Indulge Expertly: Food and Drink You Must Try When Visiting Norway


Amidst fjords cleaving the land and peaks piercing the sky, it’s easy to become consumed by Norway’s spellbinding landscapes. But don’t let the natural beauty detract from another Nordic claim to fame – the underrated food and drink scene, waiting to be discovered bite by bite.

While a sparse and distributed population means homegrown ingredients take center stage, Norway delivers simple dishes elevated by the focus and care that goes into producing local crops, dairy, fish and meat. The country’s shorter growing season also yields fruit bursting with concentrated flavor rarely found elsewhere.

From Oslo’s ascendant restaurant accolades to tiny village delicacies perfected over generations, Norway promises iconic edible finds hiding around every hairpin road. In this guide, we detail exactly what visitors must sample to indulge like a local across this Nordic destination. Read on to discover the tastes you can’t miss, from bergenfish stew to velvety brown cheese, rare cloudberries and beyond!

Oslo’s Ascendant Food Scene


While often overlooked in favor of flashier Nordic destinations like Copenhagen or Stockholm, Norway’s capital has steadily built a global reputation for boundary-pushing New Nordic cuisine spotlighting the country’s seasonal ingredients.

Maaemo became Oslo’s first Michelin-starred restaurant in 2016, later adding two more elite stars. Now 11 restaurants, ranging from the relaxed to the experimental, hold Michelin stars. Equally buzzed-about are the city’s funky coffee shops and cocktail bars and the Mathallen indoor food hall, crammed with gourmet treats.

Taste of Place Stays

To fully immerse in Norway’s culinary offerings, choose accommodations. In addition to offeringone-of-a-kind architecture fully tuned to nature, their menus focus on regional flavors, from aromatic cheeses to tender reindeer and salty, smoky salmon.

Guests can select packages which pair stays with personalized tasting tours, chef-prepared meals and fully stocked kitchens at several underexplored foodie regions. You can relax into luxury while experiencing Norway’s distinct epicurean best.

Must-Try Norwegian Specialties


While foreign flavors sneak in through port cities, tradition runs deep for lovers of cherished Norwegian ingredients crafted into signature dishes. Visitors can’t leave without sampling:

Brunost – This sweet, dense brown “whey cheese” with a fudge-like consistency serves as a popular breakfast topping or snack. Try it plain, in recipes, or shaped into heart waffles!

Smoked Salmon – This silky cold-smoked fish is honored across Norway and served on bread, scrambled with eggs or alongside sprucing sprigs in festive meals.

Fiskesuppe – Cod, salmon or another local catch will simmer in this creamy, herb-kissed fish soup, which fills bowls everywhere from homes to harborside restaurants.

Lefse – This round flatbread similar to a potato tortilla offers a golden, soft vessel for smearing butter on, scattering sugar on or rolling around fillings.

Beyond the classics, keep an eye out for delicate arctic char, lean reindeer, tart little red cloudberries and other hyperlocal bites!

More Quintessential Norwegian Flavors

Norway also beckons with unique cocktails, breads, heritage liquors and more…

Vafler – Hearty savory waffles which are topped with everything from smoked salmon to lamb stew or shrimp salad.

Krumkake – These crunchy rolled cone wafers filled with cream pair perfectly with steaming cups of coffee.

Skillingsboller – These cinnamon-spiced buns with hidden custardy centers shine at breakfast or on lazy afternoons with tea.

Craft Beer – Microbreweries champion local styles, in which foraged ingredients are worked into creative brewing processes and flavorings.

Aquavit – These clear, herbal drink snaps are given added character by spices like caraway or dill. Must-try variations include the fruity Linie, which is aged in sherry casks at sea.

Regional Finds

NUSFJORD, NORWAY – Juli 21, 2011 – Fishing village in Nusfjord, Lofoten, Norway

Norway is rightly proud of its hyperlocal specialties. Be sure to watch for:

Bacalao – Salted, dried cod loins rehydrated and served in fishcakes or stews along the western coast.

Comté Cheese – Buttery nutty wheels crafted with Brown Cheese, imported by refugees from France, are now flourishing.

Cloudberries – You can forage for your own pea-sized amber cloudberries, which offer a tropical sweet-tart twist in the northern tundra forests.

Even More Iconic Flavors

Let’s dive deeper into Norway’s cherished culinary traditions, like…

Potetlefse Og Lammekjøtt – This combo of tender lamb meat paired with folded potato flatbreads makes for a beloved main course across the land.

Lutefisk – While an acquired taste, this pungent dish of aged whitefish cured in lye is served at holiday times, notably in Lofoten.

Fårikål – Known as Norway’s national dish, this hearty stew combines mutton, cabbage, black pepper and potatoes for comfort.

Klippfisk – This is the ancient viking trade staple of cod preserved through salt drying and then rehydrated, most often to make turmeric-tinged stews.

Eplekake Og Karsk – Autumn brings these apple cakes drenched in creamy vanilla sauce, made special by berries picked at peak ripeness.

Geitost Ice Cream – Creamy goat cheese gets swirled into rich ice cream for this inventive sweet treat found in Oslo.

An Edible Adventure Awaits


What makes travel so enriching often comes down to what we experience through tastebud-driven adventures. Norway lays out a spread of local flavors well worth deviating for. Beyond the stunning landscapes beckoning outdoor enthusiasts lies an understated food and drink trail from delicate brown cheeses to hearty lamb stews, velvety aquavit to sweet, delicate cloudberries.

Pack an extra bag, because you’ll want to bring local chocolate, jars of cloudberry jam and wheels of brown cheese home. Then dip back into your Norway memories as you reproduce your new favorite recipes in your own kitchen. No matter where you roam, remember to indulge skilfully, and make flavor memories just as lasting as the majestic vistas.