Earlier this year, a team led by Danish food entrepreneur Claus Meyer opened the Great Northern Food Hall in the beautiful Vanderbilt Hall area of Grand Central Terminal, and it is fantastic. Meyer is a co-founder of noma, a Copenhagen restaurant that has four times been rated the best in the world. The food hall brings culinary concepts, flavors and ideas that are rooted in the Nordic countries and makes them tempting and delicious for us to enjoy.
The food is locally-sourced, freshly prepared and pristinely displayed. Grains feature heavily in all of the choices: the breads are incredible, alone or with the many wonderful things that get put on top of them. There are excellent salads and soups, savory porridges, open-faced
sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, unusual juices and needless-to-say incredible Danish pastries.
Great Northern Food Hall has communal tables where you can relax and enjoy your own purchases, a more traditional seating section with waiter/ waitress service, and a lively corner bar area. Everything is reasonably-priced and is plated as a small dish. You can create a snack or meal from a single stand or try something from each for a multi-course delight.
The stations themselves are beautifully designed with a Danish industrial chic vibe. An open space with white tile trim, light wood tables and counters, and black chairs, it blends surprisingly well with the old-time grandeur of Vanderbilt Hall. Great Northern Food Hall is a refreshingly calm oasis for harried commuters, but it is a worthy food destination in its own right.
Grand Central Terminal is one of the great treasures of New York City. It has long been a wonderful place to shop, eat, watch and take in a bit of history. With the opening of the Great Northern Food Hall, there is ample reason to visit once again.
Almanak – freshly made smoothies and salads all day; after 11:00am, seasonal small plates of meat, vegetables and fish, try the beef with caramelized onions and sorrel, cod cakes with parsley emulsion or beets, apples and sunflower cream, all very delicious.
Brownsville Roasters – coffees and espresso, organic teas, wonderful Danish and pastries – the cinnamon Danish is a must, seasonal tarts, chocolate marzipan-filled bonbons, fresh juices and more.
Grain Bar – morning porridges made from barley and oats with fruit compotes and build your own granola parfaits; after 11:00am, hearty seasonal soups and porridges such as pumpkin and ginger or beef brisket and root vegetables, a large selection of craft beers to pair with
Meyers Bageri – the in-house bakery for all of the stations; the sourdough, whole grain and rye breads are unbelievably good, the Danish are made on site all day – try the Frosnapper, a twist with almond, sesame seeds and poppy seeds; egg sandwiches are made to order in the
morning, regular sandwiches later on; don’t miss the Nordic flatbreads (a thin crust pizza-like option) – try the zucchini and goat cheese or the potatoes, lovage and caraway seed, or both.
Open Rye – freshly baked morning buns (a Scandinavian bagel) with smoked salmon and cream cheese; after 11:00am open-faced sandwiches known as smorrebrod are required eating, the rye bread is amazing and the toppings such as chicken liver mousse, roast turkey and smoked salmon are fresh and perfectly paired with condiments and seasonings, the pickled herring with dill cream and
cucumber is a favorite.
The Bar – Nordic-inspired cocktails –try the Roots & Flowers (licorice root vodka, elderberry and lemon), craft beers and an all-American wine list, homemade bar snacks and sliders during happy hour which starts at 1:00pm on Fridays.