Supporting Local Restaurants
As the lockdowns are again changing how we normally live, with many restaurants and other businesses struggling to keep their doors open, we have listed some of our favorite spots to eat out to support them
Norwegians love to travel and explore new cultures and local cuisine in all corners of the world. This is reflected in our growing international food culture, with influences from Asia, India, France, and Italy. We also enjoy our American inspired burger joints and sell the most frozen pizzas per capita in Europe (not that this is something to boast about).
Traditional meals are mostly variations of what was produced at the farms: root vegetables, meat, milk, butter, corn, fruit, and of course fish from the sea and lakes. Here we list our favorite places that fuse the traditional with more modern tastes.
One restaurant that focuses on keeping the Norwegian traditional food alive is Smalhans at Sankthanshaugen in Oslo. They have a "Bib Gourmand" listing in the Michelin guide and their mission is to serve good and tasty food for a low price.
Norwegian chefs have gained a good reputation all over the world after several victories in the International competition Bocuse d’Or. In 1993, Norwegian Bent Stiansen won the competition as the first Scandinavian ever. His restaurant, Statholdergaarden is the restaurant that has held on to its Michelin star for the longest amount of time. The menu varies according to the seasons and they take great pride in using Norwegian ingredients when they are at their best. Here there are white tablecloths and fanciness from the moment you walk in the door until the last drop of fine wine has cleared down your palate.
Hidden gem: Bent Stiansen operates another restaurant in the same building as Statholdergaarden called Statholderens Mat & Vinkjeller. The specialty is an exciting 10-course menu that changes theme every six weeks. This restaurant is more laid-back and serves the most delicious food for a lower price than on the top floor.
Norway's new IT restaurant, The Vandelay, has been shining on a number of Instagram accounts since it opened in September this year. The restaurant is focusing on Japanese food culture and was started by none other than Esben Holmboe Bang from Maaemo (Norway's only restaurant that has held three stars in the Michelin guide - now back after a hiatus.)This is top class food at a reasonable price.
Norway's most famous architectural firm, Snøhetta, has designed the unique restaurant in Lindesnes, which opened in March 2019. This is a really unique experience and highly recommended on Tripadvisor. Seated several meters below the water surface you can peer out into the illuminated waters and catch glimpses of some future ingredients swimming around. Under received a star in the Michelin Guide 2020.
Credo is a culinary beacon in the Trøndelag region. After many years building a stellar reputation in a more «conventional» building in the city of Trondheim they packed their knives and cutting boards and moved to a large factory building in the Lade neighborhood, north of the city center. This move was not only to give their chefs more elbow-room but also to easier facilitate a sustainability philosophy in all steps of the process of moving produce from field to plate. And, what’s on the plate is Michelin worthy (1 star), and naturally based on locally sourced products.
The city of Bergen, known for its charming, historical architecture and proximity to the famous Norwegian fjords came later to the table of fine dining than several other Norwegian cities, but is currently seen as a culinary «it» place in Norway. Just ask Gordon Ramsey who is a real fan of Bergen, and has presented the city in his «Unchartered» series, insisting «When it comes to food, Bergen can’t be beat.» As a recent Michelin star recipient (the first to Bergen), Bare Restaurant, situated just off the famous Bergen wharf in the Bergen Børs Hotel, has a setting to match the art they serve on plates - an artform firmly rooted in the local.
Let us all support our local restaurants under the pandemic so that they can keep open until we again can say welcome to international tourism.