September 20, 2017

Food Market- Hötorgshallen

Discrete entrance
I always love visiting indoor food markets when I travel to new cities. It is a great way to soak up the sounds, smells and flavors of a city. And Stockholm has a couple of good ones! The most well-known is the Östermalms Saluhall, or Östermalmshallen. This food market is very historic, a bit upscale and concentrates mainly on Swedish produce. Currently they are renovating the building, so they have moved all the vendors and restaurants to a temporary structure in the square across the street.
Escalators down to the basement level
However there is another great food market that many visitors miss, mainly because most guidebooks only mention the Östermalm market. This market is called Hötorgshallen. Less upscale than Östermalm and more global in what their vendors offer... this market is very popular with Stockholmers. It is located on the square Hötorget in the downtown area and an extra selling point is that the square itself is filled with fruit and flower vendors Mondays through Saturdays. The indoor market has quite a discrete entrance at the back of the square and it takes up two floors, the smaller ground floor and the larger basement level.
Vendors here sell a wide variety of produce... coffee, tea, sweets, meat, fish, cheese, sausage, fruit & vegetables, bread, pastries, ice cream, delicacies and much more. There are also several small restaurants which are great places to stop for lunch. What makes it especially fun, in my opinion, is that the vendors represent a range of nationalities. Swedish vendors rub shoulders with Asian, Turkish, Italian, Finnish, South American and Eastern European shops. For example, I stopped by here the other day to pick up some Brazilian linguica sausage. They even have one of the state run liquor stores (Systembolaget) in the market, making it one-stop shopping for Stockholmers planning their dinners.
...bread and pastries...
There are several cafés, delis and restaurants spread throughout the market and are great places for lunch. One of my favorites is the seafood restaurant Kajsas Fisk which has some of the best fish & shellfish stews in town. And you know it is fresh as the restaurant is adjacent to the fish mongers. Stop by the Gelato Bar afterwards for some dessert! No reservations at these restaurants, just drop-in spots. Hötorgshallen is only open during the daytime so no dinner options (the market is also closed on Sundays and bank holidays).
...and fish!
The square itself is quite lively... with vendors selling fruits, vegetables and flowers on all days except Sundays when it becomes more of a flea market. Their produce is very seasonal. For example, this time of year they sell a lot of mushrooms and berries from the Swedish forests. Hötorget is centrally located in the downtown area and a quick walk from the many nearby department stores and shopping centers. To get there from the Rival Hotel, you can either take the subway, green line, to Hötorget station (three stations from nearby Slussen) or else it is a 7-8 minute taxi ride.
Fruit vendors on the square out front.
Chocolates and truffles
Wild sausages (moose, reindeer, wild boar, etc.)

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