Trondheim has always boasted a bustling nightlife, but only recently has the Norwegian city started to earn a name for itself in the mixology world. These are eight of the best cocktail bars in Norway’s third largest city.
If you walk Trondheim’s cobbled streets, you’ll be sure to find plenty of nightclubs, pubs and microbreweries, but cocktail bars are still in relatively short supply. However, if you know where to look, you’ll find a few hidden gems full of Scandinavian charm that are worth the trip. Two of these bars, Raus and NordØst, boast nominations for Bartenders’ Choice, an annual award of excellence within the Nordic bar industry.
Located in the heart of the city centre is Raus, one of the most famous cocktail bars in Norway. At the helm of the bar is Jørgen Dons, head bartender and one of the frontrunners of the Norwegian bar scene. His dedicated and ambitious team of bartenders work tirelessly to develop their innovative and modern drinks repertoire, but are also more than happy to serve up the old classics. Their efforts earned Raus the title Best Bar in Norway in 2016, and it’s easy to see why. Jørgen tells Culture Trip, “Raus is turning 10 years old this year, but in contrast to many old dogs, we are continually learning new tricks”. Owing to its delicious selection of cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and relaxed atmosphere, the bar can get busy on weekends. If you are looking for a slower pace for your evening, try going in on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when the stylish bar hosts fun themed evenings with discounts.
NordØst is a restaurant and cocktail bar that aims to bring together flavours from the North (Norway) and East (Asia). Located at Solsiden, in one of Trondheim’s old shipyard docks, it is the perfect place to unwind after spending a day shopping in town. On a sunny day, people flock to this popular open-air bar and restaurant area. NordØst prides itself on using local produce from the surrounding county of Trøndelag. The locally produced honey, spirits infused with ingredients foraged in the forest and dried berries are all part of its toolbox. One of the many talented mixologists is bar manager Malin Stavsøien, who was crowned Norway’s Best Bartender in 2019.
Sip classic cocktails in one of Trondheim’s most historic hotels. Head bartender Øyvind Lindgjerdet, who was previously the manager at NordØst, and his team have created a series of fresh and delicious cocktails inspired by fascinating stories from the history of Trondheim. Learn about government-approved piracy during the Napoleonic Gunboat Wars and the role fish played in bringing an end to Norwegian prohibition, in a luxurious setting. The five-star hotel has been one of the city’s most influential meeting spots for the past 150 years, and as history progresses, so does the bar’s menu. The hotel opened its doors in 1870, and has hosted everyone from international royalty to British aristocracy. The Norwegian Kings Haakon VIII and Olav V were also famously once guests at the hotel, when they were crowned.
Bar Moskus is an intimate bar located on the ground floor of the Avant Garden Theatre. With a maximum capacity of 50 people, you may be up close and personal with other drinkers. It’s a great choice for grabbing a drink and a snack before and after performances, or to spend a whole evening taste-testing its well-stocked shelves. When there isn’t live music in the form of folk, Americana and blues, the venue plays vinyl records that have been carefully selected. This is a must for music lovers, but also a cosy spot where you can catch up with old friends. The bar’s friendly bartenders know their stuff and can offer advice on a wide array of spirits, wine and beer.
Between Bakklandet and Solsiden – or in other words, “between where you were and where you’re going” – you’ll find one of the city’s hidden gems, Café Løkka. The venue is known for its retro interior, milkshakes and burgers, but also its creative cocktail menu. Café Løkka prides itself on its laid-back atmosphere, and is a perfect meeting place for those who like music and nostalgia. There’s also a large outdoor seating area, perfect for soaking up the Trondheim sun away from the bustling streets.
Courtesy of Clarion Hotel Trondheim / Booking.com | Courtesy of Clarion Hotel Trondheim / Booking.com
Located right next to the harbour in one of Trondheim’s new districts, Brattørais, you’ll find Kitchen & Table. This spot has become particularly popular for its roof terrace which has views over the Trondheimsfjord. Come to watch the sunset while enjoying the most spectacular scenery with cocktails, snacks and fireside lounging. Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson combines flavours of New York with local ingredients from Trøndelag. Try the menu of seafood paired with classic cocktails. Kitchen & Table is located on the top floor of the Clarion Hotel Trondheim, and is perfect if you are looking for a bustling atmosphere – especially during the weekend, when a DJ takes up residence.
Lokal runs three parallel concepts in its Dronningens Gate space – a cocktail bar (Bar), a concert stage (Scene) and a nightclub in the basement (Klubb), to cater for all needs. Whatever night you are looking for, you will find a different vibe in each area of the venue. Since opening in August 2018, Lokal has made a reputation for itself as a place to enjoy delicious cocktails in a chilled atmosphere, surrounded by green plants and good music. The ’60s-inspired interiors offer a relaxing place in which to enjoy innovative cocktails.
Kieglekroa is Trondheim’s oldest pub, and is known as “the place for good conversations” – it draws everyone from politicians, police officers and journalists to authors and students. It has held its doors open for revellers since 1962. Here, you can relax at sturdy, wooden tables in a candlelit room with a cosy, open fireplace. The bar prides itself on their impressive selection of beers and whiskeys, but also has a nice selection of classic cocktails on the menu. It’s also one of the only places in Norway where you can still play the Dutch game “sjoelbak”, or Dutch shuffleboard.