Traditional Norwegian cuisine is simple, hearty and designed to keep you warm during those freezing winters. While the classic meat and potato offerings may not be the most exciting, they are plenty satisfying, and you’ll find diverse cuisine options from around the world in Norway’s larger cities. Many travellers to Norway are concerned about how much money they will have to budget for meals during their trip, and while it’s true that eating and drinking in Norway can be expensive compared to other parts of Europe, there are a few things you can do to make your meals more affordable.
Budget-friendly tips for eating and drinking in Norway
Picnic like a local
Eating outside in parks and squares is incredibly popular during the summer in Norway. You’ll even see locals with single-use barbecues grilling meat in the open during the warmer months, which is totally legal. These disposable grills are cheap, but they aren’t great for the environment, so we recommend stocking up on fruit, vegetables, lunch meats and bread for an eco-friendly picnic.
Drink the tap water
With some of the best-tasting tap water in the world, there’s no need to splurge on bottled stuff. Bring a reusable bottle and fill it up each day. It’s better for your wallet and the environment.
Steer clear of sweets
A huge sugar tax means buying chocolate or candy is expensive everywhere in Norway. Junk heads may want to shore up some luggage space for treats, or simply prepare mentally.
Must-try food and drink in Norway
Basically a fried meatball, but flatter and with no breadcrumbs. Kjottkaker are ubiquitous in Norway so you won’t have to look to hard to find them. They’re delicious, filling and widely available – what more could you want?
Norway’s national dish is a perfect warmer for freezing winters (or even chilly spring or autumn nights). Simmered with cabbage and mild spices, pieces of lamb or mutton become fall-off-the-bone soft in this tasty and rustic meal.
- Linie Aquavit
This Norwegian brand of aquavit – a botanical vodka – is aged in oak casks during a cruise. Here’s the reasoning given on their website: ‘It all started back in 1805, when the Norwegian trade family, Lysholm, shipped potato aquavit to the East Indies. Here people were totally uninterested in buying it, so the aquavit was sailed back to Norway. On its arrival in 1807, it was discovered that the sea voyage had vastly improved the taste.’
- Brown cheese
Made by simmering a by-product of the cheese-making process (whey), then sliced and served on bread or crackers, sweet and salty brown cheese is an iconic lunch or breakfast accompaniment.
Vegetarians and vegans will have nothing to be concerned about in cities like Olso and Bergen, but we recommend stocking up on food in a supermarket if you’re travelling outside of the major cities, just in case you have trouble finding options on restaurant menus. Travelling with a local who speaks the language makes this all a lot easier. If you travel with Intrepid, you’ll have a local leader who can help you decipher menus and recommend plant-based choices.