Written by Anete Kruusmägi
Norway is known for its breathtaking nature. It’s the only Nordic country with beautiful snow-capped mountains and powerful fjords. Locals and travellers alike love to spend summers in the countryside and go skiing in the wintertime.
But Norwegians also love good food. 10 top-rated restaurants in Norway have earned at least one Michelin star. One of them even has three stars. Let’s take a look at the top ten restaurants in Norway.
Maaemo: Organic and Clean Flavours
If you plan to visit only one restaurant in Norway, then try to get a booking in Maaemo. In ancient Norse, Maaemo means Mother Earth, and the meaning behind it is that almost every ingredient here is sourced from the surrounding region. Norwegian produce with their organic and clean flavours are of primary importance for the head chef and co-owner Esben Holmboe Bang. So be prepared to taste caviar with white asparagus and hazelnuts or king crab with smoked reindeer. But don’t forget to leave some room for heavenly desserts like warm cinnamon buns, brown cheese toffee and cloudberry tart.
This stylish, one-Michelin-star restaurant has an industrial feel. The concrete floor, exposed pipework and open kitchen bring to mind lofts in New York City. But the food is purely Scandinavian. Think of dishes like haddock, blue cheese and pies.
In Kontrast, you can also taste delicious yet surprising flavours such as duck breast cured in coffee or poached oysters covered in sour cream.
The music choice of the place is surprising as well. Instead of classical music or light jazz, you’ll hear alternative rock from the 90s and 00s. So it’s an especially good restaurant for people who look for an unconventional dining experience.
Dine Like a King or a Queen in Statholdergaarden
If you want to treat yourself and feel like Louis XVI or Marie Antoinette for a day, then find your way to one-Michelin-star Statholdergaarden. The fantastic baroque style, ornate stucco ceilings and beautiful chandeliers make you feel like you are in a palace.
Also, the food fits well in such an elegant interior. Expect classical cooking, seasonal Norwegian ingredients and familiar combinations. You can choose between the Tasting menu, the 10 course Set menu, the 5 or 6 course Today’s menu, and à la carte. Pepper crab is a must in Statholdergaarden. It’s a king crab served with carrots, bok choy, and coriander. Good news for wine admirers is that their cellar includes about 6000 wines.
Omakase by Vladimir Pak: Word’s Finest Seafood
This traditional sushi restaurant serves 20 servings of Edomae sushi with surprising extras like reindeer. In short, expect a different dining experience. The intimate dining bar seats no more than ten guests. The portions are small, but full of taste and melt on your tongue. Each is brought to you by the chef and his assistant. Every course comes with a story and with a great combination of sauces and toppings.
Credo Celebrates Local Produce
If you’re heading out of Oslo, make sure to drop in at Credo in Trondheim. Credo sources its produce from nearby farms and its seafood from Trondheim fjord. Offering local food is so important to Credo that they even grow their own papaya. Stepping into the room – concrete floors, leather chairs and graffiti on the walls – expect to be greeted warmly. It feels almost as if you’re visiting a friend because just when you’re in the middle of your meal, your host pops up to show you the house, and you get a tour of the kitchen and pantry. But what will you find on your plate? Be prepared to taste reindeer heart topped with blackcurrant and fresh cheese crisps, blood pudding with lingonberries and crayfish on a stick with cherry cream and crayfish bouillon.
Speilsalen: Unforgettable Dining Experience
Dining in Speilsalen is a luxurious experience. Fresh flowers, sparkling chandeliers and big mirrors welcome you to the dining room. The interior takes you back in time and feels like you’re heading to a prom in the 19th century. And just when you think it cannot get any more luxurious, you’re delightfully mistaken. There’s also a caviar bar. Caviar tasting is a perfect addition to their 10 course menu.
Trondheim has become a culinary destination — more and more international visitors come specifically for food. FAGN offers creative modern food, which means that the staff loves to play with traditional dishes. You can choose between a 10 or 20 course tasting menu. Expect a lot of seafood and artful serving. For example, Langoustine miso arrives on driftwood. Or you can try local reindeer loin sauce taken from the chef’s grandma’s recipe.
Dinner Under the Water
Have you ever had a meal under water? If not, then this one-Michelin-star restaurant is your chance. It’s a fantastic way to experience Nordic nature up close and get to taste some of the best food in the whole of Norway. Under offers the opportunity to dine five meters under the water. What can you eat there while watching fish swimming past? Of course, seafood, but also seabirds and wild sheep that graze in a nearby archipelago.
This two-Michelin-star restaurant on the west coast of Norway is different. You sit in the kitchen while the chefs are preparing delicious meals and serve them to you. It does feel like you’re entering a chef’s playground. Chef Sven Erik Renaa wants to make his guests feel at home. And what is he serving? His innovative dishes are inspired by the rich natural produce of the fjords, forests and pastures. The highlights are trout, salmon, razor clams and scallops.
Surrounded by the longest and deepest fjord in Norway, Bergen is the place to go for anyone who wishes to try some of the best food in Norway. This is the place where you find one-Michelin-star restaurant Bare. The first thing that blows your mind in this beautiful establishment is its interior. Drinks and snacks are served in a striking mirrored bar. The dining room has chairs covered with furs, elegant drapes hang on either side of the windows and long candles adorn the tables.
The food in Bare is creative and modern. You can find flavourful pork with cherry mustard sauce, perfectly cooked duck and langoustine on the menu.
Photo by Avonne Stalling from Pexels