Most New York City food halls are veritable dream teams of assembled vendors; think Roberta’s, Mile End and OddFellows at UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, and Mighty Quinn’s, Num Pang and Black Seed at Hudson Eats. But Grand Central’s foray into the gourmet market game can be traced back to one man, Claus Meyer, the activist, philanthropist, and co-founder of Copenhagen’s world-revered Noma. Which is why his multi-stalled Great Northern Food Hall is the city’s most expansive expression of the New Nordic movement yet, offering everything from Danish hot dogs and aquavit to Scandinavian pastries and traditional, open-faced smørrebrød.
Danish Dogs: Positioned next to his fine dining flagship, Agern, this takeout window debuted back in May, peddling gourmet, Danish-inspired haute dogs, like the Garvhund (a beef sausage topped with lingonberry preserve and beet remoulade), the Hen Hound (chicken links with tarragon mayo and green tomato relish) and the Kvik — pork franks piled with pickled turnips, watercress, and puffs of fried pig skin.
Meyers Bageri: Also boasting a branch in Brooklyn, the Scandinavian bakery sells traditional, whole grain rye and sourdough wheat breads, puffy buns called morgenbolle, cradling jam and havarti cheese, and not-too-sweet treats, such as poppyseed-studded and custard-filled Danish and twists of kanelsnurre; a braided, cinnamon-swirled pastry.
Open Rye: An on-the-nose name for a stand devoted to smørrebrød, patrons will find lengths of heirloom rye and stone ground wheat breads crowned with everything from smoked salmon with shaved fennel and crème fraiche to chicken salad interspersed with raw apple and celery, and slips of pickled herring, layered with radishes, raw onions and dill-infused crème.
Almanak: This pavilion is all about veggies, in the form of composed small plates such as raw white asparagus swiped with housemade rapeseed oil mayonnaise, salads composed of peaches and havgus cheese in a sunflower-elderflower dressing, and virtuous smoothies, made with unusual suspects such as horseradish, sea buckthorn, rhubarb and skyr yogurt.
The Grain Bar: Get your sweet and savory porridges and granolas at The Grain Bar, such as pearl barley topped with mushrooms and goat cheese, or rye bread mash moistened with vanilla foam, along with ymer parfaits, showcasing the cultured Danish dairy product made from fermented milk.
Brownsville Coffee: Along with organic Copenhagen teas, this caffeine kiosk supplies light-bodied, single origin coffees, cappuccinos and cold brews, crafted from green beans toasted in Claus Meyers’ very own roastery, located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville.
The Bar: While early morning commuters will doubtless frequent the coffee shop, a stop at The Bar is an after-work must, stocked with not only wine, craft beer and specialty cocktails, but an extensive selection of aquavit.
Great Northern Food Hall
Grand Central Terminal
89 Vanderbilt Avenue