Eating out in Denmark (and Scandinavia in general) is expensive and when I am traveling, I like to eat where the locals eat. As a rule, Copenhagen can be pricey but a local food market, Torvehallerne KBH, is a find. Torvehallerne translates to market hall and this market is located in central Copenhagen, near the Norreport metro station.
Torvehallerne is filled with roughly sixty stalls offering a variety of choices including produce, cheeses, breads, meats, fish, sandwiches, pastries and tapas. I loved this market and went every day that I was in Copenhagen. Torvehallerne is split between two glass buildings, with picnic tables outside and stools (as well as a few tables) at many stalls. I often travel solo and it can be awkward eating alone—particularly at dinner. At Torvenhallerne, pull up a stool and join the crowds of locals and tourists enjoying great food at reasonable prices. The conversation is good, the stalls are welcoming and the atmosphere is relaxed. There are many, many choices, but a few of my favorites are listed below.
The Coffee Collective
Coffee in Denmark is expensive, running around six dollars per cup, so a good cup of coffee is a special treat. The Coffee Collective offers seriously good coffee with friendly baristas. This coffee shop takes its coffee seriously and I was asked how many shots (one or two?) that I wanted in my caffe latte. My coffee came out with a heart. Everyone I talked to in Copenhagen recommended the Coffee Collective and it is clear their staff truly care about the final product. On one visit, I ordered hot chocolate and was told that I was missing out if I didn’t try the coffee too. This café signifies coffee with a heart. The lines at no matter what time of day tell the story.
Smorrebrod is a traditional Danish open sandwich and Hallernes offers several options. Sandwiches vary from shrimp, salmon or shrimp and eggs to roast beef. Stools are at the stall and a fresh bouquet at the counter adds a touch of home for diners. I happened on Hallernes on a clear day and took my salmon sandwich outside to enjoy at one of the numerous picnic tables. These sandwiches are seriously good.
Bottega della Pasta
I am a huge fan of pasta and as a little girl, my mother would cook me a bowl of boiled macaroni to keep me happy. Bottega della Pasta offers a lunch special of a daily pasta plate along with a glass of house wine for 150 krone (or roughly twenty-five dollars). Serving sizes are huge and two people could almost eat this. The staff are friendly and sitting at my stool, I could see a large pot of tomato sauce being made. I felt almost transported to Italy. The pasta is homemade and the cheese is fresh. Adding to the atmosphere, I happened to stop by on a day when the staff were playing great reggae. Sitting at my stool enjoying the delicious pasta, I felt a part of Copenhagen as I joined the other diners in tapping my feet to the music.
I love sweets and for anyone who likes pastries, Café Dora is a must. My personal favorites were both the raspberry tarts and apple tarts, but options change daily. Pull a stool up to the stall and watch fresh chocolate being melted in a pan or fresh cream being whipped. I felt like a kid again wanting to lick the bowl when my mom was baking. Café Dora makes the experience of dining on their baked goods special. I pulled up a stool in the corner to enjoy my coffee and tart, and a candle was lit at my plate. Cows decorate the stall and I had to laugh when one of the bakers said “we love the cows”. The pastries at Café Dora are a delight. Both locals and tourists alike were giving each other a “thumbs up” while salivating over the baked goods.
Torvehallerne is a special experience for anyone visiting Copenhagen. With stall after stall of pretty much anything imaginable, this market is a tasty escape for tourists in Denmark. Torvehallerne is a touch of elegance with delicious foodie options in the heart of Copenhagen.