Rugbrød (Danish rye bread), I was delighted to find Torvehallerne (a food hall).
Just 5 minutes’ walk from Nørreport station in Copenhagen, this food hall isn’t some fancy tourist market. More like a serene little paradise that the Danes frequent, it resembles a greenhouse and is an emblem of Danish minimalistic design – simple, functional and neat. Torvehallerne consists of two buildings; one for stalls selling meat and fish, and the other for produce such as flowers, food, drinks, chocolates and fruits. There are many Danish specialties under one roof and this is the place to visit if you would like to sample many different delicacies. Despite the crowd and the confined space, shopping and tasting food here is a relaxing affair.
Occasionally, there is also an open market operating between the two buildings, selling fresh vegetables and fruits. The produce is always interesting, and you might even find prized fungus. During the Christmas season, it operates as a Christmas market selling seasonal goods, including Christmas flower wreaths.
Here’s a bonus: Just 10 minutes’ walk from Toverhallerne, you will find a traditional Danish sweet shop called Sømods Bolcher. Established in 1891, the methods for producing the yummy candies are still preserved till today. Even the way they measure the candies is traditional, with a balance. The deceptively brightly coloured candies are surprisingly not-so-sweet, and in fact, they taste very natural. The compact store starts getting squeezy with six customers. It certainly isn’t a glamorous sweet shop, but there is some mysterious charm about it that draws people into the hidden alley it sits in.
1360 København K
Nørregade 24 og 36b, 1165 KBH.K