When I travel, I do not always set up a tight schedule to see all the sights. I prefer to spend some time getting the feel of the place, and as a foodie, this means that I often end up at a food market. There are lovely old markets in Florence and in Stockholm, there is the cornucopia of produce from near and far in Borough Market in London. Oslo has one under construction, with its own micro brewery on site. But Copenhagen beat us to it. Last year, about 50 years after the fruit and vegetable market closed down on the same site, Torvehallerne opened on Israels Plads.
Even before I arrived, I knew it had one major success factor covered – location. A stone’s throw from Nørreport station, it is easily reached by train or Metro, not to mention bus or bicycle.
This is not the place for endless rows of stalls hawking the same strawberries, they have gone for diversity rather than volume. Sure, there are several of the outside stalls offering similar seasonal produce, but inside there is an impressive range. Spanish tapas and Italian antipasti. A shop full of goods from the island of Bornholm. Fresh fish and seafood, old-fashioned open sandwiches. Artisan cheese, smoked venison. Wine, olive oil, vinegar and cognac straight from the barrel. Snacks and ready meals to eat on the spot or take away, perhaps for a picnic in one of the nearby parks.
And, this being Denmark, there is beer. Fynsk Forår from the Ørbæk brewery on Funen. Draft Mikkeller. The full range of bottled beers from Svaneke in the Bornholm shop. Bøgedal beers on tap and in bottles at the organic shop. Catalonian beer in the tapas bar. Even an outside stall with a miniature version of a German Getränkemarkt with quite a few bottles worth considering.
This is not the place to go to eat and drink on the cheap. But I would not mind a place like this for weekend shopping. I had plenty of beer already, but I bought two kilo of asparagus. White fleshy ones from Germany. Tender green ones from Denmark. Yummy.
Open every day. Direct transport links to the airport so you can drag all the good stuff with you.