The traditional meal of Fjord Norway was long built on the raw materials abundant in its forests, mountains and waters. Fish and seafood, of course. Berries, mushrooms and other produce. Lamb and wild game. Fresh when possible, more often conserved to last the long winters. The quainter dishes of yesteryear — smoked sheep’s heads, “old cheese” and fermented fish — are still prepared, of course, for tradition-minded locals and curious visitors alike, but most meals in Fjord Norway have evolved into something more refined and pleasing to the modern palate. Ecological and culturally authentic, “New Nordic” cuisine crafts culinary wonders from traditional and unusual local ingredients. It’s renowned worldwide for good reason.

Here’s a look at where to sample Fjord Norway specialities, from Haugesund north to the Nordmøre region. 

Ryfylke

The perfect first taste of Fjord Norway could very well be a bite of smoked or cured salmon — synonymous with Norwegian cuisine worldwide. Family-owned and -operated smokehouse Mikals Laks, in Ryfylke, churns out different types of gourmet-quality gravlaks. Founder Mikal Viga’s family has been smoking fish locally for five generations. Mikal brought that heritage to bear when he opened Mikals Laks in the hamlet of Skiftun two decades ago, employing time-honored traditions when preparing and curing fish. Unique takes on classic gravlaks include juniper-smoked and cognac-marinated salmon.

Ålesund

Your appetite for fresh seafood whetted, head to Ålesund for a delicious taste of clipfish dishes at the traditional restaurants XL Diner or Polarbjørn, both of which have panoramic views of the harbour and town. Ålesund’s culinary scene can boast a number of fantastic restaurants that specialise in coastal gastronomy. Enjoy a delicious culinary journey in the coastal fare of Sunnmøre at Apotekergata no. 5 and at Restaurant Bro, which has reaped praise in the ‘bible’ of Nordic gastronomy, White guide. Would you prefer a ‘rawer’ experience? Try the sushi at Zuuma, made from local seafood. Remember to book in advance! Welcome!

Haugesund

Herring made Haugesund rich. The town was once an important exporter of the fish, in demand across northern Europe. The herring trade may be long gone but seafood is still very much on the menu in Haugesund’s exciting culinary scene. Try the catch of the day and regional specialties at fine downtown dining spots like Lothes Mat & Vinhus or Naustet Spiseri, just steps from the sea.

Northwest

When it comes to Fjord Norway and cheese, our unique brunost, or brown cheese, is not our only claim to fame. “Kraftkar,” a home-grown blue cheese from family-run Tingvollost in Møre og Romsdal was named the world’s best cheese in 2016. The local startup was founded in 2003 by the Waagen family on the 700-year-old Saghaug Gård farmstead. Today, three generations welcome visitors to not only sample their acclaimed cheeses but to meet the cows that provide the milk for them, too! Cheese is not all that’s going on in the Northwest. It’s simply not possible to talk about the region’s food without a nod to Kristiansund and the surrounding Nordmøre district. From klippfisk merchants and organic grocers to purveyors and preparers of luxury salmon worth hundreds of euros per pound, Nordmøre is a gastronomic magnet.

Fjordkysten - the Fjord Coast

Thirsty for a taste of the Fjord Coast? Head for Kinn Brewery in Florø, one of Fjord Norway’s most enchanting towns and a traditional shipbuilding and fishing haven. Founder Espen Lothe — a former biology professor and amateur craft brewer — took the plunge and opened his own brewery in 2009. Today, the Vesle Kinn test brewery and beer café can be found on Strandgata in the heart of Florø. Embark on a guided tour and øl, or beer, tasting. Or wash down some tapas with a beer, on tap or bottled, in the café, along with cider, wine, juice, coffee and other alcohol-free alternatives.

Nordfjord

Satisfy your sweet tooth — and curiosity — with a sample of gombe, a sugary cheese confection typical of the Nordfjord region that’s traditionally enjoyed with a side of lefse, or flatbread. Order a helping at Fjellestad Gardskjøken near Sandane, which has been crafting both gombe — boiled down from curdled milk and sugar — and lefse made with locally sourced potatoes for 30 years. Be sure to try their fisklefse, or fish flatbreads, and rømmegraut, a delicious traditional porridge, too. If you travel to the ‘food valley’ Kandal in Gloppen, you can sample a rich goat cheese straight from the dairy, where a mother and son are keeping the 130-year-old tradition alive.

Sognefjord

Fjord Norway’s verdant fjord valleys are lush with farms and orchards, and the Sognefjord — the longest and deepest fjord — is no exception. One must on any visit to the Sogn region is the quaint artist village of Balestrand, home to The Cider House and its range of ciders, brandies and fruit wines. The Eitungjerde Høyvik family’s organic orchard boasts eight types of pear, 35 kinds of plums and 60 varieties of apples. Pair hand-crafter ciders and dishes at the on-site restaurant. Book a cider tasting, pairing that with a mountain hike or village heritage walk. The Cider House is a destination unto itself. 

Fjord secrets

The secret’s out, Fjord Norway is more than you expected. Yes, we’re home to mind-blowing fjord landscapes. But we’re so much more! You are welcome to explore farther and further. Delve deeper across Fjord Norway to unearth countless hidden gems — attractions and experiences that amaze and delight in sight and sound, taste and touch.

Find out more

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