As I exited the bustling Nørreport metro station straight from Copenhagen airport, trolley bag and foggy, trans-Atlantic-flight head in tote, the first, second and third thing on my mind was finding a good cup of coffee. And oh yes did I find it, after a brief five-minute roll down the sidewalk, at the Torvehallern Market (torvehallernekbh.dk) — a high-end food market that takes cues from urban food meccas like La Boqueria in Barcelona and Borough Market in London. (But it’s still positively Danish in design and ethic.) Lines are orderly, words limited. The silence of the whole operation was actually quite shocking. Hawking? More like a smile and a nod and a hunk of cured venison jerky pressed into my palm as a free sample. No pressure to buy, of course.
Last September Torvehallerne opened as two symmetrical buildings in a cobblestone square called Israels Plads. The structures now house over 80 food vendors selling a wide variety of culinary treasures: fresh pints of raspberries and pressed pomegranate juice, smoked salmon and langoustines the size of lobsters. A beer stand peddles quirky Danish brews and vinegars.
Many of the city’s top culinary shops opened with stalls including cult Italian bakery Il Fornaio and the city’s world-regarded coffee bar and roaster, Coffee Collective. It is there where I found my fix; a perfect little cortado made on a Kees Ven Der Westen espresso machine and a nutty, slightly acidic cup of house-roasted Ethiopian brew, which was of course served pour-over style using the latest Japanese ceramic drip cone.
The round of joe cost a mighty 80 kroner (around $13), but it was so well worth it. Especially paired with pastries from Lauras Bakery. Indeed, the Danes do not fuck around with their Danish. Here’s what else I found during my daily visits to Torvehallerne.
Also see: A Big Weekend At Copenhagen Cooking 2012