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By Kristin Herman - 5 min read

9 best foods to try in Norway

Eat

Norway isn’t just known for its picturesque cities and scenery. In fact, Norway is more so known for its adventurous cuisine. Yes, great food is no exception to Norwegians, since they love their food and eateries.

So, if you’re wondering what to eat in Norway – the land of the midnight sun – then check out these 9 great foods to try during your visit.

1. Pølser

Pølser is Norway’s version of the American hot dog. You’ll find these cheap eats in both discounted places and upscale restaurants, because Norwegians love their hot dogs like Americans love burgers. At one place called Syverkiosken in Oslo, they boil their hot dogs in homemade bone broth and make their own condiments from scratch. Plus, you have the options of either eating the hot dog in a tortilla-shaped potato-and-flour Lompe, or a standard bun.

2. Kjøttkaker

Kjøttkaker is a simple dish that’s common throughout Norway to the point where many families eat it weekly. So, what is it? It’s seasoned minced meat that’s kneaded with various ingredients, including onions or rusk. Then, it’s formed into small cakes and pan-fried with care, only to be simmered in gravy and served with the choice of either mashed peas or creamed cabbage. While this dish is treated as something that can only be found in Norway, it’s experiencing somewhat of a renaissance after trendier pizza and taco chains are focusing on it in recent years. In fact, popular bars like Pingvinen – along with its many patrons – swear that they serve the best Kjøttkaker in the country.

3. Pinnekjøtt

Pinnekjøtt is a hearty meal that involves sheep ribs, and it’s normally served on Christmas Eve (or what Norwegians call “Julaften”). The ribs are salted and air-dried, and then they’re rehydrated, steamed over birch sticks, and served with mashed kohlrabi. So, why sheep? Because sheep are abundant in Norway, especially in the rolling valleys of the west coast.

So, if you’re in the mood for Pinnekjøtt in Norway, then head over to the best restaurants that serve it in Oslo – Restaurant Schrøder, Engebret Café, and Lorry Restaurant.

4. Lefse

Lefse is a sweetened delicacy in Norway. This sweet traditional soft flatbread is perfect with a cup of coffee. You can slather it with a blend of butter, sugar and cinnamon. Then, it’s either folded or rolled before being cut into portions to make them easy to carry. You can either pick these up from the grocery store after dinner, or grab a few on the go before taking the ferry around the country. It’s a sweet snack and or dessert to enjoy while touring Norway.

Or, if you want the best lefse in Norway, then head over to the Trygstad Bakeri & Konditori in Røros, where many tourists can get a genuine taste of this sensational treat.

5. Rakfisk

Rakfisk is fermented freshwater trout from the landlocked parts of Norway, including Trondheim. Normally, it’s salted, layered in wooden barrels, and covered with spruce branches before being left to ferment for months. This dish is often paired with lefse, which is spread with butter and sour cream; and it’s served alongside an onion and beetroot salad. While the pungency of the fish can be overwhelming, it’s definitely worth trying, once you drown it with generous amounts of butter and sour cream.

Credo Restaurant in Trondheim, Norway is locals’ and tourists’ go-to place for the best rakfish.

6. Salty Licorice

“Salt Lakris are salty versions of what Americans call ‘licorice’”, says Ben Seitz, a blogger at Academized. “Mainly reserved for more adventurous eaters, salty licorice is considered an acquired taste that some people might never acquire. However, if you love licorice, then try this intensely-flavored candy that’s popular all over Scandinavia including Norway.”

The secret to the salty and intense flavor is the treat’s exposure to ammonium chloride. So, when you bite into it, you’ll be hit by the flavors instantly.

The best part? This licorice comes in different shapes and sizes, with locals recommending the fish and coins shapes that can be found at Norwegian convenience stores and candy shops. The Norwegian Foodstore – located in Bergen, Norway – offers Salt Lakris in-store and online.

7. Svele

Svele is a batter-based cake that has gained popularity in Norway in the last 40 years, despite its humble beginnings on the west coast. Although it looks like American pancakes, svele is an afternoon treat that can be eaten straight from the pan, and eaten with butter, syrup, and or Norwegian brown cheese.

So, what gives these cakes their unique flavor? Salt of hartshorn (ammonium bicarbonate) and baking soda are used as raising agents, giving them their flavor.

Restaurants like the Colonialen 44 – located in Bergen – serve this dish with yummy Bruost ice cream.

8. Klippfisk

Thanks to Spanish fishermen, salted, dried, and pressed cod has become a household dish in Norway, especially for its hand in being the Iberians’ most prized dish, bacalao. And, the klippfisk is used to make the dish plukkfisk, where the salty fish is boiled and picked of its bone before being folded into creamy mashed potato.

So, the next time you visit Kristiansund, Norway – or plan to go there for the first time – then stop by the restaurant Sjøstjerna to try out this fish dish!

9. Raspeballer

A dense ball of mashed potato and flour, raspeballer is simmered in stock with fatty cuts of sheep or pork. Usually served with bacon drowning in brown butter, raspeballer is a menu item in many Norwegian restaurants, thanks to its amazing mixture of fat and salt.

Great restaurants in Oslo, like Kaffistova and Wesselstuen, serve the best raspeballer, according to many locals.

Tempted by the delights of Norwegian cuisine?

So, are you feeling adventurous? Then please your culinary cravings by heading over to Norway! We hope you’ll try these 9 great foods from Norway, even if it’s just once!

For more inspiration like this, download TWISPER to discover more excellent places to eat, sleep and drink in Norway and around the world.

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About the author

Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at Ukwritings. As a marketer, she helps various companies improve their marketing strategies and concepts.