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Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne Market – Go Hungry!

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It was a wet morning, our last day in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark. Jorge and I took a walk through Torvehallerne Market – one of my favourite places that we discovered on our visit and somewhere I’d definitely love to return to on another trip. As everywhere else in this city, the were rows of bikes lined up outside.

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We started indoors in one of two bright, glass-roofed warehouses that host around 80 vendors. We were some of the first people inside, so it was pretty empty. Stalls and shops were just opening up for business. A few were still shuttered.

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There was a morning rush of stallholders laying out delicious displays and carts being wheeled around, transporting new deliveries.

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Wandering through the market, we wished we were hungry, but we had just filled up on tasty dense slices of fresh buttered rågbrød bread, hard boiled eggs, ham and cheese for breakfast at Hotel Fox.

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I wished we had happened upon this place earlier in the trip because it was definitely worth having a meal there.

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Everything looked incredibly fresh and meticulously prepared. You could fill up on free samples alone.

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There were trays of smørrebrød – those tempting open-faced Danish sandwiches piled with everything from salmon to slices of egg to pâté.

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Or, if you’re feeling creative, just buy a loaf of bread and the separate ingredients from various stalls to make them at home.

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We were drawn from stand to stand by a smorgasbord of smells – the variety of herbs, the cooked meat, the thick rounds of cheese.

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For dessert, tarts, eclairs, kanelsnegle (cinnamon rolls) and cupcakes were arranged in rows. Or there’s little luxury bite-sized chocolates in every flavour imaginable.

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Or, you could go for the healthy option and take your pick from the baskets of shiny red and green apples.

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If you’re just after a pick-me-up, Coffee Collective is a popular choice for a house-roasted brew. If you prefer wine to coffee, that’s an option too.

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Small areas with seating were set up if you want to grab a quick lunch.

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You can also buy extras to take home like health products and kitchen utensils and goodies from the nordic country side.

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Most stands had black chalkboard with their prices and products noted in simple white chalk. If you’re after organic food, look out for the “Ø” sign on packaging and signs. It stands for “økologisk“, the Danish word for organic.

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Before heading to the next building, we walked over the slick cobblestones to explore the space between the two which was full of wooden tables heaped with lush looking piles of vibrant vegetables.

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It was a colourful mix.

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There were green herbs, red radishes, orange carrots.

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There were crates of big round pumpkins that would have been perfect for carving.

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Everything looked as if it had just been washed.

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I like to think that if I lived in Copenhagen I’d eat a lot more salads (but I probably wouldn’t; I’d probably just eat a lot more cinnamon rolls).

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Other sections had mountains of mushrooms.

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You could also buy your fill of sleek brown chestnuts to roast on your open fire if you had an open fire. Wish we did (although I’d roast marshmallows instead of chestnuts)!

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Also outside was a nice little seating area with wooden tables and red and white checked picnic tablecloths. Well it would have been nice anyway, if it wasn’t sopping wet, on a sunny Summer day…

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In the second building, there were mostly fish venders and butchers.

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We watched as the glass of a fish stall was being scrawled on with a pink marker to list the day’s specials.

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There were chunks of smoked salmon the perfect shade of pinkish-orange, crabs from the morning catch and gigantic langoustines.

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Torvehallerne roughly translates to mean “the market halls” and there’s been some form of market stalls on the site since the 1800s. This latest rendition is relatively new, having opened only two years ago in September 2011. It has some resemblance to a smaller, indoor, non-cluttered version of London’s Borough Market, but the simple, clean design is Danish through and through.

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Some recommendations I’ve read from other people who actually went to the market hungry are to try porridge at GRØD, check out Palæo for “Stone Age food”, which consists of meat, fish, berries, veggies and head to Tapa del Toro for a Spanish lunch.

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The market is tucked behind the bustling Nørreport metro station and definitely has a high end vibe so if you go (which I recommend you do!), expect to pay typical Danish food prices.

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More on Copenhagen soon!

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