Whether you fancy a quick grilled cheese sandwich or perfectly cooked scallops, Norway’s third biggest city has the perfect place to stop for lunch.
Although it has just 200,000 residents, Trondheim has quietly become the culinary capital of Norway. A combination of young chefs, enduring food traditions and excellent local produce mean it’s easy to eat well, whether you want Michelin-star fine dining, snacks on the go or a laid-back brunch. Here are the best places to eat lunch in this medieval Norwegian city.
“Don’t be fooled by the mundane-looking exterior of this bookstore and cafe – it’s much cosier inside! Sellanraa is one of the best coffee shops in town,” says food writer and photographer Anders Husa. Located in the old fire station by the library, Sellanraa is owned by chef Frederic Klev, and serves only breakfast and lunch. The menu has an emphasis on vegetable-based dishes plus an excellent selection of coffee and wines. Try the fermented cabbage with cod and butter sauce, the scallops or the sharing menu to sample the best of the menu. “Klev’s dishes are simple and generally consist of just a few high-quality ingredients,” Anders says.
When only a burger will do, Trondheim offers plenty of options with several gourmet burger bars across the city. However, “Super Hero Burger serves the best burger in Trondheim,” declares Anders. The casual spot is located in the centre of the city, in a distinctive bright blue building with a superhero logo on the outside. Super Hero Burger grinds their meat daily, and cooks the burger patties on a charcoal grill for a smoky, authentic taste. “They are packed between homemade burger buns, and topped with plenty of melted cheese and sauce. Sloppy and delicious!”
“North meets East at NordØst, where Nordic ingredients are paired with Asian flavours and modern techniques,” says Anders – perfect for a long lunch when you want something a little more special than a sandwich, NordØst serves the best local produce with a difference. Think steam buns with salmon from Frøya, curry-steamed mussels from Åfjorden or dim sum with king crab from Varanger. Go on a sunny day and you can enjoy it all from their spectacular terrace overlooking the river in the buzzing Solsiden neighbourhood. “Their passionate sommeliers and bartenders add an extra element to guests’ dining experience,” says Anders.
Only open during the day, this tiny lunch bar has a small but delicious menu of vegan food, usually including a burger, wraps and at least one hearty main dish. They aim to offer healthy plant-based meals that replenish customers’ energy in the middle of the day. The vegan menu focuses primarily on organic ingredients to create eclectic dishes influenced by Thai, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisine. There are a handful of seats to eat in the cafe itself or you can take dishes away, which is slightly cheaper. A discount is also available for students.
Choose between classic, reasonably priced salads, sandwiches, quesadillas and burgers with truffle mayonnaise at Café Ni Muser, next door to the Trondheim Kunstmuseum (Art Museum). If you’re in a rush, choose the weekly lunch special, which they guarantee will be with you in just five minutes, or you’ll receive a voucher for lunch another day. On Saturday, there’s a lavish lunch buffet for a set price, or call in on Sunday if you have a sweet tooth to indulge in their cake buffet, laden with desserts, confectionery and chocolate fountains. The cafe also hosts occasional live music performances and open-air film screenings. For the summer months, they have a lovely terrace for al fresco dining.
Nothing hits the spot quite like a grilled-cheese sandwich. “The restaurant started out with a single food truck in the city centre, before they opened a bricks-and-mortar shop inside Sirkus shopping mall on the outskirts of Trondheim,” says Anders. It’s no surprise they’re so tasty: recipes are created by chef Kim Asserson, who previously worked in a three Michelin-star restaurant in Chicago. Melt has now expanded to Oslo, but be sure to visit its original Trondheim location to try homemade sauces and dips, and its menu of classic comfort food.
Jordbær Pikene, which translates as “Strawberry Girls”, was founded in 2003 by pastry chef, TV chef and food writer Lars Lian, who hoped to fill a gap between bakeries and burger restaurants in shopping malls. His concept was to make food and cakes from scratch using seasonal ingredients, and opened his first cafe in Trondheim’s Byhaven shopping centre. There are now outlets all over the country serving decently priced lunches including sandwiches, salads and burgers, and an excellent kids menu.
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