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Street Food Culture of Copenhagen – 3 Food Markets Not To Be Missed in Copenhagen

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

Delis at Torvehallerne offers high quality food items to visitors

Copenhagen has a buzzing street food culture and a haven for foodies! It continues to emerge and is fast becoming one of the best food destinations of Europe. Here’s our pick of the top 3 street food market of Copenhagen:

One of the two glass hall of Torvehallerne

1. Torvehallerne – This iconic ‘twin glass and steel halls’ food market was designed by architect Hans Peter Hagens on the cobblestones of Israels Plads, a large square in the city center. Hans Peter was aware of the drug dealing previously in the area and came up with the idea of a food market to inject some city-life back into the plaza. He drew inspiration from Mezquita, the great mosque and cathedral in Córdoba, Spain.

Apart from ready to eat food Torvehallerne also sells fresh fish and other food products

Torvehallerne is located in the heart of the city, just outside Norreport Station, It was opened in 2011 and has around 80 shops and restaurants that sell everything from fresh fish, meat, cheese, delis, fast food, chocolates, wine, beer, bakeries, artisanal honey, Dead Sea salts, French olive oil and other delicious stuff!. It has a wonderful modern feel and is open all year round with seating inside as well as outside.

Some of the best bakeries of Copenhagen are located in Torvehallerne

When visiting Horvehallerne, undoubtedly the must try food would be Smorrebrod at Hallernes as they offer a huge variety of topping combinations from locally sourced fresh high quality ingredients. Smorredbrod which means ‘butter bread’ is an open sandwich with many combinations of ingredients and is considered as the symbolic dish of Denmark. Although Smorredbrod is very popular among all Scandinavian countries, the Danes have taken it to another level-when it comes to the choice of ingredient combinations and food art.

Hallernes at Horvehallerne

To understand the concept of Smorrebrod we need to travel back in time to middle-age Europe. At the time a piece of bread was considered as the main food and some ingredients were added on top to make it a complete meal. This tradition of eating bread with toppings continued and developed into many types of open sandwiches around the world and Smorrebrod is one of that. Smorrebrod became very popular in Denmark during the 19th century when factory workers started bringing this open-sandwiches at work. These were made from rye bread with a layer of butter and topping of leftover meat and fish from previous day’s dinner. Now a days the choice of topping is extensive-pickled Herring, smoked Herring, Shrimp, cured Salmon, fried fish fillet, ham, roast beef, liver pate, roasted pork with red cabbage, chicken salad and many more.

Shrimp and Egg topping Smorrebrod from Hallernes

Apart from Smorrebrod at Horvehallerne, Brioche Doree serves some of the finest Danish pastries available in the city.

One of the many flower staled Horvehallerne

In between the two glass market halls, the outdoor space is occupied by a number of stalls selling some of the best quality and freshly available vegetables, fruits and flowers to visitors and locals.

2. Reffen – Located in Refshaleoen, Reffen is the ‘shipyard’ food market of Copenhagen which opened in 2018 after the closure of Paper Island street-food market. Refshaleoen is Copenhagen’s industrial harbour area home to old shipyards, warehouses and docks.

The bohemian feel of Reffen

Located by the waterfront the path leading to Reffen goes though the old warehouse area filled with old shipping containers which for a moment makes you think if you are completely lost! However, you keep walking your way through the old shipping containers and Reffen magically appears near waterfront where the path ends.

Over 50 stalls selling food from around the world at Reffen

Spread over an area of 10,000 square metres, around 50 food stalls built from old shipping containers serve food from around the world everything from Greek gyro, falafel wrap, classic burgers, pizzas, Jamaican jerk, Indian curries, Nepalese momos (dumplings) and Danish delicacy – roasted pork sandwich. At one side of the food market there is a covered seating area which can be a relief during the midday sun in summer.

lamb gyro from ‘The Real Greek’ at Reffen

We tried the lamb gyro from ‘The Real Greek’, falafel wrap from ‘The Turning Turkey’ and classic burger from ‘Grab’n Go Burgers’.

Both the markets created a sense of community and brought to life the otherwise empty area  a big boost to local delicacies as well as attracting huge international bounty!

3. The Bridge Street Kitchen – The Bridge Street Kitchen or Broens Gadekokken is the ‘harbour’ food market situated at the tip of the Inner Harbour Bridge and offers from phenomenal panoramic views over the harbour.

Potato Pizza at The Bridge Street Kitchen

The Bridge Street Kitchen opened in May 2018 on the Greenlandic Trade Square at the end of Inderhavnsbroen, as a collaboration between the founders of Copenhagen Street Food – Paper Island street-food market and Reffen, with some of the owners of restaurant Noma. The Bridge Street Kitchen might be on the smaller side compared to other food markets but serves some top-notch street food from around the world.

Grilled chicken at The Bridge Street Kitchen

You can get a taste of Argentinian empanadas, British fish and Chips, Indian curries, pizzas, grilled chicken. The food market has plenty of benches and table for people to sit and enjoy their food and drink. On certain Fridays, the Bridge Street Kitchen hosts the ‘Bar & Bolger’ which translates to bar and waves – an event where the street kitchen is focused on amazing drinks and free samples!


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