Copenhagen’s best and biggest gourmet food market.
One of my favorite places in Copenhagen is Torvehallerne, the 3 1/2 year old gourmet food market with over 60 stands involving all things food! Similar to Chelsea Market in NYC, La Grande Epicerie in Paris or any department store basement food court in Asia, this is THE place to go for foodies. Torvehallerne is made up of 2 buildings, which my food expert Mia from CPH Good Food lovingly named as the “smelly hall” and the “nice smelling hall”. The buildings have floor to ceiling windows, allowing the soft light to infiltrate all the delicious food. In the summertime they open up the ceilings so it becomes an open air market. During my Nordic cooking class with Mia, we first met at the market to buy all our ingredients before going to her flat to cook everything.
The market includes all different types of high quality ingredients and unique finds. The “smelly hall” is made up of raw meats, fish, produce and spices. The “nice smelling hall” has prepared meals and sandwiches, coffee, cooked meats, wine, olive oil, breads and desserts. In between the two buildings is a local fruit and vegetable stand. Next to it is a flower shop. Basically, it’s a one stop shop for everything food-related that you could need!
Some random things I learned during our market tour:
- The Nordic diet includes a lot of cabbage, apples and berries.
- Lemon is not prominent in this part of the world so instead they use citron verbena (for lemon zest) or vinegar. That explains why Mia had so many types of vinegar in her kitchen! (see my review on her class here)
- When growing herbs you should touch them with your hands a few hours each day so they grow faster.
- Salmon from the Faroe Islands are the best.
- Danish desserts have many European influences, mainly from the French and Austrian.
- Remonce is a mixture of butter, sugar and marzipan, and I might be in love with it.
Local and sustainable
My favorite stand in the entire market is Omegn, which sells high quality local products like hams, sausages, cheese, beer, wine and vegetables from farms in the area.
It was started by a chef turned entrepreneur. His idea was to create a place where he could feature local producers with amazing high-quality products. The stand began as a fold out table. Now four years later, they have a successful business that’s popular with local customers wanting high quality products.
Some other highlights… These were chocolate covered hand-made marshmallows with a cookie bottom. The marshmallow reminded me of these fresh vanilla marshmallows I had from uber fancy French Michelin-rated Jean Georges in NYC. Yes, they were THAT good.
I highly recommend going for a snack or a meal while exploring the city. I went multiple times during my trip and tried something new every time. They often give out samples so you can try things before purchasing. Definitely chat with the producers and get to know their businesses and food philosophies. It makes the experience much more personal and memorable!