Hötorgshallen is set next to an outdoor market through a nondescript set of doors and is down a set of narrow, dull gray escalators that make you think you're going into the Underground. You emerge, however, in a well-lit, well-stocked, beautifully displayed and diverse market. Find fresh fishes, fruits, smoothies, breads, desserts, coffees, fruit drinks encouraging you to drink with the aspiration “Look Good Naked”: There are a variety of offerings up and down the narrow alleyways. Grab your ticket from the machine by the counter (the ubiquitous Swedish system of tickets and queues keeps everything in order) and wait for your opportunity at something very tasty.
I’d recommend waiting by one of the meat or fish shops and grabbing an open seat at the small bar or restaurant right next to the store. There you can slide in and have a nice drink and a hearty lunch made from the ingredients on display. (You may have to wait for a bit at lunchtime because the Hötorgshallen is a very popular local lunch spot.) We ate at the Fågelavilt Bistro at the Hellbergs meat and poultry stand. We had the beef and potatoes with a side of lingonberry sauce and a glass of red wine.
They say that a market is the closest thing to a good museum, but I tend to think that a market is even better than a good museum because at a market you get the chance to eat what’s on display.
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Finding Goat Meat at Hötorgshallen
While there’s no shortage of lamb meat here in Sweden, finding goat is a lot more challenging. But through word-of-mouth, I found Latinamerikanska Livsmedel at Hötorgshallen (one of three popular food halls around the city) which sells goat meat (getkött) and cuts it up into stew-size bits for me before I even have to ask.