Start your trip with a visit to Stavanger and its Fisketorget (fish market) restaurant, where you can enjoy the freshest catch of the day. Continue your exploration at the Michelin-star Sabi Omakase, for an exclusive sushi experience by chef Roger Asakil Joya, who elevates local fare like marinated cod and langoustines. Or try the 21-seat, Michelin-star Renaa, where chef Sven Erik Renaa showcases the region’s fantastic flavours in a tasting menu. (Try the razor clam with fermented pear and jalapeño.) Also worth a visit is Tango Bar & Kjøkken, for authentic dishes such as wild halibut with black garlic puree.
Visit Haugesund for the Viking burial monument, but stay for the town’s inspiring cuisine. Start with Lothes Mat & Vinhus, where you can enjoy a langoustine and scallops soup while taking in the Smedasundet views from your table. Visit To Glass for a lamb shank braised with beer and chanterelles in a mid-19th-century building. At Brovingen Mat & Vin, you can choose a three-, five- or seven-course menu with fresh produce from the Haugalandet area, accompanied by Norwegian cheeses and local beer.
Bergen has plenty to offer food lovers. At Lysverket chef Christopher Haatuft is doing neo-Nordic cuisine with a twist. Go for the set menu, with options such as smoked trout tartare and sturgeon caviar with quince. The Lysverket team also operates Hoggorm Pizza, where you can munch on crispy-crusted pizzas and enjoy natural wines. For traditional Norwegian cooking visit Restaurant 1877, where the menu changes every three months with the seasons – think shellfish and root vegetables in wintertime and fresh fruits in the summer. Don’t leave without stopping by Colonialen 44, renowned for its four-course seasonal menu in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere.
Prepare to be delighted by the selection of seafood when visiting Ålesund. Norway’s largest fishing port is the best place to taste bacalao de noruega (dried and salted clipfish). Try this Norwegian delicacy at XL Diner, one of Europe’s most renowned bacalao restaurants, or Sjøbua, which has been a dining institution since 1987. Sjøbua also takes pride in its lobster soup, which is served all year round. New arrival Bro will tease your taste buds with its “coastal gastronomy” concept, an experience of produce from the coast, from Chef Ronny Kolvik who holds a gold medal from the national Norwegian Chef’s team. Other worthy pit stops include Zuuma, which offers locally sourced sushi and Asian barbecue fusion food and Apotekergata5, which has an entirely new topography concept using produce from the sea to the highest peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps.
Kristiansund and Molde, along the Atlantic Road, combine gastronomy and culture. Kristiansund is Norway’s bacalao capital – as a visit to Sans Restaurant for its award-winning bacalao will confirm. Restaurant, brasserie and bar Bryggekanten offers locally caught seafood in dramatic surroundings with a gorgeous sun terrace overlooking the water. In Molde, a town famous for its rose gardens and international jazz festival, feast on deer carpaccio and gratiné clipfish at Glass (just make sure to save room for its valrhona chocolate panna cotta), or try the cured reindeer from Røros at Restaurant Molde Fjordstuer on the quayside.
The villages along Sognefjord, Norway’s longest fjord, are also definitely worth a visit. Stop by Balestrand to be captivated by the cookie-box houses and the home cooking, especially reindeer sausage and grandma’s meatballs served at Pilgrim. A visit to Lærdal village won’t be complete without a stop at Laksen restaurant inside the Norsk Villakssenter. Learn about the Atlantic salmon before trying some for yourself or the equally delicious sea trout. At the book town of Fjærland, the restaurant at Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel serves delicate Nordic dishes made using hyperlocal ingredients with locally crafted beer and ciders.
It’s never a bad time to visit Norway, but head to the Fjord Coast in the spring, summer and autumn and enjoy longer days and seasonal activities. Explore the region’s culinary cities, learn about Norway’s Viking history and travel along the Fjord Coast’s unique and ancient landscapes on an unforgettable trip. Norway is easy to reach. Fly direct to Bergen with Norwegian and Iceland Air or direct to the fjords via Amsterdam with KLM or via Copenhagen with SAS. Fjord Tours offer a hop-on-hop-off solution to exploring the national tourist routes. Check out Sognefjord in a Nutshell or Hardangerfjord in a Nutshell – both of which start in Bergen – or the Geiranger and Norway in a Nutshell trip, which includes most of the region’s highlights in one.