Collected by Joshua Samuel Brown, AFAR Local Expert
Cold climates breed healthy appetites, so it's no surprise that Norwegian cuisine is more hearty than dainty. Cheeses, meats, seafood, and breads—all are often locally sourced and delicious. And short of an authentic meal served in the home of a local, you'll find the restaurants here provide a reasonable idea of genuine Norwegian cuisine. Don't miss the lovely brown whey cheese called "brunost" (or Gjetost).
1, Bankplassen, 0151 Oslo, Norway
Engebret Café is still as popular as when it opened its doors 157 years ago. Back then, it was known as a second home to some of the nation’s most prolific artists, including Henrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Edvard Munch, Knut Hamsun, and...
Vulkan 5, 0178 Oslo, Norway
The centerpiece of the city's emerging Vulkan neighborhood, Oslo's very first food hall is a culinary utopia. Let your nose guide you to one (or five!) of 27 eateries peddling everything from cupcakes to tapas to bento boxes. Can't decide? Stop at...
Tordenskiolds gate 12, 0160 Oslo, Norway
Brunost (brown cheese) is a staple of Norwegian kitchens, usually cut thin with a cheese slicer to top buttered toast or warm waffles. Despite the name, brunost isn’t technically cheese; it’s the whey of goat’s milk, boiled for hours until...
Bankplassen 3, 0151 Oslo, Norway
Architecture fiends should make a lunch date at Café Grosch. Located on historic site Bankplassen, the building dates from 1828 and was originally used as – you guessed it – a bank. The café’s namesake was architect Christian Grosch, and even the...
Kristian Augusts gate 14, 0164 Oslo, Norway
At Elias, a quaint little eatery located next to the National Gallery (another afar.com highlight), you’ll find exciting food at competitive prices. The people at Elias focus on fuss-free food: organic drinks, hand-brewed coffee, Norwegian beers,...
Schweigaards gate 15B, 0191 Oslo, Norway
Never heard of Esben Holmboe Bang? Experience a night at Maaemo and you’ll never forget his name. The Danish chef is the culinary genius behind Norway's prime Michelin-starred foodie destination. The restaurant's interior is deliberately...
Karl Johans gate 31, 0159 Oslo, Norway
Ever since Norwegian playwright Ibsen and his bohemian friends used to frequent Grand Café every day, this cultural institution has been popular with the citizens of Oslo. Dating from 1874, Grand Café has retained its Old World feel and is a very...
Vetrlidsallmenningen 2, 5014 Bergen, Norway
If you have time or money for only one memorable dinner in Bergen, 1877 is the pick. The restaurant's menu transforms every six weeks based on the chef's inspiration and the availability of local ingredients. Autumn brings apples, pears, and...
2, Akersgata, 0158 Oslo, Norway
Since opening their doors in 1997, Brasserie Hansken (The Glove) has been recommended by several foodie guides (Michelin Guide included) and local newspapers. They pride themselves with good solid food made by ambitious chefs who care deeply for...
Øvre Torvgate 24, 2815 Gjøvik, Norway
Meaning "Lye Fish," this quintessential Norwegian dish is much maligned, as I well know, having much maligned it myself. I'm not the only person to have spoken ill of the dish. Esteemed American author Garrison Keillor describes Lutefisk as "...a...
Aksla, 6007 Ålesund, Norway
The reward for climbing 418 steps to Aksla mountain's summit is a cake, coffee, or a three-course dinner at Fjellstua. Admire one of the most famous panoramic views in all of Norway from the minimalist restaurant's large windows. Although the...
Rasmus Meyers allé 3, 5015 Bergen, Norway
Visiting Bergen's sprawling art museum? Stop at this popular café tucked inside the KODE 2 building. You can try some of the best coffee in the city here, and the specials menu is simply a must if you're ready for lunch. The lineup changes...
Strandkaien 37, 4005 Stavanger, Norway
Performing double duty as both a seafood market and restaurant, Fisketorget features the kind of fish that's impossible to enjoy in most parts of the world. Located just seconds away from Stavanger's harbor (the distance from the water to your...
Gabels gate 11, 0272 Oslo, Norway
Tourists usually miss this relaxed neighborhood eatery in upscale Frogner, just a short tram ride from downtown Oslo. Chef Sergio opened its doors in 1987, and since then he's become quite the local celebrity thanks to his restaurant's wide, open...
Sakrisøya, 8390 Reine, Norway
Every tourist season, Lofoten's E6 highway slows to a crawl on the way to Reine, a tiny, romantic fishing village. It's best to take your time, pull over, and relax with a lazy lunch at Anitas Sjømat (Anita’s Seafood). This roadside...