The Best Wine Bars in Trondheim, Norway, According to a Local Sommelier
As Trondheim becomes a culinary destination, its wine bar scene is expanding as well | © Sophia Hsin / Stocksy
From natural wines to exquisite champagnes, Norway’s third largest city has a wine bar to match. Award-winning sommelier Henrik Dahl Jahnsen picks the best places in Trondheim to raise a glass.
“The wine bar scene in Trondheim is quite new and limited,” says Henrik Dahl Jahnsen, head sommelier at the city’s iconic Britannia Hotel and four-time winner of the Norwegian Sommelier Championships. “The ones we have are doing well, and the number of people interested in wine is evolving constantly.” Although the city only has 200,000 residents, Trondheim has already become an important culinary destination, with three Michelin stars in two years and a focus on the fantastic local ingredients. “Many talented chefs have moved back and opened their restaurants,” says Jahnsen. “They’ve brought with them exciting pairings of food and wine and high-quality staff. There’s a great sense of community within the restaurant trade here, too. We all have friends in different establishments and frequently visit one another for a bite and a glass.”
Wine Bar, Wine, European, $$$
“This is one of the best-known wine bars in town with a good selection of mostly small producers, and quite a few natural and low-sulphur wines,” says Jahnsen. Opened in 2017 in the very centre of Trondheim, this informal restaurant and wine bar is spread over two floors. The space is stylishly decorated with no-fuss wooden furniture, distinctive modern art and stripped-back plastered walls. There’s a terrace, a communal table by the bar if you only want a quick drink, and a menu of smaller grazing dishes focused on local ingredients and matched with biodynamic wines. “They have very passionate and competent staff, providing good service in a relaxed and friendly manner,” Jahnsen says. “The kitchen is also widely regarded as one of the go-to places for people in the restaurant business to start off their ‘Sunday funday’ with great food and interesting new wines.”
Vinbaren at Britannia Hotel
“The main cellar of the newly renovated Britannia Hotel also serves as an intimate and relaxing wine bar serving beautiful Norwegian charcuterie, cheeses from Norway and beyond, and snacks like salted almonds and good quality olives,” Jahnsen says. Wine-lovers will jump at the chance to drink in the wine cellar itself hidden below the iconic hotel and lined with bottles and temperature-controlled cabinets. A dimly lit intimate space, Vinbaren offers nearly 200 wines by the glass and often hosts tasting classes with world-famous producers. “With some 1,800 labels, it is one of the most extensive lists in Scandinavia; showcasing varietals of classic Bordeaux, top-quality Rieslings and Grande Marque Champagne. Yet, they still retain an exciting and extensive selection from Spain, Argentina and the rest of the world,” says Jahnsen.
There’s no need to pay Michelin-star prices to sample the outstanding wine at acclaimed restaurant Fagn, one of the first two restaurants in Trondheim to receive the prestigious award in 2019. Just head upstairs to its new bistro where the food is just as impressive, or you can simply enjoy the excellent wine carefully chosen by Fagn’s sommelier, Kenneth Bergmann. “It offers a casual setting for a light bite or just a glass, where you can choose from the main restaurant’s cellar list featuring some great wines from across the world at competitive prices,” says Jahnsen.
Cocktail Bar, Snacks
One of the city’s most popular bars, Raus is a stylish late-night spot open until 2.30am from Tuesday to Saturday. It’s known for its sleek design, chic leather furniture and exceptional cocktails made with one of the best selections of spirits in Norway. “It’s one of the absolute must-visits in town and a sure bet if you’re in the mood for some up-beat music and a great atmosphere,” says Jahnsen. Although not strictly a wine bar, there’s a very good reason to head there even if you’re not a cocktail-lover. “They have a secret champagne list featuring some top quality bubbles at very reasonable prices.”
Whether you want a quick drink, a snack or to devise your own menu from the selection of small international dishes, anything goes at Kraft Bodega. Inspired by the seasons and travel, this modern, light-filled restaurant overlooking the fjord has thrown out the rulebook and wants visitors to feel at home and eat or drink whatever they feel like. “The wine list is one of the best in town, and they even have some really sought-after and well developed wines if you ask them the right questions,” Jahnsen says. “It is very reasonably priced with friendly, low-key service.”
Bistro, Restaurant, Northern European
As an add-on to Michelin-star restaurant Credo
, you wouldn’t expect their adjoining bistro Credo to be a place to go for a decently priced glass of wine, but it might surprise you. Far more rustic than its prestigious neighbour, the brasserie serves international dishes inspired by Josefine Halvorsen – aka Jossa
– a local Trondheim resident from the mid-1900s who travelled around the world discovering international cuisines. The menu is flexible and regularly changes. It may concentrate on various cuisines like Mexican, Vietnamese or Thai for one week, and then focus on fresh ingredients from Trondheim fjord, Skjølberg Søndre and the restaurant’s own garden the next week. The restaurant also welcomes guests to just call in for a drink. “As with Fagn, there are some beautiful wines on the cellar list, many of them bought some years ago and have not been adjusted to modern pricing,” says Jahnsen.
Located in the Britannia Hotel, which reopened in 2019 after extensive renovations, the Brasserie Britannia is inspired by the simple but stylish brasseries of Paris. With duck-egg velvet sofas, a high counter for pulling up a stool and glamorous Art Deco styling, the brasserie is open all day, whether you want coffee and pastries for breakfast or a nightcap after dinner. “It’s an easygoing setting where you can drop in with your friends for a glass of Champagne or choose a bottle from the hotel’s cellar,” says Jahnsen. “It has fast service, and if you’re feeling a bit peckish, you can order a classic brasserie bite with your wine.”
These recommendations were updated on May 22, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.